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Old 10-03-2012, 12:46 AM   #1
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Fishless Cycling - Ammonia not dropping

Hi,

Iím new to aquarium hobby. When my son wanted to have a pet, I walked into a local pet store and
bought a 10 gallon Aqueon basic kit, without knowing anything about nitrogen cycle. The pet store owner gave a pamphlet about the nitrification process and recommended to start the cycle with 2 feeder fish. First the fish were infected with fungus, and eventually died in 2 weeks. When I was reading about the fungus, I came to know about fishless cycle. After my fish died I started with fishless cycle
  • Dosing about 4ppm of ammonia (bought from Ace store) ever other day
  • The heater set to 85 F
  • Adding (TopFin) bacterial supplement during water top-up/change
  • Testing the water parameters after adding ammonia
Nitrite started building up in about 2 weeks, and ammonia was dropping to zero in 24 hrs after dosing 4ppm. The cycling process was going fine since recently, here is my reading for last one week
Ammonia - 1ppm
Nitrites - 5ppm
Nitrate - 20ppm
I lastly dosed my tank a week ago and did pwc twice.

Finally the nitrites dropped to zero today, nitrate is at about 40ppm, however my ammonia is still at 1ppm.

Iím into 23rd day of my fishless cycle. Is this a normal process? Can the ammonia show readings when the nitrites are reading zero? Did I kill my ammonia > nitrite bacteria somewhere in the process? Thanks for all your comments and suggestions.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:08 AM   #2
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what are you using to test ?
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:37 AM   #3
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I'm using API master kit.
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Old 10-03-2012, 04:19 AM   #4
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What's the ph? It could have dropped and maybe stalled the cycle. By the way to AA!
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Old 10-03-2012, 04:24 AM   #5
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API test kits are not always 100% accurate
take a sample of your tank water to your pet store
ask them to test it for you I know they would be glad to help

welcome to AA
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:11 AM   #6
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Ph is about 8.2,will that cause any issues?

Anyhow I'll get the water tested from a local store. Thanks!
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:50 PM   #7
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Welcome to the AquariumAdvice family. If I may suggest starting a thread in the freshwater section, you'll get more views there although your getting some help right here.
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:54 PM   #8
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Thanks for your valid suggestion. I'll open a thread in the freshwater section. Thanks!
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:39 AM   #9
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Just a suggestion - see what your LFS uses to test the water - of the 2 near me, one uses test strips (notoriously inaccurate) and the other uses the same API Master kit I use at home. Hardly worth the cost of gas to get the same or less accurate info than you already have at home. If you use Ammo-lock or anything else to "lock up" the ammonia during a spike your water could be fine but the API test will still read high - Seachem has a test that will show only the free ammonia (toxic).
With regards to your "fish-less" cycle, it took my 75gal 4-5 weeks to be 100% reliably cycled (It felt like FOREVER but still way faster and more humane than using fish). It sped right up when I stopped doing weekly water changes - I just did a bigger water change at the end to bring my nitrates down.
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