Freshwater fish-less cycle issue

CoconutShrimp

I'm having an issue cycling my freshwater 10gal tank. I understand the nitrogen-cycling process and I've taken care of a 20gal freshwater tank before...just haven't truly cycled one alone. I'm using dr Tim's one and only nitrifying bacteria and dr Tim's ammonia chloride solution. Here is my progression so far:

PH is a consistent 7.6
Day1 (add ammonia and bacteria)
Day2 ammonia 1ppm nitrite 0ppm nitrate 0ppm
Day3(add ammonia)
day4 ammonia 1ppm nitrite 0ppm nitrate 0ppm
day5 ammonia 1.5ppm nitrite 0.25ppm nitrate 0ppm
day6 (add ammonia)
day7 ammonia 2ppm nitrite 1ppm nitrate 0ppm
day8 ammonia 2.5ppm nitrite 2ppm nitrate 0-3ppm(hint of gold)
day9(today) ammonia 2.5ppm nitrite2-5ppm nitrate 0-3ppm

I know nine days isn't long, however, I've been doing this cycle for a month since I used soft sodium water the first 3 weeks by mistake, which made my nitrite off the charts(since 80% water changes only made it 1ppm), and now restarting with tap and Topfin water conditioner. I thought the progression was going smoothly, however, I am unsure if I was supposed to be adding the bacteria every day or not. Today I added 20 ml of bacteria (10ml per 10gal) and hoping it'll lower my quickly rising nitrite. So my only true concerning question is if I need to keep adding bacteria or not; since I don't want a stalled cycle. I'm also open to any other advice, I'm a very patient person...sometimes. lol, thanks.
 

mattgirl

Welcome to Fishlore :)

At this point I would stop adding ammonia until what's in there drops down close to zero. Adding bacteria isn't a problem but probably not necessary at this point.
 
Upvote 0

CoconutShrimp

Thanks for your feedback!

As usual, I was overthinking so this tip helps tremendously.
 
Upvote 0

mattgirl

Thanks for your feedback!

As usual, I was overthinking so this tip helps tremendously.
Happy to help. Now it is just a matter of waiting for the ammonia and nitrites to drop to zero. Since this is a 10 gallon tank I will recommend you only get the ammonia up to 2ppm when it drops down to or close to zero. 2ppm ammonia should grow enough bacteria to handle the future bio-load in this size tank.
 
Upvote 0

CoconutShrimp

Hello once again to all, just a quick update:

I've now been cycling for a total of 24 days...and ammonia is still 2-3ppm and nitrite is 5ppm...or higher since that's how high the API Freshwater Test kit goes, and I'm getting a bit worried its stalled. I just added some bacteria I had left last night and ordered a water heater to get my bacteria to grow a bit faster; my water temp is 73 degrees F. I want to do a wc in case my tank is stalled but I'm so unsure! With so many opinions of do's and don'ts, It's a bit confusing lol. Someone let me know if I should just wait a bit longer, or if I should do a 25% or higher wc to get that ammonia and nitrite down? Let me know and Thanks! :)

*Also quick note, I haven't been adding any ammonia since day 13.*
 
Upvote 0

mattgirl

Hello once again to all, just a quick update:

I've now been cycling for a total of 24 days...and ammonia is still 2-3ppm and nitrite is 5ppm...or higher since that's how high the API Freshwater Test kit goes, and I'm getting a bit worried its stalled. I just added some bacteria I had left last night and ordered a water heater to get my bacteria to grow a bit faster; my water temp is 73 degrees F. I want to do a wc in case my tank is stalled but I'm so unsure! With so many opinions of do's and don'ts, It's a bit confusing lol. Someone let me know if I should just wait a bit longer, or if I should do a 25% or higher wc to get that ammonia and nitrite down? Let me know and Thanks! :)

*Also quick note, I haven't been adding any ammonia since day 13.*
It does sound like you cycle is stalled. Often it takes a water change to get it moving forward. What is your pH level? If it is lower than 7 it can cause the cycling process to slow to a crawl. Much lower than that and it can take a very long time for the cycle to grow.

this thread may be an interesting read for you. Symptoms of a Stalled Fishless Cycle and How to Fix it | Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle Forum | 429601
 
Upvote 0

CoconutShrimp

Hey mattgirl,

My pH is looking 7.6 so its not acidic and it couldn't be the pH. right?

Also, how much water should I remove for the wc?
 
Upvote 0

mattgirl

Hey mattgirl,

My pH is looking 7.6 so its not acidic and it couldn't be the pH. right?
Right. With that pH level it isn't that causing what you are seeing. I would change out half the water. If you are still seeing ammonia in the tank don't add any more. Let's see if the water change gets things moving forward. We will know it helped if the ammonia starts going down. Quite often replenishing the minerals in fresh water will get things moving.

