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algae in uncycled tank that I want to cycle

2534 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  jasonpatterson
So I've had 3 plants thriving in my tank. I've been wanting fish since I started the tank. After a few disasters, I decided to totally switch it up so I swapped gravel for sand (and flora max) and fake plants for live.

Since the ultimate goal is to have pretty guppies in there, I began trying to cycle it again. I could not find bottled ammonia anywhere, I chose the frozen shrimp method. It took at least 2 weeks for the ammonia spike (it's only a 10 gal) and it's taking another 2 weeks to go down again. It is still high- between 1 and 2ppm. Still no nitrites at all.

My tank is filled with algae and no critter to clean it up. I wanted to get some ghost shrimp in there but I know they won't survive the ammonia level. When I siphon to try to get it out it obviously just sucks up a bunch of sand. There is both green and brown algae in there. What do I do?

To cycle my tank what do I do? Put the shrimp back in once the ammonia goes back down? (Someone told me I'd have to put it in and out a few times, but with how high it spiked I'm scared it's too much ammonia for the nitrite to form therefore if I put the shrimp back in, it will spike too high again..)
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Just FYI, bottled ammonia is available at virtually every grocery and department store in the US in the cleaning aisle. It's super cheap and you can cycle about 100 tanks with a single bottle of the stuff.

Are your tests good?

The only other thought I've got about this is that your plants/algae might be monkeying with the ammonia levels in the tank. They see it as food and will happily slurp it all up. I normally don't bother cycling a tank if I've got a reasonable amount of live plants in it and instead just add stock slowly. The plants keep things clean for the shrimp/fish and all is well. By the time it has sat long enough for the filter to actually be needed the tank has cycled. Your mileage may vary, of course.
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