60 Gallon Tank Fishless cycle issues? - Page 2

  • Thread Starter
Harraj128
Member
mattgirl said:
Wouldn't hurt. It is possible they are sky high too. Those dilution tests are telling us your nitrites are sky high. If nitrates are too it might be time for another water change to get both down.

Please refresh my memory. Have you added any bottled bacteria?
So I've tested nitrates today and it's quite a sad sight, I'd say maybe 5-10ppm max which is pretty much what tap water was so it seems like Nitrites are not being broken down even yet!

Any ideas :(?

Bottled bacteria was added at the start and also when I first made this post, I've got no more but can order if you think its worth it..
 
Jo7984
Member
I use the bacteria ball things rather than the bottled stuff. Don't know if it makes much of a difference though.

Patience is key with it. I think it took me about a month to cycle my first tank. You think it won't happen then all of a sudden the nitrites are gone.

Where in UK are you?
 
  • Thread Starter
Harraj128
Member
Jo7984 said:
I use the bacteria ball things rather than the bottled stuff. Don't know if it makes much of a difference though.

Patience is key with it. I think it took me about a month to cycle my first tank. You think it won't happen then all of a sudden the nitrites are gone.

Where in UK are you?
I think it's coming up to a month for me and I think the fact there's no nitrates is abit of a downer for me, as if I saw nitrates I'd be thinking hey atleast my nitrites no matter if they are sky high are somewhat being converted haha!

Yeha the LFS sold me those aquarium bomb ball things and I've used like 2 proper to making this thread but not sure they netted any results.

I'm based in the West Midlands, you?
 
Jo7984
Member
I'm North East England, near Newcastle. Was thinking if you were local you could have taken some old bits of filter media from one of my tanks.
Not sure something like that would survive posting.

I put about 10 in my tank of those balls when I started out! I hung some in a media bag inside the tank and put a few inside my actual HOB filter too.
I couldnt 100% say whether or not they actually helped though.
 
  • Thread Starter
Harraj128
Member
Jo7984 said:
I'm North East England, near Newcastle. Was thinking if you were local you could have taken some old bits of filter media from one of my tanks.
Not sure something like that would survive posting.

I put about 10 in my tank of those balls when I started out! I hung some in a media bag inside the tank and put a few inside my actual HOB filter too.
I couldnt 100% say whether or not they actually helped though.
Ahh tbh I'm not sure maybe mattgirl would know how we could get it to work if posted? If it's viable and you are willing to post then we can figure out what it'll take and cost and I'd be happy to go down that route if it helps speed this up :D

Yeah that's the thing like alot of people do say these products are gimmicks but who knows!
 
pagoda
Member
One lesser known fact about fishkeeping is that you might have considered yourself a very patient person.....that is until waiting for an aquarium to cycle.

You buy the aquarium and all the stuff to go inside it, set it up and weeks later you are still waiting when all you want to do is get the fish in there. You decide on several different stock listings, twiddle thumbs, go grey, pace around the room willing the aquarium to get cycled....even swear at it for being so slow.

But you truly do have to wait sadly cos it will get there in the end....fishless can take 4 to 8 weeks, sometimes even longer and as much as the urge is there to just throw caution to the wind and put fish in there, you have to resist otherwise you will end up back at square one and that's definitely no fun at all. By the time if finally does its thing and is ready you'll have wrinkles and what hair you have not torn out will be grey.....but you WILL get there, honestly, you will :)
 
  • Thread Starter
Harraj128
Member
pagoda said:
One lesser known fact about fishkeeping is that you might have considered yourself a very patient person.....that is until waiting for an aquarium to cycle.

You buy the aquarium and all the stuff to go inside it, set it up and weeks later you are still waiting when all you want to do is get the fish in there. You decide on several different stock listings, twiddle thumbs, go grey, pace around the room willing the aquarium to get cycled....even swear at it for being so slow.

