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Old 10-20-2012, 01:20 PM   #1 
Sowman
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Cycling Issue- Ammonia not reducing

Hello All,
So I've been trying to cycle my 5 gallon planed tank for almost 2 months now. I just cant seem to get the ammonia down. The ammonia has been high for almost the entire time. The tank has several plants with a DIY co2 system. I'm doing a fishless cycle and I am having no luck at all. What am I doing wrong?
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Old 10-20-2012, 01:46 PM   #2 
Onlyonagoodday
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hmm, the cycle may be stalled. You could try a water change. About 30-40%
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Old 10-20-2012, 02:01 PM   #3 
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What kind of testing products are you using.

What is the source water.

What are all the numbers for-ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH.... For the tank and source water-with and without additives.

How many and what species of plants and how are they doing.

Are you adding anything for the ammonia source or are you using the plants as the organic. Are you using any ferts other than injecting CO2. Type of filter used and filter media care. What is the finial stocking plan.
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Old 10-20-2012, 04:56 PM   #4 
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Hello,
I'm using the API liquid Test Kit. Ammonia is at 2 ppm, Nitrite and Nitrate are both at 0ppm (have been for a long time) and PH is a bit low at 6.4.

Source of water is the tap and I only put water conditioner. Substrate is sand and florite.

I dont know about the species of plants but I'll post a picture shortly.

I am not adding anything to the tank regarding the ammonia. For the filter I have a small hanging filter but I'm not sure it's doing anything so I just added an Aquatech Power Filter for 5G (it came with the tank and the filter has carbon). I am adding liquid fertilizer that contains the nutrients needed for the plants (only a little bit every few days).

Final stocking plan is one betta that I already have.
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Old 10-20-2012, 04:59 PM   #5 
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Here is the pic of the tank with the plants. All plants are doing well expect for the dwarf hairgrass. It was doing great until just a few days ago. I think some of the larger plants are blocking the light.
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Old 10-20-2012, 05:06 PM   #6 
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This is strange, I just tested the water right from the tap and the ammonia is between 1.0 and .50 PPM. Usually its 0
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Old 10-20-2012, 05:08 PM   #7 
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Have you tested your source water? Low Ph can cause cycling problems & 6.4 is on the low side. What was your beginning ammonia, did it start at 2 or was it higher? Have you done any water changes? You might want to because typically tap water has a higher Ph & the low Ph could be part of if not the problem IMO.
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Old 10-20-2012, 05:15 PM   #8 
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Yeah, I just tested the source water and the ammonia is a bit high. I have 5 other fish tanks and non of them have this issue. This is the first thank I'm cycling with CO2 and I know CO2 brings down PH.

I'm thinking that I should do a 90% water change and use the water from an existing tank. I'm also thinking of removing the CO2 for now. What do you guys think?
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Old 10-20-2012, 05:24 PM   #9 
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I'd give it a try & see what happens. I don't use CO2 injection so I've got no experience with that, I use the Flourish & Flourish Excel with water changes.
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Old 10-21-2012, 10:29 AM   #10 
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Ammonia in the source water and the low pH can both be a challenge in cycling the tank.

What kind of dechlorinator-does it also cover ammonia-if so, you might be seeing ammonium and not ammonia-as well as the ferts can cause false positives. The beneficial bacteria can't grow in low pH.

I would remove the CO2 and top off the tank with higher pH dechlorinated water to get the pH up some and add an ammonia source to get that increased to at least 3-4ppm for the fishless cycle. Don't touch the filter media unless the water flow is impeded-then only a rinse in old tank water or dechlorinted water.

Since your finial stocking plan is a single Betta...I would get Prime and fish-in cycle with the Betta. And since you have other cycled tanks-swap out filter media with one of the cycled tanks and place it in this tanks filter box to seed it.

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 10-21-2012 at 10:31 AM.
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