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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2020
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    Default Cycling Taking Longer Than Expected


    0 Not allowed!
    Iíve tried to cycle my freshwater tank a few times now. Before starting this current attempt I made sure to really research and make sure I had all of the tools I needed to be successful.

    Here are the parameters:

    10 gallon tank
    Fluval 30 filter with Biomax rocks and foam pads
    Gravel substrate with one small and one medium sized fake plants
    Tetra heater which automatically sets to between 74 and 84 degrees (itís consistently stayed at 76 degrees since install.
    Air stone

    On day one I treated the water with Seachem prime then added Seachem Stability and API QuickStart. Then I added 32 drops of Dr. Tims Pure Ammonia. The next day I tested and ammonia was 1 PPM, PH - 8.2., Nitrite- 0

    I wanted Ammonia to be at 2PPM so I added another 15 drops of Ammonia, waited 24 hours and retested. After 24 hours the Ammonia was 2/4 PH - 8.2, Nitrites - 0

    Since then Iíve tested every day and the levels have stayed as: Ammonia - 2, PH 8/8.2, Nitrites- 0. This is where the levels have stayed. No change in Ammonia and no Nitrites, PH has also stayed in the 8/8.2 range. Iíve added Stability and QuickStart Periodically over the past few weeks, I have not added any additional ammonia since day two. Iím on day 20 with no change in Ammonia and zero Nitrites.

    Iím wondering if thereís anything else I should be doing or can do to get this moving along? Am I on the right track and just need to wait it out? Was adding additional ammonia on day 2 a mistake? Iíve been through the cycle guides and I feel like Iíve followed the steps itís just taking longer to see Nitrites. Any advice is appreciated.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Some tanks will just take longer than others and it can be very frustrating. If you're currently at 2 PPM ammonia, leave it alone for a few days - no need to test every day. You've added a lot of different things, none of which will hurt, but don't add anything else for now. Test again maybe on day 3 or 4 and see where you're at.

  3. #3

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I tested again today and I got excited initially because my first reading of ammonia was .50 ppm but nitrites were still zero. I retested ammonia thinking maybe I messed up the solution dosage. I retested ammonia and sure enough it was where I expected, between 1-2 ppm. The thing is I went ahead and tested nitrates and theyíre between 20-40 ppm. Is that too high or is it okay for now? Iíve tested my tap water and itís 10 ppm. PH is still between 8-8.2

  4. #4

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    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    Don't worry about nitrates at this time. Those will be reduced through a large water change when cycle is complete and before you add fish. Have you considered adding live plants at all? Those also help with nitrates, though are not necessary. And even with a gravel substrate, there are plants that you can add. Some like java fern and anubias are generally glued or tied to driftwood or pieces of rock so type of substrate doesn't matter. Some Cryptocoryne plants are usually easy growers and are planted in the substrate. Crypt Wendtii red, green or bronze are some.

  5. #5

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    That makes sense, thanks! Iíll just keep waiting it out. I did just notice today these brown smudges, kind of looks like algae but not sure? Is this a good sign?




  6. #6

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    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    Brown algae or diatoms, reduce your lighting period, you actually don't even need lighting while cycling.
    10 Gallon Beginner Tank... Journal
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    ďIf there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they wentĒ - Will Rogers

  7. #7

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    1 Not allowed!
    The diatoms are common with new tanks and will usually go away on its own. But it's annoying and can take up to a few months.

  8. #8

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    0 Not allowed!
    75 Gourami/Eel tank
    Fish room-Astt tanks;all sizes



    75 Gourami Tank

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  9. #9

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    Nov 2020
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Hi all,
    Things are finally moving along with my cycle, ammonia has steadily dropped over the past few weeks, from a solid 2-4ppm and is now 1ppm. I am on day 32. I havenít seen any nitrites. I donít test every day, maybe every other. Iíve heard of people missing the nitrite stage completely so Iím not worried about that. PH has fluctuated between 7.8 and 8.2. Water temp has stayed between 76-80 degrees.

    What has me confused is that Iím not seeing nitrates either. I have had a lot of water evaporation so Iíve been topping it off with dechlorinated & conditioned water about every other week. Iím not taking any of the water out or doing any cleaning, literally just topping the tank off with treated water.

    1- Itís my understanding that ammonia wonít evaporate with the water..is that true? If thatís the case, since my ammonia is steadily dropping and it has to go somewhere, does that mean the ammonia is being converted to nitrites? Therefore my tank is cycling?

    2- Iíve tested my tap water and there are 5ppm nitrates on the conservative end but close to 10ppm coming out of the tap. Im not seeing any nitrates in the tank today. Ive followed the testing directions to the letter and the kit doesnít expire until 2025. I would expect to atleast see some nitrates but Iím
    just not sure. I do NOT have any live plants, but Iíve seen white residue around the filter and on the underside of the tank lid which Iím thinking is algae. Could that be eating the nitrates?

    3- It the ammonia continues to drop, eventually getting close to or at zero, is it possible to be cycled and never see Nitrites or nitrates? Iíve been at this a while so Iím eager to get moving but I want to make sure I understand the process fully.

    Thanks!

  10. #10

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    You will always see nitrates if ammonia drop to 0ppm is due to bacteria.

    Watch the nitrite test for 5 minutes. Do not leave it. When nitrites are really high, it will change to the highest color, and then back to light blue within 5 minutes. Some folks miss seeing that because they walk away, and wait for the timer. The change from dark to light blue is an indication that nitrites are way too high to be read.

    Ammonia will not evaporate. It's best that you don't dose ammonia above 1ppm. The tank will cycle with that much low ammonia.
    Last edited by Rocksor; 02-17-2021 at 04:26 PM.

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