But you truly do have to wait sadly cos it will get there in the end....fishless can take 4 to 8 weeks, sometimes even longer and as much as the urge is there to just throw caution to the wind and put fish in there, you have to resist otherwise you will end up back at square one and that's definitely no fun at all. By the time if finally does its thing and is ready you'll have wrinkles and what hair you have not torn out will be grey.....but you WILL get there, honestly, you will :)
Oh yes this has definitely tested my patience but I will not give up, tbh this forum has been a godsend and you all have been great support so I feel like I'm not alone in this journey. God I sound like a recovering alcoholic but in reality I'm a man in a fishless cycle :D
 
pagoda
Member
Harraj128 said:
Oh yes this has definitely tested my patience but I will not give up, tbh this forum has been a godsend and you all have been great support so I feel like I'm not alone in this journey. God I sound like a recovering alcoholic but I'm reality I'm a man in a fishless cycle :D
Fish addiction is incurable once caught ;)
 
Jo7984
Member
Multi Tank Syndrome next!! Haha.

I'm not sure about posting though.
I have seen a few people in the US buy used filter media from a website who ships it, and they havent had much effect on helping their cycle along.
 
alven
Member
Harraj128 Just hang in there tbh. At least you're not like me who has a ready tank and hasn't even started his cycle. Anyways, you're almost to the finish line and you'll be so happy when you get there. You just have to persevere! ;)
 
mattgirl
Member
Jo7984 said:
I'm North East England, near Newcastle. Was thinking if you were local you could have taken some old bits of filter media from one of my tanks.
Not sure something like that would survive posting.
This is a great idea and very generous but I would be very cautious about removing filter media this early in your cycle. If I am remembering correctly your cycle is just a couple of months old. We really don't want to disrupt it.

I actually sent some media to someone that lives in the same state as I do. sadly I never heard back to know for sure if it helped speed up the cycle in that tank. :( I feel sure it did but would have liked to have heard back to be positive.
Harraj128 said:
Ahh tbh I'm not sure maybe mattgirl would know how we could get it to work if posted? If it's viable and you are willing to post then we can figure out what it'll take and cost and I'd be happy to go down that route if it helps speed this up :D
Seeded media can be mailed. A company here in the US called angelsplus does offer seeded sponges for sale. It seems even they don't work well for everyone that buys them but for some they work really well. Seems they are as iffy as bottle bacteria.

Right now it is just a matter of time and more patience than you ever thought you had. I truly do think you are close. It seems it takes the longest to get over that last hurdle.

Yeah that's the thing like alot of people do say these products are gimmicks but who knows!
Bottled bacteria works for some and not so well for others. I normally don't specifically recommend them simply because I've not used any of them so have no first hand experience. When they do work it seems the instructions have been followed to a tee. If not then it seems it takes as long to cycle with it as it does to cycle without it.

Now on to musing, a long and possibly boring read:
I think most bottled bacteria's are designed for being used to do a fish in cycle. We are not using them the way they are designed when doing a fishless cycle. They may work better if there was some way to add just a tiny bit of ammonia at a time much like fish would be doing instead of starting with a days supply all at once.

I am retired so had all the time in the world to do a fish in cycle when I set my 55 gallon back up after it sitting dry for about 6 years. This was about the time I joined this forum so when I set it up I wasn't aware of bottled bacteria or fishless cycling. Even had I been aware I still wouldn't have changed the way I done it

I filled the tank up and added decor. Gravel substrate, resin pieces, silk and plastic plants. Hooked up filters and a heater. Once I was sure everything was running as it should I fully stocked the tank. I kept a very close eye on the parameters during the cycle. The nitrites spiked at about 3 weeks. Once they did I was changing out almost half the water daily. Thankfully I only had to do that for 5 straight days. Before that I was doing them every other day. On the 6th day I ran the test and they were down to zero.

This tank actually grew enough of both ammonia and nitrite eating bacteria to handle the bio-load in 4 weeks but the cycle wasn't totally done yet because my water was still cloudy. It took another 2 weeks to see perfectly clear water in this tank. It was at that point I considered the tank fully cycled and could finally move on to my weekly 50% water changes.

Even though fully cycled I didn't consider the tank well established for another few months. By then bacteria had a chance to get fully colonized on everything in the tank. It was then when I felt comfortable removing and cleaning items as necessary. Resin pieces and artificial plants did need to be cleaned from time to time.

All of the artificial decor is now gone and I now have live plants in this tank. Live plants bring a whole new set of issues. Sometimes I wish I had left well enough alone and not started down this road. :D
Harraj128 said:
So I've tested nitrates today and it's quite a sad sight, I'd say maybe 5-10ppm max which is pretty much what tap water was so it seems like Nitrites are not being broken down even yet!

