Trying to fishless cycle

  1. christopherdiehl77

    christopherdiehl77 Valued Member Member

    This is my first post but I'm trying to cycle my tank without fish. It's been a month now and not much is going on. PH is 7.6. Amonia is .25. Nitrite is 5.0 and nitrate is 80. In 24 hours I can convert amonia from 4.0 to .25. I'm dosing the ace hardware janitorial strength amonia. Within 3 or 4 days my nitrite goes from 5.0 to 0 but my nitrate stays at 80. Never drops or raises. Please help. This is getting old.

    I also have a few live plants in the tank which is a 10 gallon and I'm using prime declorinator and have my heater at 80 with a bubble wand in

    I plan on this being a betta tank
     
  2. el337

    el337 Fishlore Legend Member

    Welcome to Fishlore :)

    Could you also test your ph, ammonia, nitrite and nitrates out of your tap?

    It does look like your cycle is moving along though I know the nitrite phase sometimes takes longer. The only way nitrates are removed are via water changes. Since you're only going to have a betta in there, I would just dose to 2ppm ammonia and see what happens. Can you post your water parameters right now?
     
  3. OP
    OP
    christopherdiehl77

    christopherdiehl77 Valued Member Member

    I left for work but I will test everything first thing when I get home. Thank you for responding. A little side note: I had this tank before and had 4 fish in it over the course of a month before I knew about cycling. One fish would die so I would go to petsmart and return it for another one. Another would die and this process continued for a month and I gave up. I emptied 80% of the water and let the tank sit for a couple of months. I realized this is the hobby for me and came back to it. Long story short I didn't clean or empty the tank. I just filled it back up and started over with the fishless cycle. I have no idea what the parameters were in that 20% of water that I added to. Could that be a problem or is everything fine now that the tank is cycling?
     


  4. el337

    el337 Fishlore Legend Member

    Water holds very little bacteria so the 20% remaining wouldn't have any impact on the cycle. It's possible some did survive on the substrate and in the media (if you didn't throw it out) and just remained dormant until you started adding the ammonia again.

    I think your cycle is progressing. You could also use a bacteria supplement like Seachem Stability or Tetra SafeStart Plus to speed things up.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    christopherdiehl77

    christopherdiehl77 Valued Member Member

    I've been following eco 23s directions in the "almost complete guide to fishless cycling" by the way.

    I'm using prime and some crushed coral but that's it. I've been told the less chemicals you use the better.
     
  6. el337

    el337 Fishlore Legend Member

    The products mentioned are not chemicals. They contain nitrifying bacteria. Many have used it successfully here with no issues.

    Not familiar with the fishless cycle directions you mentioned but if it's working for you then great!
     


  7. OP
    OP
    christopherdiehl77

    christopherdiehl77 Valued Member Member

    Ok just got home and tested my tap water

    PH 6.6
    Ammonia 0
    Nitrite 0
    Nitrate 0

    Tested my tank water

    PH 7.6
    Ammonia 0
    Nitrite .25
    Nitrate 80

    On 6/25 I checked tank water

    PH 7.6
    Ammonia .5
    Nitrite 0
    Nitrate 80
    I dosed ammonia to 4 ppm. So in 2 days ammonia goes from 4 ppm to 0. What now?
     
  8. el337

    el337 Fishlore Legend Member

    Try dosing 2ppm today and see what happens in 24 hrs and post your results.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    christopherdiehl77

    christopherdiehl77 Valued Member Member

    Will do. Thanks
     
  10. OP
    OP
    christopherdiehl77

    christopherdiehl77 Valued Member Member

  11. el337

    el337 Fishlore Legend Member

    Has it been 24hrs? Possible it's taking a little more than that to process that bit of ammonia.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    christopherdiehl77

    christopherdiehl77 Valued Member Member

    It's been 23 hours
     
  13. el337

    el337 Fishlore Legend Member

    Let's wait it out a little bit longer but at least your nitrite's being converted a lot quicker than before. What's the temp of the tank?
     
  14. OP
    OP
    christopherdiehl77

    christopherdiehl77 Valued Member Member

    78
     
  15. el337

    el337 Fishlore Legend Member

    Should be fine and I don't know if it would've made much of a difference but I read the temp should be 80-82 to grow the bacteria faster.
     
  16. OP
    OP
    christopherdiehl77

    christopherdiehl77 Valued Member Member

    Show I should just keep waiting and dose to 2 ppm everyday?
     
  17. el337

    el337 Fishlore Legend Member

    Check a couple of hours later and see what the ammonia is.
     
  18. CindiL

    CindiL Fishlore Legend Member

    Hi, welcome to fishlore :;hi2

    Seems like you could be cycled at 2.0. Your betta will never have an output of 4.0 which is recommended more often than not for stocking a tank full of cichlids etc. There are many people that show a slight ammonia reading for months or longer but I would do a large, almost 100% water change, dose ammonia to 2.0 and re-test in 24 hours and see where you're at then.
     
  19. OP
    OP
    christopherdiehl77

    christopherdiehl77 Valued Member Member

    Thank you for the advice. I will definitely try that. If I could already be cycled at 2.0 why am I not cycled at 4.0? Has it not been long enough yet?
     
  20. CindiL

    CindiL Fishlore Legend Member

    Because you would need twice the amount of bacteria to reproduce and grow to handle the higher amount of ammonia and that takes more time.

    After the water change and dosing to 2.0, if ammonia and nitrites are 0 within 24 hours then you're cycled.