About a week ago my cycle crashed. I'm starting to get very concerned as the longer this goes on the more likely the whole thing is to crash completely. I’ve fed minimally every other day (very small amounts directed towards juvenile fish), and my ammonia has started to stay at around the 0.25 mark for the last 2 days. The highest it's been is 0.5 as I am doing regular water changes.
Does this mean my cycle is likely to recover? Is keeping it like this going to crash it?
I have way too many fish for a fish in cycle to not be horrible so I am considering rehoming some of them.
2 x keyholes 2/2.5 inches juvenile 4 x honey gourami almost adults 6 x celebes rainbows juvenile 4-5cm 8 x celestial pearl danios adults 9 x emerald eyespot rasbora juvenile 2cm 1 x male platy adult
Was thinking of rehoming the honeys as my flow is too high for them and giving up with live plants as my keyholes eat them sometimes (honeys seem to need surface cover). Causes water quality issues and clogs the filter, which although not the main reason my cycle crashed is probably a smaller contributing factor.
Lots of things happened in the same week including having to change my filter, went from U3 to U4 with all the same media just topped up as more space. I already had one U4 sponge in the U3 for over a month, and the U3 sponge, so an extra sponge was transferred to the U4 (two U3 sponges and one U4).
I’m scared of harming the fish, based on my research during the past week I’d have to let ammonia get to 2ppm to cycle the tank properly and even with Prime that’s still likely to harm the fish?
So heartbroken 😢 been so careful all along, and was all fine for 4-5 months.
Also would be grateful for any guidance or resources on fish in cycle. I’m undecided what to do yet, so just keeping ammonia as close to zero as possible while deciding. I have a 70l tank so considering putting my favourite fish in there without a filter and doing daily 50% water changes and rehoming the rest to do a fishless cycle. Or doing this with some fish and putting some in the main tank for a fish in cycle - but I feel sick just thinking about it. I’m definitely going to rehome some as also think I have too many. Just don't know what's best to do as a relative beginner and feel overwhelmed as I'm dicing with my fishes wellbeing!
If it's only getting to 0.25ppm that's not too terrible and if you're double-dosing Prime at each water change that will effectively neutralise the ammonia for the following 24 hours.
You don't need to reach 2ppm to cycle effectively; the reason your ammonia is staying low is that you have most of the bacteria you need and they just need to reproduce enough to catch up to that last 0.25.
Carry on as you are f r now, changing water and dosing Prime daily. If there is still 0.25ppm after a few more days then I would suspect either the API est as it can produce a false reading of .25 sometimes or that your supplier has dosed extra chloramine for some reason. When there is excess chloramine in the water Prime breaks it down into chlorine and ammonia first and then neutralises the chlorine and turns the ammonia from its toxic form (NH3) into non-toxic NH4+ but this still registers on the test so you can get a reading for ammonia. To check this out, run your bucket of tap water for your water change, add the Prime and then test that and see if it shows a reading.