Any ideas :(?

Bottled bacteria was added at the start and also when I first made this post, I've got no more but can order if you think its worth it..
I have just gone through the timeline of this cycle. For the first 2 weeks I don't think anything was happening. Although you added bacteria there was little to no food for it so I feel sure it just died off. This cycle really didn't get started until you gave it a solid ammonia source.

This thread was started April 22nd. It was sometime after that when you added ammonia. In this case you are still early in the cycle. The nitrites will go down and the nitrates will rise but it will take time.
 
Jo7984
Member
mattgirl said:
This is a great idea and very generous but I would be very cautious about removing filter media this early in your cycle. If I am remembering correctly your cycle is just a couple of months old. We really don't want to disrupt it.
Yes, My original tank has been up since January, 2nd since start of March, 3rd since April!!

I've got 2 filters in them all and extra media in the filters in case I ever need a "hospital" tank again.
 
  • Thread Starter
Harraj128
Member
mattgirl said:
This is a great idea and very generous but I would be very cautious about removing filter media this early in your cycle. If I am remembering correctly your cycle is just a couple of months old. We really don't want to disrupt it.

I actually sent some media to someone that lives in the same state as I do. sadly I never heard back to know for sure if it helped speed up the cycle in that tank. :( I feel sure it did but would have liked to have heard back to be positive.

Seeded media can be mailed. A company here in the US called angelsplus does offer seeded sponges for sale. It seems even they don't work well for everyone that buys them but for some they work really well. Seems they are as iffy as bottle bacteria.

Right now it is just a matter of time and more patience than you ever thought you had. I truly do think you are close. It seems it takes the longest to get over that last hurdle.


Bottled bacteria works for some and not so well for others. I normally don't specifically recommend them simply because I've not used any of them so have no first hand experience. When they do work it seems the instructions have been followed to a tee. If not then it seems it takes as long to cycle with it as it does to cycle without it.

Now on to musing, a long and possibly boring read:
I think most bottled bacteria's are designed for being used to do a fish in cycle. We are not using them the way they are designed when doing a fishless cycle. They may work better if there was some way to add just a tiny bit of ammonia at a time much like fish would be doing instead of starting with a days supply all at once.

I am retired so had all the time in the world to do a fish in cycle when I set my 55 gallon back up after it sitting dry for about 6 years. This was about the time I joined this forum so when I set it up I wasn't aware of bottled bacteria or fishless cycling. Even had I been aware I still wouldn't have changed the way I done it

I filled the tank up and added decor. Gravel substrate, resin pieces, silk and plastic plants. Hooked up filters and a heater. Once I was sure everything was running as it should I fully stocked the tank. I kept a very close eye on the parameters during the cycle. The nitrites spiked at about 3 weeks. Once they did I was changing out almost half the water daily. Thankfully I only had to do that for 5 straight days. Before that I was doing them every other day. On the 6th day I ran the test and they were down to zero.

This tank actually grew enough of both ammonia and nitrite eating bacteria to handle the bio-load in 4 weeks but the cycle wasn't totally done yet because my water was still cloudy. It took another 2 weeks to see perfectly clear water in this tank. It was at that point I considered the tank fully cycled and could finally move on to my weekly 50% water changes.

Even though fully cycled I didn't consider the tank well established for another few months. By then bacteria had a chance to get fully colonized on everything in the tank. It was then when I felt comfortable removing and cleaning items as necessary. Resin pieces and artificial plants did need to be cleaned from time to time.

All of the artificial decor is now gone and I now have live plants in this tank. Live plants bring a whole new set of issues. Sometimes I wish I had left well enough alone and not started down this road. :D

I have just gone through the timeline of this cycle. For the first 2 weeks I don't think anything was happening. Although you added bacteria there was little to no food for it so I feel sure it just died off. This cycle really didn't get started until you gave it a solid ammonia source.

