Welcome to Our Community

Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.

Help with cycling a small tank

Discussion in 'Cycle your Tank' started by kw96, Jul 18, 2019.

  1. kw96

    kw96 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2019
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hi, I'm new here. I posted this in the "Ask Questions About Cycling" section, but I didn't realize that was an old thread so I am reposting it here. I'm in the process of doing a fishless cycle. This is the first time I've ever done this and I'm a little confused. I've been cycling for almost 3 weeks now. I have the Top Fin Enchant 3.5 gallon tank and I use the filter that came with it. My heater is the Aqueon 50W heater and it keeps the tank at 78F. I used fish flakes to start the cycle. I've been checking the levels every day (sometimes every other day) with the API Master Test Kit and I can't seem to get the ammonia and nitrite to go down. I used Prime in the water to begin with and I put it in the new water when I have done water changes. My tap water has 0.25ppm ammonia in it already and I also have a nitrate reading in my tap water, but I can't remember exactly what it was. Pretty much every time I test the tank water, the ammonia is at 0.25ppm. The highest it has ever been was 0.50ppm. I started testing for nitrite on July 6th and got a 0.50ppm reading. It went up to about 1.0-2.0ppm between then and July 16th. I did about a 30-40% water change yesterday, the 17th, and tested the water a few hours later. Ammonia looked to be between 0ppm and 0.25ppm, but it was hard to tell. Nitrite looked to be 0-0.25ppm as well. However, I just tested again today and ammonia is definitely still at 0.25ppm and nitrite looks between 0.25-0.50ppm. Nitrate has always given me a steady reading of 10ppm. I'm not really sure what I should do to get the ammonia and nitrite levels down to 0. Also, my pH level was about 8.2 a couple of days ago and after the water change it was around 7.4, but today it has gone back up to 8.0. Any help would be appreciated because I'm very new to this and I'm just not sure what to do next.
     
  2. Deanasue

    Deanasue Moderator
    Staff Member Moderator Global Moderator Tank of the Month Winner!

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2018
    Messages:
    2,387
    Likes Received:
    332
    Location:
    USA
    Hi! If the tap has .25 ammonia in it and some nitrite then you may never get it to 0. Are you sure you have the nitrite in tap? My city uses chloramine instead of chlorine in the tap and my ammonia reading is always .25 with the Master test kit. However, with a total free ammonia test kit I have no ammonia which indicates I really have ammonium instead of ammonia. Ammonium is safe to fish. You may have the same thing going on. Just need to let the nitrates climb a little and eat the nitrites up. I would suggest no water changes for a week and see what happens. You may need to add a couple of pellets of food again. Keep us posted. Good luck!
     
  3. kw96

    kw96 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2019
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thanks for the reply! I don't have nitrite in my tap water, but I do have nitrate. I'm not exactly sure what's in the water because it's from a well and not the city so it's just like spring water. So even if my ammonia reading is still 0.25, but I get the nitrites down to 0 I'll be ready to put a fish in?
     
  4. Deanasue

    Deanasue Moderator
    Staff Member Moderator Global Moderator Tank of the Month Winner!

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2018
    Messages:
    2,387
    Likes Received:
    332
    Location:
    USA
    If you’re using well water then you should have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and some nitrates. Are you sure the ammonia is still registering? Can you get a free ammonia test kit to see if it truly is ammonia?
     
  5. Deanasue

    Deanasue Moderator
    Staff Member Moderator Global Moderator Tank of the Month Winner!

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2018
    Messages:
    2,387
    Likes Received:
    332
    Location:
    USA
    Are you using a dechlorinator each time you do a water change or does your well even have chlorine? Chlorine will kill your beneficial bacteria. I think you are very close. Can you get a bottle of Tetra Safe Start + and pour it in your filter and water? It will help speed up the process as it is bottled bacteria. It does work! Only thing is you will have to use another dechlorinator for the first 24 hours as Prime will destroy the Safe Start. After that you can use Prime again. Let that build in your tank for several days with no water change unless ammonia and nitrite get way high. See if that finishes the cycle off for you. What do you plan on putting in a 3.5 tank? The only thing you can put in a small tank like that is a betta or a snail. Good luck. Please keep us posted.
     
  6. kw96

    kw96 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2019
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    1

    I can check my tap water again this weekend and see if it's still showing ammonia. Do you have a free ammonia test kit you would recommend? Yes, I use Prime every time I do a water change. I fill up a gallon jug, put Prime in it, and let it sit overnight and do the water change the next day. I'm not sure my well has chlorine, but I was told that it does not. Everything I've read has just said to use Prime for tap water so that's what I've been doing. I plan on getting a betta to put in there once it's ready. Thanks again for all of your help! This is all a bit confusing to me since it's my first time doing this.
     
    • Like Like x 1

Share This Page