Still Waiting For Tank To Cycle

Applescruff

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twenty gallon tank set up for about five weeks now. I know I stocked it too soon, I wasn’t knowledgeable now I am having a hard time getting the ammonia down to zero. It’s been fluctuating between 0.5 and 2. it’s usually around 1.0 I am doing 50% water changes daily, using prime to condition. I haven’t changed the cartridge filter. I added a small sponge to filter and a bio bag of ammonia reducing stuff. The fish seem to be doing well. I lost one, a guppy. 13 small fish in the tank. I was on the fence about using a liquid B.B. because I heard both pros and cons about it but I put some in this morning hoping it will help. I stopped vacuuming out the gravel every day when I suction out water because I don’t want to clean the gravel too much knowing it holds some B.B.
I know cycling can take up to two months to achieve but it’s getting frustrating . Any suggestions welcomed. No lectures please, I was a little ignorant when I set it up and wish I had cycled with two fish only but what’s done is done and I’m doing everything I can to take care of the fish . I really don’t want to remove any fish from the tank.
My filter is an aqeon that is good for up to 30 gallon tank.
 

mattgirl

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It is very possible that you are keeping this tank too clean. Daily water changes with gravel vac each time doesn't leave anything for the bacteria to use and grow.

For now I wouldn't touch the gravel and only do a water change when the ammonia goes up to 1. If it is below 1 just add a dose of prime daily. If it goes above 1 do a water changes to get it slightly below 1 and add a dose of prime. Hopefully this will get your tank on track.
 
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Applescruff

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mattgirl said:
It is very possible that you are keeping this tank too clean. Daily water changes with gravel vac each time doesn't leave anything for the bacteria to use and grow.

For now I wouldn't touch the gravel and only do a water change when the ammonia goes up to 1. If it is below 1 just add a dose of prime daily. If it goes above 1 do a water changes to get it slightly below 1 and add a dose of prime. Hopefully this will get your tank on track.
I appreciate the advice. I was concerned that I was keeping it too clean also. That’s why the last few times I changed water I didn’t vacuum the gravel .
 

GreekGills

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For bottled bacteria, I used Fluval cycle at the beginning but switched to stability because it works together with prime, also couldn't find anyone with experience with Fluval cycle. I did get a nitrates spike using it, but I lost the bacteria because of temperature and pH issues, and stability is most likely a different bacteria. Quite possible it's a bogus bacteria starter, but Fluval is a well trusted and reliable company so I figured, heck why not try it. This was my first ever cycle, and I too heard mixed reviews on bottled bacteria. I've been cycled for 2 weeks so far, 0/0/8 readings every time.
 
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Applescruff

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75g Discus Tank said:
Good luck cycling!

Do you have nitrates present?
So today for the first time I have nitrates and nitrites present. Does this mean my tank if starting to cycle?
Nitrates is about 10 and nitrites about 2. My ammonia is 0.50
 

TheMadScientist

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Sounds Like it is...Only thing I can say and sorry if i didnt read well enough up but test your water source with api kit or something for nitrates....If none present there then yes its beginning to cycle...
My well water sits at 10 to 20 ppm on nitrates so like in my case no mater what they are always there....
But ammonia and trites should be zeroed..I would possibly begin to slack just a hair on what ever you are using to feed ammonia be it ammonia or food or what ever maybe just a bit less and see

I read a little better I use the aqueon 30 in my 29 gal and it does wonderful but i also have it coupled with a 10 gal filter and a single under gravel plate with 2 risers...
It took my 29 gal 3 months to finally properly cycle.
Ss stated by another user I wouldnt vacuum the gravel much but maybe try for just the water changes....I myself was to heavy on vacuums at first and kept causing mini cycles
Applescruff said:
So today for the first time I have nitrates and nitrites present. Does this mean my tank if starting to cycle?
Nitrates is about 10 and nitrites about 2. My ammonia is 0.50
 
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Applescruff

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TheMadScientist said:
Sounds Like it is...Only thing I can say and sorry if i didnt read well enough up but test your water source with api kit or something for nitrates....If none present there then yes its beginning to cycle...
My well water sits at 10 to 20 ppm on nitrates so like in my case no mater what they are always there....
But ammonia and trites should be zeroed..I would possibly begin to slack just a hair on what ever you are using to feed ammonia be it ammonia or food or what ever maybe just a bit less and see

I read a little better I use the aqueon 30 in my 29 gal and it does wonderful but i also have it coupled with a 10 gal filter and a single under gravel plate with 2 risers...
It took my 29 gal 3 months to finally properly cycle.
Ss stated by another user I wouldnt vacuum the gravel much but maybe try for just the water changes....I myself was to heavy on vacuums at first and kept causing mini cycles
I did use API test kits for ammonia nitrites and nitrates. My water source has zero of both. The nitrates and nitrites were present this morning for the first time in my tank. Then they went to zero when I changed about 25% of the water so that’s why I am thinking it’s finally starting to cycle.
 
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