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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is it common for the ammonia cycle to start, stop, and then start up again? When I started I was adding ammonia daily as the ammonia levels would decrease every 24 hours (but not to zero). But the past few days it has not been dropping. Is this normal, or is the cycle broken. I am in week 5-6 and this is the second time this happened. The first time it stopped I did a water change because nitrites were off the charts and it started again a few days after the w.c. Not sure if I should just wait it out or do a water change again?
 

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Do a water change if your nitrites are off the chart. Test the next day and see were your levels are at for ammonia and nitrite. You cant really stop a cycle if your adding the ammonia everyday. But if the ammonia didnt drop then dont add anymore ammonia until it does.
 

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You might want to add some filter media and/or substrate from an established tank to jump-start the process. This works well in my experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
tonyh67 said:
You might want to add some filter media and/or substrate from an established tank to jump-start the process. This works well in my experience.
Yea I did that. I think it helped the ammonia to start dropping right away, but thats irrelevant now.

I think the problem is that I am bad at reading the colors on the API cards. I have a feeling I was thinking the levels were a lot lower than they really were and therefore I was adding ammonia when I shouldn't have. I probably pushed the ammonia levels too high. I left it for a few days and it finally started dropping again.

It sounds stupid but I really have the hardest time matching the solution to the color card. Maybe its like some kind of color blindness? Now I just have someone else read it for me. It amazes me how fast everyone else reads it. I have to analyze it in 5 different lights, and even then I still can't tell. I am also letting it drop lower before I add ammonia to avoid the same problem again. I am going for between 2-4ppm, and I let it drop to 1ppm before I add ammonia - since 0ppm and 1ppm are the only colors I can easily distinguish.

The good thing is my nitrates are rising so I am pretty sure the media from the established tank got my nitrite to nitrate cycle going, now I just need to wait for the ammonia to nitrite cycle to finish.
 

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you may have added too much ammonia daily. do you know how much PPM of ammonia was added daily?

shouldnt be more than 4ppm
i also did have a 2nd cycle of nitrite to nitrate. i think it does happen. go to LFS and ask if u can borrow their sponge filter. that helped a lot for me.
 
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