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Cycling and confused


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  • Regular Member

Hey guys! Not to bother you with more "my tank won't cycle" crap but I've gotten myself super confused. There are so many variables that I can't figure out.

Quick run down of my situation. I had two goldfish that I got before I knew about tank cycling. I was working hard to cycle the tank while keeping them healthy and happy. My sister babysat my fish for a weekend and my fish ended up dying under her care :( So now I'm trying to do a fishless cycle.

- I have a 20 g tank with two filters running; a Topfin 10 & an Aquaclear 30. I have a mostly bare bottom with just a few larger rocks and an airstone. I use drops instead of strips to test the water parameters.

- I've been trying to cycle for 4 weeks with no nitrites whatsoever

- Ammonia has been consistently present but I don't know whats producing it if I'm not adding ammonia or even food product? It has been sitting at 8.0 (or higher I guess since the test kit tops out at 8.0), and I thought the higher the better and just read this week that it's better to have it sitting at 4.0- 5.0. So I did a 50 % water change with Prime and now it's at 4.0

- I also read that things happen faster at slightly higher temperatures so I've been trying to keep it at 80 F. But I also realized that it was at 88 F (gghh way to read a thermometer right :[ ) So I'm guessing that's too hot and probably wasn't helping so I got it turned back down

- PH has been around 7.2

- I've been using Seachem Stability for the past 4 days out of desperation

- Oh and I've got some brown particles (?) growing on things. Where is that coming from and is it bad? it tends to clump together.

I guess I just want to know if I'm on the right track now. I'm just getting pretty impatient and frustrated with the process. And should I only do water changes to maintain ammonia at 4.0?

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  • Admin

Ok is there Carbon in your filters? If so get that out please....

Is there plants in there? River rocks where did you get them from... Also if you can just get a photo or video of the tank... Easier :thumb:

So the ammonia was at 8ppm you did a water change to get it to 4ppms right? and no nitrites or nitrates what so ever.

How is the ph and kh out of the tank and tap please. :)

I just feel like I'm bumbling my way through this. My brain hurts from reading so many forum posts and articles, so help would be appreciated :)

Dont worry we will help hun... Just give us a bit :)

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  • Regular Member

Thanks for such quick responses :)

I believe there is carbon in the Topfin 10 one. I just shut it off. Yup, no nitrites or nitrates, and the ammonia is now 4 ppms. I can only measure the ph of the tap water and it comes out at 6.0. I've been adding PH increaser here and there because I read that a higher PH helps the cycling process (?). And the rocks are store bought tank ones.

Hopefully these pictures work

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th_P1080194.jpg

Edited by brittdee
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  • Regular Member

Get the carbon out and just stuff it full of filter floss or other good stuff that will keep the beneficial bacteria growing in your filters :) Where did you get your rocks? were they found or bought? THey're lovely either way :)

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Thanks! I got the rocks from Petsmart, just regular fish tank rocks I guess. I'll hunt down some filter floss. If the Top fin filter is made to fit a cartridge style filter does that matter; I guess like you said I can just stuff it in ?

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Thanks! I got the rocks from Petsmart, just regular fish tank rocks I guess. I'll hunt down some filter floss. If the Top fin filter is made to fit a cartridge style filter does that matter; I guess like you said I can just stuff it in ?

Great Video :)

http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/page/index.html/_/videos/how-to-using-filter-media-instead-of-cartridges-r314

Ok just wondering why you cant test the ph in the tank :( do you not have a Ph test kit?

If not try and take your water to a LFS (petsmart normally will do this) and ask them to test the KH and PH and you need the numbers.

If the PH or KH isnt around the 7.2 and higher range you can get a ph crash and that will either kill your cycle or your fish if you had them :(

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Thanks for the video ! Oops I meant I don't have anything to test the kh. I have the drops testing kit. The PH of the tap water is 6.0, and my tank is sitting around 7.2. I've been trying to maintain it at that level with a PH increaser.

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  • Regular Member

Let us know what the kH is asap, if your carbonate hardness is low, it will be harder to maintain a good pH level. You may need to add a buffer (other than a pH raiser) to keep your pH stable. People here use crushed coral to help with kH. You can also call the water company that supplies your plumbing and ask what the gH and kH are.

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It's just "Top Fin pH Increase" Koko

I would suggest when you can, some Gold Buffer from Seachem... Or if you go to goldfishconnection.com they sell Buff it up. :) Those two are the best Buffers I know of :)

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Top Fin pH increase is water and baking soda, it is a great temporary solution but will not provide a long lasting effect in your tank. If you age some water with the bubbler in a pail overnight, does that affect the pH at all?

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Hey Koko does the Gold Buffer replace using the crushed coral to help keep the pH stable ?

Bodoba, um, I've never tried aging the water. I can give it a try tonight. By bubbler do you mean the air stone thing. Sorry I'm new at this so I'm trying to keep up with all the terms, haha.

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Hey Koko does the Gold Buffer replace using the crushed coral to help keep the pH stable ?

Depending on how low your KH is, you can just use a buffer. My water I have to use crushed coral, my KH is very low (3-5 drops), So I have it in there to keep it stable, then I use Buff it up with Every water change. Even in my Guppy tank... :)

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I just bought a KH/GH tester kit and my tank water was only 2 drops for KH and pretty much 1-2 for GH. My tap water looked like 1 drop for both tests. So I'm guessing that is pretty low. So maybe I should hunt down some crushed coral and a good buffer

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I just bought a KH/GH tester kit and my tank water was only 2 drops for KH and pretty much 1-2 for GH. My tap water looked like 1 drop for both tests. So I'm guessing that is pretty low. So maybe I should hunt down some crushed coral and a good buffer

I would suggest when you can, some Gold Buffer from Seachem... Or if you go to goldfishconnection.com they sell Buff it up. :) Those two are the best Buffers I know of :)

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  • Regular Member

I just bought a KH/GH tester kit and my tank water was only 2 drops for KH and pretty much 1-2 for GH. My tap water looked like 1 drop for both tests. So I'm guessing that is pretty low. So maybe I should hunt down some crushed coral and a good buffer

Yes, try the crushed coral first. :)

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