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Stalled fishless cycle?


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I am currently fishless cycling my 30 gallon tank and have been following the graph as for what i should expect to see from this link:

http://www.kokosgoldfish.com/FishlessCycle.html

I'm currently on day 12, but i have yet to see any nitrites. Is it possible that my cycle is just slower or is it somehow stalled? When i was adding the ammonia i was really paranoid about whether it was 4ppm or 8ppm because the colors are so similar on the API Master Test Kit, so i had everyone in my house check to get their opinions. lol. Is it possible that i added too much ammonia? What will this mean if i have? I know 2 days over the 10 day mark is hardly anything, but i'm worried that i may have done something wrong and would hope it'd be easier to fix if i catch it sooner. Any help will be appreciated. :)

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Could you find out the following for me, please? :)

1. What is the tank temp?

2. What is the tank pH? Tap pH?

3. What is the carbonate hardness of your tap water? carbonate hardness of the tank?

Sometimes it happens faster or slower, but the 8ppm or 4ppm should not affect things at this stage :)

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1. Temp. is a steady 78* with a heater.

2. (I wasn't sure whether to use reg. pH or high pH so I did both?)

Reg.

Tank - 7.6

Tap - 7.2

High

Tank - 8.4

Tap - 7.4

3. I do not know the carbonate hardness, but if it would be useful to know this i can get a test for it on Mon. :)

I'm sorry if i'm just being a worrier, i just want to make sure i get it righ. :P That being said, how do i know which pH test to use?? It didn't really specify in the instruction booklet...

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Since you are on the cusp on the pH, I would test with both :)

It would be useful to know the carbonate hardness, because it will tell you whether you will need to buffer your tank water against pH crashes or not. Also, as cycle bacteria consume carbonates, it's important to maintain this at a good level :)

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Just wanted to stop in and say that you should not necessarily expect your cycle to follow the cycle in that link. My cycle certainly did not ;) I did not get my first nitrite reading until 2 months into my cycle (and wasn't finished cycling for 3 full months). I hope that yours will go quicker for you, but there are a lot of factors/variables at play in each individual system, making it difficult to predict exactly when nitrites/nitrates will show up etc.

You may also want to try using some nutrafin cycle if you have some extra money to spend. It is by no means necessary, but sometimes it can help (and sometimes it may do nothing :P). I personally felt it helped my cycle along. I started getting really frustrated because I wasn't getting nitrites and 48 hrs after adding cycle I got my first nitrite reading... could have been coincidence, who knows ;)

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Since you are on the cusp on the pH, I would test with both :)

It would be useful to know the carbonate hardness, because it will tell you whether you will need to buffer your tank water against pH crashes or not. Also, as cycle bacteria consume carbonates, it's important to maintain this at a good level :)

Thank you, dnalex. I will make sure i pick up a test for that on Mon. and get back to you on what the levels are. :)

Just wanted to stop in and say that you should not necessarily expect your cycle to follow the cycle in that link. My cycle certainly did not ;) I did not get my first nitrite reading until 2 months into my cycle (and wasn't finished cycling for 3 full months). I hope that yours will go quicker for you, but there are a lot of factors/variables at play in each individual system, making it difficult to predict exactly when nitrites/nitrates will show up etc.

You may also want to try using some nutrafin cycle if you have some extra money to spend. It is by no means necessary, but sometimes it can help (and sometimes it may do nothing :P). I personally felt it helped my cycle along. I started getting really frustrated because I wasn't getting nitrites and 48 hrs after adding cycle I got my first nitrite reading... could have been coincidence, who knows ;)

That was very helpful, thank you!! I had read that it differed for everyone, but i didn't know if it differed because some people were doing fish-in cycles, fishless cycles using food or fishless cycles using ammonia. Since that was based off a fishless cycle using ammonia i thought it would be the best guidline to use. I give you credit for sticking it out for 3 months!! That takes some patience. lol. But you were doing what was best for your goldies. :) I'll prob. give it another week or two and see what going on with my carbonates before trying the Nutrafin. It's definitely good to know i have that option, though! Thank you. :)

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Not only could it differ regarding what method you are using to cycle, but also things like your Ph, temp, hardness can affect the cycle, and I am sure there are potentially other variables in the water that could affect how/when things progress, this is what I mean by your 'system' :) everyone's water is different (unless they're using the same water source :P). This is why Alex asked about your Ph, temp, and kh. These are known factors that can affect a cycle, but I have to believe that there are also unknown water parameters that may also affect the rate of cycling.

