Still Having Cycling Problems

  1. s

    sbholland Valued Member Member

    I had posted previously about a 3 gal betta tank that i was struggling to cycle because I had 1ppm ammonia in my tap. That tank finally cycled but my cats wouldn't leave it alone and kept falling in it.
    I finally freed up my 5gal tank and transferred him to that with his sponge filter. I think I've completely lost the cycle again.. My tap water now has almost 2ppm ammonia. I test daily and only once in the last 3 weeks have I had any reading of nitrites. That was a few days after transferring everything.
    Out of desperation I switched his sponge filter with one from another betta tank. It made no change in either tank. The 5gal numbers didn't change and I didn't lose the cycle in the other tank.......that really confuses me.
    I didn't test the 5gal yesterday because I wasn't home. I checked it today and got the highest ammonia reading ever of 2ppm. Changing the water doesn't help much since I'm adding about the same amount of ammonia back in. I use prime with almost every water change but occasionally will just use dechlorinator in hopes that maybe by leaving the ammonia alone it might help the cycle along. I use stability daily even if I don't change water if the ammonia is under 1ppm.
    I do see very little nitrates on occasion.
    Temp is kept at 80 and I do run the really crappy mechanical filter that came with the tank just to get more circulation
    Any thoughts on what else I should do?
     
  2. goplecos

    goplecos Well Known Member Member

    I would use Seachem Amguard.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    s

    sbholland Valued Member Member

    Does anyone else have any suggestions? I'd like to avoid chemicals if possible
     
  4. goplecos

    goplecos Well Known Member Member

    Unfortunately since the tap water has ammonia in it you really have to treat it with chemicals.
     
  5. bopsalot

    bopsalot Well Known Member Member

    I've heard of someone who had a tap water ammonia problem keeping a separate cycled aquarium, lightly stocked with plants and snails I think, just to use as a source of ammonia-free water for water changes in other aquariums. I've never had to try this myself.

    A larger aquarium would be easier to cycle and keep stable under these conditions, too. If you have room for such.

    You can carefully clean all the soil off the roots of a pothos houseplant, and "plant" it roots down in the back of an HOB filter. It can absorb all the ammonia and a good deal of nitrates out of the water, too. I've never tried this myself.

    Some fast growing aquarium plants might reduce ammonia in a tank.

    Just some ideas...
     
  6. OP
    OP
    s

    sbholland Valued Member Member

    I'm waiting for the amguard and get it tomorrow. I'm still trying to figure out why I can't get this tank to cycle. His 3 gal was cycled and I moved the cycled sponge filter with him to the 5 gal tank. When I couldn't get the ammonia down I took a risk and took a sponge filter from another betta tank to try see if that would have enough bacteria to cycle the ammonia and I put the 5 gal sponge in that tank . Not only did it not help the 5 gal tank but I never lost the cycle in the tank that I put the other sponge in. I'm not sure what to make of this