So I've been trying to do a fishless cycle in my 5 gallon tank for 2 weeks now using raw shrimp. There's 3 medium size shrimp in there total. I've added nothing else to the water. My problem is that for the entire two weeks my ammonia level hasn't even hit 1ppm until JUST TODAY. I HAVE been doing partial (50%) water changes 2x a week, and smaller 25% ones every other day. I have not replaced any of the shrimp.
The tank IS filtered, and has two small java ferns in there (should I have taken those out?). I have the heater plugged in, and the water temp is at a stable 82 degrees. I have tested for both nitrites and nitrates and both of those tests keep coming back negative.
Since its taken this long to see any sort of progress at all, I'm contemplating doing at least a 90% water change and just trying to start over using a different method (the water's starting to look like toxic sludge, anyway, no matter how many water changes I do). If I did, I'd switch to just adding pure ammonia every day to reach the 2ppm mark. Is this a good idea?
I know cycling is supposed to take forever, but I still want it to cycle EVENTUALLY so I can get my betta out of his tiny little 3/4 gallon bowl. Any advice is greatly appreciated as I've never had to cycle a tank before.
Then should I just remove the shrimp now, and stick to pure ammonia?
Also, forgive my typo earlier I meant to say that I have one Java fern, one mystery plant (forget what its actually called), and a marimo (forgot about the marimo entirely).
And no I don't have pics but I can within the hour. If it helps now, I can tell you that its yellow, has a white-ish film at the top, and what I'm guessing is a white fuzzy water mold growing off of the shrimp (probably what's causing the clouding in the first place).
Oooh, you're having the same problem I am. Except I got ammonia after 2 days and a whole can of fish food. Does your tank stink? And I'm talking a stink that will just about knock you over. I'm considering dumping everything out and starting fresh with the FISH-IN method. There is a sticky for this at the top of the page by OFL. It seems easy and clean enough, but you HAVE to do the water changes. I was doing them anyway, so why not.
No, its weird, it barely smells at all. And that's considering there's three rotten shrimp in there!
I'd love to do a fish in cycle, but since my fish has fin rot and its easier to do large scale daily water changes in a smaller bowl anyway, I don't think that can happen. My hope was that by now it would be well into the cycle so that I could plop him in the new tank by the time his treatment's over, but it doesn't look like that will happen.
I have noticed that in the summer here my tanks get a weird film on top of the water if I don't have filters in the tanks to disturb the surface of the water. My tanks also tend to run between 80 and 83 degrees F in the summer without any heaters plugged in. I haven't had my tank water get that particular color before but this summer I have had a ton of problems with algae growing in my tanks, I think its because we have had a record breaking HOT summer so my tanks have been warmer then normal.