Did I just kill my cycle?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by kinezumi89, Mar 24, 2012.

  1. kinezumi89

    kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    I was doing a water change today, and the filter in the tank is super finicky, and it's a pain to prime after you shut it off. (I had to turn it off because I took out enough water that the level was below the intake.)

    In order to prime it, I have to pour water continuously in the housing until it finally starts working again. Unfortunately, I used tap water without thinking, and poured a 2-qt pitcher or two over the filters until I realized what I was doing.

    My tank was almost done cycling, there's appreciable nitrates and not very much ammonia (just a hint of green). Have I killed the bacteria? Will I need to start all over again with the cycling?
  2. can haz catfishies?

    can haz catfishies?Valued MemberMember

    Add prime and hope that it hasn't done too much damage, depend how much chlorine is in your water and how long the Bactria was exposed, but prime will help and just regular tests on your levels
  3. nippybetta

    nippybettaWell Known MemberMember

    No, some of the bacteria is in the substrate. There's probably even a little left in the filter. You might have set back your cycle, and may experience a mini cycle at most, but you still have some bacteria.

  4. nippybetta

    nippybettaWell Known MemberMember

    Oh wait- was there chlorine in the water? I didn't see that.
  5. OP

    kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    I used Prime when I did the water change. And I'm assuming there is chlorine in the water, I do have city water. Should I put extra Prime in the tank?
  6. can haz catfishies?

    can haz catfishies?Valued MemberMember

    I am just assuming there is chlorine as most city water supplies have it added over here
  7. CichlidnutFishlore VIPMember

    Lots of people rinse their filter media in tap water. If it's an established filter, there shouldn't be anything to worry about. If it's a very young cycle, it is possible that you killed it.

    Extra prime will not do anything.
  8. OP

    kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    I don't think it would be called a very young cycle, but it definitely isn't established, as I'm still getting ammonia readings when I test the water, though very slight.

    Another thought, however; when I change the water I often (depending on the tank) add fresh water using that 2-qt pitcher. I don't want to dose one pitcher the full amount (for example, if I took 10 gallons out, put the dose for 10 gallons of Prime in one or two pitchers), so I usually add a few drops to every pitcher. According to their website, Prime neutralizes ammonia and chlorine/chloramine on contact, but isn't it possible that some chlorine goes through the filter before it's neutralized? I can't exactly "shake to combine" every pitcher of water that goes into the tank. It's easier with the 55 gallon tank, because I can more evenly dose every bucket. Would it be better to let the water sit in the bucket with the Prime, and stir every so often to ensure that everything is neutralized before I add it to the tank?

    Also, how will I know how much I've affected the cycle? I plan to test every day / twice daily; I just tested but the parameters were as they have been (obviously if I killed a large amount of the bacteria, the water parameters wouldn't change in five minutes). Should I see nitrates decrease and ammonia increase?
  9. CichlidnutFishlore VIPMember

    If you get a buildup of ammonia and no nitrite or nitrate, you'll know.

    I think you're over thinking the chlorine just a little :D I have poured some tap water in to my filters before to get them going again. There's a good chance you'll be fine. A little tap water isn't going explode all your beneficial bacteria instantly. The water wasn't boiling hot was it?
  10. OP

    kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    No, it was the same temp as the tank water. I hope I am overthinking it! Before I knew any better, I rinsed a filter under tap water, and I assumed I had killed the cycle then as well. Hopefully everything turns out fine! I know my quarantining platys would like to be out of the 10 gallon tank.
  11. orandagal

    orandagalValued MemberMember

    As I'm still fairly new here myself, wouldn't it benefit as well to add "cycle or stability" Since the aquarium is still in the cycle mode, this should be added with the water change anyway, it may just take a little longer, yes???
    I'm still one of those crazy people that have 12 gallon milk jugs, and fill them up as I use them and add my conditioner to the container of water. I know I probably don't have to do this, but have done it for the past couple of years so it's just habit. :;bmu
  12. Lexi03Well Known MemberMember

    I think you will be ok, while we don't pour it over the filter we do use a water changer that hooks up to the tap, and on the larger tanks it can take a few minutes to refill, and I am hrrible at not turning the filers off during a waterchange, so I am sure some gets in my filters before I add the prime. I have never seen a negative affect on the tank's cyle.

    Just make sure if you ever add untreated water to the tank and then treat it you need to treat the whole volume of the tank, not just the amount you added.
  13. OP

    kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    ...really? So for my 55 gallon tank, if I remove 20 gallons, I still add the dose of Prime for 55 gallons? Eep, I've been severely under-dosing then. Thanks for the info! I try to treat each bucket/pitcher I add, which has become easier since I found a dropper-cap rather than measuring my pouring into the cap (if that makes any sense). 15 drops = dose for 10 gallons, so now I can be more accurate.

    Do you think that I should let the bucket/pitcher sit with the Prime in it, or can I just swish it around and dump it right in?
  14. Lexi03Well Known MemberMember

    If you are useing buckets then you only need to dose the amount it the each bucket if it is treated before going in the tank. When I used buckets, I just added the dose and poured it in.

    If you forget or accidently add tap water again dose the whole tank, 1 cap plus 10 drops for your 55gal.

    What I was saying is my waterchanger takes the water straight from the faucet to my tank and the water gets treated after the tank is refilled. I always forget to turn the filters off before I start so I am sure that untreated water has gone through them more than once.
  15. OP

    kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    Ohh I see. That sounds pretty convenient! Thanks again for the info. :)

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