10 Gallon Tank Did my cycle die? Or is this just a spike.

w0walana

Last week I came home from a wee weekend at my SO’s house and found that the cord to my cycling tank had been unplugged. I have no idea how long it had been off but I turned it back on immediately. How long does it take for all of the beneficial bacteria to die? I had 0 ammonia, some nitrite, and some nitrate before I left. When I came back, ammonia and nitrite were both at 0 and nitrate was present. I thought it had completed its cycle so I waited two more days before transferring my betta and doing a 50% water change. I waited another two days before transferring my two mystery snails. The snails have totally caused an ammonia spike but I’m worried that my cycle crashed and now im back to square one.
Yesterday ammonia and nitrite were present and today nitrite tested at 0. I still have about .25ppm of ammonia after doing a 30% water change.
Do you think my bacteria colonies died or if this is just a mini cycle due to the ammonia spike? Please give me your thoughts and advice.
 

mattgirl

Welcome to Fishlore :)

I suspect this is just a mini-cycle. If the tank was cycled before the filter being unplugged the bacteria should still be there. some may have gone dormant from lack of oxygen. Adding the mystery snails before it completely stabilized may be why you are getting a slight ammonia reading. Don't let it get much higher than what you are seeing right now even if that means daily water changes. The bacteria should quickly catch up to the higher bio-load.
 

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