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Fishless Cycle Stall


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#1 JediWiggles

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 05:30 PM

Hey, this is my tank, its an eclipse 12 + sponge + bio-wheel filtration + Nutrafin Co2 system

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Its been running roughly 2 weeks,

on a 12 hour fishless cycle, my most resent stats after dosing the water to 4ppm ammonia

Ammonia: 1
Ph: 6
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 40


Seems that my nitrites are getting demolished while my ammonia takes a little longer than 12 hours to completely cycle through.

My questions are:

Is the ammonia bacteria stalling because of the low ph?

Im creating an amazon river biotope so Im looking for a lower ph, since Im fishless cycling right now with the "add and wait" method should I do a water change to raise the ph back up or am I pretty much set as far as fishless cycling goes.

nitrites and ammonia are very close to being completely cycled in 12 hours. I would like to think I'm ready to move on and do a massive water change. then add some fish.

But Im gonna wait till I get a few responses. Thanks to all for there input.

Jedi Wiggles

#2 JALouis

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 05:34 PM

I had a similar problem. Have you tested your tap water? I was advised that a pH of 6 can stall the cycle. I was advised to do a large water change. I changed about 90% of the water every couple of days because they pH kept dropping. I started adding baking soda getting the pH back up to about 7 and my cycle restarted and completed in a week or two after.

My post with some great advice is called My fishless cycle stalled and I don't know why!

#3 fatheadminnow

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 06:15 PM

Has your pH been low the entire time of the cycle?

The bacteria that we are trying to colonize in our filters can adapt to a wide pH range, and if your pH was at 6 at the beginning, than your bacteria would of had adapted to the pH level.

Also, like stated above, check your tap water, just so you get an idea what your tap water contains.

Its kind of unusual, not unlikely, to see ammonia still present, and not see any nitrites. This could be due to an ammonia spike, with another source of ammonia somewhere? Check tap water for ammonia.

I would recommend to do a 50% water change, making sure that the pH stays at the same level it is in the tank.

A water change sometimes gives the cycle a kick to get going again.

Have you added mature filter media at all to your filter?


What kind of test kit are your using?

-FHM

Edited by fatheadminnow, 20 April 2009 - 06:18 PM.


#4 JediWiggles

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 09:32 PM

Has your pH been low the entire time of the cycle?

The bacteria that we are trying to colonize in our filters can adapt to a wide pH range, and if your pH was at 6 at the beginning, than your bacteria would of had adapted to the pH level.

Also, like stated above, check your tap water, just so you get an idea what your tap water contains.

Its kind of unusual, not unlikely, to see ammonia still present, and not see any nitrites. This could be due to an ammonia spike, with another source of ammonia somewhere? Check tap water for ammonia.

I would recommend to do a 50% water change, making sure that the pH stays at the same level it is in the tank.

A water change sometimes gives the cycle a kick to get going again.

Have you added mature filter media at all to your filter?


What kind of test kit are your using?

-FHM



My current tap water stats:

Hard: 150-300
Alk: 120
Chlor: 0 - .5
Ammonia: .25
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
ph: 7.4

Im using a brand new filter, and Im using an API master test kit.

just did an ammonia test:

Im sitting at 2 ppm for more than 16 hours and the cycling has been going like clock work till I broke about 6.2ph, it seems like now Im definately stalling.

Im going to do a 50% water change right now. I'll keep ya posted.

#5 fatheadminnow

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 09:56 PM

What happens is when you start out a cycle with a pH, say of 7.2, our bacteria are going to adapt to that pH level. If that pH falls, like it did in your case down to 6.2, your bacteria are not going to be adapted to that low level of pH, and this will make your bacteria go dormant, thus, stalling your cycle.

Do a water change to bring the pH back up to where it was.

-FHM

#6 JediWiggles

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 04:58 AM

What happens is when you start out a cycle with a pH, say of 7.2, our bacteria are going to adapt to that pH level. If that pH falls, like it did in your case down to 6.2, your bacteria are not going to be adapted to that low level of pH, and this will make your bacteria go dormant, thus, stalling your cycle.

Do a water change to bring the pH back up to where it was.

-FHM



Cheers, worked like a gem, thanks fathead!

#7 fatheadminnow

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 03:02 PM

Also, are you using a water conditioner?

You said that you have 0-.5 ppm of chlorine, and that should be at zero.

Any chlorine in the water could potentially kill off your bacteria colony and stall your cycle as well.

-FHM

#8 backtotropical

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 01:02 PM

What happens is when you start out a cycle with a pH, say of 7.2, our bacteria are going to adapt to that pH level. If that pH falls, like it did in your case down to 6.2, your bacteria are not going to be adapted to that low level of pH, and this will make your bacteria go dormant, thus, stalling your cycle.


FHM, that's not concurrent with my understanding at all. Can you site some sources of that information that the bacteria adapt to the pH level? I'd be interested to have a read as everything I have ever read is quite to the contrary.

Cheers :good:

BTT

Edited by backtotropical, 27 April 2009 - 01:03 PM.


#9 fatheadminnow

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 05:22 PM

What happens is when you start out a cycle with a pH, say of 7.2, our bacteria are going to adapt to that pH level. If that pH falls, like it did in your case down to 6.2, your bacteria are not going to be adapted to that low level of pH, and this will make your bacteria go dormant, thus, stalling your cycle.


FHM, that's not concurrent with my understanding at all. Can you site some sources of that information that the bacteria adapt to the pH level? I'd be interested to have a read as everything I have ever read is quite to the contrary.

Cheers :good:

BTT

I have no sources for this information, it is just what I read from other members here on the forum, quite a bit actually.

I can try to find sources though.

-FHM

#10 waterdrop

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 08:38 PM

Yes, I believe it works to say *fish* will adapt to a given pH (at least a reasonable one) and be ok if that pH level stays relatively stable. I do not not think we would describe the *bacteria* as adaptable, implying they would somehow behave differently once they got used to a given pH level. I believe both of our chemolithoautotrophic species, the Nitrosomonas and Nitrospira have a pretty fixed growth curve when varying pH.

Here's a summary of pH ranges and A-Bac/N-Bac growth that I've posted in the past:

pH below 5.5 = possible danger of bacteria die-off
pH 5.5 to 6.2 = cycling process stalled or stopped
pH 6.3 to 7.0 = slow beneficial bacterial development
pH 7.1 to 7.9 = faster beneficial bacterial development
pH 8.0 to 8.4 = optimal/fastest bacterial development
pH 8.5 to 8.9 = too high, slower bacterial development
ph above 9.0 = possible danger of bacteria die-off

Of course, this is a side discussion. Its clear that Jedi had the typical straightforward pH crash that happens, where the process stalls out when the pH drops to 6.2 or below.

~~waterdrop~~




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