Having troubles with first fish-less cycle ( almost a month without seeing any nitrItes)

Megaanemp

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Hello all,

I am trying to fish less cycle my first tanks and am having some troubles.
I am about 3 1/2 weeks into the fishless cycle with both tanks And have yet to see any NitrIte.
I dossed both with 4ppm ammonia and left it for a little over two weeks and dosed with stability.
However, I still hadn’t seen any nitrItes and was worried the ammonia was too high,
so I did a water change and brought the ammonia down to 2-3ppm. I have let that sit for about a week and have been dosing with double doses of stability,
still no nitrItes. I’ve heard it shouldn‘t take long for the first step in the cycle to be complete and to see nitrItes.
Is this weird? I have no air pump for surface agitation is this a problem?
water parameters for both tanks (75 gallon and 10 gallon) are as follows,

temp 83F
ammonia 2-3ppm (can’t tell exactly)
nitrItes 0ppm
nitrAtes 0ppm
pH 6.6 (is this too low)

I’d greatly appreciate some help, am I doing everything correctly?
 

KAitlynn Robi

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Megaanemp said:
Hello all,

I am trying to fish less cycle my first tanks and am having some troubles.
I am about 3 1/2 weeks into the fishless cycle with both tanks And have yet to see any NitrIte.
I dossed both with 4ppm ammonia and left it for a little over two weeks and dosed with stability.
However, I still hadn’t seen any nitrItes and was worried the ammonia was too high,
so I did a water change and brought the ammonia down to 2-3ppm. I have let that sit for about a week and have been dosing with double doses of stability,
still no nitrItes. I’ve heard it shouldn‘t take long for the first step in the cycle to be complete and to see nitrItes.
Is this weird? I have no air pump for surface agitation is this a problem?
water parameters for both tanks (75 gallon and 10 gallon) are as follows,

temp 83F
ammonia 2-3ppm (can’t tell exactly)
nitrItes 0ppm
nitrAtes 0ppm
pH 6.6 (is this too low)

I’d greatly appreciate some help, am I doing everything correctly?
Ok so what exactly is your tank setup right now as far as filter, substrate, and decorations?
 
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Megaanemp

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I’m questioning the pH. It might be worth it to try to bring the pH up to 7 or above since there’s no fish in the tank. The reason I question the pH is because I’ve read beneficial bacteria don’t survive well the lower the pH is. I’m aware many fish survive in tanks at 6.6 but my friend had a 29 gal that refused to cycle and her pH was 6.6 and the LFS, me, and her research all came back with Increase the pH and it ended up working for her. Worth a shot?
 
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Megaanemp

Megaanemp

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AquaticQueen said:
Your cycle may be stalling due to the low ph. Any plans to raise it?
Not yet, I’ve got some mixed advice about whether or not the pH is too low, but I think it may be time to try something. Can I use crushed coral, I’m worried about making the water to hard for the fish I want to keep (for ex. corydoras, Bolivian ram).

UnknownUser said:
I’m questioning the pH. It might be worth it to try to bring the pH up to 7 or above since there’s no fish in the tank. The reason I question the pH is because I’ve read beneficial bacteria don’t survive well the lower the pH is. I’m aware many fish survive in tanks at 6.6 but my friend had a 29 gal that refused to cycle and her pH was 6.6 and the LFS, me, and her research all came back with Increase the pH and it ended up working for her. Worth a shot?
Thanks for the reply, whats the best way to do this? Crushed coral? Will I make the water too hard (note my water is extremely soft to start with)
 

KAitlynn Robi

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Megaanemp said:
Not yet, I’ve got some mixed advice about whether or not the pH is too low, but I think it may be time to try something. Can I use crushed coral, I’m worried about making the water to hard for the fish I want to keep (for ex. corydoras, Bolivian ram).
ok, actually your ph is to low for most freshwater fish. Corys and Rams actually prefer a ph in the 7-8 pm range
 

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Megaanemp said:
Thanks for the reply, whats the best way to do this? Crushed coral? Will I make the water too hard (note my water is extremely soft to start with)
A typical guideline I like is that stable is better than perfect. Some fish are very, very particular with their parameters but you’ll know cuz they’re usually labeled as “difficult” to keep if you do your research. Crushed coral is the go-to for stable pH raising from what I’ve read on here and other sources. I have yet to try it myself, since my current stock are all healthy. If I ever get another tank I plan on running crushed coral to keep pH stable.

Oh, and also, most fish do just fine anywhere from 6.8-7.4 and that’s actually a more ideal range
 
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Megaanemp

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KAitlynn Robi said:
ok, actually your ph is to low for most freshwater fish. Corys and Rams actually prefer a ph in the 7-8 pm range
Ok good to know thank you for your help!

UnknownUser said:
A typical guideline I like is that stable is better than perfect. Some fish are very, very particular with their parameters but you’ll know cuz they’re usually labeled as “difficult” to keep if you do your research. Crushed coral is the go-to for stable pH raising from what I’ve read on here and other sources. I have yet to try it myself, since my current stock are all healthy. If I ever get another tank I plan on running crushed coral to keep pH stable.

Oh, and also, most fish do just fine anywhere from 6.8-7.4 and that’s actually a more ideal range
Thanks for the advice! I’ll look into the crushed coral:)

Does anyone know if I’d add the crushed coral directly into the filter or do I mix it with the substrate?
 

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Megaanemp said:
Does anyone know if I’d add the crushed coral directly into the filter or do I mix it with the substrate?
Put it in a media bag in the filter. How much Im not sure of. Remember to rinse it first!
 

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Megaanemp said:
Does anyone know if I’d add the crushed coral directly into the filter or do I mix it with the substrate?
You can do both but it works much better when water flows thru it. I had the same problem as you and i did fish in cycle. Took 8 weeks! I no fish cycled my 10g in a week by raising ph to above 7, heating up tank to 85F and dosing with ammonia until nitritie showed up. Tetra safe start + worked like magic for me. I also used Stability like you beforehand but it did absolutely nothing.

Edit: start with several pieces of crushed coral and test water next day. If you need more to bring the pH up, add few more. Test again next day. Make sure to rinse them off before u add
 

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