This thread was started April 22nd. It was sometime after that when you added ammonia. In this case you are still early in the cycle. The nitrites will go down and the nitrates will rise but it will take time.
Yeha that's true I only started added ammonia since the thread started! So should I just continue to add ammonia and forget about any water changes for now? Keep dosing and wait maybe?
 
mattgirl
Member
Harraj128 said:
Yeha that's true I only started added ammonia since the thread started! So should I just continue to add ammonia and forget about any water changes for now? Keep dosing and wait maybe?
Refresh my memory. I am thinking you did a water change recently. If so then yes, no water changes and add more ammonia when it drops down close to zero. If it is happening within 24 hours adding it every other day will be often enough. it is not going to hurt anything to go 24 hours sitting at zero.
 
  • Thread Starter
Harraj128
Member
mattgirl said:
Refresh my memory. I am thinking you did a water change recently. If so then yes, no water changes and add more ammonia when it drops down close to zero. If it is happening within 24 hours adding it every other day will be often enough. it is not going to hurt anything to go 24 hours sitting at zero.
So I did a water change around a week ago, and have just been dosing ammonia since. Obviously yesterdays results showed nitrites were still sky high but ammonia is processing nicely however the lack of nitrates showed we are still waiting for that nitrifying bacteria to catch up!

So I'm thinking just forget about the nitrites for now and keep topping up the ammonia every other day to 2ppm.

So do we forget about the pesky sky high nitrites for now or tackle them head first Captain mattgirl
 
mattgirl
Member
Harraj128 said:
So I did a water change around a week ago, and have just been dosing ammonia since. Obviously yesterdays results showed nitrites were still sky high but ammonia is processing nicely however the lack of nitrates showed we are still waiting for that nitrifying bacteria to catch up!

So I'm thinking just forget about the nitrites for now and keep topping up the ammonia every other day to 2ppm.

So do we forget about the pesky sky high nitrites for now or tackle them head first Captain mattgirl
We give them a bite to eat every other day and give it time. I would check the nitrite just before adding another dose of ammonia. I thought mine would never go down. The daily water changes didn't seem to be lowering them at all. Each day for 5 days the test showed deep purple. When I tested on the 6th day they were gone. Since I was changing out so much water I didn't even bother testing for nitrates.

You could do the daily water changes or just wait. I had to do them because fishes lives were at stake. In your case it is just your families nerves suffering :D
 
  • Thread Starter
Harraj128
Member
mattgirl said:
We give them a bite to eat every other day and give it time. I would check the nitrite just before adding another dose of ammonia. I thought mine would never go down. The daily water changes didn't seem to be lowering them at all. Each day for 5 days the test showed deep purple. When I tested on the 6th day they were gone. Since I was changing out so much water I didn't even bother testing for nitrates.

You could do the daily water changes or just wait. I had to do them because fishes lives were at stake. In your case it is just your families nerves suffering :D
Sounds like a plan!

So tested nitrites (no pictures as was lazy today) and it was a similar purple but let's see how it progresses. Tested ammonia and showed at 0 so dosed up to 2ppm and now to wait till tomorrow evening to retest nitrites and ammonia.

Tbh if you had that experience then it gives me hope, I've always assumed its meant to get lighter and lighter but if it can literally go from purple to light blue in a day then I have faith!

And yeah as I have no little fishies to take care of, would water changes add any benefit to cycling or best to just keep at it for now
 
mattgirl
Member
Harraj128 said:
Sounds like a plan!

So tested nitrites (no pictures as was lazy today) and it was a similar purple but let's see how it progresses. Tested ammonia and showed at 0 so dosed up to 2ppm and now to wait till tomorrow evening to retest nitrites and ammonia.
I would actually wait until the evening after that. Instead of adding ammonia every day we are only going to be adding it every other day.

Tbh if you had that experience then it gives me hope, I've always assumed its meant to get lighter and lighter but if it can literally go from purple to light blue in a day then I have faith!
Some folks do report it gradually going down but that wasn't how it was with mine. This comes down "every tank is different". For some folks it happens quickly. Other such as yourself can take a bit longer.

And yeah as I have no little fishies to take care of, would water changes add any benefit to cycling or best to just keep at it for now
I don't think water changes will affect it one way or another. We really don't want to pull out what the fish food is adding to the tank right now though so no water changes right now. As long as your pH is holding steady it is now just a waiting game.
 
