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Old 05-22-2021, 09:53 PM   #1
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Angry Ammonia / Tank No Longer Cycled

I have been searching but have come across several scenarios but not many straight forward answers.

I had an issue with my canister and had to replace it, since I replaced it something must have been disrupted. I am now getting ammonia readings and don't know how to minimize or avoid fish loss while getting the tank cycled again. I have a 26 gallon bow front with about 8 rosy barbs, 5 small diamond tetras, 2 gold barbs and 3 ottos. I am more concerned for the ottos as I know they are sensitive. How can I manage the ammonia to where the fish stay safe while the tank builds up again?

I was going to try and keep the ammonia under .50ppm with water changes as needed, using prime and stability with each water change. Is that going to be enough to build up good bacteria?

I appreciate your input on how to approach this, just not sure how to proceed.

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Old 05-23-2021, 02:15 AM   #2
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Your target should be to keep ammonia + nitrite combined below 0.5ppm. To help get your cycle going again you could try and get some established media from a cycled filter. A good alternative is a bottled bacteria product like Dr Tims One and Only although these products are hit and miss. Reduce feeding will help too. You seem to be on the right track.
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Old 05-23-2021, 03:54 PM   #3
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I grabbed a seasoned piece of floss from my parents canister. Filled a ziplock with some of the crap water from the canister and threw in the floss. Not a big piece, but hopefully enough to boost me. When I got home I threw it under my ceramic rings in my canister. Ammonia today is still between .25-.5, same as last 2 days now, continuing to feed light once per day.

No nitrites or nitrates today, I haven't seen nitrates in a while which prior to this I had thought was odd. I usually do a monthly 20% water change, nitrates used to be low in the 5-10ppm range.

Is there any point to adding prime and/or stability if Ammonia remains at <0.5ppm? I'll change the water and add if it does rise above this point, again main concern is the fish safety, I know otto's can be very sensitive.

Appreciate any other advice.
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Old 05-23-2021, 04:03 PM   #4
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Seems like you are doing the right things.

Ive never kept otos, but as you say, understand they are less tolerant of sub par water conditions. Ordinarily i would say not to worry about dosing prime with that low an ammonia test. You havent said what your pH is. Ammonia gets more toxic at higher pH. Dosing prime wont hurt anything though, but dont rely on it. Until you are cycled water changes are the only sure fire way to remove ammonia.

As to stability, never used that particular product, but from what ive read (both on here and other places) stability seems to not be the best product. Again doesnt do any harm if you have a bottle to use up.
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Old 05-23-2021, 04:15 PM   #5
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I was considering continuing to dose prime to avoid stressing the fish, as for stability I was always told was a top product for helping to cycle a tank. I know everyone has their own methods for cycling.

My PH is about 6.8-7.
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Old 05-23-2021, 04:34 PM   #6
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Its fairly common for people who use stability to find it produces a lot of nitrite and not doing much else. As i said, i don't have first hand experience of that particular product though. These products are all hit and miss, certainly wont harm anything to use it while you are keeping an eye on your water parameters.

At pH lower than 7 your ammonia toxicity is very low. It would have to get up around 4ppm before it caused short term issues. At your levels you are well in the green.Click image for larger version

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