Week 6 Of Cycle. Ammonia Never Drops Below 2ppm

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ASHLEY R COOK

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Today marks weeks six of my cycle and I still can't get my ammonia to go down passed 2ppm!
I brought it up to 4ppm on Thursday the 19th and slowly it came down to 2ppm finally yesterday. No new nitrates though.
I've never seen any nitrites but I did use tetra safe start at the beginning so maybe the nitrites just get processed within 24 hrs but my ammonia is still painfully slow. I'm dying over here!!! It hasn't dropped passed 1ppm ever and it hasn't dropped to 1ppm since April 5th.
I started using stability on Thursday also but I'm really starting to lose hope. What can I do?!
I thought I'd see more progress by now. I've already invested so much time and MONEY (too much money) so I can't give up and I don't really want to I'm just so disheartened. :'(
Edit: I'm fishless cycling a 37 gal, ph is 8.2, KH and GH is around 15 or 17 I can't remember, temp is between 84-85
 

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6 weeks? I would lose my mind! Is there no one around you with a healthy tank who could donate some well-aged filter material?
 

Jenoli42

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ASHLEY R COOK said:
Today marks weeks six of my cycle and I still can't get my ammonia to go down passed 2ppm!
I brought it up to 4ppm on Thursday the 19th and slowly it came down to 2ppm finally yesterday. No new nitrates though.
I've never seen any nitrites but I did use tetra safe start at the beginning so maybe the nitrites just get processed within 24 hrs but my ammonia is still painfully slow. I'm dying over here!!! It hasn't dropped passed 1ppm ever and it hasn't dropped to 1ppm since April 5th.
I started using stability on Thursday also but I'm really starting to lose hope. What can I do?!
I thought I'd see more progress by now. I've already invested so much time and MONEY (too much money) so I can't give up and I don't really want to I'm just so disheartened. :'(
I've been watching your threads on this. Please don't get disheartened! I believe you will be close.

it's odd that your nitrates aren't spiking - I know you've been told to shake the daylights out of bottle #2 and the test tube. so that's odd.

you have ammonia in your tap, right? or am I mis remembering?

my only advice beyond those pointers that I believe you already understand is to double the stability dose. people on here often say that's a waste, but I found it extremely effective for our tanks
 
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ASHLEY R COOK

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endlercollector said:
6 weeks? I would lose my mind! Is there no one around you with a healthy tank who could donate some well-aged filter material?
I don't have any friends or family with tanks and the LFS is a scary place fish go to die! I only have Petsmart and they don't know what cycling is... and I am losing my mind! I wanna cry!
 

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Hi. Broken record here. I'm an advocate of not using cycle starters or any bacteria other than the naturally-occuring stuff. I see lots of people adding this, adding that, and wondering why their tanks won't cycle. I'm not going to pretend to know why, but there are lots of people who have trouble getting their tanks cycled, and every one of them I've seen has been adding quick start, safe start, stability, etc., etc., etc. Then much of the advice is to add more this, or add more that.

I recommend either fish-in cycling, which I've done many times, or adding pure ammonia which seems like it would work. Do 25% water changes every other day, and also test your water parameters every other day. I always used Prime to condition the replacement water I put in. In every case for me the cycling process worked smoothly and was fully completed within five to six weeks. The bacteria will form on its own.

I know there are others who advocate using cycle starters, and that's fine. But from my experience and from reading many of these threads, save yourself time, money, and headaches and forget the additives.
 
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Jenoli42 said:
I've been watching your threads on this. Please don't get disheartened! I believe you will be close.

it's odd that your nitrates aren't spiking - I know you've been told to shake the daylights out of bottle #2 and the test tube. so that's odd.

you have ammonia in your tap, right? or am I mis remembering?

my only advice beyond those pointers that I believe you already understand is to double the stability dose. people on here often say that's a waste, but I found it extremely effective for our tanks
So the first day it said one cap for each 10 gals. So I put 4 since it's 37 gals. And then to do 1 per 10 gals so I was adding 2 caps but I've cheater and I've been adding 2 in my Hob and 1 above my sponge filter. Maybe I'll try 4 instead.
Should I change my water at all?
Could I have messed up my water some how? I've topped off evaporation twice but I added conditioner (one time I forgot and added it late but I was only 2 gals and weeks ago).

