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Cycling Woes


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  • Regular Member

Hi guys,

My tank is being very confusing. For the last three weeks or so (I think I inadvertently bumped my cycle once or twice by removing gravel and taking the carbon out of the cartridge before I started on Prazi for flukes) my ammonia has been pretty steady at .5 every day before the water change. I've been doing 50 or 60% water changes every day. But now it's dropped to .25 and has stayed there. I've stopped doing daily water changes to try to let it build up enough to convert to nitrites (that and nitrAtes have been 0 all along). My tank is overstocked, so I don't see how a lack of waste could be a problem. I'm certainly happy to see the ammonia decrease, but I'm wondering when things are going to start moving along.....

Some other info: I haven't used any sort of cycling agent (Nutrafin or anything like that), and after I removed the carbon I got some bio-balls and stuffed them in the old cartridge. That's been about... ten days? So I thought even if I completely destroyed my cycle by doing that, I'd be seeing some action by now.

Any ideas?

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  • Regular Member

My experience/advice:

Make sure all your test kits are up to date, i.e. not expired.

Keep ammonia less than .25

Try Nutrifin Cycle - it helps big time.

Be patient.

I believe overstocked tanks take longer to cycle.

Try not to disturb the filter until you are cycled, unless water flow is restricted.

Feed sparingly.

If you have no nitrates/nitrites you lost your cycle, not something I would call a bump. Since you are now cycling all over again the process can take up to 6 weeks.

What type of filter are you using?

What is your water temperature?

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  • Regular Member

I would be curious about the filter as well.

I am in the process of removing gravel from my tropical tank and it can get quite cloudy. I ended up throwing another filter on and the water clears very fast. However, I have not had any cycle bump.

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  • Regular Member

No cloudiness, no odor, no live plants. Water temp is pretty steady at around 74.

The filter is a Top Fin, it came with the tank. The tank is 10 gallons (soon to be upgraded to a 50) and it runs 80 gph, so it's not quite sufficient. Could that be the problem?

I will test the tap water and post back with the results this afternoon, I have to go to class soon.

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  • Regular Member

HOORAY!!! I finally, finally have a small measurement of nitrite! It's just about .25, so I'm going to do a water change right now.

I feel like so much less of a failure than I did yesterday. :D

:nana :nana :nana :nana :nana

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