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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2020
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    Default Do-over Fishless Cycle Confusion


    0 Not allowed!
    Iím trying to figure out where I am in my fishless cycle process now and Iím kind of confused by the test results Iím getting.

    About a week ago, after two fantail losses in a row, I completely cleaned out my aquarium, replaced the filters, water and treated the water with Prime, and added Aqueon Live Beneficial Bacteria and enzymes to help get things going. (I didnít realize you can add straight ammonia to kickstart the cycle). Iím convinced the tank wasnít properly cycled the first time so Im doing a fish-less cycle this time around.

    I left the tank along for about a week waiting for my master test kit to come in the mail, which it did yesterday. I tested the water yesterday and I was surprised that there were zero nitrites but both ammonia and nitrates.

    I have a 10 gallon fresh water tank
    No heater but typically the temp is right at 70 degrees
    Fluval 20 power filter with activated carbon, biomax filter and foam pad
    Pea sized gravel with a few fake plants and an eco-bio stone block

    Yesterday these were the water conditions:

    PH- 8.0
    Ammonia - .25 -.50
    Nitrites - 0
    Nitrates - 5.0

    I thought it was odd that I had nitrates and ammonia but no nitrites. I redid the nitrite test thinking I made an error and it was as blue as ever the entire time, it never turned any shade of purple. I added a dose of Prime and left it overnight. I retested ammonia, nitrites and nitrates today.

    I ordered the API PH lock to bring the PH down to 7.5 I havenít added it to the take yet so I didnít bother retesting the PH today.

    Today the conditions were:

    Ammonia- .25
    Nitrites - 0
    Nitrates - 5.0

    I read a previous post about the API test for Nitrites being weird. Iím really confused and it may be my novice but Iím wondering if itís odd that my ammonia and nitrates are elevated but there isnít any nitrites? Iím trying to figure out where I am in the cycle. Could the nitrite test be inaccurate?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    Welcome to the AC.

    I have no experience with the bottled bacteria, because I've never needed or used it. Do you have access to an Ace Hardware?. The ammonia they sell works great for cycling a tank.

    If so, I would start over with that. Follow the directions in the fishless cycling sticky. Get a heater, beneficial bacteria grows best at temps of around 82F.

    I'd ditch the carbon, and use more filter media instead, you don't need the carbon. You also don't want to mess with the ph during a cycle, it will fluctuate until the cycle is complete, which is normal.

    Fantail goldfish? If so, they grow much too large for a tank that size.

    Sometime the trIte stage of a cycle is so fast that you can miss it if you don't test daily, but I doubt that is the case here.

    Good luck, post back with more questions when you have them, but follow this closely, and you should be fine: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ead.php?t=5640
    10 Gallon Beginner Tank... Journal
    40 Gallon Breeder: ... Journal
    29 Gallon: ... Journal

    ďIf there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they wentĒ - Will Rogers

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2020
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Slaphppy7 View Post
    Welcome to the AC.

    I have no experience with the bottled bacteria, because I've never needed or used it. Do you have access to an Ace Hardware?. The ammonia they sell works great for cycling a tank.

    If so, I would start over with that. Follow the directions in the fishless cycling sticky. Get a heater, beneficial bacteria grows best at temps of around 82F.

    I'd ditch the carbon, and use more filter media instead, you don't need the carbon. You also don't want to mess with the ph during a cycle, it will fluctuate until the cycle is complete, which is normal.

    Fantail goldfish? If so, they grow much too large for a tank that size.

    Sometime the trIte stage of a cycle is so fast that you can miss it if you don't test daily, but I doubt that is the case here.

    Good luck, post back with more questions when you have them, but follow this closely, and you should be fine: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ead.php?t=5640
    Thank you! Iíll do that.

  4. #4

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    You are very welcome.
    10 Gallon Beginner Tank... Journal
    40 Gallon Breeder: ... Journal
    29 Gallon: ... Journal

    ďIf there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they wentĒ - Will Rogers

  5. #5

    Join Date
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    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    Agree 100% with what Slaphppy7 said. Will add that you should test your tap water to see if it has any nitrates. When you use that test kit make sure to shake both bottle 1 and 2, then take bottle 2 and shake it vigorously for 1-2 minutes (2 best). Also after you added 2 to the test tube, make sure you shake the test tube for a solid minute as well. This will give you the most accurate results.
    Last edited by Slaphppy7; 11-21-2020 at 03:33 PM.
    75 Gourami/Eel tank
    Fish room-Astt tanks;all sizes



    75 Gourami Tank

    Fish Room



    DebinWhitmore

  6. #6

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    Nov 2020
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    So very interesting, I tested my tap water for nitrates and itís reading 40ppm. So Iím now wondering if my tank is reading 5ppm nitrates simply because there were nitrates in the water to start with. This all makes more sense now. My ammonia is reading .25 today with 0 Nitrites and 5.0 nitrates. Assuming the nitrate reading is just because of my tap water, then I should just need to increase ammonia to get the nitrite up and then hopefully get the tank cycling.

    I havenít had any luck finding ammonia to add to the tank but I still have some fish food so I added a few flakes. Hopefully the ammonia increases a bit over the next few days.

    Thank you both again for the help! Hopefully Iíll have some fishies soon!

  7. #7

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    Default Do-over Fishless Cycle Confusion


    0 Not allowed!
    Quick update here. Finally seeing some progress.

    I finally found liquid ammonia. Yesterday I tested the water before doing anything and all parameters were the same as before, .25 ammonia, zero nitrites and 5 nitrates.

    I did a 50% water change because the tank was full of algae. I added a heater set to 80 degrees. Then added 5 drops of ammonia, Prime and Stability.
    I tested the water this morning and BAM!

    Ammonia - 1ppm
    Nitrites - .25
    Nitrates - 20ppm
    PH - 8

    I added only three drops of ammonia, a dose of stability and prime. Iíll test again tomorrow. Iíve read conflicting things about water changes. Iíve read that a water change may be needed if Nitrates get too high but Iíve also read that water changes should only be done when the cycle is done before adding fish. What do I do if ammonia or nitrates get too high? And what would be too high for both?

    Thanks!

  8. #8

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Ammonia is best measured below 2ppm, since the test is unreliable when it gets closer to 4ppm. Toxic ammonia will affect the cycle if it goes too high. At a PH of 8.0, it won't take that much. Ammonia should not go up unless you add the ammonia. Don't worry about nitrates since it won't affect the cycle, so don't do any water changes unless your ammonia for the fishless cycle is at 4ppm or very close to it.

  9. #9

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    That makes sense, thanks!

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Nov 2020
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    This morning I tested the water-
    PH - 8.0 - 8.2
    Ammonia - .25
    Nitrites - 0
    Nitrates- 10 or 20

    This tank has been running for well over a month total but Iíve struggled to get the cycle going without adding pure ammonia, which I finally did on Saturday. I added five drops of ammonia Saturday, Sunday showed Ammonia at 1ppm, nitrites at .25 and nitrates at 20ppm. After testing I added three drops of ammonia, treated with prime and stability and today ammonia is .25 ppm, nitrites are zero and nitrates are still about 20ppm. Iím wondering if the tank is almost done cycling? Should I add more ammonia and see if it continues to drop? Itís so hard to tell between zero and .25 on the ammonia test.

    Iíll admit Iím kind of learning as I go so forgive me if Iím totally off base here. Appreciate any help!

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