Something went majorly wrong during fishless cycling :( - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 18 Old 02-13-2010, 07:05 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Something went majorly wrong during fishless cycling :(

Hi

I got an aquarium for my mom on her birthday towards the end of january. I decided to be good and went for fishless cycling but somethings gone wrong seriously.

I did everything as was supposed to checked my ph and nitrates and nitrites and ammonia. Added the ammonia just as it was told to ( 5ppm then waited till it finished and half of that everyday).

Thing is now nitrates and nitrites just all of a sudden are of the charts.

I added a few more plants in there yesterday and it had a few in there since three days to the start of cycling.

Thanks a lot.

Anisha
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post #2 of 18 Old 02-13-2010, 07:39 AM
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You are at the next stage of cycling. Is your ammonia down? Once ammonia goes down, your nitrites will spike. After some time, the nitrites will drop and nitrates will spike. Once your nitrates fall below 40ppm, and you get 0 readings for ammonia and nitrites, you're good to go. Cycling a tank can takes 4-8 weeks. Hang in there. By the way, your plants look great. Nice job there!
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post #3 of 18 Old 02-13-2010, 09:01 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks:)

but theres like a max reading for nitrites and nitrates on the test kit whereas ammonia seems to drop to zero in 12 hours everyday
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post #4 of 18 Old 02-13-2010, 10:09 AM
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Your ammonia drops and nitrites/trates are spiking because you have bacteria working. I'll let someone else chime in before I say perhaps a partial water change might be done. But you do have the cycle working for sure. It's not something horribly wrong.

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post #5 of 18 Old 02-13-2010, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
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My lfs aske me to do a 90% water change. Measure readings and den add the ammonia again. So changed the water. waiting for an hour for things ot settle down before i add the ammonia.Any suggestions???
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post #6 of 18 Old 02-13-2010, 10:22 AM
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90%.....WHAT??? Never heard of such a thing. I would say like 30-40% to sort of "water down" the nitrites, but not 90%. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I nevr heard of anyone doing 90% during a cycle.
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post #7 of 18 Old 02-13-2010, 10:23 AM
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No water changes are needed when doing a fishless cycle. From the sound of it, everything is going as it should. You are in the last stage of cycling. Keep adding ammonia daily. Soon, you will also see nitrites falling back to zero, 12 hrs after the introduction of new ammonia. Once both ammonia and nitrites can drop to zero in 12 hrs, the tank is cycled.

This is when a water change is needed, before adding the fish. Nitrates will read off the chart high. You will need to change out 50-85%. What ever it takes, to get a nitrate reading under 40ppm. (the "safe zone", for fish)
Until nitrites can also fall back to zero in 12 hrs, I would not even bother with nitrate test.

Careful to add a light load of fish at first. Don't want to push it.

Last edited by Twistersmom; 02-13-2010 at 08:29 PM.
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post #8 of 18 Old 02-13-2010, 10:23 AM
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It is my PERSONAL oppinion that you can not truly finish the cycleing process without fish. In this case with your plants I am willing to bet it will take a little longer to properly cycle because your plants are using some if not most of your ammonia. That would be my guess as to why your ammonia is dropping so fast while your other levels are taking longer. I would reccomend to keep adding small amounts of ammonia until everything levels out. If you do a water change you are going to get rid of the Nitrite, and if you have less Nitrite, then it will take longer to build up enough bacteria to convert it to Nitrate.

Thats my 2 cents :)

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post #9 of 18 Old 02-13-2010, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twistersmom View Post
No water changes are needed when doing a fishless cycle. From the sound of it, everything is going as it should. You are in the last stage of cycling. Keep adding ammonia daily. Soon, you will also see nitrites falling back to zero, 12 hrs after the introduction of new ammonia. Once both ammonia and nitrites can drop to zero in 12 hrs, the tank is cycled.

This is when a water change is needed, before adding the fish. Nitrates will read off the chart high. You will need to change out 50-85%. What ever it takes, to get a nitrate reading under 40ppm. (the "safe zone", for fish)
Until nitrites can also fall back to zero in 12 hrs, I would not even bother with nitrate test.

Carefully to add a light load of fish at first. Don't want to push it.

+1
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post #10 of 18 Old 02-13-2010, 10:49 AM
sounds pretty normal, what i'd expect when doing an ammonia-adding-fishless cycle (like with actual ammonia). i might just cut down the amount of ammonia as it sounds like it's more than s ufficient. probably like twistersmom said a wc isn't necessary as the plants will help you out there (more plants=always a good idea imo). i also agree with cbirk not that it won't cycle but that not until those fish are added will your bb really balance out with your bioload. however, please be aware that high nitrate levels can be too much for fish and a big water change will be in order before adding any fish. (btw good for you doing a fishless cycle). you bb will stay in tact because the bb live in the filter and on surfaces in the water, not the water itself.

hope this helps : )

p.s. welcome to the forum!

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