Bio Spira not cycling

Eskielvr

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Making a long story short. I did a 95-99% water change in my 5 gallon Betta tank. I added Bio Spira. It's been 2 weeks since I added it and I had to remove my Betta a few days after adding it because the ammonia kept going up, up, and up.

Now the readings are Ammonia 4, Nitrite .50, and Nitrate still at 5. It's been like this the past two weeks except for .25 Nitrite readings instead of .50 (and I added Stress Zyme a few days ago out of frustration, which might be why I have a higher Nitrite reading now.)

Anyone know why this is taking so long and why it won't cycle? Will it ever cycle?
 

Luniyn

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Not trying to be insulting as it looks like this isn't your first tank, but just want to be sure to cover all bases here. When you did the water change, did you use a tap water treatment to get rid of the chlorine? If not then adding the bio-spira probably didn't work as the chlorine would have killed it. If you still have some left (and have had it in the refrigerator) then I would do a 25% water change (treating the water with a chlorine remover if you didn't before) and add some more. You can do 1 Gal water changes every other day to help get the concentrations of ammonia down also if the bio-spira continues not to help.
 

Gunnie

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It sounds like you got a bad batch of bio spira. Continue with the water changes until your tank is cycled. It will cycle, it's just gonna be awhile. Since you already have nitrates, I think you are getting close to the end. Hang in there!
 
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Eskielvr

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Of course I used chlorine/chloramine removers.

I think I figured out why it didn't cycle as quickly as it should have. A fish tech at Drs Foster and Smith thinks that when I added the whole pouch (like it said to), it was really too much for my 5 gallon tank and having so much extra Bio Spira prolonged the cycle. Now I'm seeing brown algae/diatom things and she said that's the beginning of the cycle. She said to not touch it or do water changes, but give it a good 1 to 3 weeks. If it still hasn't cycled by 3 weeks I'll call back and ask if I should start from scratch. But, it looks like it's just now starting so I'll wait and see.
 

Luniyn

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Eskielvr said:
Of course I used chlorine/chloramine removers.

I think I figured out why it didn't cycle as quickly as it should have. A fish tech at Drs Foster and Smith thinks that when I added the whole pouch (like it said to), it was really too much for my 5 gallon tank and having so much extra Bio Spira prolonged the cycle. Now I'm seeing brown algae/diatom things and she said that's the beginning of the cycle. She said to not touch it or do water changes, but give it a good 1 to 3 weeks. If it still hasn't cycled by 3 weeks I'll call back and ask if I should start from scratch. But, it looks like it's just now starting so I'll wait and see.
Had to be sure about the chlorine removers... you'd be surprised at how many people respond with "what's that?". In any event, according to the directions on Bio-Spira, even though it says to use 1 ounce per 30 Gal of fresh water and you could have used less (yeah right, how in the world are you supposed to measure out 1/6th of an ounce easily?), it goes on to say that you can't overdose. So adding the whole packet shouldn't have done anything as the extra that didn't have enough food to eat (ammonia and nitrite) would have just died off while the rest remained active. It sound like you just got a bad batch like Gunnie suggested. I also am not sure about that advice given by that fish tech at Drs. Foster and Smith. Not doing a water change for 1 to 3 weeks in a tank in the middle of cycling with fish in it sounds like a sure way to kill the fish. They won't last long in an ammonia level of 4.0ppm, and once the nitrite levels go up that will be even more stressful. I would be doing 1 Gal water changes to keep those levels lower, and working through the cycle as if you never added the bio-spira to begin with. Of course that's just my opinion. In any event, good luck with whatever you decide to do.
 
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Eskielvr

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Oh I removed my Betta weeks ago! If the fin rot didn't kill him, the cycling would. This way I was able to treat him while at the same time try to cycle this tank. And, it's working!!! The fish tech told me that the brown algae/diatoms was a sign of the beginning of the cycle, and she was right! Today when I took my readings I got a Nitrite spike and ammonia is down to 1ppm instead of the 4-6 it had been at. I couldn't really tell what the Nitrite level was, it looked like a really bright purple with pink tint and the colors on the card go from blue, to light purple, and then ends at an almost hot pink color. The color in my tube didn't really match any of those.......but I know it's high because as soon as those drops touched the water it turned! Woo hoo!! I'll have to check the Nitrates tonight.
 

Luniyn

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Are you adding any source of ammonia to the tank since there aren't any fish in there? If not then you need to in order to keep those ammonia eating bacteria alive (the one's that make the nitrite). Right now the one's that eat the nitrite and turn it into nitrate are feasting, but the others are starving if your ammonia level is at zero. Be sure to either add some pure ammonia drops or even easier, just put in some fish food. Looks like you are well on your way though... congrats .
 
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Eskielvr

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I have 2 snails in it, and the ammonia was at 4-6ppm.......so yes, there's ammonia. (I can't change my sig info for some reason.)
 

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