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Fishless Cycle Question

Discussion in 'Cycle your Tank' started by viper20, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. viper20

    viper20 New Member

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    Hello everyone,
     
    I am a newbie to the forum and also to fish in general, i have been reading tons of info on the internet and decided to purchase a 29 gallon tank and do a fishless cycle. I added 4ppm of the ace hardware janitorial ammonia to the water 3 weeks ago. I purchased an API Master test kit and the ammonia levels are still exactly the same at 4ppm 3 weeks later as they were on day one. I also have 0 nitrites and 0 nitrates which would make sense since the ammonia has not broken down at all.
     
    4 days ago i added a bottle of tetra safe start plus to the water to see if that would get things speeding along but it has not, ammonia is still at 4ppm.
     
    I do not have anything to seed the tank with so i know the cycle will take longer but based off a lot that i have read i would think my ammonia levels would have dropped at least a little at this point. I do have a fluval 406 filter that has also been running since day 1, i have the water temp at 85 degrees, and i have a bubble wand in there as well.
     
    Any ideas on what more i can do at this point should i do a water change to remove some of the ammonia and dose it back up to 4ppm or would that not make any difference?
     
    Please help
     
     
  2. Chad

    Chad Reef Tank, Crustacean, and Puffer Enthusiast
    Staff Member Admin

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  3. TwoTankAmin

    TwoTankAmin Member

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    Welcome to the site.
     
    As usual I have more question of you than you asked of us. My first is: How do you know you added 4 ppm if you did not own a test kit at the time? Or did i misunderstand when you said you added the ammonia and then bought the test kit? Then-
     
    1. What dechor are you using?
    2. What are your tap parameters.
    3. What is the expiration date on the test kits?
    4. How are you testing for ammonia? (Testing mistakes = mistaken results.)
    5. What are your pH and KH levels?
    6. Aside from dechlor and ammonia, did you add anything else to the tank since day 1?
     
    You are 100% correct that your readings do not make sense. Ammonia should have been 0 by now and nitrite should have shown up in the first week and be coming down.
     
    Also, if your readings are correct, then pouring Safe Start into your tank did about as much as had you poured it into the sink. Please read here to know why http://www.fishlore.com/fishforum/aquarium-nitrogen-cycle/58116-q-tetra-tetra-safestart.html the reply from Tetra should make it clear.
     
  4. viper20

    viper20 New Member

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    Hello 2 tank
     
    I did own a test kit right from the start (API Master) so originally i added too much ammonia but then i did a water change to get the level at 4 this was all done on day 1
     
    1.Seachem prime i added it to the tank the day i added the water
    2. Tap was 0 when i tested it for ammonia
    3. Expiration is 02/2018
    4. I fill the vial up to the line with tank water then added 8 drops from ammonia bottle 1 followed by 8 drops from ammonia bottle 2. Then i cap the vial and shake for 5 seconds (i do not place my index finger on the lid of the vial when i shake it)
    5. ph is at 8
    6.Only other thing that was added since day 1 was the safe start 3 weeks later
     
    Thanks!
     
  5. viper20

    viper20 New Member

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    I would like to make an update i was mistaken my ph is 7.4-7.5 if that makes any difference
     
    Thanks!
     
  6. TwoTankAmin

    TwoTankAmin Member

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    Well the only thing about SafeStart that might have been an issue was the ammonia level when it was added. But I do not understand why your cycle has not moved. All of your answers indicate nothing out of line.
     
    The pH isn't an issue here at either level. But I cannot understand why nothing has budged. It would very odd if there was anything in the water or in the tank inhibiting the bacteria.
     
    This one has me baffled. About the only thong I can suggest is do a large water change and start over using Dr. Tims One and Only Nitrifying Bacteria or with some seeding from a cycled tank. I can not imagine tap water being devoid of any bacteria at all, but nothing surprises me these days. The Safe Start has problems with ammonia or dechlor present. But in your case you were well past the dechlor part.
     
  7. viper20

    viper20 New Member

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  8. TwoTankAmin

    TwoTankAmin Member

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    That should be fine, and 3 ppm of ammonia is OK.
     
  9. Sp00nman

    Sp00nman Mostly New Member

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    Hi viper20
     
    I've been browsing the forum and learning all about fishless cycling for the last few months but this is my first post.
     
    I read your post thinking this is the exact same post I was close to writing just over a week ago.
     
    I'm a newbie (had a tank as a child about 20 years ago but with my memory I can certainly call myself a newbie!!) and I got myself a Fluval Roma 240 about 7 weeks ago, read as much info as I could on fishless cycling, and got started.
     
    To cut a long story short I added the ammonia and started testing (API master kit) every 3 days. For over 2 weeks nothing happened - Amonia 4ppm, Nitrites 0ppm!  Decided to do a 95% water change and start again with a different source of ammonia but this time only adding enough ammonia to get to 3ppm.  Fast forward another 2 weeks and guess what - Ammonia 3ppm, Nitrites 0ppm!!!!!!
     
    At this point I was pretty peeved and just started testing for ammonia and not nitrites (what was the point as ammonia wasn't going anywhere) and I saw what I thought was a possible change in the shade of green from the ammonia test (never realised how bad I am at differentiating colours till I started all this!!) so thought I'd try a nitrite test.
     
    Would you believe it - I could see purple!!!!!!!!!  I couldn't believe my eyes!!!
     
    So even assuming there was something wrong with the first lot of ammonia I threw in, it still took 25 days before I saw nitrites (admittedly they probably showed up a few days earlier as I wasn't testing for nitrites at that point).
     
    I have absolutely no idea why it took so long but I'm currently in the 'Maintenance Feeding' part of the cycle (as described in TwoTankAmin's awesome guide) and just waiting for nitrites to come back down.
     
    Just thought I'd post to maybe give you a little hope.  Hang on in there!!
     
  10. danzo

    danzo Mostly New Member

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    just a quick update my water has now gone clear seams heterotrophic bacteria has left the tank just a quick question on what i should do next 
     
    i have juts done another water test to see what im getting and heres the results 
     
    ammonia 0.2 
    nitrate 15 
    nitrite 0.5 
    gh 100
    kh 100
    ph 7.4 
    previous results during the heterotrophic bacteria bloom was 
     
    ammonia 0 
    nitrate 25
    nitrite 0 
    gh 125
    kh 75 
    ph 7.4
     
    am i going well or is there something else i should be doing thanks for any replies  from what i know just keep waiting for amonia to drop and nitrites to 0 out but if this is the case my tank has been cycled in less than 4 days ... dont think this is right 
     
  11. Roman6

    Roman6 New Member

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    I just cycled a 20 gallon and had that same problem, what I did was put fish food in to try and get a different source of emonia and I believe that helped, however it still took much longer than I expected the process too.
     

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