  • Thread Starter
Harraj128
Member
mattgirl said:
I would actually wait until the evening after that. Instead of adding ammonia every day we are only going to be adding it every other day.


Some folks do report it gradually going down but that wasn't how it was with mine. This comes down "every tank is different". For some folks it happens quickly. Other such as yourself can take a bit longer.


I don't think water changes will affect it one way or another. We really don't want to pull out what the fish food is adding to the tank right now though so no water changes right now. As long as your pH is holding steady it is now just a waiting game.
Wow a day of no testing, not sure what I'll do with myself, most days you'll see me around the house with my blue lidded API master kit box :D

Okay let's do it, will retest Wednesday evening and see where we are at!

Thanks mattgirl :)
 
  • Thread Starter
Harraj128
Member
So retested today and dosed ammonia back up to 2ppm as clearly the tank is killing it with how well its processing the ammonia atleast!

Pictures attached of both ammonia and nitrites. Will try take pictures same spot so it'll be easier for you guys to tell what sort of measurements we're at.

mattgirl my little fine media bags came so whenever more flakes need to be thrown in (this time in a clean way :D) let me know
 
joe919
Member
Harraj128 said:
So retested today and dosed ammonia back up to 2ppm as clearly the tank is killing it with how well its processing the ammonia atleast!

Pictures attached of both ammonia and nitrites. Will try take pictures same spot so it'll be easier for you guys to tell what sort of measurements we're at.

mattgirl my little fine media bags came so whenever more flakes need to be thrown in (this time in a clean way :D) let me know
Hi, this is just my opinion, I had fish all my life, and I understand that you want fish in your tank ASAP, but sometimes the best thing is just to step back and let nature take it course. By keep adding chemicals will imbalance whatever happened until than. If you have the Test numbers please post it, I can't tell just by the test tube colors to guess the numbers. gives you an idea what water parameters fish needs. Did you try to use "reverse osmiosis water" or "boiled water" ( the pot has to be stainless steel or ceramic, so no chemical comes off from the pot). I hope that helps, and soon you will able to have fish.
 
mattgirl
Member
Harraj128 said:
So retested today and dosed ammonia back up to 2ppm as clearly the tank is killing it with how well its processing the ammonia atleast!

Pictures attached of both ammonia and nitrites. Will try take pictures same spot so it'll be easier for you guys to tell what sort of measurements we're at.

mattgirl my little fine media bags came so whenever more flakes need to be thrown in (this time in a clean way :D) let me know
It isn't going to hurt anything to go ahead and put the little bag of fish food in there now. At least it isn't going to go everywhere and foul the water. I suspect it will be the last you will have to add though. Just leave it in there until the nitrites drop. The fish food is going to be adding what the bacteria needs during all the time the number is sitting at zero.
joe919 said:
Hi, this is just my opinion, I had fish all my life, and I understand that you want fish in your tank ASAP, but sometimes the best thing is just to step back and let nature take it course. By keep adding chemicals will imbalance whatever happened until than. If you have the Test numbers please post it, I can't tell just by the test tube colors to guess the numbers. This is good read:
" Freshwater Aquarium Water Quality: The Nitrogen Cycle & Optimal Water Chemistry " gives you an idea what water parameters fish needs. Did you try to use "reverse osmiosis water" or "boiled water" ( the pot has to be stainless steel or ceramic, so no chemical comes off from the pot). I hope that helps, and soon you will able to have fish.
I agree, natural is the best way to go but when fishless cycling the ammonia has to come from somewhere. We know we want to see 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and some nitrates when the tank is cycled and ready for fish.
 
joe919
Member
mattgirl said:
It isn't going to hurt anything to go ahead and put the little bag of fish food in there now. At least it isn't going to go everywhere and foul the water. I suspect it will be the last you will have to add though. Just leave it in there until the nitrites drop. The fish food is going to be adding what the bacteria needs during all the time the number is sitting at zero.

