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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've posted a few times about how my beautiful wife destroyed my biological filter with a "surprise cleaning" while I was out of town.

Long story short, all my filter media was replaced with new media and a super thorough vacuuming killed my beneficial bacteria.

Issue is that it has been 5 weeks now, and I still have ammonia levels of about 2.0. My nitrites are 0 and my nitrates are now at 30. I'm guessing my nitrite bacteria suffered the most from the mega cleaning which is why I still have ammonia but no nitrites. Any nitrites are immediately converted by the nitrates but not enough nitrites to convert all the ammonia.

Is there something that I may be overlooking? I'm doing 20% water changes every other day and adding prime in with the new water. My ammonia levels have come down dramatically (they were as high as 8.0) but they have leveled off at 2.0 the last 2 weeks. Do I just need to be patient or does 5 weeks seem like a really long time to still be waiting for my tank to recycle? I'm starting to worry that maybe there is waste under my stacks of rocks and driftwood that will cause my tank to always have some level of ammonia. Do I need to take out all my rocks and vacuum under them? I really hope not!!

I should point out that my tap water reads ammonia levels of about .75 due to chloramines.
 

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Since you are really starting over since all of your bactera has been cleaned out, you are in the process of cycling again but with fish already in your tank. Im not sure how big some of your fish are but Im assuming your fish is adding to your ammonia level.

And doing 20% water changes every other day to get the ammonia level down so it doesnt kill your fish. Isnt also helping the bacteria to grow since they do need that ammonia.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So that brings up another question. Should I do water changes every other day to keep the ammonia level down or should I let the aquarium go for a week without changes so that the beneficial bacteria will have plenty of ammonia to feast on?

Brotha still in need!?!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I could still use a little assurance here folks.

Do I keep on changing water every couple days until ammonia hits 0?

Or do I let it go for a week or so without changes to ensure nitrifying bacteria have ample ammonia to feed on?

Is 5 weeks a long time for a tank to recycle? It is fully stocked so I'm guessing that is not helping speed things up.
 

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My first tank took at least a month to cycle. So I wouldn't worry about 5 weeks.

I could be wrong but maybe do the water changes every 3rd day as long as the levels dont get high enough to kill your fish. That should allow the bacteria to grow.

Knowing your exact current fish and sizes would help so we could know how much they are producing. If it is overstocked I would do it at least every other day till it is cycled but if it is understocked I wouldn't.

Hope that helps, I'm not a pro.
 
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