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Discussion Starter #1
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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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.
 

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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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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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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oh i forgot to mention no water changes until a nitrate spike and rite before adding fish..i agree with Hallyx and for some reason in the back of my mind i wanted to say dont let the ammonia go above 4ppm but i read elsewhere to keep between 4-6 yet i still think letting it go above 4ppm will cause some issues, either killing off bacteria or something.i dont remember what it was....good call Hallyx i forgot Prime locks in ammonia..i usually use stress coat and used my prime on occasion.i just got my two 10 gallons from storage to re set up betta tanks and will cycle them..so im glad you jumped in and added a few things :)
 

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Depending on the bacteria, ammonia over 5.0ppm can stall the cycle (although I've cycled quickly at >7.0ppm). Same for nitrite.

Many keepers feel livestock that produce >4.0ppm/day ammonia is overstocking. So an ammonia-handling capacity >4.0ppm/day is redundant. Bacteria grow to oxidize just the amount of ammonia produced by the livestock. No more; no less.

Stresscoat does nothing to detoxify ammonia. Prime, AmmoLock, Amquel+ are the big three for ammonia. Although there are others.
 

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Depending on the bacteria, ammonia over 5.0ppm can stall the cycle (although I've cycled quickly at >7.0ppm). Same for nitrite.

Many keepers feel livestock that produce >4.0ppm/day ammonia is overstocking. So an ammonia-handling capacity >4.0ppm/day is redundant. Bacteria grow to oxidize just the amount of ammonia produced by the livestock. No more; no less.

Stresscoat does nothing to detoxify ammonia. Prime, AmmoLock, Amquel+ are the big three for ammonia. Although there are others.
that makes a lot more sense than what i was thinking.i knew there was logic behind it but couldnt remember exactly :) i also havent cycled in over a year so im a little rusty...and i knew there was something i wanted to buy today when i got off work.. Prime..i got enough for one more water change.i need a job at a pet store.then i wont forget ;)
 

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help please. Suddenly tank out of cycle and won't cycle

Hi, (sorry this was supposed to be a separate post, not sure how it got posted here)

I have had my 10 gallon tank for 1.5 years.

I have 2 small guppies and 2 danios (all of which seem to be doing fine so far, fortunately)

For 1.5 years the tank has been cycled fine.

Suddenly I see the ammonia go up to 0.5 and then 1.
I checked the pH and it was 6 (probably less, but that is the lowest marker). I am guessing that the low pH killed the bacteria.

I brought the pH up to 6.8-7, and now the ammonia level is up to 8.

I have done 50% water changes every 2-3 days for the past 3-4 weeks and the ammonia level is only down to 4.

I have added 2 bottles of safe-start over these weeks but it does not seem to be helping.
I always use water that is treated to lock out the chlorine when doing the water changes.

My settings:
pH 6.8
Ammonia 4 (8 if I don't do daily water changes)
Nitrite 0
Temp 76
1 air stone

I am a bit at a loss, it has been very long without any success.

I would appreciate any help.

Thank you!
Juggernaut
 

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Hi, (sorry this was supposed to be a separate post, not sure how it got posted here)

I have had my 10 gallon tank for 1.5 years.

I have 2 small guppies and 2 danios (all of which seem to be doing fine so far, fortunately)

For 1.5 years the tank has been cycled fine.

Suddenly I see the ammonia go up to 0.5 and then 1.
I checked the pH and it was 6 (probably less, but that is the lowest marker). I am guessing that the low pH killed the bacteria.

I brought the pH up to 6.8-7, and now the ammonia level is up to 8.

I have done 50% water changes every 2-3 days for the past 3-4 weeks and the ammonia level is only down to 4.

I have added 2 bottles of safe-start over these weeks but it does not seem to be helping.
I always use water that is treated to lock out the chlorine when doing the water changes.

My settings:
pH 6.8
Ammonia 4 (8 if I don't do daily water changes)
Nitrite 0
Temp 76
1 air stone

I am a bit at a loss, it has been very long without any success.

I would appreciate any help.

Thank you!
Juggernaut
hmm that doesnt sound rite..what are you using to test the water?
 

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hmm that doesnt sound rite..what are you using to test the water?
Hi,

I am using the API master test kit.

I have also bought in a sample to the pet store to make sure that my reagents have not gone bad & they match up.

I also have a second newer bottle of the reagents to test the ammonia and I opened them up to confirm, and I get the same result.

