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Old 06-20-2018, 12:51 PM   #1
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won't cycle

I'm at wits end...
i hlave a 5.5 gallon tank that simply won't cycle. I've tried both fishless and with fish. When I test for ammonia, the reading is so high the tube doesn't eve look green. It's a dark BLUE color!. I've added APi Quick Start ,Fluval cycle, stress zyme and Microbe lift special blend. I tested every two days for 2 weeks and never saw ammonia go down or nitrate, nitrate go up. Water remained very cloudy. Now I've done a gravel vacuum and a 50 % water change using water from my other tank (which is cycled).Added quick start , tested after 2 hours and ammonia reading was still looking blue in the test tube! I'm running two hob filters rated for 1o gallon tanks with some media from other tank along with a sponge filter. I'll wait til tomorrow or Friday to see if things change. If they don't... Any suggestions. I'm on the verge of just giving up altogether!
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Old 06-20-2018, 01:52 PM   #2
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Test tap water for ammonia.
Perform multiple 75-90% water changes until you see the ammonia come down.
Ensure you are performing the test correctly.
Ammonia that high will likely stall the cycle due to toxicity levels...

What temp is the tank? pH? Substrate? Rocks?
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Old 06-20-2018, 02:29 PM   #3
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Thanks for your response to my query, ZxC Ph in tankis at 6.4, temp is at 80 (normal room temperature) I use no heater. Substrate is river gravel purchased at LFS. Tap water tests at 0.50 ppm. I've reviewed test instructions repeatedly and am using a recently purchased API master test kit with expiration date of: 04/2024. No rocks other than gravel in tank. Will try with steps set out in your advice.
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Old 06-20-2018, 03:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renerivera View Post
Thanks for your response to my query, ZxC Ph in tankis at 6.4, temp is at 80 (normal room temperature) I use no heater. Substrate is river gravel purchased at LFS. Tap water tests at 0.50 ppm. I've reviewed test instructions repeatedly and am using a recently purchased API master test kit with expiration date of: 04/2024. No rocks other than gravel in tank. Will try with steps set out in your advice.
As long as the test kit is not a dud I would go ahead and do several large water changes.

Best bet is for ammonia to be 2 - 4 ppm for the cycle to take place. A pH that low could potentially slow the cycle, but I wouldn't worry about it. Ensure you are treating the tap water with a quality dechlorinator such as Seachem Prime.
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Old 06-20-2018, 03:19 PM   #5
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I just did a 75-90% water change as advised That is after the 30% water change and gravel vac done this morning.Treated water carefully as per instructions, reconnected filters and waited about 1/2 hour. Ammonia now testing at between 2-4 ppm.Will continue this for a few days and will see what takes place. Again, thanks!
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Old 06-20-2018, 08:39 PM   #6
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Your issue is caused by the Ph of your water. This article (Nitrifying Bacteria Facts ) is from a company that sells a biological product so I am not showing you this to promote you to buy it but within the article is the science of the nitrogen cycle that should help you understand what is happening and why.

In the lower Phs, ( under 6.9) Ammonia is converted to Ammonium which is not as toxic for the fish HOWEVER, in most liquids tests, ammonium shows as ammonia so you need to dig deeper. In this case, the deeper dig is to know when ammonia is converted to ammonium. Hope this helps
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Old 06-20-2018, 09:23 PM   #7
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You can use some of your cycled media from your other tank .
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Old 06-21-2018, 10:50 AM   #8
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Thanks,Andy! I just checked Ph after water change. It's now at 7.4. Added some Fluval cycle. Got fingers crossed.
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Old 06-21-2018, 03:44 PM   #9
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Hello ren...

Your tank is very small, but can still be cycled. I'd suggest draining it and start from the beginning. Once everything is cleaned up and put back together, fill the tank with treated tap water and take a glass container with some of your tank water to the local fish store where you bought your tank and ask them to give you some gravel from one of their established tanks. Most stores are glad to help. Take the gravel and mix it with the gravel in your new tank. Instant cycling. Add a couple of small fish and test the tank water daily to make sure the bacteria from the fish store is working. Slowly add a few more fish until the tank is stocked. Then, just change out half the water every few days to keep the fish healthy.

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Old 06-21-2018, 11:59 PM   #10
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ammonia slowly going down. Now coming in at 2.o ppm.
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