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Old 04-29-2012, 11:02 AM   #1
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Ammonia not dropping 4 week in cycle!!!!!!

I have recently ran into a wall here with my new freshwater setup. I have a 45 gallon tank with a 200 Penguin BIO-Wheel Power Filter and have been fishless cycling with pure ammonia for roughly 4 weeks now. Everything started out fine as I was dosing my tank with ammonia to 4ppm and it was dropping to zero in no time. I then accidentally dosed it up to around 7 or 8ppm and just waited for it to drop. It did drop and i had a nitrite spike that was off the charts, then that dropped as planned also. Since then I have had a nitrate spike up to 80ppm with 0 nitrites but my ammonia will not go down past 1ppm. Am I doing something wrong? I am using an api freshwater master test kit that is in date. If I could get any advice on what to do here it would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-29-2012, 11:27 AM   #2
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I may be wrong as I`m new to the hobby too, But I would say give it another few days if Nitrate is showing up you are towards the back end of the cycle.
You could always take a water sample to your local fish store/shop and have them test the water and ensure its not the test kit?
Also although wait for confirmation of this, You could do a part water change re-test ensure the ammonia goes low 0.25-0 and then re-add ammonia and ensure its fully processed ammonia>nitrite>nitrate after 24 hours.
8ppm is ALOT of ammonia to process and i honestly think give it a few more days and it will go, only so much ammonia can be processed within 24 hours

I have found the main ingredient for fishless cycling is patience (just completed one myself!)
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Old 04-29-2012, 11:35 AM   #3
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I appreciate the response. When my ammonia was up at 8ppm it did drop to 0ppm and I had a nitrite spike. Then that to dropped to zero and I had a nitrate spike of 80pm and ever since then the ammonia will not drop past 1ppm. Maybe the water change would be a good idea. Would that screw anything up or would it just start where it left off?
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Old 04-29-2012, 11:37 AM   #4
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Hi! Have you done any water changes yet? Are you checking your ph daily? I suspect your 'stall' may be a ph issue related to your buffer levels being depleted. Time for a big water change (90-100%) with temperature-matched, properly conditioned water! Then only dose your ammonia to 2ppm (no higher) and lets see how things look in 24hrs.
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Old 04-29-2012, 11:40 AM   #5
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No I have not done a water change. I have checked my ph and it has been jumping anywhere from 8.2 down to 6.2 so maybe that is the problem?
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Old 04-29-2012, 11:47 AM   #6
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Yes, your ph/buffer levels are the likely factor here. Around 6.5, the nitritfication process starts to slow. By the time hits 6, it grinds to halt due to the acidity. Your ph is dropping because your buffers are being depleted in the nitrification process. Without buffers in your tank, the ph loses its stability & crashes. Without buffers, ammonia & nitrite can not be processed either. So, its kind of a vicious cycle. Its a simple fix- just do a big water change with temp-matched, conditioned water as I suggested & only dose to 2ppm ammonia. Let us know how everything looks in 24hrs!
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Old 04-29-2012, 11:47 AM   #7
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Should I clean any of the green and brown yuck off anything during the water change? I use well water with no chlorine so i'm guessing it does not need to be conditioned?
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Old 04-29-2012, 11:55 AM   #8
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Dont go crazy cleaning but you can wipe the brown slime (diatoms) off of everything before the water change. In respect to the well water, its debatable whether to use a water conditioner or not. Well water can contain high amounts of organics & inorganics (such as heavy metals). This is where a water conditioner would be of help. Has your water ever been analyzed? A water report would tell you what is contained in your water & the amounts of various substances. Its really up to you though.
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:05 PM   #9
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No I have never had a water report. I have no water conditioner so I would need to go buy some. What do you suggest? Would I be able to just to the water change now and add the conditioner later on before I get fish?
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:15 PM   #10
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Thats fine! If you want to use a water conditioner, Prime is the most widely used & highly recommended. A little of this stuff goes a long way so it will last a long time. If you dont find any, basically any water conditioner that says it helps to detox metals will work.
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Old 04-29-2012, 01:53 PM   #11
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I tested my ph today which was around 7.4 and my ammonia was around 1ppm-2ppm what can I do to drop my ammonia? fish is very lethargic
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Old 04-29-2012, 02:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth View Post
I tested my ph today which was around 7.4 and my ammonia was around 1ppm-2ppm what can I do to drop my ammonia? fish is very lethargic
Hi Ruth! Your fish are suffering from toxin levels in your water. You need to step up your water changes to drop this below .25ppm. Use temperature-matched, properly conditioned water for changes. If can post a new thread in this section with your tank specs, stocking, water parameters & how long the tank has been setup, we will be able to help you better! In the meantime, please read this link:

I just learned about cycling but I already have fish. What now?!
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Old 04-29-2012, 02:42 PM   #13
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hi
sorry I may sound bit dumb but what is temperature-matched, properly conditioned water mean?
I have a 35l tank
1 shubunkin (had since before christmas 2011)
live plant
ph7.2
nitrate 0
nitrite 0
ammonia 8
the tank has been set up for over a year, has Marina s15 filter (no carbon) 3 filter pads
do 20% to 30% water change every week
please help!!
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Old 04-29-2012, 02:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth View Post
hi
sorry I may sound bit dumb but what is temperature-matched, properly conditioned water mean?
I have a 35l tank
1 shubunkin (had since before christmas 2011)
live plant
ph7.2
nitrate 0
nitrite 0
ammonia 8
the tank has been set up for over a year, has Marina s15 filter (no carbon) 3 filter pads

please help!!
Unfortunately, 35l is only 9g tank- this is much too small for a shubunkin. Do you have a water conditioner/dechlorinator? Prime is an excellent one if you do not have any. You need to start changing the water ASAP if your ammonia is 8. You need to add water conditioner to the new water to condition it & detox any chlorine/chloramines that may be present. Prime will also help bind toxins such as ammonia, nitrite & nitrate. Directions for adding water conditioner are on the bottle & the amount is based on your tank size. Dose for the size of your tank. Make sure the temperature of the new water is the same as the temp of your tank water (temperature-matching). You will need to do multiple water changes to get your ammonia level down to .25 or lower. Please read the link I posted as well.
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Old 04-29-2012, 03:03 PM   #15
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yes I always add stress zyme and stress coat when doing water changes...
what would you recommend every 2days for water change? I have ordered some prime today...
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Old 04-29-2012, 03:09 PM   #16
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I will do the water change and will let you know ty
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Old 04-29-2012, 03:13 PM   #17
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Sorry Kal!! Ruth, please post a new thread so we can help you! Keep changing your water until the ammonia drops to .25 or lower- your tank is lethal right now. It will take multiple water changes in one day then you will need to keep doing them to keep your ammonia under control.
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Old 04-29-2012, 04:50 PM   #18
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I just finished my 90% water change with the following results
Ammonia 0.25ppm
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 20ppm
PH 7.6
I am now dosing up the ammonia to 2ppm so I will repost the results in 24 hours
thanks a lot jlk for the help!!!
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