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Help with cycling tank with Prime and Stability

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  • Help with cycling tank with Prime and Stability

    Hi there,

    I'm cycling my very first tank with fish in. It's a 10 gallon tank and about 2 weeks old with plants. I've been using Prime and followed the Stability protocol (for 7 days). I test my tank with API test tubes every day due to my current tank conditions. For the last 4-5 days, my numbers have been at Ammonia: between 1.0 to 2.0 ppm; nitrite: 0.0, maybe 0.25 ppm if I'm lucky; nitrate: 10 ppm. My water has about .5ppm of ammonia and about 2-5 of nitrates (I think). My last water change was on Sunday. Every time a water change is down, my nitrites go right back to 0.

    I have been using prime every 48 hours based on the ammonia level. I dosed a double dose yesterday since my ammonia was at 2.0 ppm. I don't know what to do. Is there anything else I can do to help the nitrites along? I have had no nitrite spike. Nothing seems to bring the ammonia down and I feel like the nitrite can't get established because of my high nitrate.

    Does stability add bacteria that creates nitrates? would redosing with stability help to move the cycle along?

    Thank you!

  • #2
    Hello Christina, thanks for the post! It is okay to have nitrates with little nitrite. Considering there is an unknown amount of ammonia and nitrate in your source water if I'm understanding correctly, it is likely adding to the nitrate which is also produced in the cycle. Stability will not add nitrate, it contains beneficial bacteria that consumes nitrate so they can be converted to nitrogen and gas off. Nitrite should decrease after you do a water change, so I don't see an issue with that. I would say be patient and keep testing and add Prime every other day according to the ammonia reading so your fish are protected.


    • #3
      So then why is my ammonia rising? I can't seem to get that nitrite spike that indicates the next level of the cycle.
      So should I be dosing with stability as well to try to bring down the nitrates.
      My ammonia this morning was at 10 ppm. It feels like the cycle is stuck.


      • #4
        10 ppm is a really high number for ammonia. I suggest be patient, up until you informed us that the ammonia is 10 ppm. The API ammonia test only measures up to 8 ppm. It seems like the tank has an ammonia spike, if the reading is correct. Right at this junction, I would say do a water change(with dechlorinated water) and add Prime. What kind of bio media do you have in your filter? Adding some Matrix to provide the bacteria to colonize will help also!


        • #5
          I apologize. My nitrates are 10. My ammonia is 2 ppm. Sorry! It's been tricky keeping everything straight


          • #6
            Here's an update,
            I think my tank is nearly done. Looks like ammonia is steady at about .5 ppm, nitrites at 0, and nitrates at 5-10 ppm. Unfortunately I have ammonia in the water so I expect this. Thanks for the help despite my confusing posts!


            • #7
              Hi there Chi1013! I'm glad to hear your cycle is nearly complete! Please let us know if we can assist you in the future :)