The Cycling Process

  1. jcarter0713 Initiate Member

    So first I am a beginner at this hobby, so please bear with me. I am going to outline as much info as possible to help ensure everyone can provide as much help as they can.

    5/29 - Setup new tank, cleaned all inside components, filled with water, turned on filter, used tap conditioner.
    5/31 - Tested water, High ammonia , used API ammonia Lock
    6/2 - Tested water, High ammonia , used API ammonia Lock
    6/3 - Used PH Lock 7.0 by API to bring pH down
    6/4 - Tested water, High ammonia , used API ammonia Lock. Also added 5 Zebra Danios
    6/5 - 3 Danios Died
    6/7 - partial water change roughly 20% used water conditioner
    6/8 - 1 Danio died, tested water high Ammonia. did nothing.
    6/10 - Final Danio Died - Read about Seachem Prime, bought
    6/11 - DId partial water change, added Seachem Prime & Stability
    6/12 - Added Seachem Stability
    6/13- Tested Water still no change in water results. Added Stability

    I have a 29 gallon tank, a 150 watt heater a Aqeoun filter, that filters 200 gallon per hour. I use the API freshwater test kit and follow all directions step by step. Attached in a spreadsheet is the test results form each day for all tests.

    I need to know should I be seeing changes now? If so, what is going wrong, and do I need to do? I want to do this right and also not kill any more fish if possible.

    Attached Files:

  2. Pikachu13131 Member Member

    The pH wasnt stable and the ammonia wasn't at 0 thats most likely why the died.
  3. jcarter0713 Initiate Member

    That's what I assumed. Any advice on how to get those levels down?? Or if they should be dropping by now??
  4. Pikachu13131 Member Member

    It should drop to 0 eventually,if you can get plants and used media from someone else's filter your tank will be instantly cycled.
  5. codyrex97 Well Known Member Member

    Now that you have prime and stability I would recommend doing water changes whenever the ammonia or nitrites are higher than .50
    Dose stability every day.

    Are all your fish dead?
  6. jcarter0713 Initiate Member

    Yes all fish are dead. Ammonia and Nitrites so far have stayed right where they are.
  7. Pikachu13131 Member Member

    Do a 50% water change it will lower ammonia and nitrites a little,do you know anyone with a cycled aquarium?
  8. jcarter0713 Initiate Member

    My nitrites are 0 already. But no I do not know anyone with a cycled aquarium.
  9. Pikachu13131 Member Member

    Ok then do a 50% water change and see what you ammonia is at before and after the water change.
  10. codyrex97 Well Known Member Member

    If all your fish are dead and you aren't getting more until the tank is cycled, you'll need to pick up some pure ammonia to feed the bacteria with.
  11. CindiL Fishlore Legend Member

    Hi, welcome to fishlore :;hi2

    I would not be using ph down at all. Your ph of 8.2 is fine and best to not mess with a stable ph. A fluctuating ph is not good for the health of your fish.
    Your fish most likely died due to the .25 ammonia in your ph of 8.2.

    Are you going to cycle with fish? or fishless?
    If fishless you will need to get pure ammonia to feed the bacteria. A normal cycle will take 4-12 weeks to finish unless you use a bacterial additive to seed your filter media.

    Do you have Seachem Prime?
    What temperature is your tank?

    If you let us know how you'd like to proceed with fish or without we can give you step by step help along the way.
  12. jcarter0713 Initiate Member

    I will leave my pH alone then and let it stabilize. I have decided to go fishless in order to not kill anymore. I have my temperature sitting at 76 degrees right now. Yes I got prime and stability and have been using it since Saturday. I have been adding stability everyday following the instructions and also have been adding fish flakes twice a day for the ammonia spike. I have read this will work just as well as pure ammonia. Thoughts?? Any step by step info would be great!
  13. codyrex97 Well Known Member Member

    I wouldn't say just as well, as with decaying food is not nearly as measurable as pure ammonia. I think there was a step by step guide somewhere, if not I'm sure one of our more experienced members can fill you in on process. With no fish in you can try to keep the ammonia at a consistent 2ppm or so to feed bacteria.
  14. CindiL Fishlore Legend Member

    I would increase your temperature to 80 degrees while fishless cycling to help. Fish food is nearly not as good as ammonia sorry to say. It will work but it will take longer (most likely). You can't predict the amount of ammonia put out by fish food. I'd recommend putting the food in a nylon sock so it doesn't make a mess of your tank :)

    Step by step....

    Test your parameters every day or two with a liquid test kit. Once ammonia is 0 and nitrites are 0 and nitrates are rising then you'll be cycled. With fish food and stability, I'd give it 3-4 weeks. I would not quit dosing stability after a week, just keep dosing it.
  15. jcarter0713 Initiate Member

    Ok I have increased my temp. To 80 and I also bought pure ammonia and am working on getting my levels up. What is the recommended ammonia level to begin with??
  16. CindiL Fishlore Legend Member

    1.0-2.0 and then wait for it to drop to 0. Don't re-dose until its 0 and before re-dosing, let me know what your nitrites are at.

    Keep dosing stability, I would double up what they say, if not more. You can't dose too much. The only reason they say to dose that amount daily is so you don't have a bacterial bloom but I'm not sure that matters, especially when fishless cycling :)
  17. jcarter0713 Initiate Member

    I have my ammonia to around 1.5. And am doing a double dose of Stability every day from here on out. Any idea how long before the ammonia will disappear?
  18. CindiL Fishlore Legend Member


    It's hard to say, each tank is so different. I would think you would start seeing nitrites this week and ammonia will start dropping. When you start seeing nitrites though, you are on your way and you'll find nitrites will rise higher than ammonia levels.
  19. jcarter0713 Initiate Member

    Quick update. Ammonia still around 1.5 and nitrites are 0. Still adding Stability daily.
  20. jcarter0713 Initiate Member

    Tested again today and results look to be around the same. I attached a picture this time. Is this normal?? It seems like it is taking forever to get some nitrites to show up. Am I doing anything wrong??[​IMG]