Question: Ammonia/Nitrogen Cycle

Fireguy

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Hey everyone. This is my first post here. So I have my new aquarium all set up and I bought Dr Timm's ammonia drops to add to my 20 gallon aquarium. It says to add 4 drops per gallon (so 80) to get 2ppm. I'm afraid that it didn't quite work out that way and my tests are registering 4ppm instead. On other forums people have said that it should be fine and the bacteria should be able to start the cycle no problem. I'm also using jumpstart beneficial bacteria. I'm currently on day 5 or 6 of the cycle but my ammonia levels haven't changed. Should I keep waiting or do a water change? Is it too early to tell if I messed up?:eek:
 

Tye

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Cycling can takes weeks, even months. You're only a few days in, I wouldn't panic yet.
If you have someone with an established tank you can ask to borrow some of the filter media or a few decorations to try to introduce more beneficial bacteria into the tank and jump start the process. Waiting is always the hardest part.
I did my cycle using feeder fish and even then it took about two months for the cycle to finish.
 

Fireguy

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Wow alright and I'm guessing it's going to be even longer for this tank since it's cold water for the axolotl? I don't know anyone with an aquarium which is why I'm using bottled beneficial bacteria but I'm not sure if it's working. But I'm scared that it's because I put too much ammonia in the tank.
 

Giuseppe

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If the tank is currently empty which is what it sounds like, I think it's ok if you heat the tank (or stop using a cooler) during the duration of the cycling process to make things comfier for the bacteria, and then simply get it to the right temp once youre ready to introduce your axi. But yes even in optimum conditions the cycling process can take a long time
 

Fireguy

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It's in my basement which is always around 15-17 C so I don't need a cooler. I also don't have a fish tank heater either anymore so I guess I'll just let it be for now.
 
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    They are about 2-3 inches long and I have them in a bare bottom tank
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    @MuggleMiChu I would say try live black/blood worms untell they are full or just turn there head away ( that's what mine do) if that does not work try to get some live brine shrimp and see if they eat that. baby axolotl prefer live food over frozen food as the frozen food is too cold for them or they can't eat it in one go( that's if you do the blocks) mine eat chopped up frozen thawed shrimp. as for them not eating from what I have experienced with my second axolotl, I got her when she was about an inch long and she ate every day, when they start getting 3-4 inches long they will gradually slow down there eating. and if you really want to do substrate I would do sand because if they do ingest a little bit it won't hurt them.
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    Thank you so much for the information and advice! They are eating again, they ate a lot today. I think it might have been stress from the move or digesting old food, I also noticed they ate some of the food left in the tank (I removed the rest). I’m going to keep the tank bare bottom.
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