Cycle Not Stalled, But Not Going Faster?

GreekGills
  • #1
29gal on week 6 of fishless cycle

Temp 86-87f
pH 6.3
Amm- 0 (this A.M. after 48hrs processing 2ppm ammonia) Dosed back up to 2ppm
Nitrites- <.25
Nitrates- 40-80

Ammonia is consistently processing 1ppm every 24hrs. Could a cycle still be "stalled" but still process the ammonia? I've tried raising the pH naturally but doesn't want to stay.
 
endlercollector
  • #2
Hmm, is there a particular reason why you have the temperature so high? I generally keep my tanks about 74 degrees F except for when I kept neons at 82 F.

What kind of filter do you have going with what sort of material in it? Do you have any media in it? The amount of space in there and material for the bb to hang onto can make a difference.

Personally, I would go crazy spending so many weeks on a fishless cycle. That's why I do tough livebearers and cycle with them
 
SegiDream
  • #3
I think some people recommend upping the temperature to cycle the tank (fishless). Like that bacteria grows faster in warmer water. What have you used to raise the ph naturally? Just curious.
 
GreekGills
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
Yes, I've raised the temp to help bacteria growth. I've only used crushed coral in a mesh bag
 
GreekGills
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
I'm starting to get a little impatient, but I've read too many stories where people got impatient and lost their fish by not waiting. I really want to succeed in a fishless cycle. It's challenging and a great test for my patience.
 
GreekGills
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
I have an emperor 400 biowheel with fluval media
 
Ulu
  • #7
If you introduce your fish too early you will not necessarily kill them all off but you will make more work for yourself as you will be doing lots of water changes to keep them happy.

Eventually the tank will cycle and you can go to a more routine schedule.
 
GreekGills
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Thank you for your response!

My ammonia is processing faster now, 2ppm every 36hrs. My nitrites are at 0 but nitrates are high, around 80. Should I water change to knock those down or leave it and keep dosing ammonia?
 
Ulu
  • #9
Sorry for the slow response but yes you should change the water and change it frequently. You don't want the nitrates to build up over 40~50ppm during cycling.
 
GreekGills
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
No problem, I appreciate the info

I did 30% water changes daily and only got a slight change. Should I do 50% once daily, 25% twice daily or keep doing the 30%?

Should I worry about taking too much water out at once and hurting the cycle?
 
Ulu
  • #11
I would do like a 75% change and see how the tank responds to that and then decide how often to do smaller changes.

I like to do a 75 or 80% water change at least once a month and sometimes two to three times a month, with a 20 to 30% water change every 2 to 3 days. It all depends on how the individual tank is doing, but I give them all regular small changes and an occasional large change where I rake up all the gravel & mulm & siphon it out of the tank.

You don't have anything to rake up yet.
 
GreekGills
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
Ok I'll start on some larger changes and go from there.Thank you very much for your help, this is tough without a mentor
 
GreekGills
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Just did a 75% wc and got nitrates down to 30ppm. I'll dose ammonia again and see how it processes. It's converting 2ppm every 24hrs now, so I feel as though I'm rather close to adding my fish
 
Ulu
  • #14
I killed a lot of fish back in the 1970s because of poor understand and poor advice. Nowadays it's a lot easier to achieve success because so much help is available around the world. 50 years ago things in the hobby were much much different than they are now.

Okay . . . so if you have 0 nitrites 24 hours after a small dose of ammonia I would go ahead and put in your first fish. Get a hungry one & feed him really well, and don't add any more ammonia because you won't need it.

If your ammonia and nitrates go to zero quickly you can slowly add more fish.

You may be able to bring the tank up to a level of bacteriological filtration where you could add a full load of livestock at once and just cut off the ammonia at the same time, but in my mind you'd have to be awful lucky to do this without causing an unexpected spiking.
 
GreekGills
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
I was thinking of having a school of tetra or rasbora, 10-12. Maybe introduce some Corys later on to clean up the sand. What would you recommend introducing first?
 
Ulu
  • #16
Tiger barb.

Personally I'm getting away from owning tetras because the quality of fish available seems to be declining.
 
Ulu
  • #17
BTW, Corys will sift the sand looking for lost food, but you have to remove the wastes.
 
GreekGills
  • Thread Starter
  • #18
That's a good point on the tetras, thank you for the advice. I agree the tetras do seem to have lots of problems.

I know I have to siphon the waste, I was just looking for a small school of bottom feeders. My pool filter sand substrate would be great for them. As for the Barbs, do they feed off the bottom? I haven't done much research on them yet, but I will be soon
 
Ulu
  • #19
Barbs usually feed from The Middle or top. But most any fish will eat off the bottom if they are hungry enough.

I would not start out with the bottom fish until you know you have a healthy aquarium going. I can put bottom fish in the first week if I do an instant cycle, by basically Scavenging everything out of a healthy tank and putting it in a new tank. But even then the whole biology suffers from the agitation. Animals, plants, bacteria . . . everything suffers.

I wouldn't put any bottom fish in until your other fish have appeared healthy and happy for a few weeks. You'll want them in quarantine that long anyway. Make sure they don't have parasites, etc.
 
Ulu
  • #20
By the way I have never kept rasboras so I'm not sure what to tell you about that.
 
GreekGills
  • Thread Starter
  • #21
Thank you for all the information, it is extremely helpful. I'll probably stick with a decent size school of barbs and go from there.
 
GreekGills
  • Thread Starter
  • #22
So just a little update...
Yesterday, 24hrs after dosing 2ppm ammonia, 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite readings Did an 80%wc and got nitrates down to 5-10ppm so I went and got a green tiger barb this morning. He's acclimated and swimming around actively and eating well. Thank you for the recommendation on the tiger barb. Very active and will look nice having a large school darting in and out of my plants.

Again, your help is much appreciated. Thank you
 
Ulu
  • #23
Tiger barbs were some of the toughest fish I ever raised in a community, although the silver dollars were tougher and lived longer.

They're not nearly as pretty however.

And as I recall the tiger barbs were perfectly happy to eat other tasty smaller fish.

A lot of people start with mollies because people say it's a good beginners fish. The reason they say that is because mollies will survive in crappy water a long time.
 

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