Please help, stalled cycle?

Kikomii

I posted here two weeks ago, as you can see in this thread
Ammonia won't go down, nitrites keep spiking | Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle Forum | 492964
To keep consistent ammonia for the bacteria to feed on I started adding fish food every 3 days since my tank has been cycling for a month and we haven't gotten good results. My tank has decaying fish food sitting at the bottom, and overall looks nasty because of this.
My ammonia keeps around 2.0, and my nitrites spike to 5.0, then go down to 0, then spike back up. I have nitrates present as well but the ammonia and nitrites won't go down.
Cycling for a month and a half I'm kind of starting to lose hope since we've tried so many things that others had success with yet we have absolutely no results.
Do we just need to do water changes and skip the fish food? I'm considering just starting over again.
 

WRWAquarium

Ok

So what is your nitrate reading? If that's at a reasonable level like 5-10ppm then you have the good bacteria colony going and maybe you are adding too much ammonia source and it just can't keep up.

By the sounds of it with lots of rotting flake on the tank bottom you are effectively running the tank like it is heavily stocked with fish and your cycle is to newly started to deal with it whixh is why ammonia and nitrite is spiking.

So keep doing water changes with the flake that's in the tank now and checking water everyday. That's what I would do anyway.

Also have you got a good filter and aeration for the water? Sorry if I missed those details in previous post.
 
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Kikomii

Ok

So what is your nitrate reading? If that's at a reasonable level like 5-10ppm then you have the good bacteria colony going and maybe you are adding too much ammonia source and it just can't keep up.

By the sounds of it with lots of rotting flake on the tank bottom you are effectively running the tank like it is heavily stocked with fish and your cycle is to newly started to deal with it whixh is why ammonia and nitrite is spiking.

So keep doing water changes with the flake that's in the tank now and checking water everyday. That's what I would do anyway.

Also have you got a good filter and aeration for the water? Sorry if I missed those details in previous post.
I believe I have the topfin silenstream that came with the 29 gallon tank (It was a whole kit) as for aeration my tank has lots of bubbles from the filter running if that's what you're referring to
My nitrate level is 5.0-10ppm
I've just come to realize that our tap water might be the issue, I tested it and it has the exact same level of ammonia as our tank (2.0ppm)
What can I do knowing this? Do I just have to do large % water changes with dechlorinated water for multiple days until the ammonia drops?
 
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Momgoose56

I believe I have the topfin silenstream that came with the 29 gallon tank (It was a whole kit) as for aeration my tank has lots of bubbles from the filter running if that's what you're referring to
My nitrate level is 5.0-10ppm
I've just come to realize that our tap water might be the issue, I tested it and it has the exact same level of ammonia as our tank (2.0ppm)
What can I do knowing this? Do I just have to do large % water changes with dechlorinated water for multiple days until the ammonia drops?
Honestly, What I would do is get a small bottle of Dr. Tims ammonia and use that. Thoroughly vacuum the waste out of the bottom of your tank, rinse any gunk off your filter media in some dechlorinated water and THEN test again. If your ammonia is below .5ppm wait one day and test again. Add enough ammonia to raise level to 1.0 ppm and retest your ammonia everyday, redose to 1ppm if it drops below .5. Once your ammonia level drops from 1.0 to 0-in 24 hours, your nitrites stay at 0 and you are producing nitrates, your tank is cycled. I think you have WAY too much garbage build up in the bottom of the tank. Water flow or your water changes is stirring it up and causing those ammonia and nitrite spikes. I think you are VERY close to being cycled but the pollution in your tank is sporadically producing high levels of ammonia your tank isn't handling efficiently.
 
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Kikomii

Honestly, What I would do is get a small bottle of Dr. Tims ammonia and use that. Thoroughly vacuum the waste out of the bottom of your tank, rinse any gunk off your filter media in some dechlorinated water and THEN test again. If your ammonia is below .5ppm wait one day and test again. Add enough ammonia to raise level to 1.0 ppm and retest your ammonia everyday, redose to 1ppm if it drops below .5. Once your ammonia level drops from 1.0 to 0-in 24 hours, your nitrites stay at 0 and you are producing nitrates, your tank is cycled. I think you have WAY too much garbage build up in the bottom of the tank. Water flow or your water changes is stirring it up and causing those ammonia and nitrite spikes. I think you are VERY close to being cycled but the pollution in your tank is sporadically producing high levels of ammonia your tank isn't handling efficiently.
If I already have nitrates should I just want to drop the ammonia and nitrates? That's the only thing I'm confused about, since I have ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates shouldn't the only thing that's holding the tank back from being cycled is the ammonia and nitrites. therefore, I should just want to drop both of those to 0? I'm just confused on why I have to keep a consistent supply of ammonia if I already have nitrates present, if you could explain this that would be awesome.
 
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WRWAquarium

You need to think of it as a cycle

Fish poo makes ammonia
Nitites eat ammonia
Nitrates eat Nitites

So you need a supply of ammonia or the cycle ends.

The idea of completing the cycle before adding fish is so you have the nitrates established and you can add fish without the harmful ammonia and nitrites spiking to high levels.
So yes you want the ammonia and nitrites to be 0 and nitrates say 5 or 10 and then add your first fish or 2.

Check water and do water changes as much as needed to keep your water as near to 0 ammonia 0 nitrite
 
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Kikomii

You need to think of it as a cycle

Fish poo makes ammonia
Nitites eat ammonia
Nitrates eat Nitites

So you need a supply of ammonia or the cycle ends.

The idea of completing the cycle before adding fish is so you have the nitrates established and you can add fish without the harmful ammonia and nitrites spiking to high levels.
So yes you want the ammonia and nitrites to be 0 and nitrates say 5 or 10 and then add your first fish or 2.

Check water and do water changes as much as needed to keep your water as near to 0 ammonia 0 nitrite
I have 5-10ppm nitrates at the moment, so I just need to drop the ammonia and nitrites if I'm understanding correctly?
 
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WRWAquarium

Yeah you want to drop them to near to 0 as possible and then add fish or you will need to add more fish flakes or ammonia to keep the cycle going.

Those first fish are always going to be at risk of dieing in a newly cycled tank. Many people use Hardy species such as danios to cycle tanks.

The most important thing to remember is check the water and do changes as often as needed to keep the ammonia and nitrite 0 so your fish aren't suffering.
 
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Kikomii

Yeah you want to drop them to near to 0 as possible and then add fish or you will need to add more fish flakes or ammonia to keep the cycle going.

Those first fish are always going to be at risk of dieing in a newly cycled tank. Many people use Hardy species such as danios to cycle tanks.

The most important thing to remember is check the water and do changes as often as needed to keep the ammonia and nitrite 0 so your fish aren't suffering.
I plan on putting an axolotl in the tank, I would like to add fish that are more likely to survive but Axolotls can't have tank mates since they tend to eat them. Should I just take my chances or wait longer after it's cycled
 
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Momgoose56

I plan on putting an axolotl in the tank, I would like to add fish that are more likely to survive but Axolotls can't have tank mates since they tend to eat them. Should I just take my chances or wait longer after it's cycled
You need well cycled, stable tank chemistry for an axolotl, so you need to fully cycle your tank. As I said before, I would switch to pure ammonia source and clean up the waste in the tank. Do you have any substrate in the tank? Axolotls do best with a soft sand or bare bottom tank.
 
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