Tank won't Cycle - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 42 Old 12-27-2014, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
Exclamation Tank won't Cycle

I got my 125g setup finally. I wanted to cycle it with pure ammonia. I have done it before to 2 other tanks in my house successfully. It has now officially been 3 weeks since the first dosing of ammonia and it hasn't dropped at all. I brought the ammonia to 4ppm and have been testing it about every other day and nothing. I used the same pure ammonia that I used in my other tanks with the same procedure.

At this point what are my options? Is it possible that a tank this size just takes a LOT longer or did something go wrong? I hope I don't need to drain the tank and refill.
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post #2 of 42 Old 12-28-2014, 09:05 AM
Try some Tetra Safe Start. It will help seed your tank. You can also take media from your other tanks and put it in the filter to help seed it.
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post #3 of 42 Old 12-28-2014, 12:28 PM
definitely getting some media from another tank will help rather it be a filter, some gravel or decor..but with a tank that large it may take a little longer then smaller tanks.as long as you are dosing the correct amount of ammonia for that size as over dosing could cause problems and under dosing could cause it to either take longer or not cycle properly/for smaller bioload..but even in my smaller tanks its taken longer than i anticipated.

what is the temp set at?
what kind of filtration?
how much ammonia are you adding and when?
any bubble makers?air stones and air pump..if so what size of pump?

that would be a good start though im definitely know expert..and only cycled around 4 tanks 40 gallons and under i have done research and have a general idea on the cycling process and can help find more info :) i just think because its such a large tank it will take longer than the smaller tanks.i believe raising the temp will also speed up the process as well if i remember correctly..and having adequate aeration like air pump and air stones will also speed it up as oxygen is needed for the beneficial bacteria.

a million molly varieties
dozens of tetras
rainbow shark
gold gourami
1 filter sponge named spongebob
platies of sorts
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post #4 of 42 Old 12-28-2014, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
The temp is at 82 degrees and there is a big air stone in it as well. the filter is a fluval fx5. I just did the 1 does at the beginning to 4ppm and haven't added any ammonia since because i don't want to overdose it...should I be doing that?
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post #5 of 42 Old 12-29-2014, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Fishoutofwater View Post
The temp is at 82 degrees and there is a big air stone in it as well. the filter is a fluval fx5. I just did the 1 does at the beginning to 4ppm and haven't added any ammonia since because i don't want to overdose it...should I be doing that?
that could be why its not cycling..i thin you have to dose it every few days or so..let me find out..another way of doing it is getting a coupe shrimp..putting the in womens stockings and let them hang on the side of the tank.usually stores dont mind giving a couple shrimp..ill go check on using ammonia with dosing and sizes of tanks and ill come back with any info :)

edit:i should have asked what the current readings are on the ammonia and nitrite..but as i was searching i just remembered that you add ammonia again once it starts to drop below like 4ppm but keeping it around 5 or 6ppm..if ammonia is low or none rite now then most likely it needs more ammonia and should check once or twice a day until readings change and nitrates come in..but let me know how much ammonia is currently in the tank to determine more whats going on.the temp is good and everything else is good.i just think theres not enough ammonia being adding to keep the cycling going especially for such a large tank.it will take more.

a million molly varieties
dozens of tetras
rainbow shark
gold gourami
1 filter sponge named spongebob
platies of sorts
doubletail male-Rain
7 black mollies

Last edited by prodrumernate; 12-29-2014 at 06:34 PM.
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post #6 of 42 Old 12-31-2014, 02:05 AM Thread Starter
Well that's the problem. It's not dipping below the 4ppm that I put in originally...i mean at all.
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post #7 of 42 Old 12-31-2014, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Fishoutofwater View Post
Well that's the problem. It's not dipping below the 4ppm that I put in originally...i mean at all.
its just not having enough time then.the beneficial bacteria hasnt started its job yet and thats why it doesnt seem like anything is changing.as ,ong as you have ammonia in there the cycle is going and will progress..its now a waiting game..with it being such a large tank i think it will take longer than the much smaller tanks..i have always seeded mine as well using media from an established tank and using a fish or two to help it.closely monitoring the water parameters..im sure its just not enough time yet for your tank to establish a cycle :) definitely keep track of it and let us know.

a million molly varieties
dozens of tetras
rainbow shark
gold gourami
1 filter sponge named spongebob
platies of sorts
doubletail male-Rain
7 black mollies
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post #8 of 42 Old 12-31-2014, 05:25 PM Thread Starter
Should I have dosed with Prime? I did not do that. Would it hurt to do it now?
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post #9 of 42 Old 12-31-2014, 09:29 PM
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Should I have dosed with Prime? I did not do that. Would it hurt to do it now?
it wouldnt hurt it..its water conditioner and if you have high chlorine it would be a good idea but its not going to really make a difference as its mainly for when you have fish in the water and do water changes..if you havent done water changes lately i wouldnt worry about adding any.chlorine should be cleared in a day if no chemicals added to take it out.

as someone posted above, maybe adding some bacterial starter might help..but i never really believed in that as there isnt anything to keep the bacteria a live..keeping the ammonia around 4-6ppm and having aeration as well as a filter and temp set high is the best bet..biggest thing that will really help is getting media from another tank.if you have any up and running tanks..i would buy like womens stockings from a dollar store or walmart, add some gravel from another tank into that and hang it on the side or let it sit at the bottom.

the more you add the better...or if you have two or more running filters in another tank, tank a filter from it and add it.thats instant i do that with mine.i have extra media always in my filters and i just take it out and add to a new tank.try a pet store.they may give you or cheaply sell a few of their bio balls to help.if you lived in my area i would give you some of mine.

a million molly varieties
dozens of tetras
rainbow shark
gold gourami
1 filter sponge named spongebob
platies of sorts
doubletail male-Rain
7 black mollies
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post #10 of 42 Old 01-03-2015, 09:33 AM
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Good advice form Nate, especially the part about.

-- High filter flow
-- Aeration
--High temperature >84*
-- Darkness helps

It was not clear to me if you "seeded" your tank with live bacteria. If not, 3-weeks is not so long to expect an ammonia drop or a nitrite spike, especially in a large tank.

For a fishless cycle a conditioner which dechlorinates is all you want. Prime locks up ammonia, but then releases it, so the bacteria get to oxidize it. So that's OK.

Do not dose ammonia above 4.0ppm.

Actually, you're doing it right and things are about as should be expected. Tetra Safestart is used successfully by many keepers (I keep track) around here. If waiting is really getting to you, I agree with the Bear, give it a try. It won't hurt anything.
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