Does anybody else have a tank that has NEVER cycled???

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mcurtissdsu

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Does anybody on here have a tank that has just never cycled? I really believe it's just never going to happen. I've been doing this for 6 months and I haven't even gotten close. My readings have not changed even one bit in over 3 months and I have done water changes every day (with the exception of maybe 3 or 4 times when I wasn't home in 6 months.) Everyday it's the exact same thing. Ammonia is 0.25, nitrites are 1.0 and nitrates are 5. pH is 7.8-8.0, temp runs between 80 and 82, depending on the weather.

Is it possible that I don't have enough ammonia being produced in my 29 gallon tank to get this thing to finish? Obviously keeping up with the water changes has done absolutely nothing. I have two 2-inch fancy tail male guppies and one angelfish (currently about 2", maybe 2.5") and that's all I have in there. I feed 2 or 3 times a day, only what they can eat in 1 to 2 minutes. PLEASE HELP ME!!!!!!!!! ??? > :'( :-\
 

Meenu

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Buff up your filter media. Your BB probably needs more space to colonize on.
 

LyndaB

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Do you have a lab nearby where you could bring samples from both tanks to be tested for pH, ammonia, nitrite & nitrates? I'm wondering if there's something wrong with your test kit itself. Or, is there a possibility you are not performing the tests correctly, i.e., number of drops from which bottle into which test tube.

There are usually more labs around than you think. But if you're not looking for them, you'd never know they were there.

I'm so confused. Your aquarium info states you started these tanks in April and May. Is that correct?
 
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mcurtissdsu

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LyndaB said:
Do you have a lab nearby where you could bring samples from both tanks to be tested for pH, ammonia, nitrite & nitrates? I'm wondering if there's something wrong with your test kit itself. Or, is there a possibility you are not performing the tests correctly, i.e., number of drops from which bottle into which test tube.

There are usually more labs around than you think. But if you're not looking for them, you'd never know they were there.

I'm so confused. Your aquarium info states you started these tanks in April and May. Is that correct?
It's kind of correct.... I started my 10 gallon originally in December. In April, I moved everything from the 10 gallon (fish, plants, gravel, water, filter cartridge, EVERYTHING) to a 29 gallon because the 10 gallon was too small for my angelfish. I use Aqueon filters which take cartridges. It wasn't easy but I was able to shove the 10 gallon cartridge and 29 gallon cartridge in the filter. So it's been set up as a 29 gallon since then.

I recently set the 10 gallon up in May to start a fishless cycle. I used the 10 gallon cartridge that was in the 29 gallon filter along with a new 10 gallon filter cartridge in this tank so I could start out with some of the BB. I had to buy new gravel and plants for this one.

All in all, the same gravel, fish, plants, and filter cartridges have been in use since December and are currently in my 29 gallon tank. It has never once come even close to cycling.

I don't know what other kind of filter media I can use since the filters take cartridges. Also, I'm on my second test kit already and the readings have never changed. So unless I'm so unlucky that I bought two defective test kits from two different stores, I think my kit is fine. I'm at my wit's end here.
 

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Buy 100% polyester quilting batting and either put strips of it right into the filter next to the cartridge or open it up and put strips inside where you'd put carbon. You can also add pouches of biomax behind the cartridge.

-Lisa
 
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mcurtissdsu

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I don't understand how that's different than having two cartridges in there at once. I had it like that for months and the readings are the same now as they were then.
 

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have you tested the water before you put it in the tank ? it could already have ammo and nitrite in it. if you have any friends with established tanks you could ask for a cup of gravel or a piece of their filter media to try buff up your good bacteria.

iv just spoken to a friend who had a simmiler problem, he had ammonia (1ppm) in his tap water. so he stopped doing daily water changes and done them weekly instead and it solved the problem.I guess this way you aren't adding more ammonia each day which gives the bacteria chance to process the what it has.
 
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mcurtissdsu

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I have tested my tap water several times. In fact, I tested it again last night. It has 1.0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and 0 nitrates. I'm going to start doing just weekly water changes. I've been doing daily ones this whole time and I haven't gotten anywhere. Plus, I'm just tired of this whole process. I thought this would be a fun hobby and instead it's consumed my evenings after work for 6 months.
 

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At this point, I would suggest doing a large water change and adding the LARGE bottle of Tetra Safe Start to your tank. If you decide to use TSS ... follow the directions to the letter and do not use conditioners that detox ammonia, nitrite, etc. (such as Prime or Amquel+) upon refilling the tank and adding TSS ... or while the tank is cycling. After the cycle is complete you could then use either.

To add additional biological filtration to your Aqueon 30, you could do a couple of things.....

- Remove the smaller cartridge and add one of the smaller AquaClear Biomax inserts (for the AC 20 or 30) to your Aqueon 30 (it should fit fine in front of the large cartridge). If doing so, add it at the same time as the TSS.

- And if you wanted to ... you could also add a sponge to your filter intake for even more biological filtration and additional large particle filtration which will help keep the media inside the filter cleaner.
 

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If you do use TSS, wait at least 24 hours after using ANY water conditioner, not just Prime and Amquel+, even Tetra Aquasafe apparently somehow messes up TSS unless you wait at least 24 hours before starting the TSS dose.
 

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Perhaps it was all that changing around that you did with your filter media that never gave your tank a chance to actually cycle. In other words, it sounds like you never started a cycle and saw it all the way through without moving filter media to another tank.

