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Old 05-02-2019, 03:25 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 1
Fishless Cycle going on 3 Months

Hello there!

I began a fishless cycle in a 40-gallon breeder freshwater tank about 3 months ago. I filled the tank with water, used a dechlorinator (SeaChem Prime), have the filter running 24/7, and added Dr. Tim's Ammonium Chloride to get the tank up to 4ppm of ammonia. I also used the recommended dose of SeaChem Stability to jumpstart the cycling process a bit and have a heater in the tank as well.

At first, the cycle seemed to be progressing as nitrite and nitrate began to appear when I used the API Liquid Test Kit and the ammonia also appeared to be going down. Eventually, it got to the point where the ammonia still wasn't dropping and it was stuck around 1-2ppm. I did a water change (on March 11th) to decrease the nitrate levels as they had reached about 40ppm. After the water change, the ammonia was at 1ppm, nitrite at 0ppm, and nitrate at 0ppm. I decided it was best to wait out the rest of the cycle as it appeared to be almost done. However, as I continued to test the water every few days, the ammonia appears to be increasing while the nitrite and nitrate stay at 0ppm. I have not been adding anything, just letting the filter run.

The other day I tested the ammonia levels again and it has reached ~8ppm of ammonia and the pH has gone up to 8.4 when it used to be 7.2! The tank is also beginning to have an ammonia like smell to it . If anyone knows of anything I can do to fix this, please let me know I'd be eternally grateful!

Water Parameters
Ammonia: 8ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: ~0ppm
Temperature: 76 degrees Fahrenheit
pH: 8.4

Thank you

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Old 05-02-2019, 08:15 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Nevada
Posts: 3,206
Try to keep ammonia at 4 ppm or you can stall a cycle. For future reference, 40 ppm nitrates doesn't require a water change during a Fishless cycle. Wait until it hits 80 ppm. Keep nitrites at or below 5 ppm.

To lower parameters simply perform partial water changes. In your case now I'd do a 50% and wait until the next day to test again.

Up your temp to 82-84 degrees.
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cycle, fish, fishless, fishless cycle

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