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JessicaandMarshall

What If My Tank Won't Cycle

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I set my 44 gal up on Sept. 25th.

I keep a log so if anyone has any specific questions, I can look up the exact dates and amounts of nitrites and nitrates.

I have nitrates, the highest they have gone was 9-10 and they are back down to 5ppm.

I also still have nitrites. The highest they have gone is 0.3 which isn't too bad I suppose. They are back down to 0.2 . I read if they go over 2 you are in trouble, but so far I haven't even hit 1. I have used aquarium salt to reduce stress.

So it's been a little over a month. I know, I know patience. But is it possible my tank will not cycle? How long should I wait? I'm getting antsie! I have thoughts of chucking this nnnnnn filter and getting a huge aquaclear and starting all over again with biospera.

My tank temp is only around 70-72 right now. I suppose that has something to do with it as well.

Thanks

Jessica

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Some questions:

How many fish do you have in this tank?

How many gallons per hour does the filter turn over?

What facility does the filter have for bio-media? Is is a sponge or just a bio wheel or a combination?

When you say .3 or .2 I am assuming you mean 3ppm or 2ppm. ?

The nitrates have been DROPPING? Do they drop because of water changes or are they just "dropping".

A month is not necessarily overly long - it can be much shorter, or, unfortunately, it can be longer. Maybe there are some ways we can help you tweak it to speed it along, but perhaps you are truly just going to have to have patience!

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thanks.

No I meant 0.2 or 0.3 that was my nitrites.

My nitrates have only dropped because of water changes, as far as I can tell. My nitrates haven't gone below 5ppm, but the highest they went was 9-10ppm

I have no clue about the filter, sorry =o( I will search for the packaging tomorrow morning, and see if I can find out the answers to your questions. I think it's supposed to be good up to 60 gals and I have a 44 gal.

The filter media, is a cartridge, with blue fuzz on one side and the black plastic on the other, just like that penguin filter cartridge I saw on ebay.

Oh I forgot the number of fish, I have 5, the smallest one is only an inch and is going into a 20 gallon as soon as it's finished cycling. It's levels are higher than the 44 gal, so I figured the little guy was best off in there. I figured out the 2" per gallon, and I still have room to spare, but of course the fish will grow, so the little guy is getting the boot first, and I am thinking about setting up another 40 and putting the lionhead in it, which would leave 3 in the 44.

Thanks Daryl

Edited by JessicaandMarshall

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I guess my suggestion would be to check that you have adequate turn over of the water - I like 10 times per hour minimum. ( I usually have a lot more)

Then, if ALL the filter supports is the blue/black cartridge, you can find ways of giving the beneficial bacterial more platforms to develop. If there is any way you can pack a small net bag of lava rock or ceramic cylindars into the filter, I would do so. If not, even a small bag of it hidden under a plant on the bottom of the tank will work as long as the water flows through it. Many times, I have dropped extra "stuff" in such as this, simply to goose a tank through a problem time or to support an extra fish or to jump start a cycle. This extra platform does not need to be replaced (except in extreme circumstances such as very nasty disease, etc.) and has literally thousands of yards of surface area for the bacteria to attach. It is great stuff.

If your filter is only using the one cartridge, it might be a good idea to give some serious thought about adding another filter to your tank. This way, when you do find it necessary to replace that cartridge, you are not taking away all the bacteria you have worked so hard to cultivate. You can replace one, then the other in alternating weeks/months. Even if your filter turns over sufficiant water per hour, extra is always nice.

I like the filters that have an extra basket or something you can pack some stuff into to goose the bacteria. The Penquins usually have a basket as well as the blue/black cartridge. The cartridge is rinsed and occasionally replaced but the media in the basket remains constant. This is simply MY personal preference. You will have to decide what you want the filter to do for your tank and combine this knowledge with what you have and what you can get.

Good luck. No matter what you do, though, your cycle should come through. Hopefully soon. :)

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Thank you again! I don't know why I bought this filter I hate it. I like the aqua clear ones. I do have an extra filter, but there is no opening in my hood to put it!! Drat.

Thanks for the ideas. I'm going to try to add extra media and see if that helps any.

I'll have to find out what the water turnover per hour is with this filter. I'll let you know.

Thanks a million

Jessica

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