Cycling the Tank

kumorisan

Hello!! (o≧w≦o)⁀♡︎

I was working on cycling my tank for a few weeks and I was following this website's directions: https://fishlab.com/how-to-cycle-aquarium/
I'm not entirely sure that the website is accurate, but the guy who made the thing has a lot of experience.

So, I added in some ammonia and waited for a week for the levels to drop. I dropped to about 1 ppm. Then, I moved on to the next step, which was to wait for the nitrifying bacteria to appear. Yet, I don't think I did the steps properly.
I tested for nitrites and got 0 ppm and ammonia 0 ppm. So I thought I should add more ammonia. I did... and the nitrite is still the same level. I haven't tested for ammonia yet, but am I doing the cycle wrong, or... should I move on? If it makes things easier, should I restart the cycle?

I have honestly no idea what I am doing... I've never done the water cycle before so if anybody can give me tips, that could really help!
 

AggressiveAquatics

So when cycling you keep adding ammonia and once it goes down to 0 in 24 hours that stage is done and that only takes about a week or two. Next keep adding ammonia to feed the bacteria and this is the tricky step that you have no control over is Waiting for nitrites nitrites can be really tricky when cycling a tank they can come up fast or take weeks to form. And eventually you will see nitrates which are the last form and when you see those and 0 ammonia 0 nitrite and 10-30 nitrate depending on if you have plants then your done. But make sure to even when you have nitrites keep adding ammonia
 
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kumorisan

So when cycling you keep adding ammonia and once it goes down to 0 in 24 hours that stage is done and that only takes about a week or two. Next keep adding ammonia to feed the bacteria and this is the tricky step that you have no control over is Waiting for nitrites nitrites can be really tricky when cycling a tank they can come up fast or take weeks to form. And eventually you will see nitrates which are the last form and when you see those and 0 ammonia 0 nitrite and 10-30 nitrate depending on if you have plants then your done. But make sure to even when you have nitrites keep adding ammonia
Alright thanks!
 
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mattgirl

When the ammonia drops close to zero add more. Ammonia is food for the bacteria. To grow, it needs food. It normally takes about 3 weeks for nitrites to show up. Continue adding ammonia each time it goes down close to zero throughout the full cycling process.

Once nitrites show up it can take quite a while for them to start dropping so just be patient and it will happen. As the nitrites rise and then start going down you should start seeing nitrates. You will know your cycle is complete when you see 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and some nitrates.

Keep an eye on your pH level. Cycling often causes them to lower. As long as they are at least 7 things should continue to move forward.

The size of the tank you are cycling kinda determines how much ammonia you need to add each time. If we are talking about the 20 gallon you have listed in your aquarium details I recommend you raise the ammonia level to at least 2ppm each time. More wouldn't be a problem but 2ppm should be enough.
 
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RayClem

During the cycling process, you need to test for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate on a daily basis. You do not want the ammonia level to exceed 2 ppm. If it does, you are adding too much ammonia. I does not take but 3-5 drops of ammonia per 10 gallons of water to achieve that level. If the level goes below 1 ppm, add a few drops of ammonia to bring the level back up to 2 ppm.

After a week or two, the ammonia concentration should drop from 2 ppm to 0 ppm in less than 24 hours and you should start to see nitrite levels rise. Keep adding ammonia. Then a week or so later, you will see the nitrite level drop overnight and the nitrate levels will start to rise. When you can add ammonia and both the ammonia and nitrite levels drop to zero several days in a row, you can consider the tank to be cycled. When nitrate levels start to rise above 10 ppm, it is time to start doing water changes to keep it from going above 20 ppm.

Personally, I do not like using ammonia to cycle a tank. I much prefer to add a pinch of fish food to the tank on a daily basis. The fish food gets broken down by a different set of beneficial sludge eating bacteria to urea and then to ammonia. At that point, the nitrifying bacteria take over to convert the ammonia to nitrite and the nitrite to nitrate. Thus, by starting with fish food rather than ammonia, you are developing a healthy population of sludge eating bacteria as well as the healthy colony of nitrifying bacteria.
 
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