New Aquarium Not Cycling - Need Help

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by doug52, Jun 7, 2016.

  1. doug52New MemberMember

    I have a new 5 gallon tank with a Top Fin 10 filter that I purchased 6 weeks ago. I filled the tank and added gravel, plants(fake), and other objects, and then let sit for a week. I used Seachem Prime in the water and added Stability daily. The water is kept at 80 degrees. After one week I added 2 Mollies and 3 Danios and maintained the water using Stability daily and Prime as needed. Fast forward to present day and tank is not cycling. If I don't use Prime the ammonia levels increase rapidly and no nitrite is being produced. Even though I have been using Stability regularly since the start it appears that the bacteria needed to convert ammonia to nitrite is not growing. I have not been doing any PWCs and only topping off when needed with conditioned water.

    Everything I have done so far has been at the advice of my local fish store, but obviously it is not working. Any input on how I can get my tank to cycle would be greatly appreciated.

  2. PeacefantasyWell Known MemberMember

    First, you should take all of your fish back. They are not suitable for a 5g.
    What are you using to test your water?

    Edit to add: mollies need a minimum of 29g (huge bioload) and danios need minimum of 20g long (active swimmers)
  3. Sarah73

    Sarah73Fishlore VIPMember

    How long has your tank been running for? It takes 20-60 days for the cycle to finish. The first day will start when you have an ammonia source for your filter. Meaning either fish poop or chemical fish poop

  4. OP

    doug52New MemberMember

    API Freshwater Mater Test Kit

    Why are the fish not suitable? I was using inch per gallon rule under the advisement from the fish store.

    Fish been in the tank for approximately 5 weeks now, so 35 days or so.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 7, 2016
  5. PeacefantasyWell Known MemberMember

    See edited post ^

    Unfortunately pet stores are only there to make money. If your fish die, youll come back and get more.
    The inch per gallon rule is outdated, inaccurate, and should be avoided completely.

    To properly stock a tank, youll want to take many things into consideration: bioload, territory, suitable tankmates, parameter preferences.. lots of things.

    Welcome to FishLore! The place where people want to help out of care & free of charge :)

    As a substitute, bettas are very beautiful, with huge personalities. Throw in a couple of snails and a bunch of live plants, you could have yourself an amazing (healthy!) little fish world in that little tank
  6. Sarah73

    Sarah73Fishlore VIPMember

    Danios need to be in groups of at least 5. The inch per a gallon rule is way outdated. Ignore what they are saying. I would take the mollies out to because they can poop a lot.
  7. OP

    doug52New MemberMember

    Thanks for the advice on the fish I have. Do you have any input as to why the cycle in my tank has not started yet? I would have expected some nitrite production by now.
  8. PeacefantasyWell Known MemberMember

    What are your exact parameters currently?
  9. OP

    doug52New MemberMember

    0 or trace Nitrite
    0 or trace Nitrate
    Ammonia tested at 3.0 ppm this morning. Added Prime to bring this down.
  10. PeacefantasyWell Known MemberMember

    Prime doesnt remove ammonia. It converts it to a nontoxic form for up to 24 hours.
    Youll want to do a water change to bring it down to a max of 1 ppm I believe. Then dose again with Prime of course
  11. Sarah73

    Sarah73Fishlore VIPMember

    your tank is cycling
  12. PeacefantasyWell Known MemberMember

    Hardly so. Nothing is converting.
    Its probably stalling because if the high ammonia
  13. Five 97

    Five 97Well Known MemberMember

    Agreed, I'd rehome the danios because their fast active swimmers that wouldn't fit in 10 gallons either, I 'd also rehome the mollies because they get pretty big for a 5g, but mostly because of their large bioload.

    I'd do a Betta, with red cherry shrimp, and horned nerites ;)
  14. OP

    doug52New MemberMember

    Thanks for all the tips. I'll be a little more aggressive with the Prime, start regular PWC's, and consider different fish for the tank.
  15. Mom2some

    Mom2someWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to fishlore! Glad you are here and learning! One of the challenges is taking adult size of the fish into account (ex I think Molly's can get up to 4-5 inches when full grown). Keep asking questions and soon hopefully tour tank will be a source a relaxation & enjoyment.

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