Stability But Still No Cycle?

  1. Cory & the Catz Member Member

    I'm not sure what im doing wrong, i am doing a fish in cycle on a 20 gallon and i've been using stability and rime for over 2 weeks and still no nitrite... I use one capful of stability nightly and pour straight into the filter. I dose prime nightly as well and if ammonia goes up i do 20-25% water changes. My ammonia reading Saturday was 2.0 so i did a 20% water change and tested again yesterday and it looked closer to 1.0 but still no nitrites am i doing something wrong? Should i quit with stability and wait to switch over to quick start?
  2. vin Well Known Member Member

    A cycle can take weeks. Stay with the Stability rather than changing products, keep monitoring the water. Small water changes. Dose with Prime to keep the toxicity of the ammonia down to have minimal impact on the fish. My first cycle took 7 weeks to complete - with fish in....You should see the ammonia spike, then fall. Then you'll see it start to climb again and nitrite will begin to show. Nitrite will rise then fall as nitrates start to form. Then the nitrites will fall to zero. Doesn't necessarily mean you're through it though. Test for several days to a week afterward to make sure you're completely through the process. By that time your nitrate readings should be fairly high >20 and your nitrites at zero. Once you're sure there is no nitrite present, do a big water change. ( I did 50%, others recommend 80-90%) What does your pH reading look like? Having a low pH (<6.5) can stall a cycle.
  3. Cory & the Catz Member Member

    I live in FL so water is 7.6+ API master test kit doesn't read higher than that. Great info though thanks, hopefully it happens soon.
  4. Nanologist Well Known Member Member

    That's odd. My API master test kit came with a High Range pH bottle to test up to 8.8
  5. Cory & the Catz Member Member

    Ahhhh you are right i must've forgotten my high range test results and only remembered the regular PH test. Now i have to test high range when i get home.
  6. vin Well Known Member Member

    Even though your water from the tap reads 7.6 it can drop in the tank once waste begins to build up. Mine is 7.0 out of the tap and dropped to 6.0 in the tank during the cycle causing it to stall. I had to add cuttlebone to the water to bring it back up to 7.0 where it jumpstarted the cycle again. Years ago when I first set up my 20g I never had to worry about the pH dropping. It held steady at 7.0. Now I need to buffer it to get it to hold there. Water chemistry changes all the time. That's why it's important to check all parameters regularly.
  7. Cory & the Catz Member Member

    I guess i was misinformed by those who posted that they don't bother checking PH often as it tend to be stable will note and check it tonight thanks.
  8. Cory & the Catz Member Member

    PH read 8.2 is this too high? ammonia at 2 and no nitrites did a 25% water change and added prime and stability.
  9. Nanologist Well Known Member Member

    The pH is fine if it stays stable at that. Your main concern should be lowering that ammonia below 1ppm. Prime can only bind up to 1ppm total of ammonia + nitrite for a standard tank volume dosage, but in an emergency you can add up to 5x the normal dose. A water change would still be needed, but they'd be safe until then for 24-48 hours.

    I would recommend doing a 50% water change. For a fish in cycle, I always aim to keep ammonia below .5ppm and nitrite below 1ppm for the health of the fish.
  10. Fish-whisper Member Member

    What is the expiration date on the Stability ? maybe you have a bottle of dead bacteria. Stability should have produced nitrite by now.
  11. Cory & the Catz Member Member

    Didn't know it had one but i bought it new, ill check when i get home though thanks.
  12. Nanologist Well Known Member Member

    BTW, what type of filter are you running? Hopefully one with enough biomedia and turnover rate!
  13. vin Well Known Member Member

    Not necessarily. Could take longer in some cases. Especially if you're not diligent with doses and there is not enough of a food supply for the bacteria you're introducing to feed on. If he's just seeing ammonia now he's at least a week away from seeing nitrites and another week from seeing those dissipate. Tanks can sometimes take anywhere from 4-7 weeks to fully cycle.
  14. Cory & the Catz Member Member

    Tank is a 20 gallon hex and im running a quietflow 20, i believe its 125g/hr which should be plenty right? As far as filter media goes i was wondering if adding any media will help me cycle faster, but currently just running the filter that came with it. Just looked it up to research and was looking at the replacement cartridges and found people saying they replace every 3 weeks, wouldn't that ruin your cycle and start it all over? Also how often do cartridges get changed in your experience?

    Been seeing ammonia for almost two weeks now but its only gone up to 2.0 twice and is almost always closer to 1.0. I hear of some people getting cycles so fast and some taking over a month, i wish i were the lucky one that got it in a few weeks.
  15. chrish828 Member Member

    I had recently just used stability on my 10 gallon. Stability contains bacterial spores so they take about 24 hours to become the normal bacteria to start breaking down ammonia and nitrite, slowing down the process. From what I've heard, stability also contains bacteria that are supposedly "stronger" meaning they withstand ph, ammonia, and any other level fluctuations better than the regular bacteria. That also means that they grow slower. They say it takes less than 1 week, but in my ten gallon, it took 2 and a half weeks just to see the first trace of nitrites. Just be patient!

    Also you no longer have to add stability. It should start in no time. What temperature is your water at. Bacteria prefer to grow at higher temperatures and a low temp (I think 64 degrees F) slows down their growth by 50%.
  16. abheeshs Member Member

    I used Stability for my 10g tank and it worked. Ammonia levels went down and Nitrites were up. But, my Nitrates were up too, I was overfeeding my fish!

    Oh and I never used Prime. Stability was enough for me.
  17. AllieSten Fishlore VIP Member

    Hi there. What kind of fish are you using for your cycle?

    8.2 is fine for your tank. Don't mess with your pH. Fish will adapt. In fact usually you cycle quicker with a higher pH.

    Follow this formula for cycling, see if it helps.

    Ammonia + nitrites = less than 1ppm, add full tank volume of Prime & Stability. Recheck parameters in 24 hours
    Ammonia + Nitrites = 1ppm or greater do a 50% water change and add full tank volume of Prime and Stability. Recheck parameters in 24 hours.

    The goal for the water change is Ammonia and nitrites below 0.5ppm, so you may need to do more than a 50% water change.

    Prime dose is 0.1ml per gallon. 1-2 drops. 1ml per 10 gallons or 2ml for a 20 gallon tank.

    If you can, turn your tank temp up to 84 degrees. If your fish can tolerate it. This temp speeds up bacteria reproduction and will usually kick things into gear.

    You may never see nitrites. Some people never do. It just depends on if you test at just the right moment to catch them. Sometimes it will just go straight to nitrates with your testing. Have you tested your nitrates at all?

    Also your filter is a bit on the small side. Recommended filtration is 8-10x's tank volume. So you want 160-200 gallons per hour. I would add a couple of sponge filters to bump up your filtration, for now. I would ultimately plan to get a bigger one for the future though.
  18. Cory & the Catz Member Member

    Well it looks like i am following the formula already, and im following the correct dosage of prime and stability. My temp stays at 78 i was worried about putting it too high in concern for my corydoras and danios. It has been a few days since i checked nitrates as i thought id see nitrites first, but i will check tonight. As far as filters go which would you suggest? I like my quietflow as my tank is in my bedroom, are there bigger ones that still stay quiet?
  19. AllieSten Fishlore VIP Member

    I have a Seachem Tidal powerfilter and it is virtually silent. The 55 would be perfect for your tank. I highly recommend it.
  20. popsikle Initiate Member

    Add some filter floss in the quiet flow, between the carbon filter and the blue bioguard thing. Quiet flows are terrible at holding on to BB otherwise.