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Results 1 to 10 of 60
  1. Default Cycling Issues - Ammonia Stuck


    0 Not allowed!
    I will make the story brief to catch you up:
    Wife buys me a betta
    I purchase 30 gallon aquarium, gravel, few fake plants, filter (100 gallon per hour flow), heater, structures
    I add betta - betta looks ill for about 3 days, then bounces back and looks great
    Bring water to pet store for testing after a week - 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 0 nitrate
    I don't believe it, bring more in next night - 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 0 nitrate
    I don't believe it, bring more to different store next night - 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 0 nitrate
    I buy API Master test kit and test for myself - 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 0 nitrate

    Conclude aquarium isn't cycled - decide to go fishless - remove betta from tank

    Buy ammonia (straight ammonia - Roundy's brand from Rainbow Foods in MN - no suds when shaken)
    Add in 1/4 cup
    Use API test kit - way over 8 ppm
    Change out water (75% and then 50%). Levels now at about 2 - 3 ppm
    Add recommended amount of Prime to remove chlorine
    Crank heater (82 degrees F), keep light minimal, keep filter on high flow
    Wait
    Get impatient, buy a shrimp (dead)
    Put in, lasts 2 days before smell makes me take it out
    Wait 10 days
    Add a little more ammonia (now at 4 ppm) - get rocks from in-laws tank (20 years old - running entire time), put in bucket, sink bucket
    Wait 5 days

    Total Wait Time: 15 days (since starting with ammonia)
    Ammonia levels remain at ~4ppm
    Nitrites have never registered
    Obviously Nitrates have never registered

    I need some help as I have never cycled a tank before and don't know timelines besides what I've read in forums. Most say that I should at least see some movement by now on the Nitrites.

    Advice?

    Thanks
    Last edited by seabiscuit68; 03-05-2013 at 11:32 PM.

  2. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Hi and first of all know you are frustrated but watch the tone a bit, okay?. this is a family site.

    Here's your problem: 1/4 cup of ammonia
    for a 30 gallon tank, at the most you should have used around 2 Tablespoons (you have to experiment a bit by adding a little ammonia, waiting 30 minutes, testing, then adding more if you need it). A tank that size should be dosed to around 2.ppm ammonia to start. So ... I'd do a huge water change and keep changing until you get the ammonia down to around 2. then wait. when you see nitrites and ammonia also drops to 0, then dose back to 1 (not 2) and dose to 1 each day that the ammonia drops to 0 and you also see nitrates. when both are 0 you should be cycled. do a large water change to get the nitrates down and your ready for fish.
    Good luck.
    30 g FW planted:corys, ABNP, blue angel, harleys, zebra danios, nerites & mystery snails
    15 g FW planted: crown tail betta, neons, snails
    90 g FW semi planted: Blood Parrots, severum, Jurupari, EBJD, congos, kribs, clown pleco, snails
    90 Gal Journal: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ad.php?t=93939
    Fishless cycling: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ead.php?t=5640
    Cycling with fish: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ad.php?t=36492

  3. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by fishmommie View Post
    Hi and first of all know you are frustrated but watch the tone a bit, okay?. this is a family site.

    Here's your problem: 1/4 cup of ammonia
    for a 30 gallon tank, at the most you should have used around 2 Tablespoons (you have to experiment a bit by adding a little ammonia, waiting 30 minutes, testing, then adding more if you need it). A tank that size should be dosed to around 2.ppm ammonia to start. So ... I'd do a huge water change and keep changing until you get the ammonia down to around 2. then wait. when you see nitrites and ammonia also drops to 0, then dose back to 1 (not 2) and dose to 1 each day that the ammonia drops to 0 and you also see nitrates. when both are 0 you should be cycled. do a large water change to get the nitrates down and your ready for fish.
    Good luck.
    I edited my post for etiquette - sorry.

    I noted (probably not clear) that I realized that the 1/4 cup was way to high when I got > 8ppm of ammonia. I did a 75% and a 50% water change to lower the level to 2-3 ppm. After about 10-12 days at 2-3 ppm, I upped the ppm to 4 ppm (where it currently is) because I read that 5 ppm is ideal. Either way, 2-3 didn't seem to work.

    Thanks for the quick reply.

  4. #4

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    The problem is you keep messing with the tank. Ammonia at 4ppm is high for a 30 gallon but isn't going to hurt anything, it will just prolong the cycle a bit. If you want you can do a water change to bring the ammonia down to 2-3ppm, but it isn't necessary. If you choose to bring the ammonia down, after, stop messing with the tank! The cycle is a natural process, it will happen, but you have to leave it alone and let it happen. Stop putting things in, stop taking things out. The rocks might help a tiny bit, but if you can get some used filter media from your in-laws it would help much more. Do not add any more ammonia until it registers 0ppm.
    When I go fishing I just place a sharp rock in the water and sit there waiting for all the dead fish to float to the top... Kingfisher
    Brutal honesty will be shown on this screen.
    I think my fish is adjusting well to the four gallon, He's laying on his side attempting to go to sleep on the bottom of the gravel.
    Tolerance is a great thing to have, so is the ability to shut up.