WhoKnows said:
Hi. Broken record here. I'm an advocate of not using cycle starters or any bacteria other than the naturally-occuring stuff. I see lots of people adding this, adding that, and wondering why their tanks won't cycle. I'm not going to pretend to know why, but there are lots of people who have trouble getting their tanks cycled, and every one of them I've seen has been adding quick start, safe start, stability, etc., etc., etc. Then much of the advice is to add more this, or add more that.

I recommend either fish-in cycling, which I've done many times, or adding pure ammonia which seems like it would work. Do 25% water changes every other day, and also test your water parameters every other day. I always used Prime to condition the replacement water I put in. In every case for me the cycling process worked smoothly and was fully completed within five to six weeks. The bacteria will form on its own.

I know there are others who advocate using cycle starters, and that's fine. But from my experience and from reading many of these threads, save yourself time, money, and headaches and forget the additives.
Well shoot a little late now!! ****
I don't know if I want to do fish-in. I do have prime but with my stocking plan idk if I'd have a hearty fish. Also, if I can't get fishless right, idk if I want to risk the health of a fish.
 

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WhoKnows said:
Hi. Broken record here. I'm an advocate of not using cycle starters or any bacteria other than the naturally-occuring stuff. I see lots of people adding this, adding that, and wondering why their tanks won't cycle. I'm not going to pretend to know why, but there are lots of people who have trouble getting their tanks cycled, and every one of them I've seen has been adding quick start, safe start, stability, etc., etc., etc. Then much of the advice is to add more this, or add more that.

I recommend either fish-in cycling, which I've done many times, or adding pure ammonia which seems like it would work. Do 25% water changes every other day, and also test your water parameters every other day. I always used Prime to condition the replacement water I put in. In every case for me the cycling process worked smoothly and was fully completed within five to six weeks. The bacteria will form on its own.

I know there are others who advocate using cycle starters, and that's fine. But from my experience and from reading many of these threads, save yourself time, money, and headaches and forget the additives.
we've had success both ways - the natural way and using stability. I appreciate the natural way and like you said, it's down to whatever works. when i've needed things to move along a bit quickly due to emergencies, i've used stability. but again, hats off to those who do it all natural
 
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Would it hurt if I change the water? I'm just curious if new water will somehow jumpstart it. Maybe I added too much TSS+
Idk. I now something had to be going at one point bc I have nitrates. I have around 10ppm.
It hard to read between 10 and 20 on the API test kit. I just don't know what to do.
 

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I would do a 50 % water change and c what happens. It can't hurt at this point
 

endlercollector

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ASHLEY R COOK said:
Would it hurt if I change the water? I'm just curious if new water will somehow jumpstart it. Maybe I added too much TSS+
Idk. I now something had to be going at one point bc I have nitrates. I have around 10ppm.
It hard to read between 10 and 20 on the API test kit. I just don't know what to do.
You have nitrates? Hurray!!! You have a cycle. It's just all the nitrites are going to nitrates, so that's good. I would do a huge water change, get that ammonia down, and reward yourself with a few fish.
 
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endlercollector said:
You have nitrates? Hurray!!! You have a cycle. It's just all the nitrites are going to nitrates, so that's good. I would do a huge water change, get that ammonia down, and reward yourself with a few fish.
Haha. I don't think I have a cycle tho.
It's not processing ammonia. Well it is, I think, just very, very slowly. Definitely not is 24 hrs!!
 

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I recommend against the huge water changes. Water changes are stressful for fish. I try to keep my water changes at 25%, more only if there's an emergency and you're seeing ammonia poisoning. I'd recommend increasing frequency rather than a higher percentage.
 
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WhoKnows said:
I recommend against the huge water changes. Water changes are stressful for fish. I try to keep my water changes at 25%, more only if there's an emergency and you're seeing ammonia poisoning. I'd recommend increasing frequency rather than a higher percentage.
I have no fish!!

If I use prime to dechlorinate my water do I need to wait to dose my ammonia?
I did a 50% water change and my ammonia is .25ppm now.
 

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ASHLEY R COOK said:
If I use prime to dechlorinate my water do I need to wait to dose my ammonia?
I did a 50% water change and my ammonia is .25ppm now.
wait! pause! your ammonia is down to .25?!

YUSSSSSSSS :;bananagirl

do others think she needs to dose back up given she has robust nitrates? my instinct is to say "leave it overnight and if your ammonia is down to 0, GO GET SOME FISH"
 
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Jenoli42 said:
wait! pause! your ammonia is down to .25?!

