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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2020
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    Question Fishless cycle for over 2 months - help!


    0 Not allowed!
    Hi all,
    I started my cycle at the beginning of July following a guide I found online (wish I had found this forum first!). This guide said to add ammonia, daily if necessary, to maintain it at 2 - 4 ppm. After about 4 weeks the ammonia and nitrites dropped to zero two days in a row. I thought great, the cycle is complete! I did a large water change (75%) to get the nitrates down to 20. I knew it would be a day or two before I could get to the lfs so I added one last dose of ammonia. On the day I was ready to get fish I decided to test one more time. To my surprise the nitrites were at 2 ppm and nitrates were back up to 80. I decided to continue the cycling process, adding ammonia daily. Each day ammonia went to zero but nitrites fluctuated between 1 and 2. This lasted another 2 weeks. Then for the next 5 days ammonia stayed between 0.25 and 0.5 with nitrites staying around 1. Confused and frustrated, I did some more research and found this forum. I realized I was probably adding too much ammonia, so started adding only when it went to zero and only enough to bring it up to 1 ppm. It takes 2 to 3 days for it to drop to 0 and the nitrites are consistently at 0. This has been going on for 2 weeks. Any ideas what might be going on?

    Details on the setup in case it helps:

    40 gallon tank
    Aqua Clear 70 filter (includes the AC Biomax filter, foam filter and activated carbon filter)
    Bubbler
    Temp set at 82
    Pea sized, rounded gravel substrate
    Aqueon Optibright LED light
    Decorations include a mixture of live and fake plants, driftwood, 2 large rocks and a plastic cave

    This entire time the water has been clear with a little algae on the driftwood, which I read is normal. I'm using the API master test kit. I hope this all makes sense.

    Thanks in advance for suggestions,

    Richard

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2020
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    Alabama
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    Question Fishless cycle for over 2 months - help!


    0 Not allowed!
    Hi all,


    I need advice with my fishless cycle. I started in early July using a guide I found online. After reading the one on this forum I now know I was using too much ammonia. I wish I had found this site sooner! Using the other guide, after a month I had two days in a row where both the ammonia and nitrites dropped to zero. I thought the cycle was complete so I did a 75% water change to get the nitrates down to 20 ppm. It was going to be a couple days before I could make it to the fish store, so I added a dose of ammonia to ensure the bacteria didn't die. Two days later I was ready to get fish I decided to test one more time. I was surprised to see the nitrites were back up to 2 ppm and nitrates at 80. I assumed the cycle wasn't quite complete so continued the process. For the next two weeks the ammonia was up and down and nitrites stayed around 1 ppm. I then found this forum, realized what I was doing wrong, and started adding ammonia only when it reached zero and only enough to bring it up to 1 ppm. It took 2 days for the ammonia to drop to zero. The nitrites were around 0.25 after the first day and zero by the second day. This went on for about a week. For the past two weeks, it is still taking 2 days for the ammonia but the nitrites stay at zero. Any ideas what's going on or do I just need to be patient and wait for the ammonia to be zero after 24 hours? I'm getting frustrated and tired of looking at an empty tank!

    TIA,
    Richard

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    What's the temp of the tank?

    Do you have a bubbler going?

    What's the tank ph?
    10 Gallon Beginner Tank... Journal
    40 Gallon Breeder: ... Journal
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    “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went” - Will Rogers

  4. #4

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    The temp is 82

    Yes there is a bubbler

    ph was 6.6 at last check, about 10 days ago

  5. #5

    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   
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Do you happen to know your tap ph?

    It's best to test a sample that has sat for a day or so...
    10 Gallon Beginner Tank... Journal
    40 Gallon Breeder: ... Journal
    29 Gallon: ... Journal

    “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went” - Will Rogers

  6. #6

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I'll test the tap water this weekend.

    Do I just use a cup of water or does it need to me a larger amount?

  7. #7

    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   
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Just a cup, all you need is enough to fill the test tube to the line
    10 Gallon Beginner Tank... Journal
    40 Gallon Breeder: ... Journal
    29 Gallon: ... Journal

    “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went” - Will Rogers

  8. #8

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    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    At your low PH, the bacteria colony doesn't work as well as those with a PH above 7.2. Hence, the ammonia reading 2 months later. But don't worry, the API Ammonia test reads total ammonia, meaning it reads toxic ammonia + non-toxic ammonia (ammonium). I would get Seachem Ammonia Alert to see if you are dealing with toxic ammonia.

    Tap water that has chloramine as the disinfectant will read as ammonia on the API ammonia test.

  9. #9

    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!
    Hey stranger, welcome back, good to hear from you again.
    10 Gallon Beginner Tank... Journal
    40 Gallon Breeder: ... Journal
    29 Gallon: ... Journal

    “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went” - Will Rogers

  10. #10

    Join Date
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I tested the ph of my tap water, it was 7.6, the highest reading on the chart. I retested using the high ph test and it was 7.4, the lowest reading. I guess I'll call it 7.5.

    I also tested the tank water, it is 6.4

    Rocksor
    I will get the Ammonia Alert, thanks.

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