Tank Isn't Cycling...

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by Adebisi, Jul 15, 2017.

  1. AdebisiNew MemberMember

    Cycling a 22 gallon tank.

    Just over 3 weeks now, and ammonia is registering at 4.0ppm and Nitrite is a ZERO.

    My ammonia source was a large dose of fish food three weeks ago and the ammonia has been fairly steady at 4.0 for about two weeks now.

    Is my cycle just slow, or is it stalled?
  2. Caitlin86

    Caitlin86Well Known MemberMember

    Are u using a bottled bacteria?
  3. OP

    AdebisiNew MemberMember


  4. Caitlin86

    Caitlin86Well Known MemberMember

    I recommend using Stability by Seachem or better yet get some seeded media and stick it in ur filter. Otherwise u will be waiting an awful long time for a cycle.

  5. OP

    AdebisiNew MemberMember

    Started using Stability last night. Haven't had success with it the past, so wasn't bothered trying it this time. But it won't harm to try again at this stage. Hopefully by this time next week there's nitrites.
  6. toolman

    toolmanWell Known MemberMember

    For future reference I have had very good luck with Dr. Tim's all-in-one. Have also used Tetra safe start +, but Tim's was great.

    But every situation is different.
  7. JLeeM

    JLeeMWell Known MemberMember

    I would suggest Tetra SafeStart. It seems easier to me. You won't be able to use it with 4.0 ammonia though. I'd completely change the water, let ammonia reach 1.0, dose TSS, wait at least a full 7 days more like 14 before retesting. You'll of course have to LIGHTLY feed the cycle with fish food or something to keep it going without fish. Once it stays at a steady 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 5 nitrate for about 3 days you should be cycled.
  8. abheeshsValued MemberMember

    4 ammonia is too high. Do 50% water change, once ammonia is down to 2, start Seachem Stability along with 20% water changes. Shake very very very well for Stability, should look milky.

    You dont have fish in there, right? So, you don't need safestart if you have time to cycle.
  9. OP

    AdebisiNew MemberMember

    Thanks for all the replies.

    No, I've no fish in there.

    I may try the water changes. Bought a new bottle of Stability today so I have plenty of it to see me through the cycle now.
  10. el337

    el337Fishlore LegendMember

  11. OP

    AdebisiNew MemberMember


    Following a 50% water change to get the ammonia levels down, and having used Stability on the tank for 7 days -

    Ammonia reads 1.0 ppm.
    and Nitrite 0.
  12. abheeshsValued MemberMember

    And repeat until both read 0.
  13. el337

    el337Fishlore LegendMember

    Wait until the ammonia drops to 0-0.25 on its own without a water change. You want to give the bacteria a chance to process those. What are the pH and nitrates? Do you have any Stability left? I'd keeping adding it until you're cycled.
  14. OP

    AdebisiNew MemberMember

    Nitrates are also Zero.

    I have a small amount of Stability left. I will keep using it. Might even pick up another bottle today.

    Have no idea what my PH is. Is my cycle happening? I've never seen any nitrites but the ammonia appears to be dropping.
  15. el337

    el337Fishlore LegendMember

    Was the ammonia 1.0 after the water change or was it higher? Curious to know if it dropped at all on its own.

    Are you using the API master test kit? I would get a pH test to make sure it's at least 7.0 so that it's in a good range for bacteria growth.

    Yes, add the rest of the Stability.
  16. OP

    AdebisiNew MemberMember

    I only tested for ammonia a few days after I did the water change unfortunately.
    I don't have the Master Kit, I have ammonia, nitrite and nitrate separate.

    Tested the water tonight. Nitrite is still zero, and ammonia appears to have risen to 2ppm. So I may do another water change?

    I'm still adding Stability every day. And I may get a PH test.

    Over a month trying to cycle this tank. A few months ago I attempted a fish-in-cycle and not once did I see a single nitrite reading.
  17. Mike1995

    Mike1995Well Known MemberMember

    Do you have anything in the tank for the beneficial bacteria to attach to? Bacteria isn't free swimming so maybe add some more objects like rocks or something.
  18. el337

    el337Fishlore LegendMember

    Did you add any more ammonia after the water change?

    Don't do a water change yet. Re-test in 24 hours to see what happens. You want to leave the ammonia for the bacteria to process.

    I'd definitely get a pH test to see if that is an inhibiter.

    While other hard surfaces can contribute to the bacteria to adhere to, most of it will be in the filter media.
  19. OP

    AdebisiNew MemberMember

    Cool, I haven't got around to doing the water change yet, so I will test the water again tonight. And no, I didn't add any more ammonia since the first water change.

    I have three decorations in the tank, so I guess there should be plenty of surfaces for the bacteria.
  20. OP

    AdebisiNew MemberMember

    Day 50.

    Ammonia: 2.0 ppm
    Nitrite: 0
    Nitrate: 0

    Have been adding Seachem Stability daily for about a month.

    I have no pH test yet, but let's presume that it is below 6 0r 7 and the BB is dormant as a result. Is there anything that I can do to potentially raise the pH so that the bacteria can come alive? I've read on numerous threads that partial water changes can cause the pH to rise slightly. Can't think of anything else that would be delaying the cycle. I've stopped dosing the tank with ammonia, and have done nothing else apart from adding Stability.

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