Fishless cycle frustration -- 55 gallon tank - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 12-26-2012, 10:05 AM Thread Starter
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Fishless cycle frustration -- 55 gallon tank

I am new to this community so thanks for hearing me out. I currently am running a 20 gallon tank that I have had for over 10 years and a 55 gallon tank that is brand new. Both fresh water. I am attempting to do a fishless cycle on the new 55 gallon tank and boy is it getting frustrating. I started the cycle with filter media from my 20 gallon tank and within 2 weeks I was converting 4-5 ppm of ammonia to nitrites. I add ammonia (pure water ammonia mix from bottle) daily to bring level back up to approx. 4-5ppm. The nitrites had been going off the charts (that is good) the cycle was moving along. At 3.5 weeks I did a 40% pwc to bring the nitrites down to a readable level about 2.0ppm and to bring down the nitrates as well which had reached about 80ppm. I am now 4 weeks in and all of a sudden my nitrites are at 0 but the ammonia is remaining constant at about 2.0ppm. Why all is the tank no longer converting ammonia to nitrites? The only thing that changed is that I added a large plastic log ornament into the tank after doing the 40% water change. It was new and I did rinse it good before adding it. Any ideas why ammonia is not converting to 0 after it was for over 2 weeks?

Thanks. I hate looking at an empty tank

Last edited by sarbo; 12-26-2012 at 10:08 AM. Reason: add in amount and type of amonia added
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post #2 of 6 Old 12-26-2012, 10:16 AM
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post #3 of 6 Old 12-26-2012, 05:12 PM
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hello and welcome
can i be nosey and ask why you just didn't run the new filter along
with the old one ?

when you set up a new tank,hide an extra
sponge or two behind some decor,that way you have
something seeded for you next filter.
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post #4 of 6 Old 12-26-2012, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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My other tank is a 20 gallon with 1 blue guami, and 11 orange mollies (2 turned into 11). Even though the filter on the 20 gallon seemed to be handling the bio load fine I was not sure how it would do in the 55 gallon tank even with the same load. Since I wasn't sure I figured I would try a fishless cycle and then move the fish over. Now I am starting to think that was not such a great idea.
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post #5 of 6 Old 12-27-2012, 04:18 PM
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perhaps start again,and
just transfer everything over.?
Canadian Fish likes this.

when you set up a new tank,hide an extra
sponge or two behind some decor,that way you have
something seeded for you next filter.
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post #6 of 6 Old 12-27-2012, 06:45 PM

The last time I did a fishless cycle (I had previously always cycled with fish, I am heartless) I added a bunch of live plants. the filter from an establish tank, nylons filled with substrate from an established tank, and a bottle of colony bacteria. The cycle was instant and I added fish the next day, puffers, which are really picky about water conditions.

Sorry, I don't know anything about fishless cycling with ammonia. But welcome to the forum! Good luck with your tank, and kudos for attempting a fishless cycle. I plan on only doing fishless cycles in the future, as cycling with established media is so much faster (and of course better for the fish)

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fishless cycle , fresh water , new 55 gal

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