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I NEED HELP with cycling... :(


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  • Regular Member

Hi everyone! I hope someone can help me with this... It is my first experience with cycling and I'm starting to wonder if I'm doing it wrong...

Fishtank- 26 gallon barebottom

Planted- Lightly

Heater- No (room temperature)

Aeration- Yes (big bubble wall)

So, on day 1, I dosed to 3 ppm of ammonia. It dropped to 0.50 ppm on day 11.

I added ammonia to reach 3 ppm again every time it dropped lower.

I started seeing nitrites on day 13 and it never dropped (5 ppm). I now add half the ammonia I used to.

My ammonia breaks down in about 24 hours every time.

I did a 40% to 45% water change two days ago, as my Ph was about 5...but no changes were observed.

I know this was long to read, thanks ALOT!

Am I doing this the wrong way? Should I keep adding ammonia or just leave it alone? Should I try adding a heater?

I need help, please.

:krazy:

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  • Regular Member

When setup my tank Ph was neutral... and no I dont know :( Is it stalled? :S

(thank you for the super fast reply!)

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  • Regular Member

Well, a Ph of 5 will potentially stall it, it is too low.

I would recommend that you get a gh/kh test kit, as you may need to buffer your tank. It is good to know the buffering capacity of your water for when you get your fish, as a drop in Ph to 5 would be very dangerous for your goldies.

You should keep adding the ammonia like you are :) A heater may help speed things up a bit if you have the money for it, but it is by no means necessary. A fully cycle can take a long time sometimes :) my fishless cycle took 3 months (1 month before I even got a nitrite reading and those took a long time to drop).

I think you are well on your way :)

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I see! Thank you so much for the infos, you always help, Im a youtube subscriber also and I trust your recommandations :)!

I'm going to get that test by tomorrow!

-My temp is around 72 now :)

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  • Regular Member

No problem :) Let us know what your test results are when you get them (and definitely get the API drop gh/kh test kit, petsmart and petco typically carry it)

72 will be just fine (just wanted to make sure room temp wasn't too low), but if you do get a heater you can crank it up to 80-85 :)

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  • Regular Member

Well, I dont have petsmart and pet co here, but I know just where to get it xD! Yes Api is my brand of choice for sure.

I'll update about it as soon as possible!

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  • Admin

When your out. See if you can find some crushed coral and also Seachems Gold Buffer. I think your water is soft, and if so, its going to need something to raise your PH and keep it up there. :thumb:

Is there any logs, or ornaments in this tank now?

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  • Regular Member

I only need to get the Ph up for the cycling period, right? Because I'm planning on doing 50 % water changes twice a week! :)

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  • Admin

Depending on how low your KH is, will determine if you need a constant PH buffer.

Like me I have to use a buffer on every water change, cause my KH is low and my PH goes in swings cause of the rain. So my ph can drop down to 6.4.

So get your KH and PH tester so we can see if your going to need a buffer. Also having it on hand if you do have a low KH will help cause your going to need to test your water all the time. :thumb:

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  • Regular Member

Okay so I bought a Ph test (nutrafin) and a buffer (seachem), as they didn't have the gh/kh api test.

I will be able to test my Ph again tonight and then buffer my tank... until I can get my Kh tested...should it be fine?

EDIT:(My sister has a cheap 6,5 gallon tank and it cycled with her few guppies in it...and the Ph is neutral...

I'm guessing it should be alright since our tap water comes from the same house..)

I'm really hoping this helps my cycle... :( !

Thank you Koko ! ;)

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  • Admin

Ok test your tap and your tank :)

What is the name of the buffer, I just want to make sure everything is ok.

Did you get some crushed coral?

We might be able to get it controlled with out the KH. but we wont be able to stabilize it.

So once you get the numbers we will work from there :thumb: Dont worry we will get this worked out :)

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  • Admin

OK thats ok :)

You want to test the tap as your control. You need to keep a log for your ph. Meaning testing the tap before a water change and testing your ph everyday. Atleast until you get it down to how much of the buffer to use and how long it will hold the ph there.

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  • Regular Member

Yes, great! I already have a log for my cycle and one for tank in general so no problem.

Thanks a milion times !!! :D

I'll update as soon as possible

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  • Regular Member

So here are my parameters according to the tests I've just made:

Ammonia: 0.25 (was 1.5 ppm this morning)

Nitrite: 5 ppm

Nitrate: 160 ppm

Tank Ph: 5.5

Tap Ph: 7.0

So I added the buffer and I'm going to check my Ph tomorrow morning...

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So here are my parameters according to the tests I've just made:

Ammonia: 0.25 (was 1.5 ppm this morning)

Nitrite: 5 ppm

Nitrate: 160 ppm

Tank Ph: 5.5

Tap Ph: 7.0

So I added the buffer and I'm going to check my Ph tomorrow morning...

It's a good idea to test your tap for ammonia/nitrite/nitrate too if you haven't already, just so you know what you are dealing with in the tap.

If I were you I would probably do a water change, I do not know how much validity there is to this, as there is some debate about it, but high nitrates (e.g. over 100) may stall a fishless cycle. So, just to be safe I would go ahead and do a 50-80% water change to get the nitrates back down to a more reasonable level and add your ammonia back in :) (the water change won't hurt anything)

Edited by tithra
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  • Regular Member

Oh really? I thought of it but I heard to never do a water change during cycle..I'll do that tomorrow morning as well as testing my tap water for other parameters, thank you !

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  • Regular Member
Oh really? I thought of it but I heard to never do a water change during cycle..I'll do that tomorrow morning as well as testing my tap water for other parameters, thank you !

The great thing about a fishless cycle is that you often do not need to do water changes, but a water change will not negatively impact your cycle, and people sometimes report that it helps when things are stalled.

The vast majority of your beneficial bacteria are in your filter media, so they don't got anywhere when you change the water (in the same way that big water changes do not affect the cycle of a cycled tank). Plus you will add the ammonia right back in after and that will continue to feed those BBs. And of course add your buffer back in as well :)

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  • Admin

Good posting Tithra :thumb:

Yeah with your numbers you posted I would do a water change. In fact if we get those Nitrites and correct your Ph your almost cycled.

So what are the numbers today?

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  • Regular Member

Hello! So...

I did a 70-80% water change this morning!

After that water change, Ph was around 8.0 to 8.5 (it was 5.5!)

Nitrates got lower to 80 ppm (which is still high, but a lot lower!)

I also tested my tap water:

Ammonia: 0 ppm

Nitrite: 0 ppm

Nitrate: 0 ppm

Ph: 7.0

I tested again tonight for nitrite and it seemed a bit lower (hard to tell) xD!

I HOPE my cycle is almost done, this is a HUGE test for my patience, but I really want to do everything right :)

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