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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2018
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    Default Fishless cycle - nothing happening, help!


    0 Not allowed!
    Hi Everyone,

    I am looking for a bit of advice, I am attempting to complete a fishless cycle for the first time and feel lost. Prior to learning about fishless cycling, I have had aquariums and varying degrees of success. I now have a 45 gallon aquarium, full of water, gravel and basic equipment that is has been sitting around for 3 weeks and nothing seems to be happening. During the first week, I thought I could raise the ammonia levels with just fish flakes. However, after reading some discouraging posts about that method, I went to Wal-Mart to purchase ‘pure’ ammonia (and double and triple checked that it didn’t contain surfactants). I will also note, there appeared to be a bacterial bloom at the end of the first week which lasted a good week. I got excited that maybe this signaled the start of the cycle. Unfortunately, the levels remained exactly the same as before. On the second week, I started adding Seachem stability after reading some positive reviews. Last night, going on week 3 I added Prime and loaded some Fluval bio rings in my power filter in hopes that it will give bacteria something to ‘cling’ onto. I also noticed that my filters intake tube could be extended (duh) so now it sits lower in my tank. Could anybody provide any more tips to jump starting this cycle, I do know that it’s mostly a game of patience but it’s quickly dwindling.

    Here are the parameters as of yesterday:

    Water hardness (taken from water utility companies website) - 158 mg/L or 9 grains per gallon
    Ph-8
    Temperature – ~78 degrees F
    Ammonia – 1-2 ppm with API master test kit (LFS employee showed it as 0.5ppm ammonia on test strips though)
    Nitrites – 0
    Nitrates – 0
    150 watt ceramic heater
    Aqueon QuietFlow30 power filter – rated up to 200 gph (I’m beginning to think this filter just doesn’t have enough water flow as it’s rated for up to 45 gallon aquariums)
    8” air bubbler (really seems to produce quite a bit of water movement)

  2. #2

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    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    Welcome to the AC.

    Is your tap water chlorinated? If so, you needed to add Prime at the very beginning of the cycle.

    Can you post a pic of the ammonia you are using?

    Is your heater adjustable?
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  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    At least now you know how inaccurate test strips are.

    As far as patience, you need to be able to wait at least 6 weeks prior to stocking. Otherwise, you become stuck with a fish in cycle and daily water changes to keep both ammonia and nitrite no higher than 0.25ppm.

    So you have some options,
    1) Wait patiently and do very little work for a fishless cycle (try Seachem Stability if you want to spend the money and see if it jumpstarts the cycle)
    2) Get fish now and you can do the large amount of work required for a fish in cycle

  4. #4

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I'm always suspect of any ammonia other than the Ace stuff, or the Dr. Tim's (which I've never tried, but have heard positive things about)
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  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2018
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Hi, yes I forgot to mention it was dechlorinated just after adding the water. I am using Seachem stability but am wondering if I should continue since I've been using it for 7 days now...

    The ingredients list ammonia and water and it doesn't seem to fizz when shaken. From what I understand, if it does by chance contain extra chemicals, it shouldn't stall the cycle but may harm the fish once they're added. I remember reading a post somewhere where a guy used window cleaner with ammonia to cycle...that is crazy.

    Here is the link for the ammonia I purchased.

    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Great-Val...SAAEgIlWfD_BwE
    Last edited by steelo; 12-17-2018 at 04:25 PM.

  6. #6

    Join Date
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    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    Have you read this:

    http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ead.php?t=5640

    and this:
    http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...d.php?t=125481

    These guides will help you get to cycled the best way.

    If your heater is adjustable, upping the temp to 82-83 will help the bacteria get started. Regarding the filter, you can add a second filter (always good to have two if something happens to the one-its backup) or get a larger one and move all of your media from the old to the new.

    Nothing can really speed your cycle up too much faster other than using media from an already established tank (filter media). Lots of additives out there that say they are live spores and will get you cycled faster, but good things come to those who wait. Follow the steps in the cycling guides above and you should be well on your way to a cycled tank.
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  7. #7

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Thank you for the help! Yes, I have read those wonderful guides as well as ones on other sites. Thankfully, they all seem to follow the same general format - maintain 3-4ppm ammonia, wait for nitrites, then nitrates. Once ammonia and nitrites are at 0, add 3-4ppm ammonia and if it goes down to 0 within 24 hours, it is cycled and you'll need to do a large water change to bring the nitrates back down. When I first read about fishless cycling, I laughed and thought it was some kind of weird scam or something. Now, I feel I do have at least a fundamental understanding of what's happening. It's just frustrating having a good looking fish tank just sitting there empty for weeks/months...also, I tend to over complicate things...

    My heater is turned up all the way and seems to max out at 82 degrees. However, the dial springs back to 78 degrees which confuses me why the dial even shows 82...LOL. Anyways, my water seems to stay at a consistent 78-79 degrees, I do wish I could get it a little warmer.
    Last edited by steelo; 12-17-2018 at 04:37 PM.

  8. #8

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Personally I would not dose up to 4ppm ammonia. The tests don't differentiate between 4ppm and 8ppm. Anything less than 3ppm is fine. I've fishless cycled with chloramine treated tap water, and it only had ~0.25ppm of ammonia.

  9. #9

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Absolutely true and the API test is EXTREMELY hard to read between 4 and 8 ppm...I think 1-2 ppm is probably a safe bet. I'm curious though, I added the bio rings last night to my filter by just dumping them behind the filter media and a few inside the intake. Is there a 'correct' way to do this? I would think it's okay as long as they're located in a spot where they can build up bacteria...

  10. #10

    Join Date
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    My fish say Thank You - KoryKat   Thanks for the Rep ;-) - steeler58   Enjoy your weekend my friend - Taurus   Happy Birthday. - gadget228   Happy Belated Birthday! - Silbar   
    Troop and Military Support - Amber Alert - Bladder Cancer - Endometriosis - Equality - Liver Cancer - Liver Disease - Missing Children - POW/MIA - Spina Bifida - Suicide - steeler58   Breast Cancer - Birth Parents - steeler58   Cancer - Epilepsy - Foster Care - Gynecological Cancer - Rett Syndrome - aquariumlover10   Cancer - Epilepsy - Foster Care - Gynecological Cancer - Rett Syndrome - gronlaura   Breast Cancer - Birth Parents - SeaLady   

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    From another forum, that ammonia contains surfactant = not good...according to these guys, anyway

    https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfis...mmonia.182350/
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