Did I Do Something Wrong?

peterphonic

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Hello,

Capacity : 23 Gal. US
Size: 30” x 12” x 18”
Filter Capacity : 20-50 US Gal. (76-190 L)
Filter Pump Output: 200 US Gal./h (757 L/h)

I read a lot before getting my fluval vista 23g aquarium so I knew about fishless cycling that a source of ammonia was needed to start.

When I bought the aquarium, a bottle of Fluval Biological enhancer was included and the seller told that this was enough to start my aquarium. I thought this was my source of ammonia, followed the instruction and added quantity needed in the aquarium.

I am in the day 4 of the cycling and I have a reading of
Then, I carefully read the bottle to find that it is written "eliminates ammonia & nitrite" and "add fish immediately" ! So, in conclusion, this Fluval product was not ammonia at all!

Questions:
  1. I have an ammonia reading, I am wondering where this ammonia is coming from? Woods, substrates, my hands?
  2. Knowing that I add a product that eliminates ammonia, should I start over the cycling?! I am pretty confused, because I have an ammonia reading of 4 ppm
  3. In the case that I have to start over, what do I have to do, remove all the water?! I hope not

Thx a lot
 

Tesla

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Your thinking is on the right path Fluval product is a bacteria booster. Given you are in fishless cycle there has to be a source - did you add food to the tank, that could convert to ammonia. Check your tap / water source - does that have ammonia? Also, are you using API master kit? if using the strips then change as they are useless!
 

lilabug4545

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Are there any fish in the tank currently? The bottle was probably dormant BB, so I can't think of a reason why it would be bad.
 
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peterphonic

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Thx for your help!

To answer your question lilabug, I have no fish in my tank. I want to do this right, so, I am doing a fishless cycle.

To answer your question Tesla,
1- I have the master kit yes.
2-I did test my water source (tap) and no ammonia there.
3-No food no nothing has been added in the tank

I am wondering if the ammonia might be coming from the bucket I used to fill my tank. I rinsed it before using it, but without soap. The bucket had a lot of dust in it, and I already used it 2-3 years ago when I was sick.. (now I realized that I was maybe stupid to used that bucket to fill the tank)
 

Tesla

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First of all no soap on anything that goes near the tank a big NO
I cant see a reason for ammonia being that high BUT given that you are doing a fishless cycle - 4PPM ammonia is fine, let it cycle with that level!
 
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peterphonic

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OK, I am happy that I can let it cycle I was scared that I had to start over. So, knowing that I am day 3 of the cycle, I guess I need to wait 5 to 10 days before seeing a nitrite reading? Am I right?
 

Ulu

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It depends on your temperature & ph & it might happen a little faster if you get the tank up to 83 or 84. Lots of people have problems with these preset 78 degrees thermostat heaters because they don't get the tank warm enough to do a fast cycle.

The stuff that you put in your tank was the source of the bacteria, even though it says it'll eliminate ammonia.

If you put that in your tank and there's no ammonia for it to eliminate, it just deteriorates.

Part of it is bacteria (and/or promotes the growth of bacteria) which then deteriorates into ammonia.

So yeah, no problem. Just keep up the small doses of ammonia until it cycles into producing nitrites. At that point change the water regularly and cut back on the ammonia until you see substantial nitrates.
 
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peterphonic

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Hello Ulu,

My ph is around 7.5 I think.

I actually did not have ammonia! I`ll buy some to keep up the cycling. The goal is to have always the same reading at 4 ppm until I start seeing nitrites?

Moreover, I did not know I had to do water change on regular basis once I have nitrites. I thought it was only at the really end, once I have nitrates.

thx

Just did the third reading since may 6. It goes like that :

May 6 evening : add water and chlore remover
May 7 morning : added fluval biological enhancer (that actually created the ammonia, yeah)
May 7 evening : ammonia 4 ppm, 0 nitrite, ph 7.4/7.6
May 8 evening : ammonia 4 ppm, 0 nitrite, ph 7.4/7.6
May 9 evening : ammonia 4 ppm, 0 nitrite, ph 7.4/7.6

Is it normal that ammonia is that stable without adding any new ammonia? Moreover, I thought that ammonia was supposed to dropat some point? I am surprise how this cycle stuff make me anxious!
 

Ulu

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I have never used the Fluval bio enhancer.

I believe that's what's going on is that you have added bi enhancer to the tank. That stuff may contain a time-release ammonia source of its own. That would make it both bacteria and bacteria food, in a bottle.

So essentially we added ammonia to the tank but have not changed any water, and have not grown enough new bacteria, nor added more ammonia nor anything else that would turn into ammonia: therefore the ammonia level remains constant.

In fact as the water in the tank evaporates it will slowly rise, until you add or change water.

Or until your beneficial Nitrosomas bacteria blooms, and your tank starts to cycle.

It will happen, and it works better if you keep everything warm. The pH looks fine. 85°F is not too hot for this process. In fact I've had it up to 88 on a fast cycle. I would run the tank a minimum of 82°F to cycle.
 
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peterphonic

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Ok, so, I should just keep calm, no need to run to buy ammonia? I already rised the temperature to 83\84 yesterday (was 78). By the way, I did not yet put my plants. Does having high temperature might be bad for my plants?

Anyway, thanks for the help, it is greatly appreciated...
 
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peterphonic

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I am a little bit discouraged. Someone on another forum told me that the fulval stuff is **** and I don`t really know what I added in my tank. SO, I should start everything from scratch. Remove water, filter, substrate, wood and rock..

To good thing about to starting over will that I will use a real source of ammonia and do the right calculation. The bad thing is it will be 7 days lost (and girlfriend angry will tell me that my daughter won`t want to wait more)

May 9 evening : ammonia 4 ppm, 0 nitrite, ph 7.4/7.6. Temperature from 78 to 82
May 10 evening : ammonia 4 ppm, 0 nitrite, ph 7.4/7.6

Check picture bellow, I am actually questioning my reading on ammonia and ph.
ammonia.jpg phHighRange.jpg phLowRange.jpg
 

Fieryskys

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I wouldn't worry too much. If your looking for an ammonia boost, try adding some food to the water and allowing it to break down. I use the fluval bacteria myself and it takes time. You shouldn't have to start over
 

Tesla

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I agree, you dont have to start over - add ammonia and if both ammonia and nitrites are zero after 24 hours then you are cycled else you are not - fluval or no fluval
 
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peterphonic

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Thx all, I feel better knowing that I don`t need to start over! I just need to patient!
 

Ulu

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Pierre-Luc Boily said:
I am a little bit discouraged. Someone on another forum told me that the fulval stuff is **** . . .
Unfortunately people misuse stuff all the time, and then get unexpected or differing results.

Sometimes two people get widely different results because they added a product to tanks with a much different water parameter.

Or because they are operating at different temperatures Etc.

Because there are so many variables it becomes a very involved subject to talk about these things, and many people are unwilling to see it through.

When a disgruntled person tells you that a particular product which thousands of people use is ****, chances are there's something else going on undetected.
 
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