Fishless Cycle Problem - No Progress - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 17 Old 04-18-2012, 09:01 PM Thread Starter
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Fishless Cycle Problem - No Progress

Hello everyone,

I am new to the forum but not to the hobby, hoping someone can help with my issue.

The issue I am having is that my fishless cycle is not progressing at all. None of the levels are changing even after 12 days (and counting). Here are the specifics:

- 90 gallon tank
- Pure (clear) ammonia from janitorial supply store
- Full bottle of live bacteria from my local lfs
- Penguin 350 + emperor 400
- API freshwater test kit
- Established media from my 75G tank

Water readings:

- PH - 7.6
- Temp: 80C
- NH3: 5.0PPM
- NO2: 0PPM
- NO3: 0PPM

And it has been that was for 12 days.

To make matters even more interesting, I just finished cycling a new 75G tank last month with literally the exact same setup and materials- same test kit, same ammonia, same bac, same filter. My 75G tank cycled in 2 weeks exactly. My nitrite spike happened after 2 days and everything went perfectly as planned. I am wondering if there is something wrong with my water in this tank (they are in different locations). Every time I add the ammonia (same ammonia as my last cycle) the water gets immediately cloudy, a reaction I never saw once with the 75G tank last month.

Anyone have any idea whats going on?

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 17 Old 04-18-2012, 09:05 PM
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Welcome to TFK first of all.

How much ammonia and how often are you dosing the tank? It is possible that you may have added too much and killed the bacteria off from the established media.

10g Fry / Hospital / QT tank (as needed)

75g Saltwater Reef, Ocellaris Clownfish, Lyretail Antias (baby), Lemon damsel, Longtail Fairy Wrasse, purple dottyback, snails, crabs and a few LPS corals.

220g Still sitting empty (come on Lottery I need the numbers to come up!)
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post #3 of 17 Old 04-18-2012, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tazman View Post
Welcome to TFK first of all.

How much ammonia and how often are you dosing the tank? It is possible that you may have added too much and killed the bacteria off from the established media.
Hi Tazman,

Thanks for the reply. I added 5 ML of ammonia which provided me with a reading of about 2PPM. After 7 days I added another 3ML which brought the reading to 5PPM. It is a high concentrate ammonia so I dose very sparingly. Like I mentioned it is the exact same ammonia I used to cycle a 75G tank last month.
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post #4 of 17 Old 04-18-2012, 09:20 PM
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2 weeks is a very fast cycle.. They usually last about a month. Ammonia usually takes around 2 weeks to drop.
Don't dose anymore ammonia until your levels drop, and hold strong. You obviously haven't done anything wrong. What water conditioner are you using? I've heard depending on how long the bacteria bottle is sitting, they can be totally useless. Unless the bottle is very fresh, the bacteria will usually be dead (they don't last long without a food source, and there is no ever lasting food source in the bottle).

taking a break from fish-keeping.
3 lovely male betta still keep me company.
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post #5 of 17 Old 04-18-2012, 09:21 PM
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If you put pure ammonia in... and you're not getting an ammonia reading at all, could it be possible the tank is already cycled from the 75g media? If you just cycled another tank their could be enough bacteria on the filter to compensate for the ammonia.

If this is the case though Nitrate should keep rising unless you do water change. Maybe give it another couple days to a week and see what happens?
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post #6 of 17 Old 04-18-2012, 09:27 PM
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OK, ideally you should be dosing the same amount each day...until you read nitrites and then reduce the dose to half the original.

It can take up to 6-8 weeks to cycle a tank so it perhaps just that it has stalled as the bacteria from the established tank multiply to large enough quantities to register any nitrites on your test kit.
Give it another week or so and see if you get any readings then...
If by then you still have no readings, then you can always get a frozen shrimp and put it in the tank (recommend if you do this to put it in a mesh bag or pantyhose material and let it sink in the tank...can smell somewhat otherwise if it is near the surface).

Check the pH in your tank as well as this can sometimes cause a cycle to stall if it crashes...if you find the pH is low then perform a large water change and monitor the tank again.

Best I can offer for now.

10g Fry / Hospital / QT tank (as needed)

75g Saltwater Reef, Ocellaris Clownfish, Lyretail Antias (baby), Lemon damsel, Longtail Fairy Wrasse, purple dottyback, snails, crabs and a few LPS corals.

220g Still sitting empty (come on Lottery I need the numbers to come up!)
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post #7 of 17 Old 04-18-2012, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
2 weeks is a very fast cycle.. They usually last about a month. Ammonia usually takes around 2 weeks to drop.
Don't dose anymore ammonia until your levels drop, and hold strong. You obviously haven't done anything wrong. What water conditioner are you using? I've heard depending on how long the bacteria bottle is sitting, they can be totally useless. Unless the bottle is very fresh, the bacteria will usually be dead (they don't last long without a food source, and there is no ever lasting food source in the bottle).
Hi Olympia,
Thanks for the response. You may be right, I may have been spoiled with my last cycle, maybe I got a really fresh bottle of bac? I guess I will just hold strong.
For conditioner I use Prime.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladayen View Post
If you put pure ammonia in... and you're not getting an ammonia reading at all, could it be possible the tank is already cycled from the 75g media?
Just to clarify, I am getting 5PPM reading of NH3 constant.
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post #8 of 17 Old 04-18-2012, 09:30 PM
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Prime actually can convert nitrite into something else if I remember correctly.. Your Prime could be stalling the cycle.. Did you use it last time? The bottle says to only use it if your cycle gets out of hand readings to reduce levels. Prime is an amazing product, but I don't know if it's the best during cycling.

taking a break from fish-keeping.
3 lovely male betta still keep me company.
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post #9 of 17 Old 04-18-2012, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
Prime actually can convert nitrite into something else if I remember correctly.. Your Prime could be stalling the cycle.. Did you use it last time? The bottle says to only use it if your cycle gets out of hand readings to reduce levels. Prime is an amazing product, but I don't know if it's the best during cycling.
I only used it once when I initially loaded the tank with water to remove the chlorine. I waited 24 hours before adding the bacteria and ammonia and have not added any prime since.
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post #10 of 17 Old 04-18-2012, 09:33 PM
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I definitely would NOT be using prime until your cycle is complete..it could be the cause, are you doing water changes as prime is best used in association with water changes.

Hold off on adding anymore prime and see if that starts the cycle off again, once the cycle is complete and your clearing ammonia in 24 hours or less, perform a 75% water change and you should be good to go with the fish.

10g Fry / Hospital / QT tank (as needed)

75g Saltwater Reef, Ocellaris Clownfish, Lyretail Antias (baby), Lemon damsel, Longtail Fairy Wrasse, purple dottyback, snails, crabs and a few LPS corals.

220g Still sitting empty (come on Lottery I need the numbers to come up!)
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