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Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum)>Fishless Cycle... stalling?
SydneyAmalia 01:13 12th December 2017
I have a 10 gallon tank that I started a fishless cycle in about three weeks ago. I have all of the tests that I need, have been using frozen bloodworms as an ammonia source, and feel like I've read everything I could but I think my cycle has stalled.. I haven't been adding any ammonia source but the ammonia levels continue to rise every day. Right now they're at about a 2 (which I know isn't too high). Nitrites are at 0 and nitrates have been at 5. One theory I have is that about a week ago I thought the ammonia levels were getting too high ( they looked like a 4)so I did a partial water change and used water that hadn't been dechlorinated because my logic said that the axolotl wasn't in there yet so what would it hurt? I recently read that the chlorine in he water could possibly kill the bacteria so I wonder if they're all dead now. If so what do I need to do next?

Also I have an axolotl that I have been moving between two Tupperware containers so that it's not affected by ammonia too bad. I'm really worried this isn't going to be good for him in the long run and I expected him to have a fully cycled tank by now. So if any of you have done this and have any advice on what I should do to make sure he stays healthy please let me know!

Eternie 12:06 12th December 2017
What type of water are you using?

SydneyAmalia 15:45 12th December 2017
Tap water

Eternie 17:10 12th December 2017
That's why. Especially for an Axolotl tap water is bad. If you have a Kroger in your area, I suggest you buy their Kroger Drinking Water, and do a 50% water change every other day and continue adding in the ammonia, and keep doing so until your ammonia evens out again. Their is another product that you put in your filter that will also lower ammonia, I will get you the name when I am home

Eternie 20:22 12th December 2017
Okay, so assuming you have a Fluval/AquaClear filter,or at least a filter that hangs off of the back of your Tank, you can get a t hings called Zeolite in the fish section of a pet store, and get the little filter bags that you put your biomax noodles in. Then fill the bag up with the Zeolite to about the size of your Carbon pack thing. Then wash it off with cold tap water until there is no more powdery stuff coming from it. Then place it ontop of your biomax
noodles. And replace it every 3 days to a week, and it should help eliminate your ammonia. You can keep it up until your ammonia stabilizes itself. Or however you would call that process.

SydneyAmalia 00:20 13th December 2017
Thanks! Luckily I live right by a Kroger so I will have to try that water. I finally tested the tap water at home and sure enough it has .5 ammonia so I guess that explains it.

Eternie 02:39 13th December 2017
Definitely, haha. Glad I could help :) I would love to hear updates on your Axie in the future! :)

Biev 20:12 23rd December 2017
A couple things:

Your theory is correct, you killed the bacteria by not dechlorinating the water. You do not need to buy a product to lower ammonia during cycling. If the ammonia level approaches 4 ppm, just do a 50% water change with dechlorinated water.

For a successful cycle, make sure your bacteria have a surface to inhabit inside your filter (bio media or poret foam).

Bloodworms are a needlessly expensive way to provide ammonia for the cycle imho. Most hardware stores sell pure ammonia for very cheap (sold with the cleaning agents).

There’s nothing wrong with using tap water for your lotl as long as you use a water conditioner (e.g. Prime) to neutralize the chlorine and chloramine. If your city doesn’t use chloramine, you can also allow 24h for the chlorine to evaporate before using.

Axolotls need hard water, which is what most people get out of the tap. If your water is soft, you can either buy water as suggested above, which will get quite expensive after a while, or you can buy a remineralizing product (e.g. SaltyShrimp GH/KH+) to add to your tap water.

Tags:aquariumadvice, cycling, fishless cycle, tank advice
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