View Full Version : lengthy cycling period

01-14-2009, 11:51 PM
I have read up (endlessly it seems) about fihsless cycling..I received a 26 gallon bowfront for xmas from my now ex-gf and decided to go fishless for the cycle.

I setup the tank properly, started with distilled water and put in the ammonia. I started a bit high on the ammonia (im gonn aguess 8ppm) on accident. Today is 10 days later and I am seeing NO nitrites according to my master test kit, however my ammonia levels have dropped to approx 4.0 ppm. It is planted with some artificial stuff, pebble substrate, and I ended up picking up a livewood peice from a Petco tank that had fish in it hoping it would help.

About 4 days ago I was frustrated by the inactivity and began using biozyme in accordance to some of the recommendations I read on this board.

As of today it has been stuck at about 4 ppm for about 3 days. Any suggestions? Think it is due to the large amount of ammonia i started with?

I am thinking about a 50% water change, waiting a few days to see what happens, and going from there. I know this interferes with the cycle but I am at a loss. I also know it takes along time sometimes, I just feel like it shouldnt be taking this long. The lid is open, temp about 82-84 and it has had stimulation as far as bacteria goes. I am leaving in April (more training) and owuld like to at least get a few fish to semi-mature before I give them to my friend. Any advice is appreciated

Wild Turkey
01-15-2009, 12:22 AM
Keep the temp in the low 80s, run an airstone, maintain 5ppm. no wc yet.
Be patient, it will happen just keep testing. You still have zero nitrites right?

01-15-2009, 12:52 AM
still zero nitrites as of this afternoon. Running on 10 days without any major changes in the ammonia levels.

01-15-2009, 12:59 AM
still zero nitrites as of this afternoon. Running on 10 days without any major changes in the ammonia levels.

dont worry it happens, i had this same problem for like a week or something. The next day i check i had 5 ppm of NITRITES! i was happy to say the least, it just makes the next step more exciting. So relax and SLOWLY watch your tank cycle lol good luck

Wild Turkey
01-15-2009, 01:05 AM
still zero nitrites as of this afternoon. Running on 10 days without any major changes in the ammonia levels.

Yea ten days would actually be pretty fast. Id say if you had been doing it for 20-30 days with no trite readings then maybe somethings up. This is typical.

01-15-2009, 02:14 AM
Courage, mon ami, courage. Just be patient. I had the same thing happen. Just finished cycling but I thought it would take forever.

Lady Hobbs
01-15-2009, 05:18 AM
The nitrite stage is a real test of patience. It takes longer for that bacteria to grow than for the ammonia eating bacteria and a couple weeks would not be out of line in the wait time.

Make sure you continue adding ammonia daily but add less now.....like 2 on your tester instead of 5. You need enough to keep that bacteria living while waiting for the nitrites.

01-15-2009, 04:29 PM
If my ammonia levels have been steady, should I add even more?

I was planning on waiting til i see a drop to abotu 2ppm and then adding a tad more...this time a little since I overdid it so much the first time

Wild Turkey
01-15-2009, 04:31 PM
Just maintain 5ppm until you see nitrites, then maintain 2-3ppm

01-15-2009, 06:55 PM
Fishless cycling for over a month now and my nitrites are maxed out on tests for over a week. Tank eats up 2-3ppm ammonia over 24 hours. Still waiting on nitrites to drop. I'll tell you I am becoming least interested in the hobby/fish keeping everyday when I see the nitrites haven't moved.

I am gonna stick with it but man sometimes I want to just give up. You still likely have a long road ahead of you on the cycle. If you can ask your local fish shop for used filter or rocks as it could cut the time in half.