8 Weeks, No Nitrites/nitrates?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Water' started by Celestialgirl, Apr 22, 2017.

  1. CelestialgirlWell Known MemberMember

    I've been doing a fish-in cycle (4 platys) for 8 weeks now. I have a 37 gallon tank, with the following test results:
    - Ammonia, between 0.25 and 0.5
    - pH, 8.0
    - nitrite, 0
    - nitrate, 0
    - temp 75

    Shouldn't I see the nitrite/nitrates go up by now? I've been doing about 30% water changes once per week. Initially i was doing smaller changes more frequently but had a problem getting my ammonia levels up. I've changed the carbon filter once and need to replace it again this week. I haven't touched the other filters. I do vacuum my substrate once per week. Am I doing something wrong?
  2. AWheelerWell Known MemberMember

  3. Randy McclarenNew MemberMember

    My tank is doing the same thing was told to dose with TSS also going to add after water change tonight and then they said not do do any water changes for 2 weeks and keep testing water

  4. OnTheFlyWell Known MemberMember

    I get nitrites in 2-3 days. It's time to throw additives at it. Better yet also get some old media from LFS when buying starter. Something that already has some bacteria on it. It will multiply if you can just get something started.

  5. AllieStenFishlore VIPMember

    Are you using bottled bacteria to help kick start it? What do you use for a dechlorinator?
  6. CelestialgirlWell Known MemberMember

    I checked two stores for it today, no luck. I'll try some online.
  7. AWheelerWell Known MemberMember

    Amazon sells it!
  8. CelestialgirlWell Known MemberMember

    Oh wow... Wish I had read nitrites/ nitrates show up that quickly! I'll see if my LFS is willing to share. I should have asked when I bought my tank!

    I used top fin bacterial supplement once, then I read how supplements can cause a boomerang effect so I didn't use it again. I use Tetra Aqua Safe plus as my dechlorinator and picked up some Prime today.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 16, 2017
  9. Randy McclarenNew MemberMember

  10. CelestialgirlWell Known MemberMember

    Really? I read that it deactivates the harmful effect of the ammonia Dr 24 hours but still leaves some for the bacteria to eat. How does it kill the process? Seems like so many things contradict one another! :)
  11. Randy McclarenNew MemberMember

    Well that is what I was told when trying to get the nitrates up is that prime will kill the little BB that is getting established I'm not sure either just going by what I was told
  12. OnTheFlyWell Known MemberMember

    Be persistent. They can help you out. You just need something to stuff in your filter. A bacteria culture to get it started. A lot of people use bottled products. Sometimes it works perfect, but there are many threads here where the struggle still happens. I'm not exaggerating on nitrites. I've cycled five tanks this month and they show up quick. Then they spike for 10 days and I think they will never go away. Then one day they do. Literally 24hrs and they go away. May be my well water. I don't really know. A couple massive water changes to clean up the nitrates and good to go.

    And I use Seachem Prime. It does NOT kill your bacteria. I'm convinced it saved a lot of fish during uncontrollable nitrite spikes. You can't change the water fast enough when the nitrite pick up some momentum. Most of my tank cycles were with fish. They took 21 days give or take a day or two no matter how I cycled.
  13. CelestialgirlWell Known MemberMember

    I appreciate the info, I'll read a bit before I add it.
  14. Randy McclarenNew MemberMember

    Like I said this is what I was told but I've been trying the water change and add prime and BB with a fish incycle but no nitrates after two months
  15. CelestialgirlWell Known MemberMember

    I sort of thought the whole thing should be cycled within two months, 21 days would be great. I want more fish!! I'll get some TSS and see if that gives me a kickstart and see if the store will share something for my filter. Do you ask for substrate or trade a filter? How does that work?
  16. AllieStenFishlore VIPMember

    This is absolutely not true. Prime is made to work with Stability. Which is bottled bacteria. It is a strong product so using Tetra Safe Start or any other bottled bacteria, you should wait 24 hours after dosing Prime, but it is perfectly safe to add bacteria after that. It's the whole reason I use Prime and Stability together. They work well together, no question about it. It shouldn't take more than a couple of weeks to cycle.

    Have you been following this formula?
    If your Ammonia + Nitrites = less than 1ppm dose with full tank volume Prime and full dose Stability. If Ammonia + Nitrites = 1 ppm or more, do a 50% water change and dose for full volume of Prime and Stability. Repeat process in 24 hours.

    This is the best way to be successful when using these products.

    Prime dose is 0.1ml per gallon of water. So literally one drop per gallon. I use a medicine dropper to dose mine.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2017
  17. Randy McclarenNew MemberMember

    Exactly 24 hours that is the time that prime is effective
  18. AllieStenFishlore VIPMember

    Nope. It works 24-48 hours.
  19. OnTheFlyWell Known MemberMember

    Celestial, what kind of filter do you have? If there is room you can stuff some seasoned ceramic media in the box if there is room. Or part of an old nasty filter. Substrate helps too. Anything is better than nothing.

    As far as adding more fish. Spiking your ammonia hard may be what you need. That can be done with liquid ammonia, but you would have to put your fish in a new bucket with a heater for a while. That's a fishless cycle but you can convert back to fish after the major ammonia spikes are over if you wanted to. I have used feeder goldfish or feeder guppies to cycle as well. That's not a popular idea with some but they were going to be eaten by an oscar anyhow. Let's not go there. You can also overfeed your fish to create ammonia. Bottomline is cycling with fish will stress them at some point. It's unavoidable.

    Regarding Prime. It will protect up to 1PPM ammonia and nitrite. It locks the ion so it won't harm fish. Still shows up on your tests, and bacteria can process it like it should. It converts ammonia to ammonium which is far less toxic. Ammonium is in a lot of water supplies in the US in low levels. Including mine. I am very anti-chemical experiment in aquariums, but Prime is a good product. Many products are snake oil IMO.

    I wish I knew what went wrong for you Randy. It's not the Prime. I have a friend who is a Seachem Rep and he is pretty convinced it's their best product. Cycling five tanks I did kill a few fish. But I used many fish and 95% of them are still very healthy. I purposefully spiked my ammonia to levels considered unsafe and I do believe Prime worked very well. If it killed bacteria I would surely know. I used it in 4 of 5 tanks. Not necessary for a fishless cycle.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 16, 2017
  20. CelestialgirlWell Known MemberMember

    I'm using Aqua Clear 50. I could always take out the carbon filter to add something additional, as I've been reading mixed reviews on that part of the filter anyway. I didn't think of switching them temporarily to a bucket.. Thought I'd have to get another aquarium for awhile. I may go that route too, thanks for that suggestion.

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