Bacteria Crash.

  1. LucilleLelant Member Member

    I'm going to stick this here, because fact is I am new to fishless cycling. I had my HOB cycled, I squeezed the filter media onto my sponge filter and left the filter media touching the sponge filter. My whole cycle (the bacteria) has crashed. I had a massive amount of ammonia in my aquarium (not quite sure how, but I do) and so I have removed the dead seed and done a 50% water change which has brought the ammonia down to 1ppm (it was like over 5ppm before). Now the water is cloudy. I've left the 1ppm to try and trigger the sponge filter to build bacteria. I've never done this fishless or ever changed a filter over like this so it's completely thrown me back. 2 months of work down the drain in one weekend. The HOB and sponge filter were running side by side for 2 weeks and considering I was keeping the filter media in there I wasn't expecting it to crash this badly. Do I just start the cycle from scratch?There are bits everywhere from the HOB filter media, do I leave it or do I vac it out?
  2. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    Let me get this straight. You have 2 tanks? One with a HOB was cycled and you took the media out and put it in the second tank with a sponge filter?
  3. LucilleLelant Member Member

    No, 1 10g aquarium. I had both running side by side for 2 weeks and then I moved the media to the sponge filter and it's all crashed. I just have to start from scratch but was looking for advice since I've obviously messed up. I really want to fishless cycle this aquarium as I am spending $50-70 on a betta and I want it to have a ready cycled aquarium. I really don't want to in fish cycle and put him at risk.

    I had much better results with a 45g and a canister filter before... but I don't have space for that kind of set up where I now live.
  4. Sarcasm Included Well Known Member Member

    Sorry but I am a bit confused about your readings because you would need to do an 80% water change in order to bring 5ppm down to 1ppm. Additionally, how did your bacteria crash, without a cause the bacteria don't just go away. Did you dose too much ammonia? PH crash? Using test strips that aren't telling you the correct ammonia levels of your tank?

    Before you restart you need to determine what happened to keep it from happening again. For now just keep feeding the bacteria still there with ammonia so that it will continue growing, but try to figure out what happened.
  5. LucilleLelant Member Member

    Thanks for your advice, I think I must have over dosed on ammonia. It's the only logical thing I think that could of happened. I did do a 50% water change and it brought my reading down to 1ppm. But I must admit when I saw how dark green the ammonia test was I didn't check it I just started doing water changes so it could of been a little less, but it was still high after the first water change so I did another. I've never had a sponge filter before. Before the HOB I had always had canister filters (Ehimes) because I had much larger aquariums. I'm finding it difficult to work with. I must have over loaded the bacteria, which is my fault for not testing the ammonia after I dosed it. I only tested nitrite. I've learned my lesson.. I've left the 1ppm in there to feed the bacteria and I'll check it again tomorrow after work. But I hope there is at least something left in there to convert or I really am going to have to start from scratch which is a major bummer as I spent so much time, testing, dosing, testing over the past month and I thought I had it down. I guess we learn from our mistakes..
  6. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    If it's only been a day or two without added ammonia any bacteria you had growing in there are probably fine. They're a bit hardier than we make them out to be. Just keep feeding them and they'll bounce back. Good luck!
  7. LucilleLelant Member Member

    No movement, except my ammonia keeps going up and I haven't been adding any. Been doing water changes and gravel vacing if no joy by Monday I will tear the tank down and see if something is under the substrate.