Established Tank Fell Out Of Cycle And Hasn't Reestablished After 2 Months?

  1. J

    Jac2694 Initiate Member

    About two months ago i did a large water change to my 55 gallon tank that has been established and running for almost 7 years. I cleaned the tank a little too well and removed too much beneficial bacteria from my tank and it fell out of cycle. I lost many of my fish due to an ammonia spike that at one point was reaching 5ppm. The filter that I have on the back of the tank is an emperor 4000 with the two biowheels. The filter has been dying out on me as of late with the biowheels stopping completely and drying out, which with the large water change is why I assume the tank fell out of cycle. Knowing that the biological filtration capacity of the emperor 4000 is low, I went and bought a canister filter by Ehiem that supports more customization for different types of filtration. I started the cycle pretty much from scratch about too months ago. I currently have one full grown blood parrot, two Krib cichlids and a pleco left. Im am running both filters at the same time currently, trying to establish the new Eheim filter during this cycle while still running my old filter.

    Current Day (2 months later):
    The tank is still not cycled and water quality remains cloudy and smelly. I constantly monitor the water to make sure that the ph is always at 7.0 because I know that the proper PH is needed for the nitrification cycle to occur. I have been adding Nite-out II every other day to the water to help the cycle re-establish and for a while it was doing the job. Ammonia had steadily declined and nitrates started to go back up. But now it seems that my cycle has halted. I'm not sure what the issue is. The ammonia never goes above .5 ppm and usually hovers around .25ppm. My nitrites always read 0 ppm and my nitrates are currently between 20-30 ppm. What can I do to help get the cycling process moving again for that remaining .25ppm of ammonia to dissipate?

    Current water readings as of today:
    Ammonia: .25 PPM
    Nitrite: 0 PPM
    Nitrate: Between 20-30 PPM
    PH: 7.0
  2. a

    abheeshs Member Member

    OK, first things first, don't bother with the pH, don't use anything for that right now. How often are you doing water changes, how much? Did you add media from your old emperor 4000 to the new filter?

    You can try a different bacteria product like Seachem Stability.
  3. OP

    Jac2694 Initiate Member

    I'm currently running both the old filter and the new one, but most of the bio filtration was coming from the biowheels which had completely stopped and dried up at the time. So right now I have the two bio wheels spinning again, and the Eheim filter set up with three trays of biological media. I do a water change right now of about 50% a week. For 24-48 hours after the water change, the ammonia will read very low or 0, but two or three days later itll be back up to .25ppm-.5ppm. Keep in mind throughout this entire re-cycling I've always had a consistent reading of 0ppm for the nitrite. It seemed like the ammonia was going straight to nitrate. My testing kits are up to date so I'm not sure what the issue is.