View Full Version : Really Need Help Cycling

09/26/2017, 08:24 PM
Hi guys, new to these forums. I have a 29 Biocube and I'm in the process of fishless cycling and I'm having a bit of trouble. yesterday I had Ammonia- 0ppm, Nitrite- 0ppm and Nitrate- 80ppm. I thought my tank was for sure done cycling. So I added around 3 ppm of Ammonia to do a 12 hour final test to see if it would have all turned to Nitrate and finally finished cycling. When I checked 12 hours later, Ammonia was at around 2ppm and Nitrite was through the roof at around 5ppm (maybe even more). Some people say to wait 24 hours, so I waited an extra 12 hours and I just tested about an hour ago. I had Ammonia at 0ppm but my Nitrite was exactly the same. Is my tank stalled? Did I add too much Ammonia for the final test? What do I do now?

09/27/2017, 12:06 AM
Stop adding ammonia. No need to test that. As long as you are consistently testing 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite over a few days, it's safe to say the cycle is done. Add a cleanup crew at that point and wait on the fish and corals for another week or two if you are still worried. This might be a case of paying too much attention :)

What did you use for the initial ammonia source?

09/27/2017, 04:40 AM
You added too much ammonia..
Never dose it to more than 2ppm and usually 1ppm is plenty to cycle a tank..

You just need to do larger water changes now to get those sky high nitrates down..

Tank is likely cycled though.. Just don't add more ammonia..

Once you have done enough water changes to get nitrates down below 10 then you are good to go

09/27/2017, 04:50 AM
Ask yourself this: What does it mean to be done cycling? Why do we cycle a tank? Try to answer in biological terms, not just repeating desired test kit readings.

Cycling is the process of growing bacteria. We cycle to establish a bacterial colony large enough to process waste from some desired initial livestock load. We know the cycling is done when there is enough bacteria to process that waste.

Most people start a new tank with a small fish load. Per the others' comments, you don't need much ammonia to grow enough bacteria for one or two fish.

You COULD keep adding ammonia. What you'd be doing then is growing more bacteria than you need. This isn't inherently bad, unless it got way out of hand, but it's also not required, and a waste of time and effort. As you're experiencing, it also produces nitrate as a (more or less) final waste product, which can mean if you over-cycle you end up with nitrate readings too high.

So yes, you're basically done, except now your nitrate is too high, so take care of that and move on with livestock.

09/27/2017, 07:50 AM
Guys, he isn't posting nitrate levels, he posted nitrite levels. Until the nitrite drops to zero the cycle isn't done. I absolutely agree that you should stop dosing ammonia, but nitrite can be fatal to your clean up crew so do not add yours until it also drops to zero. Cycles will slow down considerably if the nitrites are over 8ppm. If you suspect that the nitrites are over 8 ppm I would make a 50% water change. Either way wait until your nitrites drop to zero. There is no need to add ammonia one more time to double check the cycle, if the nitrite zeros out the cycle is complete.

09/27/2017, 08:02 AM
Guys, he isn't posting nitrate levels, he posted nitrite levels.

I'm aware.. By the time he is done getting "nitrate" to a reasonable level the tank will be cycled as the nitrites should be gone by then

09/27/2017, 08:33 AM
I'd made the same assumption, and I was trying to address the question of cycling itself versus the state of the nutrients at a specific point in time. The cycle is done, the bacteria exist. They happen to currently be working on the nutrients in the system, but there is no need to grow more prior to adding fish. Yes though, you do need to get nutrients under control and I'd made the same assumption mcgyvr did. The nitrite will take care of itself as you deal with nitrate, which will just continue to climb if you do nothing.

I can see how that wasn't all obvious in my post above, that's what I get for typing so much on a phone.