View Full Version : I think I may have my cycling problem figured out

03-23-2007, 04:32 PM
I don't know if any of you remember, but I thought my tank was cycled about a week ago, added four fish, and they were all dead within the first day. I had my ammonia and nitrites at 0, but the nitrites shot up to about 4 or 5 after the fish were put in.

Just last night, I had the ammonia and nitrites at 0 and nitrates were around 30 or 40. I did a large water change and checked the tank within about an hour, and the levels were pretty much unchanged - 0,0, and about 20 or 30. I thought I would add some ammonia, just to see what happened, and planned on doing another water change today to try to bring down my nitrates a little more. Well, this morning, I checked my stuff and my ammonia is back down to 0, nitrites about 4 or 5, and nitrates are around 10 or 15. I think there may be something wrong with my dechlorinator. If my water isn't really dechlorinated, it would kill off the bacteria when I add it to the tank, right?

I'm using Stress Coat by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals. It says that it removes all chlorine and chloramines from the water, but I think there may be something wrong with it or I'm using it incorrectly. I'm adding about 2.5 ml to every 5 gallon container of water that I add because it says to add 5 ml for every 10 gallons.

Does anyone have any experience with this stuff? Am I using it correctly? Am I incorrect in thinking that my problem is due to chlorines and chloramines? Thanks in advance.

03-23-2007, 04:46 PM
Water changes during a cycle only slow down the process.

03-23-2007, 04:56 PM
Water changes during a cycle only slow down the process.

I was doing the water change because I was under the impression that my cycle was done. You have to do the water change to lower the nitrates in the water, correct?

Lady Hobbs
03-23-2007, 05:04 PM
Stress Coat is an excellent product. Moving fish around causes them to lose their slime coat and this product also helps with that.

It takes longer for the nitrite eating bacteria to produce than the ammonia bacteria. It may take a week or two before your nitrites show up as 0. Then the nitrates will be high. This is where you do a large water change to bring the nitrates down and you are done with your cycle.

You must add ammonia everyday putting in enough to bring the reading to 5. When you start to see nitrites, reduce ammonia to 3. Soon within hours of adding the ammonia, you will show a reading of 0 again which shows the bacteria is eating it away as it should. Then you will have high nitrites for some time which will also decrease in time to 0. And then the high nitrates will follow before you have a full cycle.

You must continue adding ammonia daily or you will lose the bacteria that has produced in the tank. It dies off without constanting being fed.

Read Fishless Cycle in Tank setup. This explains in detail on how this is done.

03-23-2007, 06:06 PM
Yeah, I read the fishless cycle thing and have been following it to the letter. My results have followed the indications given in the article - 0 ammonia readings, high nitrite readings, then high nitrate readings. The problem seems to come when I do a water change. I don't know if maybe it's a problem with the ammonia I'm using or how I'm doing the water change. I think when I get the nitrates to spike next time and get the nitrites to 0, I'm gonna try to keep adding ammonia for a week or so - before doing the water change. I'll see if the nitrites go way up again or if its a problem with the ammonia.

Lady Hobbs
03-23-2007, 09:08 PM
Since you have no fish in the tank, you do no water changes until you are done cycling and only have high nitrates. Then you do the water change to lower it and you're done.

The only reason for water changes during a cycle is if you have using fish to do the cycle and trying to save them from dying from the high toxic levels.