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Old 12-27-2012, 08:13 PM   #1
cassperr
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Default What am I doing wrong?

Ive been cycling my tank for about 2 months and somethings not right. btw, im doing a fishless cycle. At first everything was working fine. about 8 days i got my first decrease in ammonia and seen nitrite. Great, im making progress. It got to where my ammonia level would drop down to almost yellow and id add more to it to bring the levels back up to about 4ppm. Well last week my ammonia spiked without me even adding any So I leave it be and not put to much thought in it. Well today I checked it again and got the same dark green result with a lighter colored purple then usual and some nice orange nitrate. Is everything going as planned or did I fubar something along the way.

Heres a picture of most recent test results.

btw, will water temperature effect cycle process?


Last edited by cassperr; 12-27-2012 at 08:33 PM. Reason: adding picture, asking more questions
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:15 AM   #2
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have you added anything to the tank that you have washed in tapwater?
bogwood soaked in tapwater?
always wash things in dechlorinated tapwater if you must before it goes in the tank but dont wash anything in the tank while its on its cycle.
dont do any water changes till it has cycled..
turn your temps up to about 80 to cycle faster and plenter of air
just be patient, add your ammo when needed to get to 4ppm or abouts,
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:19 AM   #3
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Thats just it. I havn't done nothing but let it sit there. Not added anything, not taken anything out, no water changes. I just check it daily and add ammonia when I need to. Will water temp affect it because it did get really cold last week.
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:44 AM   #4
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depends how cold, have you no heater in the tank?
get one if not and get it up to 80 and add an airstone,
maybe you overdosed the ammonia?
just keep patient an go with it, keep calm and dont panic
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Old 12-28-2012, 04:00 PM   #5
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Got heater setup this morning and is at between 79 and 82. I shall see how this works for a week and go from there. This waiting game SUCKS!
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Old 12-28-2012, 06:46 PM   #6
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Change your water. If ammonia spikes too high like that it causes a stall in the cycle. The bacteria them selves are effected by such high ammonia. You have likley lost ground in the cycle. I would do a water change ASAP. Do not let ammonia go over 5ppm. Ideally i would keep it around 2ppm. The 4ppm recommended dose it a bit to high IMO as it makes a stall like this more likely.
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Old 12-29-2012, 05:08 PM   #7
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Definitely do the water change- 50-60%- then check the ammonia, if it is still above 2 or 3ppm then don't add anymore until it starts to drop. Then add it to keep it closer to 2ppm. You have no nitrite showing and you will need that. It's possible the high ammonia is knocking the nitrite down. You should see it go up again before it falls. The good news is that your nitrate is in a pretty good range, so the tank is pretty close to being cycled. It will just need a chance to calm down from what it's currently doing.

When you are showing 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and nitrate is present then you will want to do a large water change, add ammonia in to about 2ppm and if it is gone 24 hours later your cycle is finished. Add fish slowly.

And this is why we do fishless cycling No worrying about harming the fish when your cycle freaks out on you!
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Old 12-30-2012, 04:19 PM   #8
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Yep, that's the problem. If your ammonia is around 4, then it's no wonder you're having no luck. That much ammonia is enough to kill the bacteria. 3 is far more than enough, and 2 really will do the job just fine.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:29 AM   #9
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pretty much mirrors the pm i sent when i couldnt post a reply to you, wouldnt say 4ppm is too high but it is pretty much the limit and it will cycle quicker if you got it to 2ppm once you see nitrite, check your ammo level every 12 hours and keep at 2, once in the morning then 12 hours later.... as i keep saying, be patient, one day very soon you will hit them 0's, do a water change to rid the nitrates and just dose your ammo one more time then as long as you hit the 0's again your good to go

oh and you will need to low dose ammo till you stock it
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:51 PM   #10
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Ok after reading some of the answers and suggestions I did a 80% water change and left it alone for 2 days.

Heres test result after day 1


Heres test result after day 2.


Is it going in the right direction?
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Old 01-01-2013, 01:13 AM   #11
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does look like ammonia is dropping, hard to say because of the shadow behind your tubes, always try in good light and watch the shadows, they darken the way the result looks, add another pic in a few days like the 3rd you put up before you add your next dose of ammonia and add nothing else except ammonia if needed
leave the adding ammonia till it near yellow then add a little more to dose to 1ppm or maybe 2, i would say 1 as your nitrites are high, check ammonia every 12 hours and dose if needed (remember to let ammo levels drop 1st as it is now)
you want nitrites to drop to 0.. once nitrites are 0 check your nitrates (they will be off the chart)
do a massive water change to get them as low as you can and dose your ammo to get to 1ppm,
check after 12 hours, if ammo and nitrites are 0 well done, if not dont panic..check after another 12 hours by now they should be 0, check your nitrates again, as long as they below 40ppm add your fish as soon as you can and let the fish add the ammonia, if your not adding fish straight away you will need to keep dosing ammonia to keep bacteria alive but make sure it 0 before you add fish.
if your nitrates are 40ppm or there abouts you can concentrate on getting that down as you go after fish are added, if nitrates are low in your source (and by your 1st and 2nd pic they are) every 3 days do a 30% water change and test for nitrates after 30 minutes each time, and try and get water temps the same as tank water before you add it,
soon you will have 0 ammo/nitrites and a low nitrate...
then you can pat yourself on the head sit back and enjoy your fish
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Last edited by weedkiller; 01-01-2013 at 01:27 AM.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:41 PM   #12
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You have nitrite I'd not add anything for another day, see if things continue to go down. It's all still on the high side. That you have nitrite now is awesome! You don't want the nitrite to get any higher than it is.
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5.5ga- 1 Beautiful Betta, 1 persnickety snail


I have green things with leafs.


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Note from Kiera: "Can I Play with it? Can I play with it? Can I play with it? Please? Please? Please?"

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Old 01-01-2013, 08:29 PM   #13
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Well, im going to leave it just like it is. Haven't touched it in 3 days and todays results looked the same as yesterday so im just gonna play the waiting game.
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:31 PM   #14
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Everyday my little boy walks up to it and points and says fish, lol Hopefully soon I can say yeah.
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:43 PM   #15
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ROFL, it will get there cassper! It's doing well on its own. If you have fish food you could add a pinch of that. It won't add a whole lot of ammonia to the tank, but will keep it fed.
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20 Long: 1 Juli Corycat, 4 red line tetra's, 3 Von Rio tetra, 1 Flame tetra 1 Rubber lipped pleco, 1 Curviceps cichlid, 1 blue tetra.

5.5ga- 1 Beautiful Betta, 1 persnickety snail


I have green things with leafs.


Note's from Bradley: "Meow." "Yes I did say meow, and I meant it."

Note from Kiera: "Can I Play with it? Can I play with it? Can I play with it? Please? Please? Please?"

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