Tank Parameters Not Changing During Cycle?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by Lieutenant Bubble, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. Lieutenant BubbleNew MemberMember

    Hey guys,

    We're pretty new to the fish community. Our tank is almost 8 weeks into its cycle, and we've had no spike in nitrites, no increase in nitrates, and no real decrease in ammonia. We're doing a fish-in cycle (local pet shop said this would be fine with minnows, as they are hardy, I feel bad for the poor fellas at the moment, with the ammonia levels :bigtears:)

    We're doing at least 50% water changes every 2-3 days, giving time for the bacteria to grow, without letting the ammonia get too high. We are adding Prime with every water change, as well as Stability.
    Our tank is 21litres (about 5 gallons) and we have 7 white cloud mountain minnows in there (as suggested by pet shop.) We have a trickle filtration system, with carbon cartridges (320L/hr).

    We're concerned that we are 7-8 weeks into the cycle and our parameters haven't changed since the first time we tests the water (about 6 weeks ago, been doing weekly tests). We bought our own water test kit (API master kit) two days ago, so have been doing daily tests since then, to monitor ammonia especially.

    This is a picture of today's water tests (in order: ammonia, nitrite, nitrate).
    Fish tests 16.4.18.jpg

    Any ideas on why the parameters haven't changed? and how can we help our tank to cycle, so our poor fish don't have to live in constant ammonia? Also, anything we should really keep in mind considering how new we are to keeping fish? We really want happy and healthy fish :(

  2. Mom2someWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to Fishlore! Good for you getting your own test kit. My guess is that part of the problem is that the tank is overstocked. Some people on Fishlore report they need to double dose Stability to get it to work. Gotta Run.
  3. MazeusWell Known MemberMember

    Hi! Welcome.

    I'd agree with the above post. The pet store has led you astray, those fish will get too big for your tank and there are too many of them (for the tank I mean, they should be kept in groups of 6 or more). It's going to be hard to establish a cycle because there will always be so much ammonia being produced.

    You are definitely not alone, pretty much everyone on here has gotten bad advice from a LFS (local fish store) at one time or another. I have a couple of suggestions.

    1. Return the fish to the shop, complete a fishless cycle and get something that would be happy in your tank like a betta or a small school of nano fish like chili rasbora.
    2. If you want to keep the minnows get a 20g (75litre) tank and do a fish in cycle. Or better yet, return these minnows, get the 75 litre tank, cycle it and then get the minnows.
    3. If you want to continue cycling this tank with the minnow (with a view of upgrading later). You should probably be doing daily water changes to keep the annomia down. Keep up with the prime and the stability. This will probably take some time.

    Others may be able to offer you alternative suggestions. Good luck.
  4. stella1979ModeratorModerator Member

    Agreed with above. I'm sorry you weren't set off on the right foot, and yes, the same thing has happened to a lot of us. 6 years ago our family came home from Petco with the advice that our two new fantail goldfish would be fine in a 2 gallon, filterless tank. Two of these fish should have at least 40g, more would be better, and the tank should be heavily filtered.

    I also just got my first betta, and I would say that you would probably enjoy such a beautiful and personable fish. :)
  5. MazeusWell Known MemberMember

    I got my first tank (well bowl) about 20 years ago. I had a platy in a 1g bowl because the LFS said it would be fine. Then upgraded to a 10g, added another platy, 2 mollies, a betta, an annamo shrimp and in retrospect what was likely a common pleco (they get 18 inches long when full grown). I knew nothing of cycling, there probably weren't many forums in the late 90s ( I didn't even think to look), by the end of they year I had no fish. Everything I added to that tank was recommended by the LFS. So, yep I've been there too. I recently decided to try again, this time with lots of research and hopefully happy fish!
  6. Frozen OneValued MemberMember

    I think it's great you're actively trying to improve the quality of your tank. Water parameters in a 5 gallon can become crazy but my ultimate suggestion would be as follows, decrease the amount of fish in your tank (cut the amount of fish in half) and take 3 or 4 of them back to the fish store. from there, do fewer water changes. Maybe change it from 50% to 25%. In addition, go out and get yourself some seachem stability and seachem prime and use those as the directions state. It will help you a lot!

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