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Fishless Cycling Disaster!

JenLo

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Hi,

I decided to get just a small handful of tropical fish for my living room.

So far it's been an unmitigated disaster!

I bought my tank, sand and decorations from pets at home. It is an aqua one aqua start 320, 28l, and came wih an internal filter and I bought a heater.

My first mistake was to take advice from the shop, who advised me to set the tank up for 3 days then add fish. They sold me 4 mollies. Needless to say, within 3 days, all 4 died.

So I found out about fishless cycling. Looked everywhere for pure ammonia but couldn't find any. So I put a raw prawn in a mesh (tights) and put it in.

Within 7 days the smell was horrendous, and the water looked disgusting.

Plus my ammonia was far too high, at between 4-8ppm (hard to tell using API test kit).

So I took it out, and did a partial water change. Ammonia remained at 4-8 for 4 days. I did another water change and added fish food.

Now the ammonia is down to 1ppm, and still no sign of nitrites or nitrates.

I have managed to borrow some media from an established tank, which has gone in today. pH is 7.8.

It's now been 21 days and all I have is horrible water and nothing to show for it! Please help!
 

Warehouse

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With mature media going in you'll be seeing results soon. You need to find that ammonia to add to top it up a bit. Whereabouts in the country are you? Do you have a toolstation store nearby? They have lots of outlets and it's where I got mine originally.
 

This Old Spouse

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I'd do a massive water change, if nothing else to get rid of the smell. With the mature media, your filter will be cycled almost immediately. But if you don't add fish right away again, the bacteria will have nothing to eat and you'll be back to square 1.
 
You should be able to go back to the LFS and get replacement fish, since it was their mistake that caused their deaths.
 
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JenLo

JenLo

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I am in the Scottish Borders (UK) unfortunately nowhere sells it, I had a good search!

I did a large water change already and the smell went. I looked this morning and the water looks a bit clearer.

I'll test the water tonight and post results to see if I can maybe get (maybe just one) fish in this weekend.

The LFS have said they will replace the poor mollies.

Thanks!
 

Welshweeks

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Try your local hardware diy store that's where I managed to pick a bottle up from when I did my fishless cycle back last year. Just starting the process all over again on a 40ltr tank.
 
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JenLo

JenLo

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Ammonia back up and showing nitrites tonight! And cloudiness gone down a bit! Shall I wait until ammo goes down before adding fish?

Ammo 4ppm
Nitrite .50ppm
Nitrate 0ppm
 

geordieelvis

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Ammonia needs to be a constant 0 before you add any fish, then test water frequently. I had a new tank and got ahead of myself, ammonia spiked to 4ppm and I lost fish. It is difficult to remain patient but I think it's the way to do it.
P.s your not too far away, I am just outside of Berwick!
 
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JenLo

JenLo

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Oh, hi! Any idea where I can get ammonia in a bottle round here? Also, is there somewhere other than P@H that stocks tropical fish?! Thanks.
 
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JenLo

JenLo

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That's what I have been doing, but it's making loads of mess! I'll have to give it a good clean when I'm finished.
 

geordieelvis

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JenLo said:
Oh, hi! Any idea where I can get ammonia in a bottle round here? Also, is there somewhere other than P@H that stocks tropical fish?! Thanks.
Where abouts are you?? I get all my fish stuff from Berwick , good selection and helpful staff.
 

DJH584

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JenLo said:
That's what I have been doing, but it's making loads of mess! I'll have to give it a good clean when I'm finished.
 
if you are going to continue with the fish food method, try using something similar to a bouquet garni bag - should keep mess down to a minimum.
 
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JenLo

JenLo

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Right I don't understand this at all. After showing nitrites last night, I just tested again tonight and there aren't any :(. still 4ppm ammonia though. Why am I getting nitrites and then they are dissapearing?!

I'm near Galashiels, they do actually have a good selection there. I just wish I could get started!

Tank water looks much cleaner today though.
 
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