Stalled Cycle- Advice wanted

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KatLovesCoffee

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Afternoon, guys. I'm new to fishlore, but not entirely new to fish keeping. This is my first fishless cycle I have attempted, but I am a little stumped. I have read some articles on this site about some members who have had the same problem. I was hoping that those of you who had experienced this could shed some light on it for me.

Tank: 10 gallon
Ammo: 4 ppm
Ni: 0 ppm
Na: 0ppm
Temp: 85* F
pH- 7.4

The water is cloudy.
I seeded the tank with a scoop of gravel.

I have been cycling, or trying to, since the 15th. I had some movement in ammonia, but it seems my cycle has stalled. It might have been the carbon in my filter sucking some of it up. Here is what I have come up with:

1. I am waiting for my LFS to get some kH and gH tests in so that I can see if that is the problem. However, one of my other smaller tanks is producing nitrites, so I don't know if the alkalinity is the problem.

2. Could this be a phosphate problem? I've read that if this is not present, you won't see bacteria growth.

3. Could I have over saturated the tank with ammonia?

I'm open to any and all advice. I just got my new HM bettas in from Thailand so I have to keep them in QT anyway for a while. But, I would like to get them situated as soon as it is safe and I can get cycled.

Thanks.
 

sirdarksol

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I can't remember at what point the ammonia becomes toxic to the bacteria. I'm sure someone will be around with that.
It could very well be a nutrient issue. You may want to add a tiny amount of food (flake, pellet, whatever) to put some phosphorous and other nutrients into the water, just to see if it gets the process rolling again.
 

Kupcake

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You started cycling less than 10 days ago, unfortunatly fishless cycles take at a minimum of 3 weeks. 4ppm is where you want to be until you start seeing nitrites then you can keep it lower (around 2ppm).

I would worry about your cycle stalling if you were on your 4th week or so.
 
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KatLovesCoffee

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Thank you both for the advice. Should I not have seen any nitrites at 10 days in, though? Some on my other forum say yes, some say no. And really, I'm not quite sure. ;D Because I am getting no readings at all with no ammonia movement.

Would you suggest doing a partial water change? Maybe get the ammonia down to 2ppm AND add a small amount of fish food to hit both possible issues? Or work with one variable at a time?
 

sirdarksol

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Kupcake said:
You started cycling less than 10 days ago, unfortunatly fishless cycles take at a minimum of 3 weeks. 4ppm is where you want to be until you start seeing nitrites then you can keep it lower (around 2ppm).

I would worry about your cycle stalling if you were on your 4th week or so.
I disagree. If a tank has been seeded and there is no sign of nitrites or nitrates, I'd call that a stall. If you wait until the fourth week to address a complete lack of progress, then you're starting over fresh at the end of the month.
 
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KatLovesCoffee

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I was thinking the same thing. Hopefully this is not an irreparable situation.
 

Kupcake

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I don't personally think of a scoop of gravel to be seeded. I just think our opinions are diffrent
 

sirdarksol

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Kupcake said:
I don't personally think of a scoop of gravel to be seeded. I just think our opinions are diffrent
Why not? A small amount of gravel still contains nitrifying bacteria. Not a ton of it, but enough that there should be some sign of nitrites or nitrates after ten days.
 

jetajockey

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I think it really depends on where that scoop of gravel came from. I have seen instant or near-instant cycles thanks to gravel on more than one occasion.
 
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KatLovesCoffee

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Ok.. todays readings...

Ammo- 2ppm
NI- 0
NA-0

ph-- prolly around 7.4 didnt test, but its been constant

kh- somewhere between 80-90

gh- 61-100 (slightly hard)

reseeded the tank with some fresh gravel in a net. I swooshed it around and got a nice cloud rolling out of it. Maybe my tank will like these new parameters better. After adding more bacteria, a phosphorous source, and lowering ammonia... I don't know what it wants.

I guess right now I'll sit back and wait. Anyone see anything wrong with my parameters in the tank?
 

sirdarksol

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Don't see anything wrong with the parameters. Good luck.
 
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