Help Cycling Tank, Everything Testing High, What Now?

XRaquelX

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Ive been doing a fishless cycle on my 10 gallon tank for the past 3 weeks.. I put some fish flakes & tetra safe start and let it sit for 3 weeks with no water changes and I wasn't testing the water in that time (due to budget & hadn't bought the kit yet) well I finally tested it after 3 weeks and everything tested pretty high / ph 8.2 ammonia 1.0ppm nitrite 1.0ppm nitrate about 30ppm/ I did a 50% water change and waited a day and was able to bring it down only slightly now it's at ph 8.0 ammonia 0.50ppm nitrite 0.50ppm nitrate about 15ppm... My question is what now??? Should I do another water change? If so how much and how often?
 

david1978

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Its just a waiting game at this point.
 

SaltyPhone

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The fishless cycle confounded me to no end too. I’d just let it sit another week or so test every other day till the ammonia converts. What are you planning to keep in the tank?
 

Dinoknight

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Keep adding little pinches of food, just one won't do it. and with a fishless cycle, you will be lucky if it takes as little as 8 weeks, more likely 3-4 months. and let the water sit, you have no fish to care for yet, letting the water stay in will allow the cycle to move along. likely, if you are doing water changes, your initial pinch is completely gone by now.

- Dino
 

MysticEagle

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I'm a beginner, but I'll drop some info anyway, and I just recently completed a fishless cycle in my 20 gallon in roughly 30 days (no TSS or other bacterial source added). It took 10 days for ammonia to drop and then another 20 for nitrites to drop. I didn't do water changes until the ammonia dropped, and then only every 3-4 days to keep nitrites under control while dosing ammonia. And I was using 10% ammonia (industrial, "pure"). I've heard that using fish flakes and other things can be less optimal and take longer, but again have no experience with that so can't say for sure.

What's your temp at? For optimal bacterial reproduction it should be in the low 80s.
 

Burnout1620

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Everything MysticEagle said was true for me as well. I just cycled a 75 gallon. I used “janitorial strength” ammonia from Ace Hardware, a medicine dropper from CVS, and this ammonia calculator:
Fishless Cycle Ammonia Calculator

I followed the “add & wait” method in these instructions for cycling:
https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfishforum/threads/ammonia-instructions-for-a-fishless-cycle.19627/

Based on my experience I would say you need to bring your ammonia into the 4 ppm range as is explained in the cycling instructions. The best part about using pure ammonia is that you won’t need to worry about water changes until your cycle is complete, and you will probably avoid the “post cycle bacterial bloom” that a lot of people seem to have. It’s very quick and precise to add, and, it’s only ~$3 a bottle.

EDIT: To answer the OPs question... none of your levels are high at all. If your cycle got started I would expect higher nitrates, which are the final phase of the nitrogen cycle. I would go ahead and add more ammonia, up to about 4 ppm. Now that you have the test kit, you will be able to keep track of what’s going on. For detailed instructions, refer to the second thread above.
 

Momgoose56

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Burnout1620 said:
Everything MysticEagle said was true for me as well. I just cycled a 75 gallon. I used “janitorial strength” ammonia from Ace Hardware, a medicine dropper from CVS, and this ammonia calculator:
Fishless Cycle Ammonia Calculator

I followed the “add & wait” method in these instructions for cycling:
https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfishforum/threads/ammonia-instructions-for-a-fishless-cycle.19627/

Based on my experience I would say you need to bring your ammonia into the 4 ppm range as is explained in the cycling instructions. The best part about using pure ammonia is that you won’t need to worry about water changes until your cycle is complete, and you will probably avoid the “post cycle bacterial bloom” that a lot of people seem to have. It’s very quick and precise to add, and, it’s only ~$3 a bottle.

EDIT: To answer the OPs question... none of your levels are high at all. If your cycle got started I would expect higher nitrates, which are the final phase of the nitrogen cycle. I would go ahead and add more ammonia, up to about 4 ppm. Now that you have the test kit, you will be able to keep track of what’s going on. For detailed instructions, refer to the second thread above.
Just bring ammonia to 2 ppm. 4 ppm is too high once you have nitrites. You still have 2 to 4 weeks to go. Your tank needs to be able to convert 1-2 ppm of ammonia to 0 ppm within 24 hours of dosing the tank and nitrites need to stay at a constant 0 ppm while dosing with ammonia for your tank to be fully cycled and ready for fish.
 

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