Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Freshwater > Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 07-27-2021, 06:07 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jul 2021
Posts: 16
Little ammonia No Nitrite 2+months

Hi. Iím attempting fishless cycling. Iím over 2 months in after adding Dr Tims ammonia to my tank. Iíve also added Dr Timís One and Only. Iím stuck at .5ppm ammonia and 0 nitrite. Iíve done one tank change. Have my water around 82 degrees and working to get PH down around 7 with PH down. It was up around 8.2 and now is around 7.4. I have two sword plants and nothing else.
Itís frustrating and Iíve been reading and reading forums but finally wanted to post to see if anyone could help.
Thank you! My kids want a fish tank not a plant tank

__________________
sandersonr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2021, 06:52 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 1,844
You need to be increasing the amount of ammonia you are dosing. Your first dose should be getting ammonia up to 4ppm. Test daily, when it drops below 1ppm redose it back up to 2ppm. When you can add 2ppm ammonia and 24 hours later see 0ppm ammonia and nitrite you are cycled.

The best way to speed up a cycle is to get some filter media from an established tank and put it in your filter. Perhaps you have a friend who keeps fish who could let you have some. Bottled bacteria like one + only may help, but are hit and miss (mostly miss). You could try a redose.

Upping the temperature a couple of degrees might help a little too.

If you are really losing patience have you considered changing to a fish in cycle? Reasonably safe if its done properly.
__________________
Aiken Drum
Community Moderator
Aiken Drum is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2021, 01:09 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jul 2021
Posts: 16
Thank you!!!

I really really appreciate the response and advice! Iím sure this question is answered many times in FAQ etc but got to the point where I needed to talk directly to the source! I added ammonia this morning and will give your advice a go. I like it! Otherwise Iím going to start over and cycle with fish.
If I do that would you suggest restarting my tank, draining and refilling?
Much appreciated!, Rob
__________________
sandersonr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2021, 01:13 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 1,844
Fishless cycle typically takes 6 to 8 weeks, often longer occasionally quicker. You havent mentioned how high you have been raising your ammonia, so i have no idea how far along that timeline you are. If you have only been raising ammonia a small amount, even though you have been going a couple of months you might only be a couple of weeks along. Maybe not even that.
__________________
Aiken Drum is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2021, 03:20 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jul 2021
Posts: 16
Ammonia level

Thank you. I originally got my ammonia up to 4ppm about 6 weeks ago. I saw some nitrites after that but they went away. Then I’ve just been waiting for my ammonia to zero out before adding more ammonia.I haven’t had nitrites in 4-5 weeks. Now I’m working to get to 2ppm as you recommended. Thx!
__________________
sandersonr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2021, 03:36 PM   #6
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 26
I know Iím swimming upstream on this one (no pun intended), but Iíve always done fish in cycling. My choice is two zebra danios, very little food for them, daily checks on ammonia levels, etc. If my ammonia rises above .25, I do a 20% water change. My cycling period is usually around three to four weeks. The next trick is to always introduce new fish slowly in numbers and keep your API kit close by and use it. I know all the arguments against fish in cycling, but Iím reading more stories of fish less cycling leading to frustration and possibly losing folks in the hobby. Please save your negative responses to my being cruel. Iíve never lost any of the zebras.
__________________
Magaratz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2021, 03:50 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 1,844
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magaratz View Post
I know Iím swimming upstream on this one (no pun intended), but Iíve always done fish in cycling. My choice is two zebra danios, very little food for them, daily checks on ammonia levels, etc. If my ammonia rises above .25, I do a 20% water change. My cycling period is usually around three to four weeks. The next trick is to always introduce new fish slowly in numbers and keep your API kit close by and use it. I know all the arguments against fish in cycling, but Iím reading more stories of fish less cycling leading to frustration and possibly losing folks in the hobby. Please save your negative responses to my being cruel. Iíve never lost any of the zebras.
There should be no negative comments to doing a fish in cycle correctly, and you seem to be doing so.

