Newbie - fishless cycle with Tetra SS


Are you doing a fish in cycle, fishless cycle or was your tank cycled and you had a sudden ammonia or nitrite spike?: fishless cycle after attempting fish in with deaths

What is the water volume of the tank?: 13 gallons
What type of water are you using in your tank? (tap, well, RO/DI, other): tap
When did you start cycling the tank?: june 5
What type of filtration are you running on this tank? (sponge, HOB, canister, other): oase biocompact 50 (sponge), has carbon in it also
If canister or HOB list all the media you are running in it. (manufactured cartridges, sponge, etc.):
Do you have good water agitation/surface movement?: added pump and 10” bubble wall last week
What is the water temperature?: 76 degrees

If fish in cycling
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts):
How often do you feed them and how much?:
Are they showing signs of distress? (fish hiding, staying at the top, looking pale, torn fins, etc):
Do you have live plants in the tank?:
If so are they healthy and actively growing?:

Products used while cycling
If this is a fishless cycle what ammonia source are you using? (fish food, Dr Tim’s ammonia, other): dr tims ammonia
If adding liquid ammonia how often do you dose ammonia in your tank and in what quantity? (1ppm, 2ppm etc.): 2 ppm when it drops to 1 or below
If using fish food as your ammonia source how much are you adding and how often?:
Are you using a dechlorinater and if so, which one?: used aqualife initially, now tetra aquasafe
Are you using bottled bacteria and if so, which one?: have used aqualife activate with fish, then dr tims one and only, now tetra safe start
Did you add seeded media from a previously cycled tank?: yes
What other products/chemicals are you using? (list them all): added baking soda when my ph dropped below 7, after one and only

Testing and cycling process
What was your knowledge of the nitrogen cycle before beginning to cycle your tank? (none, beginner, intermediate (please explain), advanced): none
What do you use to test the water? (API liquid, test strips, other): api liquid now
Did you test your tap water for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and pH, if so post the results below?: yes
Have you done any water changes and if so, when?: several, last was 24 hrs before Tetra safe start so friday morning, 3 days ago
How much water did you change?:25%
Did you vacuum the substrate?: no
Did you clean your filter, filter media, decorations and/or glass?: no
If using disposable cartridges have you replaced one recently?: no

*Parameters - Very Important
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
Tank water:
Ammonia: between 1 and 2
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: under 5
pH: 7.6

Tap water:
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: 7.2

Explain your cycling problem in detail. (Please give a clear explanation of what is going on, include details from the beginning of the problem leading up to now)
Long story short. Initially i did fish in with test strips so i know my testing was no good. After my fish died i ordered ammonia and dr tims one and only. Added a cycled filter and some plants. Initially went as expected, ammonia dropped then nitrites spiked. Nitrates rose. Then ammonia stopped dropping and started rising even tho i never dosed over 2 ppm. Finally cleaned out all my floating plants, did large (50% water change). Got ammonia to 2-3 ppm Saturday am (48 hours) and added Tetra ss after 24 hours. Initially ammonia dropped. Nitrites have stayed zero. Nitrates rose to 5ish. Have not dosed more ammonia. Now ammonia is around 1.5-2 ppm. Nitrites still zero. Nitrates between 1-5. Ph is stable. 7.6.
I just want to make sure i dont need to check something else.


No, I think you got everything just make sure when adding fish you still take it slow! Good Luck.


No, I think you got everything just make sure when adding fish you still take it slow! Good Luck.
Thank you! I was planning to do 2 Glofish tetras to begin with, once i am cycled.

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