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Thread: Cycle seems to have reset...
05-15-2013, 08:30 PM #1
Cycle seems to have reset...
Been cycling for... four weeks now? Give or take. Well into the nitrite part of the cycle.
The whole cycle so far I've been using Tetra Aquasafe as I bought a 5litre bottle of the stuff for not a lot of money. Just today swapped over to Seachem Prime as it worked out a lot cheaper in terms of the volume of water it could treat for the price.
Cycle was fine this morning. Had nitrites, done the usual 90% water change. Had nitrites at 3pm for the next water change, this time I used Prime instead of Aquasafe. Tested the water at 9pm, just now. Zero nitrites. Nothing. And a really mild reading of ammonia. Between 0 and 0.25, though more edging to the 0. I've looked over the internet and I can't work out what's gone wrong.
I've not changed anything apart from using the Prime. Everything was the same as normal, took the water from the bathroom, used a digital thermometer to make sure it was the same temperature as the tank. Added the conditioner when the bucket was about halfway full so it had time to fully spread out. I do the water change in two goes, 25 litres a time. Added 1ml of Prime each time I filled the bucket - as per the bottles instructions that should have been enough to treat 80litres of water. The second bucket I used a tad more as well just to cover myself so potentially it was treatment for around 120 litres. Aquarium is only 64 litres as it is, so it can't be chlorine causing this can it?
I've also shot myself in the foot as I've not been testing for ammonia after getting a nitrite reading. Just checked now when nitrite was reading zero.
Can swapping conditioner kill off the media? I'm stumped as to what's gone wrong.
Thanks in advance as always.
Last edited by Sligg; 05-15-2013 at 08:32 PM.
05-15-2013, 08:37 PM #2
swapping out conditioner shouldn't change anything.
are you cycling with or without fish?
either way - you should wait a full 24 hours before testing again to get a true reading.
see what it reads in the morning.
Last edited by fishmommie; 05-15-2013 at 08:47 PM.
05-15-2013, 08:43 PM #3
05-15-2013, 08:54 PM #4
BTW - if you are cycling with fish, 1 month isn't a long time to cycle a tank.
Additionally 3ppm nitrites is WAY too high if there are fish in the tank. Any time either nitrites and or ammonia approach .50ppm you should be doing an immediate water change. anything above .50 is toxic and weakening your fish if not eventually killing them.
05-15-2013, 09:00 PM #5
05-15-2013, 09:35 PM #6
Yes, I am doing a fish-in cycle (not out of choice). I figured it wasn't cycled just yet as the nitrite stage is supposedly the bulk of the cycle. It's just really weird to suddenly get zero nitrites like this, it's literally happened within a few hours as far as I can tell.
OK, will check again in the morning. Really hope I've not mucked something up...
05-15-2013, 09:45 PM #7
05-15-2013, 09:48 PM #8
So glad to hear that LOL And as I reread your post, I think I should have picked up on that.
Sorry it's been a long week for you.
And the fact that the nitrites dropped so suddenly should be a good sign. Often that's exactly what happens and bam, you're cycled.
In the meantime, you can't muck things up by changing water conditioner.
see how nitrites read in the morning. if they're back up there then you know you've still got some more time to go - again, a month isn't a lot of time when cycling with fish.
If nitrites are back, I'd aim for .25ppm ammonia, not lower and try for only 1 water change a day for a couple of days to see if you can keep it under .50 . you need some ammonia to grow your BB.
05-16-2013, 06:39 AM #9
We should probably switch to using mg/l when discussing time in the same sentence!
OK I'm totally stumped at this point.
Just tested the water and again pretty much the same results. Ammonia is hovering around 0.25, may be slightly higher but looks extremely similar to the test last night. Nitrites are again at zilch.
I've not changed the water since... 3pm yesterday? Shouldn't I have got more build up of ammonia in that time span? I'm lost, will just work with the parameters I know and keep the ammonia down until the mystery unravels!
I was wondering if maybe my filter wasn't big enough and that was the issue? It's an interpet PF2, box rated for 500lph. I personally don't like it and have a HOB filter in the post. Problem is the filter has a tiny upopenable cartridge with a few ceramic rings in and two small sponges that do zero for mechanical filtration. Waste slips through the sponges and fills the cartridge which is of course impossible to clean.
Wishful thinking maybe that the tank is largely cycled but there's not enough bacteria to process all the waste so there's a little backlog? I may just be clutching at straws now!
Thanks as always!
Last edited by Sligg; 05-16-2013 at 06:40 AM. Reason: Sentence structure,
05-16-2013, 11:44 AM #10
Are you using test strips or a liquid test kit ?
As you continue to cycle your tank, your bacteria will slowly grow and grow. That would mean your ammonia and nitrites would build up in the water at a slower rate as well resulting in fewer or smaller water changes as you continue to cycle. That might be what is happening here assuming you are getting accurate test resultsIf you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
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