I did find that for some reason there is now ammonia in the tap water (about 0.5), but regardless, if the tank was cycled the bacteria should eat that too, to bring the level down to zero.

Thanks,
Juggernaut
 

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Hi,

I am using the API master test kit.

I have also bought in a sample to the pet store to make sure that my reagents have not gone bad & they match up.

I also have a second newer bottle of the reagents to test the ammonia and I opened them up to confirm, and I get the same result.

I did find that for some reason there is now ammonia in the tap water (about 0.5), but regardless, if the tank was cycled the bacteria should eat that too, to bring the level down to zero.

Thanks,
Juggernaut
the next thing i was going to ask is for you to check your water straight from the tap.it might be best now to buy purified water from water vending machines..i would also call the water company and find out if this is a temporary thing with the water or what and let them know the situation.

but you are correct.if it is cycled that amount of ammonia from the water would go away fairly quickly and it wouldnt cause much of a spike like you have.i would stop adding any ammonia for a while and even avoid adding water unless its getting low.

?API master test kits are the way to go.i wouldnt use the strips as they arent always accurate but you seem to know that already.continue to monitor and let me know any changes.
 

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that makes a lot more sense than what i was thinking.i knew there was logic behind it but couldnt remember exactly :) i also havent cycled in over a year so im a little rusty...and i knew there was something i wanted to buy today when i got off work.. Prime..i got enough for one more water change.i need a job at a pet store.then i wont forget ;)
Be careful with prime. It does lock up ammonia but with normal (api type) test kits you still test positive for ammonia. Because the test cannot tell the difference between locked and free ammonia. The danger is that prime also locks up oxygen so you add prime, test ammonia add more prime, etc, etc, etc. And the fish can actually suffocate.

Seachem has a multitest ammonia kit that tests for both type of ammonia. I would use that kit and only add prime for the free ammonia amount. I believe their in tank ammonia dots also only reacto to free ammonia.

my .02
 

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Hi, (sorry this was supposed to be a separate post, not sure how it got posted here)

I have had my 10 gallon tank for 1.5 years.

I have 2 small guppies and 2 danios (all of which seem to be doing fine so far, fortunately)

For 1.5 years the tank has been cycled fine.

Suddenly I see the ammonia go up to 0.5 and then 1.
I checked the pH and it was 6 (probably less, but that is the lowest marker). I am guessing that the low pH killed the bacteria.

I brought the pH up to 6.8-7, and now the ammonia level is up to 8.

I have done 50% water changes every 2-3 days for the past 3-4 weeks and the ammonia level is only down to 4.

I have added 2 bottles of safe-start over these weeks but it does not seem to be helping.
I always use water that is treated to lock out the chlorine when doing the water changes.

My settings:
pH 6.8
Ammonia 4 (8 if I don't do daily water changes)
Nitrite 0
Temp 76
1 air stone

I am a bit at a loss, it has been very long without any success.

I would appreciate any help.

Thank you!
Juggernaut
Almost 2 weeks later and still the same result.
Only difference is that now there seem to be algae growing on the plastic plants - not sure if that is a good or bad sign.

1 of my tiny guppies looks like he won't be surviving this.... :-(

I really am at a loss here...
 

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Almost 2 weeks later and still the same result.
Only difference is that now there seem to be algae growing on the plastic plants - not sure if that is a good or bad sign.

1 of my tiny guppies looks like he won't be surviving this.... :-(

I really am at a loss here...
really?im beginning to wonder if it has something to do with your tap.are you still using tap water?id hate to have you start again especially its been what nearly two months already.you really need some seeded material to see if that will help jump start the beneficial bacteria.even my 10 gallon i set up for my betta i put my fish in rite away and let the ammonia build up just enough and added rocks and artificial plants from my large tank thats been running for about a year and a half.

you can still save the guppy by putting them in a hospital tank like a 1 gallon tank with an air stone and clean the water every other day.keeping it in a low busy area where not any people walk and such if it is sick.but fresh water is the best cure for any fish.i would get purified water for it.

im baffled by your tank not cycling.can you uploading any pictures and or videos of the full setup so i can see how things are including the temp as well as the filter displacement and everything?

wish i was able to give you some of my media thats already got the BB on it..but if i was to mail it.it would be dead by the time it got to you especially hitting the cold weather.

also inform me of all the readings...nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, temp and such...lets see what exactly we have here.im now determined to get this tank cycled ;)
 
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