Cichlid Fish Forum banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
627 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in the process of a fishless cycle on a 10 gallon tank, no substrate... only a sponge filter, heater, and nothing else. We're about 2 months in, and the ammonia will NOT go down. I've done fishless cycles previously, including my 75, and none have taken this long. Am I missing something?

 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,606 Posts
Probably the most common cause is the natural human belief in "More is better." Although some microbes make their living converting ammonia into less toxic nitrite or nitrite into nitrate, they can still be poisoned by too high a level of ammonia. They are not immune. Reduce what you are adding and do partial water changes to keep the ammonia and nitrite at safe levels where the microbes can grow and reproduce. Don't count on rotting organics like fish food or dead fish to provide ammonia. It will first support fungus, mold, and unwanted types of bacteria. The cycle bacteria we want, need an attachment point and if these other life forms take over first, the cycle bacteria are homeless.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,606 Posts
I would add I have several ten gallon tanks with Mattenfilters. And some with sponge filters. The Mattenfilters have a larger surface area and are out of the way more. Plus if needed, you can move them from one end to the middle and use them as a tank divider.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
424 Posts
I just did a 10 gallon but seeded from my 55, ammonia never went all the way down to 0. I put fish in at .25-.50 it's fine now though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
627 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
When I started the process, it was only at around 2ppm (maybe a little more, but definitely no more than 4ppm)... Its been steady there ever since. I'm in no rush for it, so I'll try to bring down the ammonia with some water changes.

Mattenfilters... never heard of those. Looked it up, seems interesting. I'm going to start toying with them.

Thank you.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,606 Posts
Depending on what cichlids you are planning to keep there are a number of plants that you can add. They not only remove nitrogen fish waste from the water and add oxygen, they also provide additional surface area for the nitrification (cycle) bacteria. If it's a soft water tank, pick low light soft water tolerant plant like cryptocorynes. Some plant and algae eating cichlids don't eat plants like Vallisneria, Java fern, Bolibitis fern, and the aquatic mosses. Shell dweller cichlids prefer sand in the tank which provides surface area for more cycle bacteria - no matter how much the cichlids move it around.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
627 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Its really not for a permanent tank. Its more of a "on-hand" hospital, quarantine, or "time-out" tank. I think maybe the sponge filter alone is low on the surface-area. But, again, no rush... just wondering why it would take so long on a small 10-gallon tank.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,606 Posts
A ten gallon tank is unstable because of its size. It is better to put the filter in an established tank and move it to the ten when needed.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top