Be sure you both temp match and add your water conditioner to the fresh water if you have chlorine/chloramines in your tap water. Temp matching when there are no fish may not be necessary but I consider bacteria a living thing.
 
Upvote 0

CoconutShrimp

Right. With that pH level it isn't that causing what you are seeing. I would change out half the water. If you are still seeing ammonia in the tank don't add any more. Let's see if the water change gets things moving forward. We will know it helped if the ammonia starts going down. Quite often replenishing the minerals in fresh water will get things moving.

Be sure you both temp match and add your water conditioner to the fresh water if you have chlorine/chloramines in your tap water. Temp matching when there are no fish may not be necessary but I consider bacteria a living thing.

Okay, sounds good. I shall do a water change today and wait till tomorrow to see if that helps at all. Tomorrow I also receive my heater! I just want to get the water to at least 80F to help my lil bacteria grow.

Also, if my ammonia or nitrite don't truly drop. What should I do?
 
Upvote 0

mattgirl

Okay, sounds good. I shall do a water change today and wait till tomorrow to see if that helps at all. Tomorrow I also receive my heater! I just want to get the water to at least 80F to help my lil bacteria grow.

Also, if my ammonia or nitrite don't truly drop. What should I do?
the warmer water should help. It may take a day or two for the water change to be effective. Are you seeing any nitrates yet?
 
Upvote 0

CoconutShrimp

the warmer water should help. It may take a day or two for the water change to be effective. Are you seeing any nitrates yet?

nitrates at the moment haven't truly change. They've been at 5ppm for awhile.

I tested about 45 minutes ago, thus why I'm a bit worried on my cycle's pace.
 
Upvote 0

mattgirl

nitrates at the moment haven't truly change. They've been at 5ppm for awhile.

I tested about 45 minutes ago, thus why I'm a bit worried on my cycle's pace.
that's what I would have expected if no ammonia or nitrites are being processed. Hopefully the warmer temps and the water change will get things moving forward.
 
Upvote 0

CoconutShrimp

I have returned.. :D

my water for ammonia is now 1ppm exactly...but my nitrite is like a dark violet color. It must of been higher than 5ppm if its still a dark purple. I don't know what I should do at this point. I don't want to overdue the water changes since that could potentially ruin my cycle. My water heater will arrive today so I'm ready to put that in. What should I do for the nitrites???
 

Attachments

  • 20210515_133109.pdf
    331.4 KB · Views: 9
Upvote 0

mattgirl

As long as you add your water conditioner to remove chlorine/chloramines water changes aren't going to ruin your cycle. The bacteria isn't free floating in the water. It is growing on your filter media and on all the surfaces in the tank.

If I have the timeline correct you started this cycle right at 3 weeks ago. Sometimes bottled bacteria speeds up the cycling process, sometimes it doesn't. You are actually about where you need to be at this point n the cycle. Right now is where you need to dig deep for extra patience and just give the cycle time to finish up. Let the ammonia get down to or very close to zero. When it does add enough to get it back up to no more than 2ppm.

Nitrites are strange little guys. We think they will never drop and then one day we run the test and see that beautiful sky blue in the test tube. Quite often they don't go down gradually. It seems to happen all at once. The nitrite eating bacteria is growing if we are seeing any nitrates. Nitrates are proof of having some nitrite eating bacteria. One day there will be enough to remove all the nitrites. At that point they will be gone and should never be seen again.
 
Upvote 0

CoconutShrimp

As long as you add your water conditioner to remove chlorine/chloramines water changes aren't going to ruin your cycle. The bacteria isn't free floating in the water. It is growing on your filter media and on all the surfaces in the tank.

If I have the timeline correct you started this cycle right at 3 weeks ago. Sometimes bottled bacteria speeds up the cycling process, sometimes it doesn't. You are actually about where you need to be at this point n the cycle. Right now is where you need to dig deep for extra patience and just give the cycle time to finish up. Let the ammonia get down to or very close to zero. When it does add enough to get it back up to no more than 2ppm.

Nitrites are strange little guys. We think they will never drop and then one day we run the test and see that beautiful sky blue in the test tube. Quite often they don't go down gradually. It seems to happen all at once. The nitrite eating bacteria is growing if we are seeing any nitrates. Nitrates are proof of having some nitrite eating bacteria. One day there will be enough to remove all the nitrites. At that point they will be gone and should never be seen again.
Okay, thanks so much for you help! :) At this point, I'm just gonna let the water do its thing...I mean I waited this long right? lol Thanks again!
 
Upvote 0

Similar Aquarium Threads

Replies
9
Views
156
mattgirl
Replies
9
Views
190
Kanagawa
  • Question
Replies
11
Views
144
Humz26
  • Question
Replies
3
Views
125
mattgirl
  • Question
Replies
9
Views
209
Azedenkae

Random Great Thread

New Aquarium Cycle Threads

Latest Aquarium Threads

Top Bottom