55 Gallon Tank Help With Fishless Cycling (Ammonia Not Dropping/No Nitrites/Nitrates)

sailesh10115

Hey everyone, so I recently got a 55 gallon aqueon tank 3 weeks ago with an aqueon hang on the back filter and heater.
It has gravel and some decorations for the beneficial bacteria to grow.
I additionally used Fritz Pro Ammonium Chloride to start the cycling process and dosed to about 4 - 6 ppm, but it has been 3 weeks and the ammonia is not going down.
I used an API Conditioner to condition the water and triple dosed to be safe.
The pH is a stable 8 - 8.2.
There are no nitrites or nitrates.

I went on some similar forums and many people I saw having this issue, so I did a large water change earlier this morning (conditioned with API) which brought the ammonia to 1 - 2 ppm.
I then just now added raw shrimp (in a mesh bag) to see if this would work better than the powdered ammonia from Fritz.

Am I doing everything right here?
 

StarGirl

Welcome to Fishlore! :)

What temp do you have the heater on? At 3 weeks you may only see ammonia. Nitrites may not have shown up yet. You only dosed the ammonia 1 time? Have you tested your tap water? Just things to try to figure it out.
 
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sailesh10115

Temperature is at 84 degrees.

Yes I only dosed one time to 4 - 6 ppm.

Tap water test:
- pH is 8.4
- Ammonia is 0 ppm
- Nitrite is 0 ppm
- Nitrate is 0 ppm
 
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StarGirl

I think you just need to check your ammonia and re dose when it drops to zero. Hang tight. You are probably pretty close to seeing nitrites show up. It is super frustrating when nothing happens. I also dont think you want it up to 6ppm. 2-4 ppm is a good number.
 
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sailesh10115

Alright, thank you!

I'll keep you updated here on how the cycle is going and if I start to see nitrites soon!

Also, I added Fritz Zyme 7 and API QuickStart after my first initial dose of ammonia, were these products not working or is it something I did wrong?
 
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StarGirl

I think with those, dechlor will kill the bacteria so you have to add them 24 hours after the water change and dechlor. If you did that you are good. I dont know much of the bottle bacteria, but Im learning too! lol
 
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sailesh10115

Oh alright, thanks!

Also, when should I remove the shrimp from the aquarium?
Some people say to leave it in for the whole cycle, but others say to remove it after the ammonia reaches 4 ppm.
 
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Danny002

Oh alright, thanks!

Also, when should I remove the shrimp from the aquarium?
Some people say to leave it in for the whole cycle, but others say to remove it after the ammonia reaches 4 ppm.
Yeah, I wouldn't let the ammonia get above 3ppm. If the levels get too high, they can actually prevent the beneficial bacteria from colonizing.
You also shouldn't need to do another water change until the end of your cycle, unless the ammonia or nitrite levels go above 3-4ppm.
 
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poconofishguy

Any one or a combination of the below will help you.
1. If any of your friends have an established tank with the same filter cartridge - give them a brand new one and use their old one for cycling (if you're lucky enough to find that situation). If not, just ask them for a couple gallons from their current tank water and offer to do the partial water change for them!
2. Find a pet store that sells live plants from established tanks (with fish or invertabrates living in it). Buy a couple of plants.
3. Turn off your filter for 12-24 hours. Let things set-up, then restart. Remove any "carbon" cartridges from your system for at least the 1st week.

I've never had any issues with cycling other than being too anxious to get started. That happens too. Patience.
 
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Strider1520

My recent cycle was “fish in” and even using bottle bacteria (Tetra safe start and Seachem stability) it went through a natural cycle anyway. It was one month to the day when my ammonia started going to nitrite and two weeks before they dropped and i got my nitrate. I would think you may be getting near to start of cycle
 
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mattgirl

Welcome to Fishlore :)

It isn't unusual for it to take 3 weeks or more for the ammonia to start going down and the nitrites to show up. Right now it is just a waiting game. It is good that you did the water change to get the ammonia down. 3ppm in this size tank is plenty to get the cycle going. For now just give it time.

Since you've added ammonia there really is no need to have the raw shrimp in there right now. Some folks do recommend raw shrimp as an ammonia source but it is usually used when no other source is available.
 
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sailesh10115

Should I take the raw shrimp out?

Overnight my ammonia levels went to like 8ppm
 
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mattgirl

Should I take the raw shrimp out?

Overnight my ammonia levels went to like 8ppm
Yes, I think I mentioned in my last post. Since you have another ammonia source you don't need the shrimp. I am not sure why someone recommended you add it to begin with.
 
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sailesh10115

Alright, sorry I just saw your original post.

I just took it out, thank you for all your help!
 
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sailesh10115

Just an update:

Last Friday I started dosing the tank with SeaChem Stability as my LFS said it would help speed things along, and today for the first time, I got a nitrate reading of 5ppm, nitrite is at 0 ppm, and ammonia is at 1ppm.

Anyone know what fish would be good inside of a 55 gallon tank?
I wanted African Cichlids, but we have a gravel substrate instead of sand, so I dont know if we can have them with gravel.
Any other suggestions?
 
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