Cycleing 60 Gallon. Week 3 Isint Changing Help

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by minicupracer1, Apr 11, 2018.

  1. minicupracer1Valued MemberMember

    So I’ve been watching my levels and it’s been pretty much the same for almost a week. Why am I not getting my nitrites into nitrates? IMG_5132.jpg

  2. oldsalt777Well Known MemberMember

    Hello mini...

    How are you cycling this tank? With or without fish? Bacteria boosters can, in some cases, create unstable water conditions. These chemicals can either cycle a tank in as little as a few days or take a few months. A tank cycled carefully, with a few hardy fish will maintain a steady source of ammonia and establish a tank in a month to six weeks. Then, you just remove and replace half the tank water every week or so, to maintain steady water conditions.


  3. minicupracer1Valued MemberMember

    I’m doing fishless. I used some live nitrifying bacteria in the beginning. Then I have pretty much left it except for putting some ph down in to try and get my ph to under 7. Here’s a pic of the tank. IMG_5126.jpg

  4. Gundy1024Valued MemberMember

    Have you been adding fish food? Nitrites seem high for a tank that has just been left alone to cycle.
  5. minicupracer1Valued MemberMember

  6. mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    Are you adding an ammonia source? The bacteria needs food to complete its cycle. A fish in cycle gets its food from the fish poo but a fishless cycle has to have it added by either fish food (not recommended) or pure ammonia.
  7. minicupracer1Valued MemberMember

    That’s what I was missing. I haven’t been adding ammonia. How do I know how much to put in? Or is it just watching the test to keep it around .25 or so. Thanks mattgirl!
  8. musserump09Well Known MemberMember

    Not sure if no one noticed but you have nitrates. A lot of it. I would change 50 percent of the water and you actually might be cycled. 3 weeks isn't very long but if you added some sort of bacteria it must have converted what was already in the tank to its finally form nitrates. This does not mean its stable and safe for fish. Fishless cycles in my opinion take longer then using real fish producing ammonia like they do in the wild.
  9. mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    You are very welcome. sometimes it is the simplest things we forget or just didn't know to do. I've never done a fishless cycle so don't know how much to add.

    You can figure it out though by adding some and then running the ammonia test. Adding more if needed. Once you determine how much you need to get it where you need it to be you can just add the same amount each time after that.

    You should add enough ammonia to get it up to at least 1 but probably better to add enough to get it to 2. When it drops down to .25 you need to add more.
  10. minicupracer1Valued MemberMember

    So I added some ammonia yesterday around 730. It’s noon now. And this is what my readings are. I don’t think that helped anything. Image1523548692.705827.jpg
  11. mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    Growing the bacteria takes time and patience .... lots and lots of patience. :)

    I have never done a fish-less cycle so my suggestions may not be the same as someone else. I have always done fish in cycles and with them water changes are the key to keeping the fish alive during the process.

    You added some bottled bacteria when you started this cycle but if you weren't feeding it I am sure it died off. That doesn't mean that your tank won't cycle because of it. It just means that you are basically back to the beginning. If there was no ammonia source in the tank during all this time there was no bacteria growing.

    You can add BB again and this time continue to feed it or you can just wait and allow the bacteria to grow naturally now that you know to add ammonia as needed.

    Edited to add: If you decide to get more BB if I were you I would do a big water change (at least 50%) before adding it. That way you are starting out with all the minerals normally in our tap water.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
  12. musserump09Well Known MemberMember

    Once again mate. You have nitrates. Great advice from others but I see nitrates present in your test tube. Unless the lights make it look darker then stick to the advice given. Not trying to bash anyone but your pictures say you have a cycle going on. I would be glad to be corrected on this but I'm looking at a red color nitrate test tube.

    Adding more ammonia at this point could kill the bacteria you apparently according to what I see in picture.
  13. mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    I agree and I understand what you are saying. I see the nitrates too. I can't explain that other than the fact that this tank has been running for several weeks. It had bacteria added but then not fed. It is possible that the nitrates came from the bottled bacteria and without water changes it will stay there. The only way to remove nitrates is water changes or plants that will use it. Neither is the case here.

    Ammonia was added yesterday and it is still there today. A cycled tank would have used that ammonia and there would be none or very little today. If adding ammonia could kill the bacteria then fish waste would too since that is what it turns into. It is that ammonia that feeds the bacteria.

    In a fish-less cycle one has to add an ammonia source. With a fish-in cycle the fish produce the ammonia. Either way, for a tank to cycle the bacteria needs food and that food is ammonia.
  14. musserump09Well Known MemberMember

    That makes sense. I agree
  15. minicupracer1Valued MemberMember

    Ok. I have dr Tim’s stuff so I might do a big water change and use that stuff. Everything I’ve seen so far online shows that it works pretty good and cycles the tank in a week Or so.
  16. mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    It sounds like you have a plan. Please let us know how it is going.

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