Maybe I need higher ammonia?


3 1/2 weeks into a fish-in cycle, 20gallon with two Platies and one swordtail. Dosed initially with tetra safe start and then battled ich for a week+ with nox ich. First two weeks was testing with strips but ditched them for the liquid test kit which have been using for a week+. Ammonia varies between .25 and 0, nitrites is always 0, and nitrates is 0 (nitrate test reads 5-10 but I just realized that is actually the level of nitrates in my tap so no change in the tank).

Have done daily doses with prime and stability and when ammonia gets to .25 I do a water change. I'm wondering, should I let ammonia get to .5 before doing a water change? Maybe I'm not giving the bacteria enough to convert to nitrites?

Tank water is 78-79 degrees, 7.8ish pH, hard-very hard.



I’m not sure about this because I don’t do fish in cycles but I’m sure someone who does will be glad to help :)


You are still fairly early in the cycling process. You can safely let the ammonia get up to .5 or even .75 before doing a water change. Don't let it get up to 1 though. It can often take 3 or more weeks for the nitrites to spike and it seems for some folks that use bottled bacteria they never spike high enough to register. If they do, try to keep the total amount of ammonia plus nitrites down below one.

If your nitrates start going up from your tap water base line you will probably not get a nitrite spike so don't worry if you don't. Right now it is just a waiting game so a boat load of patience is necessary. :)
Top Bottom