If you have fish, I'm not sure why you need to use anything like TSS. If it were my tank, I would just keep the fish in there, watch my feedings, take readings every few days to see where you stand and do a water change once a week. Your fish have got to be so stressed out from all the water changes you're doing.
 

ccb04

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Lynda ... TSS is meant to be used with fish in the tank. Either way, the fish will go through the cycle ... but with TSS, it'll be done in 7-10 days and the TSS helps protect them a bit.

Many recommend weekly water changes on biologically established tanks. Doing so on an uncycled tank could cause even more stress via allowing ammonia levels, etc. to build which could be detrimental to the health of the tanks inhabitants ... especially more sensitive species like an angel.

More often than not ... with fish already in an uncycled tank and when not using something like TSS, it's recommended to do smaller daily WC's with something like Prime. That's seemingly what the OP did ... and it's apparently not working, thus my recommendation of TSS.
 
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mcurtissdsu

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LyndaB said:
Perhaps it was all that changing around that you did with your filter media that never gave your tank a chance to actually cycle. In other words, it sounds like you never started a cycle and saw it all the way through without moving filter media to another tank.

If you have fish, I'm not sure why you need to use anything like TSS. If it were my tank, I would just keep the fish in there, watch my feedings, take readings every few days to see where you stand and do a water change once a week. Your fish have got to be so stressed out from all the water changes you're doing.
That's why I'm finally giving up. I've been coming on here for months trying to get advice and, while everyone has been extremely friendly and willing to offer help, I keep being told different things... all of which I have tried. I've tried large water changes and small water changes. I've tried several water changes in one day and I've tried no water changes for several days. I keep asking why or if I even need to do daily water changes and everybody keeps saying yes, absolutely yes. That I need to change 50% of the water AT LEAST, every day. That if I don't, the ammonia and nitrite levels will get so high they will kill the fish. I've asked several times if anyone thinks I could just add Prime to detox the ammonia every day and do weekly water changes and have been told no over and over again. Apparently nothing works for certain on every tank and since nothing I've tried so far has worked, I'm going to try doing nothing at all and see what happens.
 

LyndaB

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When I started my very first tank, I didn't do water changes every day. And it was easy to cycle. I admit I used fish, I didn't know any better. But I wasn't anal about it. I kept feeding to a minimum. And I know it didn't take long to cycle it.

I don't blame you for wanting to take a breather. Ease off the tank and see what happens.
 
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mcurtissdsu, glad to see you started a new thread. Maybe some fresh ideas will help.
 

jetajockey

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My suggestion has been to hold off on daily water changes as long as the ammonia level isn't going insane. I firmly believe that changing the water too often can stall or significantly slow down the cycling process. Prime detoxifies ammonia for up to 48 hours, so you can get by doing a change and redose every other day rather than daily. The key is to make sure you keep the ammonia levels low, <1ppm, so that a capful dose of prime locks up all of the free ammonia.
 
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mcurtissdsu

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Thank you, everyone, for your concern and advice. I really do appreciate it despite my obvious bad mood.
 

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mcurtissdsu said:
That's why I'm finally giving up. I've been coming on here for months trying to get advice and, while everyone has been extremely friendly and willing to offer help, I keep being told different things... all of which I have tried. I've tried large water changes and small water changes. I've tried several water changes in one day and I've tried no water changes for several days. I keep asking why or if I even need to do daily water changes and everybody keeps saying yes, absolutely yes. That I need to change 50% of the water AT LEAST, every day. That if I don't, the ammonia and nitrite levels will get so high they will kill the fish. I've asked several times if anyone thinks I could just add Prime to detox the ammonia every day and do weekly water changes and have been told no over and over again. Apparently nothing works for certain on every tank and since nothing I've tried so far has worked, I'm going to try doing nothing at all and see what happens.
I can understand your frustration. Have you already tried Tetra Safe Start (TSS)? I've used it to successfully cycle all 3 tanks I've tried it on. For your tank I'd go with the larger bottle. Basically, you add it and let it go for 7-10 days (no testing or water changes). You would simply do a water change with a conditioner like NovAqua+ (or another that doesn't detox ammonia, etc.) ... allow the system to run for 24 HRS ... then add TSS. After the tank cycles it's then simply a routine weekly maintenance schedule.

Also, adding a bit more biological filter media never hurts ... as I mentioned.

Just some thoughts. Good luck.
 

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mcurtissdsu said:
I have tested my tap water several times. In fact, I tested it again last night. It has 1.0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and 0 nitrates. I'm going to start doing just weekly water changes. I've been doing daily ones this whole time and I haven't gotten anywhere. Plus, I'm just tired of this whole process. I thought this would be a fun hobby and instead it's consumed my evenings after work for 6 months.
when you do water changes use API ammo lock on the new water it works instantly and should solve the problem of the high ammonia
 
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ccb04 said:
I can understand your frustration. Have you already tried Tetra Safe Start (TSS)? I've used it to successfully cycle all 3 tanks I've tried it on. For your tank I'd go with the larger bottle. Basically, you add it and let it go for 7-10 days (no testing or water changes). You would simply do a water change with a conditioner like NovAqua+ (or another that doesn't detox ammonia, etc.) ... allow the system to run for 24 HRS ... then add TSS. After the tank cycles it's then simply a routine weekly maintenance schedule.

Also, adding a bit more biological filter media never hurts ... as I mentioned.

Just some thoughts. Good luck.
I haven't tried it because I've heard both good and bad things and wanted to see if I could cycle without it. I've already decided to lay off the water changes for a while. I think I'll start there. In a week or two, if there still is no change, I will go ahead and try the TSS. I'm just really short on cash for the next two weeks but I should be able to get some them if I need it.
 
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