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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 10 and 20 gallon tanks have been cycling for a little over a week now and nothing has happened. I put the ammonia up to 4ppm on the 10 gallon and 3ppm in the 20 gallon. I then added some tetra safestart to get the cycle going.
A week later I tested both tanks and there were no nitrites. I have read the cycling stickies and there should be some nitrites by now. I tested the ammonia in my 20 gallon and now it's gone down to 0.5 but since there's no nitrites or nitrates, it must have just evaporated or something. I will add more ammonia, but what am I doing wrong in my cycle?
My 10 gallon heater is currently in use, so both of my tanks are in the low 70s to high 60s. I can turn on my 20 gallon heater if that will help, but I'm using the heater for my 10 gallon for my betta in his temporary 5 gallon. Is there anything I can do to help my cycle?
 

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Usually cycles can take up to 6-8 weeks to fully stabilize and mature, your phase right here is completely normal. Every cycling experience is different, so you can only base it off your experience.
Just keep on adding ammonia to 4ppm once it's near the 1ppm mark. Just wait a while, and then your nitrites will show up sooner or later. I don't think evaporation can cause a huge nitrite downfall, either. Bacteria LOVE warm places, they also like a lot of O2, (oxygen) a filter on high, and dark places.

Good luck, a very experienced cyclist called Hallyx is here, that member can really solve your problem. :) (Is cyclist even a word in terms of tank cycling? Lol)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I will use a heater for my 20 gallon and see if that helps. How long is it considered normal to wait before nitrites show up? When should I start to really worry about my cycle?
 

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Hm... My 20 is currently cycling but I'm in the nitrates phase..
I think after the 2 week mark you should start worrying. My nitrites appeared around 1 1/2 to 2 weeks after a few doses. Remember to not let the ammonia go over 6ppm. May I ask, what's your pH?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My ph is 7.6 so kind of high. I have a few live plants in my tanks so that could be what lowered the ammonia in the 20 gallon. Are you doing a fish less cycle?
 

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You need to keep feeding the bacteria. You want to test daily and keep adding drops. You can't just add ammonia once and let it go. It's also too cold. You need to add a heater and bump it up to 80. Adding an airstone will also help. Here is a good guide on it. http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=47838 Even with the SafeStart it will probably take at least 3 weeks to fully establish. It could take as long as 6.
 

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Leopard is feeding the BB. (;
Do you have any fast growing plants? Duckweed, any floaters really? Those type of plants usually suck up a lot of ammonia. And yes, I'm doing a fishless.
 

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What I mean is he needs to keep the ammonia up at 4ppm until you see the nitrite spike, then you can cut your feeding in half until you see nitrates then do the water change and you're good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I added more ammonia and put a heater on the 20 gallon so that should help. There's nothing I can do to heat the 10 gallon though since my heater is in my betta's 5 gallon. I'll wait another week and see if there's any nitrites.
 

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Good advice from the others. I will add that if you use a bacteria booster the nitrites may not show. I used stability in my 46g & I showed nitrites once & only once. I have read others say they never saw nitrites. Only test your water every 24 hrs & only dose ammonia every 24 hrs. It's only been a week so don't stress over it & IMO your Ph is perfect at 7.6 but keep checking it because if it drops too low, low-mid 6's, it can stall your cycle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'll get a better nitrate/nitrite kit since I only have the general strings and start daily tests on my water. Do nitrites just show up 1 day or is it gradual?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I added 1/8 tsp of 10% ammonia to my 20 gallon since it had sunk down to 0.5ppm. Today I tested it and it was close to 0. There were 0 nitrites when I tested a few days ago, so what happened to the ammonia? I only have 3 tiny plants so I don't think they got rid of the ammonia that quickly. Do you think my kit is broken?
 

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That's good its processing ammonia that well. As for nitrites, I can't explain that other than as I stated previously I have heard of people never seeing nitrites especially when using a bacteria booster. I wouldn't worry too much about it. The main thing is the ammonia zeroing out in 24 hrs. If it does that & you still have zero nitrites for a week or so I'd say you're cycled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I put more ammonia in and I will test what happens tomorrow. Maybe the tank really is starting to cycle. Also, are general API test strips a reliable way to test for nitrites? Should I get a test kit instead?
 

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A liquid test kit is more expensive up front but you'll get 100's of tests out of it so in the long run it saves you money. I bought mine in July & the only test I've recently replaced is the nitrates test. I was cycling 2 tanks at once & doing daily testing. The strips are less accurate & there are only 30 strips. The kit is cheaper if you get it online.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Does the kit test for nitrates and nitrites or are they separate kits?
 

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If you purchase the API Master Freshwater test kit it'll have ammonia, nitrite, nitrate & Ph liquid tests plus the test tubes. Everything you need for testing your water. Amazon has them for around $19 if I remember correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks, I'll probably get it this weekend. Also, what should I do if my 10 gallon still hasn't started cycling after 2 weeks?
 

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Good advice from Shellie, Lebron and Callistra.

Cycling two tanks at once is inefficient. You can cycle both filters in the 20g. That way you can run the ammonia up to ~4.0ppm, heat ~82*, lot's of filter flow and aeration. When that tankl is cycled, the extra filter will be cycled. Put it in your 10g and the tank will be effectively cycled. Get it?

Nitrite is funny. Sometimes you don't read any; sometimes you can't get rid of it. Monitoring your nitrate will give you a view into the progress of your cycle.

Use this: Amazon.com: API Freshwater Master Test Kit: Pet Supplies
Sorry, the price just went up, but it's still a deal. (Put a pebble in the #2 nitrate bottle for better mixing.)

If you're' getting ammonia reduction after only a week, you're doing really well. It's not uncommon for it to take several weeks even with Safestart or equivalent. The few plants you have will make no difference.

Keep your nitrite (when you get it) <5.0 and your nitrite <40ppm to keep from stalling. When you get high nitrite, do a 50% wc and cut your ammonia dose in half.

When your system (tank/filter) can reduce ammonia from 2.0ppm to 0.0ppm in a day or so, two times in a row, you're cycled. (That's when you install the other cycled filter in the other tank.) Do a large water change to cut nitrite and add stock. Perform weekly 30% to 50% pwc’s from then on. Monitor closely for the first couple of months.
 
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