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Cycling Please Help?

Hello Everyone

I have 150 litre tank, T8 30 w lighting which i have on for 6 hrs a day and air pump on after lights go out for about 8 hrs a day.
I have 200w heater set at 25c and canister filter.
I do not have CO2 injection and want to keep to what I have.
Have Fluval Plant and Shrimp Stratum Aquasoil.
Have shell grit in canister filter to raise kh.

I have 6 Red Eyed Tetra, 1 tiny Brislenose Catfish.
Added 6 Tiger Barb last Week
End of 9th week and still cycling.

Thursday- added 6 Tiger Barb Ammonia 0.0, ph 7.6
Friday- Ammonia 0.25, ph 7.6
Saturday- Ammonia 0.5, ph 7.6, so did 50% water change, after Ammonia 0.25, ph 7.6.
Sunday- Ammonia .4, ph 7.6
Monday- Ammonia 0.75, ph 7.6, so did 60% water change,after Ammonia .3 ph 7,6
Tuesday- Ammonia .5 ph 7.6
Wednesday- Ammonia 1.0 ph 7.6, so did 75% water change, after Ammonia 0.20, ph 7.6


Please help ?

Thanks T2


  • TyranttwoTyranttwo Member Posts: 15
    Thursday Ammonia 0.4
    so will start using Ammo Lock tomorrow
    sick of doing water changes
  • TallTree01TallTree01 Member Posts: 580
    To do a fish in cycle with minimal loss of life you really will need to do water changes I'm afraid.
  • TyranttwoTyranttwo Member Posts: 15

    To do a fish in cycle with minimal loss of life you really will need to do water changes I'm afraid.

    won't that affect generating good bacteria?
    doing water changes every second day will that affect bacteria generation?

  • TallTree01TallTree01 Member Posts: 580
    Gradually with time you will find the ammonia will fall to zero. Then you can ease off on the water changes as the filter is able to keep up with the ammonia at that point. Doing water changes won't harm the filter as long as you don't completely remove all ammonia for more than a few days as then the bacteria will starve as you correctly identified. :)
  • TallTree01TallTree01 Member Posts: 580
    So long as ammoni stays below 0.5 you won't have too much trouble except at high pH.
  • TyranttwoTyranttwo Member Posts: 15
    That's the problem ammonia gets over .5
    Ammonia at .5 today ph 7.6 and steady
    tomorrow will do water change 75% then it will start over
    every 2 days will have to do water change
  • TyranttwoTyranttwo Member Posts: 15
    will persevere
  • MoooMooo Moderator Posts: 7,653
    Too many fish ?
    photo mooo_avat.gif "I'm a Doug Addict" photo cow2heartkisses.gif
  • TyranttwoTyranttwo Member Posts: 15
    I have 6 tiger barb in tank and 1 small bristlenose catfish. Just removed 6 red eyed tetra into hospital tank to reduce daily water changes to main tank. Haven't done water change in main tank for 2 days, but still reading .25 ammonia Ph 7.6. It's been 11 weeks and still not cycled.
  • TyranttwoTyranttwo Member Posts: 15
    Tried API Quick start, but nothing happened.
  • BobBob Member, Classifieds Posts: 708
    Hi TT,

    Sorry to hear you are having problems.

    Have you had any results when checking for nitrIte? If you have had nothing for nitrIte then it is likely you are not "cycling". I would recommend that you keep up water changes but you must prep your water before adding it to the tank. By prepping I mean that you need to run at least an air stone in the water to remove chlorine and other chemicals from the water you are adding as this will kill of the start colonies of bacteria.

    The water you are adding should ideally be the same as the water in the tank from a chemical, ph and temperature perspective.

    Remember that both ammonia and nitrIte are toxic so when you do start getting nitrIte readings as well as ammonia you will need to continue you water change regime.

    Once you have nitrAtes you should find that your ammonia and nitrIte levels should fall off to zero. Once cycled try to keep your nitrAtes less than 20.


  • TyranttwoTyranttwo Member Posts: 15
    edited December 2015
    thanks bob

    I am getting nitrite and nitrate readings but still get ammonia at least .25
    this has been going on for a few weeks, but still not cycled
    have been doing water changes, every day for last week ammonia above .25 so removed 6 red eyed tetra to hospital tank and that seems to have stopped ammonia reading of over .25
    for more than 2 days, hopefully that will be enough to keep fish happy and start cycling without too many water changes.
    hospital tank not cycled so have to do 75% water changes daily in hospital tank, also got a sick red eyed tetra, so treating in hospital tank as well.
    main tank ammonia .25 nitrite .15 nitrate 10 to 20 ph 7.6 gh 6 kh 3

  • BobBob Member, Classifieds Posts: 708
    Hi TT,

    It is good that you are getting nitrite and nitrate readings on top of your ammonia. This indicates that you are developing colonies of both nitrosamonas and nitrobacter which break down ammonia and nitrite respectively.

    I would keep up the water changes to control ammonia and nitrite levels but make sure your water is properly prepped prior to your change.

    Failur to do this will mean you are taking two steps forward but one step back on the water change.

    Good luck,

  • TyranttwoTyranttwo Member Posts: 15
    Did check this morning, ammonia 0.0, Ph 7.6, nitrite 0, nitrate 30, Gh 6, Kh 2.
    Leaving water change until i check tomorrow to see if any changes.

    Thanks Bob

    T2 out
  • TyranttwoTyranttwo Member Posts: 15
    Third day with ammonia 0.0 did 60% water change yesterday because nitrates were 40 to 60, today 10 to 20 nitrates, everything else at minimum.
    Added 5 of the red eyed tetra from hospital tank to main tank.
    Left 1 sick red eyed tetra in hospital tank.

    My main tank seems to have settled since I separated red eyed tetra from main tank last few days, now that main tank has settled I put red eyed tetra back in.
    Hopefully I wont have many problems this time.

    Thanks everyone for your help.
  • BobBob Member, Classifieds Posts: 708
    Good work Tyranttwo,

    Just keep an eye on both the ammonia and nitrite levels over the next few weeks. If you are cleaning your filter medium only rinse it with the aquarium water you take out. Ensure that your replacement water is properly prepped and you should have no further problems.

    What was the health problem with your Red-eye, do you know?


  • TyranttwoTyranttwo Member Posts: 15
    I think the symptoms resemble Trichodina , I gave the fish a salt bath for 30 mins and put 1 1/2 teaspoons aquarium salt in hospital tank.
    I will give the fish a salt bath for 30 mins every day.

    I am using ice cream bucket to give salt bath, how much aquarium salt do you think I should use for salt bath ???

    thanks Bob.
  • BobBob Member, Classifieds Posts: 708
    Hi TT,

    I don't know much about Trichodina and have never experienced it. What I have seen recommended salt at 1.5 - 3.0 ppt but no information on duration of bath.

    Don't know the size of your ice-cream container so can't tell you how much to add.

    See here,

    For further information.


  • TyranttwoTyranttwo Member Posts: 15
    Added 5 red eyed tetra to main tank yesterday and ammonia 0.0

    Using 6 teaspoons of aquarium salt in salt bath to fix sick fish.
    Doing 3 baths a day, this is my second day, but first day with 3 baths, 30 min each bath.
    It does affect fish but only a little bit, hopefully this cures fish.

    Thanks for the info Bob.

    T2 out.

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