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Old 11-23-2020, 07:14 PM   #1
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Fishless Cycling - No Change in 3 Weeks

Hi everyone, I got my 29 gallon tank almost 3 weeks ago, planted it, added a ton of starter bacteria (Fritz) and brought ammonia to 4ppm. My pH is 7.4 and the temp is 80F. I am using a Tidal 55 filter with Matrix Biomedia. I am using the API Freshwater Master Test Kit (not expired).

After about 9-10 days of no change in any parameters I did a partial water change (~30-40%) and brought ammonia back to 2-3ppm (I heard this was a better value). At this point I also started adding Prime and Stability daily. I have well water so no chlorine in my tap water, I just added the Prime because I heard it makes it easier on the bacteria to process the ammonia.

I have tested the water every day and I have not seen any nitrites/nitrates and the ammonia is still exactly where it was. I do have a lot of algae now, and today I started seeing a lot of copapods.

Does anyone have any idea why the cycle hasn't started yet? I think I'm doing everything right and I feel I should see some indication of nitrites forming by now, even if it takes another few weeks to completely cycle.

Any help is greatly appreciated! Thank you!
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Old 11-30-2020, 08:24 PM   #2
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if you running a fish less cycle do not change your water until you see high nitrates. Zero ammonia zero nitrites, nitrates present you are cycled. When the nitrates go up that's when you change the water until then leave it alone btw don't add anything other than an ammonia source to cycle if you doing it fish less

Just keep adding an ammonia source gradually and it will happen
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Old 12-01-2020, 01:34 AM   #3
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I figured out the problem thanks to some people in an IRC chat. It was my ammonia source. I was using FritzZyme fishless fuel, had no change for 3 weeks. I did a water change and replaced that ammonia source with pure Ammonium Hydroxide (Clear Ammonia) from Amazon. The very next day I had 2ppm nitrites and 5ppm nitrates. My ammonia source was bottlenecking my entire cycle!
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