Only thing i would add is that it takes you a few weeks to cycle a tank for the couple of fish you start with. You then add a couple more and repeat the process over and over until fully stocked. Start to finish from an empty tank to fully stocked, fish in done safely can take longer than a fishless cycle where you can pretty much fully stock as soon as your fishless cycle is complete.
__________________
Aiken Drum
Community Moderator
Aiken Drum is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2021, 12:35 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jul 2021
Posts: 16
Ammonia staying up

Hi. Thank you both for the help! Iím definitely considering starting over and doing the cycle with fish. Thanks for the tips. I had heard fishless cycling is challenging but the directions from aquatic ammonia made it sound easier.
I got my tank up to 2ppm ammonia yesterday. It was still there this morning. Iíll check mid day. If it stays up should I do a 1/4 or 1/3 tank water change? Or just test daily and wait for the ammonia to drop? Iím guessing my two plants and the algae etc in tank adds to ammonia levels as well. Iíve been cleaning but not as much as when I have fish to try and let it establish.
Thanks again all!
__________________
sandersonr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2021, 12:56 PM   #9
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 1,844
No need to do water changes during a fishless cycle. You need ammonia in the water to feed beneficial bacteria so the colony grows. Water changes will just remove ammonia to no benefit. You want your cycle to establish and process out the ammonia.

As previous, fishless cycle typically takes 6 to 8 weeks, and i feel you are probably starting over. If you want to see fish quicker than that, a fish in cycle will be for you. Fish in cycle is a different process, let us know if you choose to change route so we can give some guidance. Basically a lot of water changes, probably daily for a few weeks.

Plants will only contribute to ammonia if they die and decay. Generally plants and algae take up ammonia not contribute to it.

I dont really see a difference in difficulty between fishless and fish in. Just different.

I was interested by Magaratz comment that fishless cycle is frustrating new hobbyists and losing them. I dont know which is more frustrating. Fishless cycling not living up to expectations or people not understanding cycling at all and seeing their fish die. My feeling is from the traffic on this forum, an even split between the two.
__________________
Aiken Drum
Community Moderator
Aiken Drum is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2021, 01:44 PM   #10
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jul 2021
Posts: 16
Starting over

Hi. So what would starting over look like?
Iím bummed but canít keep an empty fish tank forever.
Thanks!
__________________
sandersonr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2021, 02:23 PM   #11
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 1,844
100% water change.

Stock lightly. I dont know your tank size, but 1 small fish per 10g is a safe level. Might need to adjust numbers depending on tank size and what you plan to stock.

Feed lightly. As much as is eaten in 1 minute daily or 2 to 3 minutes every other day while cycling.

Test daily. Your target should be to keep ammonia + nitrite combined below 0.5ppm through water changes. If you see 0.25ppm ammonia + 0.25 nitrite (0.5ppm combined) then a small water change (say 20%). If it gets up to say 0.5ppm ammonia + 0.25ppm (0.75ppm combined) then do a 30% water change. If it gets up even higher, say 0.5ppm ammonia + 0.5ppm nitrite (1ppm combined) then do a 50% water change.

Depending on how heavily you have stocked this might be daily big water changes. Water parameters might get even worse, in which case you might be doing multiple daily water changes to kerp parameters safe.

If you are consistently seeing 0ppm ammonia and nitrite you are cycled for the fish you currently have and can add some more fish. Depending on tank size and stocking this might be a few weeks. Rinse and repeat the testing and water changes controlling ammonia and nitrite, adding a few more fish when you are seeing no ammonia as previously until you are fully stocked.
__________________
Aiken Drum
Community Moderator
Aiken Drum is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2021, 01:47 PM   #12
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jul 2021
Posts: 16
New start

Thanks again for the fantastic info and guidance. With restarting and adding a couple small fish, I have a 20 gallon, they can go in the new tap water with just a water treatment for chlorine etc?
Also, with the current tank and having added the ammonia but never seeing it drop, even over a 6-8 week period, does that signal another issue? I would think that eventually the ammonia would drop and have been surprised with the levels staying at 4ppm for so long. I eventually did a water change to get it down and suction cleaned the substrate etc. Maybe thatís where I messed up and should have just let it sit.
Thanks!
__________________
sandersonr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2021, 04:01 PM   #13
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 1,844
I would have a think about what fish you want to keep and that should be your starting point. 2 or 3 small hardy fish. I wouldnt recommend using fish you dont intend to keep to cycle with. What are your stocking plans?

