Desperately Need Cycle Help

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by ruthvsreality, Apr 9, 2019.

  1. ruthvsreality

    ruthvsrealityValued MemberMember

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    hi, up to this point I was afraid to post because I was worried people would yell at me for doing things wrong, but now I just feel that it doesn't matter and I need to do what's best for the fish. I know now that doing a fishless cycle is definitely the best thing to do and I am never doing a fish in cycle again.

    I have several aquariums, two with a betta fish in it, and one with many tetras and two platies in it. despite doing a fish in cycle for all of them for two months at this point I have not been able to get the tanks to cycle. I have been changing the water once or twice a day (about 25 or 50 percent) and adding stress coat and seachem prime. I thought at this point something would change but it seems that no matter what I do the cycle will not go anywhere. I think I crashed it midway through because I had to take the carbon out of the cartridges to treat the fish for a fungal thing.

    i bought a large bottle of tetra safestart but I don't really know what to do with it. A lot of people online have said to pour the whole bottle in but I worry that that is the wrong thing to do and I really don't want to hurt my fish.

    please help!!! i just need the tanks to cycle!!!
     
  2. mattgirl

    mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

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    If you will post the numbers from each of these tanks I will try to help. I need ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and PH numbers.

    BTW: taking out the carbon shouldn't have crashed your cycle.
     
  3. OP
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    ruthvsreality

    ruthvsrealityValued MemberMember

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    Do you want them before or after I have changed the water? Or should I not change the water at all? I am afraid to do that because I know too much ammonia might hurt the fish.

    Thank you thank you thank you so much for offering to help!
     
  4. oldsalt777

    oldsalt777Well Known MemberMember

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    Hello ruth...

    You could have instantly cycled a new tank by taking something from one of your established tanks and putting it into the new tank. Some filter material or a small scoop of the bottom material will do. Just add it to the new tank and add fish very slowly and test the tank water in the new tank every day or two to make sure the bacteria you added is working. If you have a positive test for either ammonia or nitrite in the new tank, remove and replace 25 percent of the water. This will keep the fish healthy and still grow the bacteria.

    Old
     
  5. OP
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    ruthvsreality

    ruthvsrealityValued MemberMember

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    Hi old,

    I hear what you’re saying, but I don’t think ANY of my tanks are cycled!!! So switching gravel will not help
     
  6. Momgoose56

    Momgoose56Fishlore VIPMember

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    Test your water before a water change. That will give you the info you need to do the size water change you need to bring parameters down to acceptable levels.
     
  7. Morpheus1967

    Morpheus1967Well Known MemberMember

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    Also list your tank sizes, and the inhabitants of each tank. For example. If you have a single betta in a 10 gallon tank, and you are doing 25-50% water changes daily, I doubt you will ever see any numbers high enough to register.
     
  8. OP
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    ruthvsreality

    ruthvsrealityValued MemberMember

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    Hi,

    I have been doing this for two months. Still no sign of any change. Every day I test and every day I still get the same results - no nitrite, no nitrate, around .25-.5 ammonia. I change the water but it gets to be that same way yet again. I would like to build nitrites and nitrates!!!

    1 betta - 5g (with filter and heater)
    1 betta - 2.5g (with filter and heater)
    4 silverfin tetras, 5 neons, 2 platies - 10g (with filter, heater, and many many live plants)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2019
  9. Morpheus1967

    Morpheus1967Well Known MemberMember

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    Please test your water right out of the tap.
     
  10. Aharkins

    AharkinsNew MemberMember

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    You should be able to dump the whole bottle of TSS to your tank. Do you have any other filter media, like sponges or fluval biomax? Your beneficial bacteria needs places to grow. It’s good to have multiple sources so that when you do change your carbon filter, you won’t be throwing out all of your BB. Then you can rinse your sponges in clean tank water when it’s time and it won’t hurt any of the bacteria.
     
  11. Momgoose56

    Momgoose56Fishlore VIPMember

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    Agree with morpheus. Just keep your Ammonia level to .5 and keep treating with Prime. If you are using test strips, I'd recommend that you get a liquid test kit like the API master test kit. The strips are less reliable and easily corrupt able by air and humidity.
    I also would suggest that you test your tap water once for pH, ammonia, nitrates and nitrites soyou have that baseline.
    pH can affect the speed that your tank cycles. Ideal pH for a tank to cycle is 7.8 to 8.0+. If your pH is very low, 7.2 or lower, I'd also recommend getting a liquid GH (general hardness/KH (carbonate hardness) test kit. It's easy to raise a low pH in a tank if it's low and you know the hardness/buffering capacity of the water. I'm guessing that your pH may be low and you have fairly soft water. That alone may be why your cycling is going so slow.
     
