View Full Version : Cycle Stall??

04-18-2009, 01:54 PM
I've been doing a fishless cycle with used/new media and it seem to be working good. Now my ammonia is stuck at 4ppm but my nitrites are at 0ppm and my nitrate is at 20ppm.

Any idea on why this is?

Wild Turkey
04-18-2009, 02:19 PM
Test your tap for nitrates.

Did you add anything to the tank, media or gravel? That could be another source of nitrates. At this point you just want to stare at that ammonia until it starts dropping and you see nitrites, no fun, but with some patience its not too bad. At that point lower the maintained ammonia to about 2-3ppm.

04-18-2009, 02:19 PM
i'm not sure whats going on. are you sure you are doing the test properly. and if you are, are you sure you are reading it properly? are you waiting only the five minutes the test requires? are you reading it to soon? when you read it ae you holding it against the card or other white background? i'm sure someone with more experience and knowledge will be along with better suggestions. this is all i can think as to why you would have such a high ammonia reading and no nitrites while your nitrates are rising.

04-18-2009, 05:44 PM
I have used media from another fish tank, everything else is new. Had nitrites readings of about .25ppm for a little while when my ammonia was at 5ppm but now no nitrites. Nitrates have been at zero and then went up and are now at 20ppm. I added pure ammonia to get my ammonia levels and they started to drop and then just stopped. I have no idea why.

My ammonia should be going down rapidly considering I have used filter media next to my new filter media. Seems like the second half of my cycle is complete without the first half, if that can even happen lol.

Could possibly the used filter media I have contain a lot more nitrite -> nitrate converting bacteria then ammonia eating bacteria? Or would they be pretty equal.

Wild Turkey
04-18-2009, 05:51 PM
If you have nitrite, maintain 2-3 ammonia ppm until you have to replace it completely twice a day and you have no nitrite at all. So basically, the bacteria is using all of the 2-3ppm in 12 hours or less. Then, instead of adding ammonia when there is zero(0/0/some should be your readings), you add fish. Done deal. Just test for a few days

Anything other than that is just headaches. The two types of bacteria are catching up probably not at equal rates, and there are a lot of factors that could have resulted in you introducing more of one type than the other. Be patient and let them grow, the only things you can do right now is raise the heat to around 85 f and run an airstone.

04-18-2009, 07:56 PM
Should i possibly do a water change?

Wild Turkey
04-18-2009, 10:18 PM
I wouldnt, since you dont have fish there no need to. If you do water changes make sure you replace the ammonia you remove, but its not going to speed things up for you.

04-18-2009, 10:25 PM
Dam ok, i don't get why it just stalled completely lol, oh well.