View Full Version : Cycle taking too long?

11-25-2008, 12:23 PM
I just looked at my trusty journal here and I've been doing fishless cycling since Nov.8. Boy, where did the time go?

Anyways, my nitrite first appeared on Nov. 12 at a very low level. Two days later it was at 1.5-2.0 and this level has not budged since. At this point I'm adding enough ammonia to the tank at night to bring the ammonia up to around 2.0. Well, 8 hours later it's down to .25 and by the nightime it's 0. Rinse and repeat.

Does it usually take this long for the darn nitrite to come down? I can't remember how long it took the last time I did this.

I even seeded this tank from an established one I have. I dropped in a stocking of gravel and a piece of driftwood also.


11-25-2008, 12:54 PM
I don't think you are adding enough ammonia. I would suggest three things:

1. Crank the heater up to 85 F or so, if you have not done already.
2. Get an air stone running or similar.
3. Add more ammonia to bring it up to 4-5 ppm and keep to those levels until you see the nitrite spike. Readings of 1.5-2.0 of nitrites don't qualify as a spike.

I would expect that you would see a sharp nitrite spike, followed by the 'trate spike.

11-25-2008, 01:54 PM
I have a powerhead with air pumping in at night which I shut off during the day. I've got 15 live plants in there with Co2 injection which is why I shut the air off during the day. I read through the fishless cycle sticky and it said to cut the ammonia addition down after I have nitrites because it could inhibit the nitrifying bacteria growth. I've got my temp around 82 degrees. So you think I should actually get a larger nitrite spike? It was as high as 2.0 but not above that.

11-25-2008, 03:03 PM
planted tanks cycle differently than non. The plants are probably taking some of the ammonia you are adding and possibly the trites too, resulting in a lower than expected trite spike. Also, they are probably sucking up whatever trate you are producing, but check it to see what your trate levels are. Once your trite level is 0, let the ammonia level drop and add fish the same day, and you should be set. My invert tank(non planted) never had a trite spike, and i seeded with gravel/media too. Took me 3 weeks and 4 days to be 0-0-50. You sound like you are doing fine


11-25-2008, 03:18 PM
Yes, my nitrates are down to only 5. That's even lower than what comes out of my tap.

The nitrites have hung at 1.5 and not moved for like 2 weeks now. I should still wait until that goes to 0 though before adding fish, right? At this point I'm not sure when this will come down. It's gotta to be soon I would think. I don't remember it taking this long the last time but that was in a non-planted environment. Same tank, same filtration.

Lady Hobbs
11-25-2008, 03:23 PM
It's not unusal for nitrites to tend to hang there for a week or two. When they drop, they will drop suddenly like your ammonia does. I do have to disagree to add more ammonia, however. You have built up a huge bacterial base using liquid ammonia. Now you only need to keep what you have grown alive until your cycle finishes up. Sometimes too much ammonia can cause a "burn out" and to get the nitrites moving you need to do a water change to kick it in gear. I would continue with the 2 in ammonia but only one time a day......not morning and night.

If that doesn't do something for you, do a bit of a water change and maybe add 1 for ammonia for a day. Changing what your doing will sometimes give it a kick.

Lady Hobbs
11-25-2008, 09:42 PM
PS.....You also didn't mention your tank size. The more water you have, the less high those toxins become and also......plants. Many that plant their tanks heavily just go ahead and cycle with fish......slowly adding some every couple of week.

Wild Turkey
11-25-2008, 09:54 PM
Im gonna half agree here, grab some cultured bacteria, its available on the shelf now, add that and fish, just to be safe, then watch the levels.
If you can dish out money on fish, enough to treat the tank once will be less than ten dollars, so its quite affordable and way worth it imo.

Even if it ends up doing nothing, better safe than sorry, and now you have some incase of minicycles or for next time.

11-25-2008, 10:40 PM
My tank is a 92 gallon bowfront corner tank. I will look into the bottled bateria as an option.

Thanks all!