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Hi dnalex,

I went to PetCo and PetSmart today and asked for tests to test for carbonate and they looked at me like I was crazy... I tried looking for myself, but didn't find much unfortunately. Can you give me a suggestion for a brand/kit, please?

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Well me I just call it the GH and KH test kit :o:P

:no: That would be too easy. :P And I have a feeling these places still wouldn't know what i was talking about, they'll just know they've seen the box somewhere. :doh11:

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Well me I just call it the GH and KH test kit :o:P

:no: That would be too easy. :P And I have a feeling these places still wouldn't know what i was talking about, they'll just know they've seen the box somewhere. :doh11:

True hun.... One key tip, its always in with the water conditioner section. :thumb:

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I will be going today to pick it up. I feel bad i've made you guys wait so long for results, but the nearest PetSmart is 45 min. away from me and i don't get out that way too often. So results for the Kh/Gh will be given tonight! *fingers crossed*

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So it looks like i will have to order the test kit from the internet. The one i went to didn't have it, so i called another one about an hour away in IL and they didn't have it, either! I stopped at a little shop in the same area, but no such luck. :( But i do have some interesting development... i haven't tested the water (didn't see any need to, to be honest) since the 7th and got these results today: ammo: 1ppm, nitrite: 5.0+ppm. Aren't i supposed to get a reading of 0 ammonia before getting any reading of nitrites?? What's going on with my tank? Lol. At least the ammonia is down from the original 4ppm.

Also, i was reading around on some other threads and someone was having a problem with the ph being from their tank and their tap. another user said having the bubble wands in there would cause that and to put a bubble stone in the bucket to raise it before adding it to the tank. Is this true and a possiblity? I have my bubblers cranked way up right now to try to help the bb's grow. Thanks in advance for all the advice. :)

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Yay for nitrites! :D

There is a general pattern of cycling but it is not abnormal to still have ammonia when you get nitrites. What you do want to do now though is to drop the amount of ammonia you add to the tank down to 1 ppm instead of 4 ppm now that you have nitrites :)

Yes, sometimes water companies add gasses to the water (or gasses become trapped in the water in the pipes) which cause the Ph to lower, then when the water is in the tank and aerated these gasses are released which allows the Ph to rise again (this is my incredibly basic understanding of the process). So, aerating the water in buckets before doing a water change and allowing the Ph to rise will avoid swings in Ph in the tank.

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So this is a good thing?! Yay! :clapping: How often should i add the 1ppm of ammonia?

That is good to know about the ph, i ordered the kh/gh test just to be sure still. :)

Edited by GoldfishGraycee
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Just want to wish you good luck! I am known to have the longest cycling water EVER! So I feel your pain! But once it's done you will love it!

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I am having a hard time determining whether my ammonia is .5 or 1.0 so i took a pic. to get everyone's opinion. But, this also made me question every other test. Lol. I'm going to put what i think they are, hopefully it's right. But if not, please tell me otherwise. I put the links because i wanted to keep the pictures large. Thanks for looking! :)

Ammonia: ?ppm

http://i1147.photobucket.com/albums/o542/jk10611/DSC02717.jpg

Nitrite: 5.0ppm?

http://i1147.photobucket.com/albums/o542/jk10611/DSC02719.jpg

pH: 8.2?

http://i1147.photobucket.com/albums/o542/jk10611/DSC02715.jpg

Nitrate: 40ppm?

http://i1147.photobucket.com/albums/o542/jk10611/DSC02721.jpg

I am still waiting on the KH/GH test, but hopefully that will get here soon!

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