YUSSSSSSSS :;bananagirl

do others think she needs to dose back up given she has robust nitrates? my instinct is to say "leave it overnight and if your ammonia is down to 0, GO GET SOME FISH"
I would love to get fish but doesn't my tank have to process 2ppm or more in 24 hrs to technically be cycled. I don't want to mess this up and get fish too soon! Lol
I do want fish soon though!
 

Jenoli42

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ASHLEY R COOK said:
I would love to get fish but doesn't my tank have to process 2ppm or more in 24 hrs to technically be cycled. I don't want to mess this up and get fish too soon! Lol
I do want fish soon though!
i'm picking that others will say that is the safe way forward. having said that, you have plenty of nitrates so i'm interested to see... I tend to think you're there. but others have more experience.
 
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ASHLEY R COOK, I hate to see a member in despair!

Okay...I'm not sure why your tank is not cycling. 6 Weeks should have been enough time to get the tank cycled, let alone get thru the ammonia phase.

I'm a big fan of doing a fish-in cycle with TSS, so I have never cycled fishless, but from what I understand when cycling fish less (without TSS) you want to raise your ammonia level to 4ppm until nitrites appear. Once nitrites appear you want to bring your ammonia up to 2ppm. Once you have 0ppm nitrites and some nitrates and are processing the 2ppm of ammonia within 24 hours, you're cycled.

So it is possible you just have your ammonia level too high at this point.

Also, when doing a fishless cycle with TSS, you shouldn't bring the ammonia level up to 4ppm. Since TSS is designed for a fish in cycle with 1"-2" of fish per 10 gallons, I would be only bring the ammonia level up to about 1ppm. Too high of an ammonia level could have killed off some of the TSS bacteria.

One thing I'm unsure of, while you said that your ammonia does drop (just not to 0ppm) is your nitrate rising? If you have some ammonia converting bacteria, and enough nitrite converting bacteria to keep the nitrites at 0ppm, I would expect to see a steady rise in nitrates.

Best of luck!
 
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jdhef said:
ASHLEY R COOK, I hate to see a member in despair!

Okay...I'm not sure why your tank is not cycling. 6 Weeks should have been enough time to get the tank cycled, let alone get thru the ammonia phase.

I'm a big fan of doing a fish-in cycle with TSS, so I have never cycled fishless, but from what I understand when cycling fish less (without TSS) you want to raise your ammonia level to 4ppm until nitrites appear. Once nitrites appear you want to bring your ammonia up to 2ppm. Once you have 0ppm nitrites and some nitrates and are processing the 2ppm of ammonia within 24 hours, you're cycled.

So it is possible you just have your ammonia level too high at this point.

Also, when doing a fishless cycle with TSS, you shouldn't bring the ammonia level up to 4ppm. Since TSS is designed for a fish in cycle with 1"-2" of fish per 10 gallons, I would be only bring the ammonia level up to about 1ppm. Too high of an ammonia level could have killed off some of the TSS bacteria.

One thing I'm unsure of, while you said that your ammonia does drop (just not to 0ppm) is your nitrate rising? If you have some ammonia converting bacteria, and enough nitrite converting bacteria to keep the nitrites at 0ppm, I would expect to see a steady rise in nitrates.

Best of luck!
I dose to 2ppm until Thursday the 19th. I was trying to see if stability would help and others suggested raising to 4ppm at that point.
Also, my nitrates rose to 10ppm a little bit ago but it's so hard to tell if it rose to 20ppm bc the color looks the same on API test kit.
 

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It can be hard to see changes in Nitrates, 8 looks like 10, but so does 15. That the swing from 2ppm ammonia conversion. I would suggest dosing to 2ppm of ammonia again and just watch.. see how many days to convert it to zero. Your probably really close. If you have .25 after 50% water changes, you were down to .5
 
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TexasGuppy said:
It can be hard to see changes in Nitrates, 8 looks like 10, but so does 15. That the swing from 2ppm ammonia conversion. I would suggest dosing to 2ppm of ammonia again and just watch.. see how many days to convert it to zero. Your probably really close. If you have .25 after 50% water changes, you were down to .5
Then why did my test say 2ppm before the PWC? Really it should be at 1ppm right? Weird
 
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