  12. oldsalt777

    oldsalt777Well Known MemberMember

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    ruth...

    Since you already have the fish in the tank, why not just follow the steps for a "fish-in" cycle? I've done this method before. It cycles the tank in a month or less and it doesn't require any chemicals other than the standard water treatment and a water testing kit.

    Old
     
  13. OP
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    ruthvsreality

    ruthvsrealityValued MemberMember

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    I have been doing that for two months. I have not seen any progress in two of my tanks even after doing the same thing for two months, which is why I’m posting here.

    Hi Matt girl

    Here are my test results. The first one is for the 5g with the betta, the second is for the 10g with the tetras and the platies (I changed the water after this because I know the readings are very bad and scary), and the third is for the 2.5. I’m not sure if it’s relevant, but I added 10ml of safe start yesterday to all three tanks. The final one is the tap water - I had to go to class so I was not able to do all of the tests. I live in New York, though, so I’m almost sure that the pH is as close to 7 as you’re going to get. Odds are if the pH changes it’s something I did.

    18DACD9E-AD08-4FCB-A0D4-02210588183C.

    BB4CD34A-D2A5-459F-9929-868D674298BD.

    71D84A72-E27E-4AD6-A051-DA6996E5F071.

    6E983AA7-ED3E-4A03-A8FB-513FD9671F83.
    I need to know what to do now that’s different than what I’ve been doing every day - which is taking out 50% of the water, and then adding new water, with about 5ml seachem prime and 5ml stresscoat+.

    I’m scared for my fish. I love them so much and I just want them to be safe. I know I’ve really messed up, and am in way over my head. But I couldn’t possibly give them back - I think it’s too late now, and I love them so much. I got the 2.5g and the 5g in February, the 10g in March.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2019
  14. Morpheus1967

    Morpheus1967Well Known MemberMember

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    What I meant was test your tap water. Before it goes into the tank. You may have ammonia in your water, and with such small bio-loads in each tank it is always reading .25-.5. Water from your tap can change based on what the city may be doing.
     
  15. OP
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    ruthvsreality

    ruthvsrealityValued MemberMember

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    I hadn’t thought of that. What do I do if there is ammonia in my water? I don’t think that’s the problem, though. The test from the tap was pretty yellow, whereas the tank water is usually pretty greenish.
     
  16. Morpheus1967

    Morpheus1967Well Known MemberMember

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    Well, for most folks, the tank can overcome small amounts of ammonia like that. But with these being smaller tanks, and with very few inhabitants, it will just take a much longer time to build up the bacteria colony you need. If you use Seachem Prime, it makes small amounts (.5ppm) non-toxic for your fish for 24-48 hours. So while you would be getting the positive readings, your fish are relatively safe.

    But let's see what the water right from the tap tests at and go from there.
     
  17. OP
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    ruthvsreality

    ruthvsrealityValued MemberMember

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    I posted the test results in the thread!
     
  18. ETNsilverstar

    ETNsilverstarWell Known MemberMember

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    What's the super dark purple in the third pic? Since the 3rd bottle is blue, I'm guessing that's pH?

    It looks like you already have nitrate in the 5g and the 2.5g though, so that's good. Are you shaking the bottle #2 for nitrate like crazy before you do the drops?
     
  19. Morpheus1967

    Morpheus1967Well Known MemberMember

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    Ha! So many colors I completely missed the ones from the tap. So the tap water is ruled out as the cause.

    Are some of those tubes out of order? Since there are 4, are you showing pH, ammonia, nitrites and nitrates? In that order?
     
  20. OP
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    ruthvsreality

    ruthvsrealityValued MemberMember

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    Hi! Yes.

    I know the pH is weirdly high - that keeps happening and I don’t know why. Again, my tap water should be almost as near 7 as it can get.

    before I do the drops??? When the water is clear??? I haven’t thought of that. Or do you mean the bottle of test fluid?

    I didn’t think I had nitrate! Maybe I’m just looking too hard for a darker color. Do you think it might be because of the TSS I added yesterday? I added about 10ml to each tank.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2019
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