View Full Version : Cycle doesnt move on to the next stage

08-26-2008, 05:25 PM
I am a newbie here. I have a problem here, see if you guys can help me out.
Right now I m in the stage of cycling my tank, I m still in the beginning stage, where I have very high ammonia close to 5ppm or maybe 5ppm.

The problem here is that the first good bacteria (nitrosomonas...) hasnt formed yet. I dont know how long I should wait for this. It has been 8 days as of today.
I didnt do water change during these days.

Here is my tank spec:

Size: 20 gal
# of fish: 1 (fancy fantail goldfish)
temp: 72F
ammonia level: high very high, I think it's enough to grow the nitrosomonas bacteria.
PH: 7.1
water condition: clear, slightly cloudy

I have been reading any threads, articles, nothing told me what's possibly the problem is.

Could you guys help me? What do you think?

08-26-2008, 05:35 PM
i've read many places that colder temps cause the cycle to take longer. Are you doing water changes? How much and when? If you are doing water changes, are you using a water treatment that deals with ammonia? If so, you may be getting a false reading from that. I use prime and it says right on the bottle it will cause falsely high ammonia readings for up to 24hours. Do you have any nitrite readings? Let us know


08-26-2008, 05:46 PM
it sounds to me that he is doing a fishy cycle...

Commodore 64
08-26-2008, 06:27 PM
Do you have nitrites or nitrates being formed? If you can't test for those, get a kit for them.

It might take a bit longer with your temp that low. Realizing that you have to keep it cooler for the goldfish, I would continue monitoring the NH4, NO3, and NO2 levels while performing water changes every day. Make sure you are conditioning your tap water with Prime, Start Right, Stress Coat, or whatever. Try to keep the ammonia at 1ppm until nitrites start to form.

If the ammonia is really high, it can actually prevent the nitrosomas from thriving. Do a 50% water change ASAP and get that level down.

Lady Hobbs
08-26-2008, 07:53 PM
I so agree. If you do not bring that ammonia down, you will kill that goldfish. Do half tank water change cleaning nothing, do not change filters, use only dechlorinatored water.

08-26-2008, 09:19 PM
I didnt do water changes since day 1 because I didnt want the ammonia goes down and it will delay the cycle even more. The weird thing about this that I get 0 level nitrite and nitrate. I have those test kits from API.

The only way I did to detoxify the ammonia is to use Amquel +, to safe the fish. I feel sad to my fish, even though she looks happy swimming around.

I concern the low temp I have, maybe that;s it. But I cannot increase it due to goldfish.

Commodore 64
08-27-2008, 04:18 PM
OK. Read my post again....

Your ammonia levels are too high. More ammonia = stalled cycle. MORE IS NOT BETTER! Water change until you get your level down to 1ppm. You aren't reading Nitrites or Nitrates because the ammonia-eating bacteria aren't forming--the water is too toxic even for them! The cycle is stalled.

Lady Hobbs
08-27-2008, 05:56 PM
Commodore is right. Leaving that ammonia to build and build will kill your fish and then you'll have no ammonia to cycle with plus you're putting your fish thru a horrible death. Like putting an ammonia soaked rag over your face and having to breathe it everyday.

The problem with cycling with fish is the patience and time it takes. It's the drawback of cycling this way but it's something that needs to be done to keep the fish alive. Too much ammonia will stall that cycle just as he says. Too much ammonia even in a fishless cycle will also stall the cycle.

08-27-2008, 10:18 PM
I just cycled a 38g with fish in about 2.5 weeks, My ammonia never got over 1 (thanks to w/c's) and it did not start to drop until the 14th day and then a bacteria bloom and 5 days later it was fully cycled! Listen to these people, they know what they are talking about, bring the ammonia level down asap!

08-28-2008, 04:27 AM
Thank you guys for your advices. I will do wc and watch it frequently so the ammonia level wont go over 1 ppm.
I have another question, do I need to take out my activated carbon filter during cycle?

Thanks again for the advice.

08-28-2008, 04:50 AM
the carbon can stay, but in the long run, carbon is only good for taking out medications

good on doing WC's. high ammonia will kill the fish like everyone mentioned, keep it low so he lives

08-28-2008, 07:32 AM
Ok...as everyone says, I did water changes twice today...my ammonia level 1.5 ppm maybe. I think that's drastically down from 8ppm.

Right now I m doing fishless cycle, I transfer all my fishes to a fresh tank.
I dont want them to die.

08-29-2008, 04:18 PM
Ok I did water changes 3-4 times lately until my ammonia closes to 1.

Ammonia: 1.0
Nitrite: 0.0
Ph: 7.4
Temp: 88F

I did fishless cycle and what should I do next? Since ammonia is 1.0 and no fish,
do I need to do water changes daily?

08-29-2008, 04:28 PM
What is your nitrate?

08-29-2008, 04:47 PM
Oh I think I m still in the beginning stage of waiting for nitrosomonas. So I didnt have nitrate test kit yet.

08-29-2008, 04:51 PM
Now I am confused after reading this article:

This one explains how to do fishless cycle. It says to keep the ammonia 4-5.
A lot of people say dont let your ammonia over 1 or 2 ppm, it can stall the cycle. So I am confused here? What level of ammonia do I need to follow?
Right now I have +/- 1 ppm, I did bump up the temp to 88F from 72F.

Last time I have had my ammonia very high around 8 ppm, and the cycle stalled.

08-29-2008, 05:38 PM
You should not be confused. Ammonia levels of 4-5 ppm are for cycling tanks without fish. If memory serves, you have a fish or some fish in that tank, so you aren't doing a fishless cycle. You need to keep doing water changes to keep ammonia as low as possible so as not to kill the fish. If you know someone who has an established, cycled tank, you might ask to get some gravel or filter material to help speed your tank cycle. Alternatively, you might look-up Seachem's product stability which might help you cycle faster and safely.

09-12-2008, 04:24 PM
YES!!! I am on the stage 2 now. I have nitrites spikes finally:19:

09-16-2008, 02:25 AM
No one here in this forum???? Tank cycled! Thanks guys.