Just change all the water, tap water is normally fine. Do you have any reason not to use tap water? Water conditioner needs to be used whenever you add tap water to the tank.

You never really dosed ammonia properly, so the fact you never saw it drop isnt really indicative of anything. I think its unlikely you had ammonia in the water for so long and had zero beneficial bacteria develop, so you probably arent starting from scratch. But even if you are, thats how most fish in cycles start. If done properly, shouldnt be an issue. Key is not to overdo the bioload to start with, and to not increase it too much in one go once you start building up fish numbers.

There are no guarantees that your cycle will progress quicker with fish, but at least you will be able to look at something while it going.
__________________
Aiken Drum
Community Moderator
Aiken Drum is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2021, 01:22 PM   #14
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jul 2021
Posts: 16
Draining the tank

Thx. Iím going to drain the tank and fresh water rinse my substrate then re-fill, condition and add two fish. Weíd like to stock our 20 gallon with neon tetras/harlequin rasboras, clown loach, snail/ghost shrimp and a dwarf gourami (eventually) and plants.
Excited to have something to look at! And go from there.
__________________
sandersonr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2021, 01:33 PM   #15
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 1,844
Dont rinse the substrate. You will have some beneficial bacteria that you will just be washing away if you rinse it. If you want to give it a clean a light gravel vac.

Clown loachs get big. Like 12 inches. They also should be kept in groups. 5 minimum. 20 gallons isnt really big enough even for young ones. You really need 55g to start with, 75g for a group of juveniles and ultimately 100g or even 150g. If you wanted to keep loaches khuli loaches would be more suited to 20g. If you have plans for an upgrade maybe yoyo loaches would be ok to grow out in a 20g with plans for a bigger tank as they grow.

Neon tetras can be a little susceptible to things. So i wouldn't go with them to start your cycle. Maybe 3 rasboras might be better to start with and add neons later.
__________________
Aiken Drum
Community Moderator
Aiken Drum is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2021, 01:49 PM   #16
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jul 2021
Posts: 16
So much to learn

Thx again. Just drained tank but wonít clean substrate. Great timing on your reply.
I thought I read clowns were better than yo-yo for 20 gallon but your advise makes sense.
Weíll plan to start with 3 rasboras. Should I add some one and only too?
__________________
sandersonr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2021, 02:25 PM   #17
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 1,844
One and only wont do any harm.
__________________
Aiken Drum is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2021, 04:28 PM   #18
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jul 2021
Posts: 16
Rasboras in the tank

I just added 3 rasboras, one and only and about 1/2 gallon of aquarium water from the fish store (same tank the rasboras came from).
Iíll follow your recommendations for a light feeding cycle and regular water changes based on ammonia and nitrites.
Great to have fish in the tank.
Fingers crossed!
__________________
sandersonr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2021, 04:45 PM   #19
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 1,844
I really wouldnt have added any tank water from the fish store. There is nothing of benefit to you in there and now anything in their tank water is now in yours also. Lesson learnt, dont do that again.
__________________
Aiken Drum
Community Moderator
Aiken Drum is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2021, 05:30 PM   #20
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
BigRedsReefs10's Avatar

POTM Champion
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 5,031
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aiken Drum View Post
I really wouldnt have added any tank water from the fish store. There is nothing of benefit to you in there and now anything in their tank water is now on yours also. Lesson learnt, dont do that again.


Second that, no possible benefits and can easily transfer diseases to your tank. You may want to consider a large if not complete water change just in case
__________________
BigRedsReefs10 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
ammonia, fishless cycling, nitrite

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
0.25 ammonia 0 nitrite 0 nitrate, stays this way for months Shalemie Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started 8 10-15-2013 11:52 AM
No Coral Growth in Months and Months gvillenative Saltwater Reef Aquaria 19 03-19-2012 03:01 PM
2 months later, Ammonia not gone down, Seeded tank. Sarah E Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started 13 02-07-2012 06:44 PM
Nitrite Spike after 2 months of stable tank mickitiffen Freshwater & Brackish - Unhealthy Fish 4 11-04-2008 11:07 AM
three months and still have ammonia? stephenpjenkins Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started 12 09-22-2004 09:44 AM







» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:21 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.