    I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.


  5. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Doesn't sound like the ammonia-oxidizing bacteria are A) doing their job or B) growing fast enough for your patience. I haven't done fishless cycling before, and I'm just learning about it. Are there factors in your current set-up that prevent them from either growing fast enough or oxidize ammonia efficiently?

    1) Efficiency of oxidation: Since nitrification of ammonia requires oxygen, one thing you might want to know is whether your water has adequate dissolved oxygen. I suspect a high flow filter with adequate agitation of water surface should provide you that much, but who knows. What about adding air bubbles with an airstone? Another parameter to consider is pH, as bacterial metabolism can be pH responsive. The API master kit comes with a regular pH as well as high pH colorimeter.

    2) bacteria not growing fast enough: If all else fails, why not try some of those commercially available bacterial stock (like Tetra Safestart or whatever) that contain nitrosomonas spp and nitrospira spp? After all, cycling just means developing a population of bacteria that are capable of nitrifying your ammonia to nitrates, however you get there is up to you and how you set up your micro-ecology. You certainly have enough nitrogen source for them with 4ppm of ammonia.

    Just a couple quick thoughts.

  6. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    The bottles don't have the correct bacteria and can inhibit the growth of the right bacteria by quickly removing the ammonia.

    Also, according to the reading I've done, I have sufficient aeration and the temperature is ideal.

    To the other poster: I have kept things pretty stable besides adding a few drops of ammonia, some shrimp, and some rocks - all things that you might expect in nature...

    I really am hoping someone who has done a fishless cycle without used filters and with your own ammonia can give me a timeline to expect. If it takes another week, that is fine...I'm just hoping I didn't ruin something and have to start from square one. I also don't want to scrap everything if in 2 days the bacteria decides to reproduce like mad...

    Last thing, I know no one with used filters...in laws don't filter or heat

    Quote Originally Posted by myofibroblast View Post
    Doesn't sound like the ammonia-oxidizing bacteria are A) doing their job or B) growing fast enough for your patience. I haven't done fishless cycling before, and I'm just learning about it. Are there factors in your current set-up that prevent them from either growing fast enough or oxidize ammonia efficiently?

    1) Efficiency of oxidation: Since nitrification of ammonia requires oxygen, one thing you might want to know is whether your water has adequate dissolved oxygen. I suspect a high flow filter with adequate agitation of water surface should provide you that much, but who knows. What about adding air bubbles with an airstone? Another parameter to consider is pH, as bacterial metabolism can be pH responsive. The API master kit comes with a regular pH as well as high pH colorimeter.

    2) bacteria not growing fast enough: If all else fails, why not try some of those commercially available bacterial stock (like Tetra Safestart or whatever) that contain nitrosomonas spp and nitrospira spp? After all, cycling just means developing a population of bacteria that are capable of nitrifying your ammonia to nitrates, however you get there is up to you and how you set up your micro-ecology. You certainly have enough nitrogen source for them with 4ppm of ammonia.

    Just a couple quick thoughts.

  7. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I fishless cycled my 90 gal in 21 days with nothing but ammonia. BUT I started with 4 ppm ammonia and each tank is different. If you bring the ammonia down to 2 ppm with a W/C it might speed things up a bit or it might not, given the excess ammonia you started with and the fact that you fed more ammonia before it dropped to zero. In the meantime all you can do is wait for ammonia to drop to 0 then proceed as I stated above. It will happen.
    30 g FW planted:corys, ABNP, blue angel, harleys, zebra danios, nerites & mystery snails
    15 g FW planted: crown tail betta, neons, snails
    90 g FW semi planted: Blood Parrots, severum, Jurupari, EBJD, congos, kribs, clown pleco, snails
    90 Gal Journal: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ad.php?t=93939
    Fishless cycling: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ead.php?t=5640
    Cycling with fish: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ad.php?t=36492

  8. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    seabiscuit68,

    How did you arrive at the conclusion that the commercially available stock are not "the right bacteria"? Is there a specific family and species you have in mind? I would be interested in knowing how you came to that conclusion. To my limited knowledge, both nitrosomonas spp as well as nitrospira spp are both great for nitrification in aquaria, and the fishless cycling method is attempting to build those bacteria up.

    Per the Tetra website, their safestart product contains both. Have you evidence to the contrary - that these commerically available stock do not contain "the right bacteria"?
    Last edited by myofibroblast; 03-06-2013 at 02:50 AM.

  9. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Your Betta is a very hardy fish. I would do a massive water change then throw the fish in. Change the 1/4 water every day until your ammonia is zero. Since you already started cycling, this could take only a week.

  10. #10

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Berylla View Post
    Your Betta is a very hardy fish. I would do a massive water change then throw the fish in. Change the 1/4 water every day until your ammonia is zero. Since you already started cycling, this could take only a week.
    Not to be mean or anything, but I think this is bad advice. The point of the fishless cycle is so that "ANY" fish doesn't have to be tormented with life threatening levels of ammonia, nitrites, or nitrates. I would suggest rehoming the Betta until the cycle process is completed.

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