I agree, natural is the best way to go but when fishless cycling the ammonia has to come from somewhere. We know we want to see 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and some nitrates when the tank is cycled and ready for fish.
Yes, agree, but once you add some fish food, you shouldn't mess with it, just leave it to mature, adding every few days or week some chemicals, doesn't do any good. After a couple of weeks, you can try to add a couple of hardy fish, that are not that sensitive of the water parameters.
 
mattgirl
Member
joe919 said:
Yes, agree, but once you add some fish food, you shouldn't mess with it, just leave it to mature, adding every few days or week some chemicals, doesn't do any good. After a couple of weeks, you can try to add a couple of hardy fish, that are not that sensitive of the water parameters.
I do agree with you up to a point. Personally I would never do a fishless cycle but when someone chooses to do so I will do my best to help them accomplish it. Some folks choose not to add fish until the cycle is complete. I try to honor their decision.
 
  • Thread Starter
Harraj128
Member
mattgirl said:
It isn't going to hurt anything to go ahead and put the little bag of fish food in there now. At least it isn't going to go everywhere and foul the water. I suspect it will be the last you will have to add though. Just leave it in there until the nitrites drop. The fish food is going to be adding what the bacteria needs during all the time the number is sitting at zero.

I agree, natural is the best way to go but when fishless cycling the ammonia has to come from somewhere. We know we want to see 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and some nitrates when the tank is cycled and ready for fish.
I've added a teaspoon of the fish flakes into a media bag and will now retest Friday. We still topping up every other day with ammonia?
 
mattgirl
Member
Harraj128 said:
I've added a teaspoon of the fish flakes into a media bag and will now retest Friday. We still topping up every other day with ammonia?
Yep, every other day. By doing this we should be giving the nitrite eating bacteria a chance to catch up with the amount the ammonia eating bacteria is producing.
 
  • Thread Starter
Harraj128
Member
As it's a non test day today, I got bored so decided to test only nitrites and I swear they're looking lighter today.. Who knows maybe it's my mind playing tricks :D
 
joe919
Member
Harraj128 said:
As it's a non test day today, I got bored so decided to test only nitrites and I swear they're looking lighter today.. Who knows maybe it's my mind playing tricks :D
Hi, Your tank is cycling for at least 5 weeks, it should be ready for fish, however, based on your Nitrite and Nitrate, it is not. Not sure what's going on. I would suggest to go and buy a test kit, just something like the API® 5-IN-1 TEST STRIPS, just to make sure that your test kit that you are using is good, and it doesn't give you bad readings. Maybe I missed in your posting, what filter are you using for your 60 g tank?
 
alven
Member
joe919 said:
Hi, Your tank is cycling for at least 5 weeks, it should be ready for fish, however, based on your Nitrite and Nitrate, it is not. Not sure what's going on. I would suggest to go and buy a test kit, just something like the API® 5-IN-1 TEST STRIPS, just to make sure that your test kit that you are using is good, and it doesn't give you bad readings. Maybe I missed in your posting, what filter are you using for your 60 g tank?
Yes, but isn't a tank supposed to read 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites with even further tests to determine the strength of their bacteria to even think about concluding that a cycle is complete?
 
  • Thread Starter
Harraj128
Member
joe919 said:
Hi, Your tank is cycling for at least 5 weeks, it should be ready for fish, however, based on your Nitrite and Nitrate, it is not. Not sure what's going on. I would suggest to go and buy a test kit, just something like the API® 5-IN-1 TEST STRIPS, just to make sure that your test kit that you are using is good, and it doesn't give you bad readings. Maybe I missed in your posting, what filter are you using for your 60 g tank?
Hi Joe, so it's 4 weeks exactly today as I bought the tank on the 7th April! And as mattgirl stated I'm most likely only 2 weeks in due to the LFS not telling me to dose or provide an ammonia source meaning the bacteria probably starved off half way!

I've had the water tested at my LFS who use the API strips and they show similar readings so I know my test kit is sound.

Yes it's a 230L tank which translates to roughly 60 gallons. The filter I am using is an AquaManta EFX 300 canister filter which is rated for 1100 LPH.

Hope that helps!
 
Jo7984
Member
Harraj128 said:
Hi Joe, so it's 4 weeks exactly today as I bought the tank on the 7th April! And as mattgirl stated I'm most likely only 2 weeks in due to the LFS not telling me to dose or provide an ammonia source meaning the bacteria probably starved off half way!

I've had the water tested at my LFS who use the API strips and they show similar readings so I know my test kit is sound.

Yes it's a 230L tank which translates to roughly 60 gallons. The filter I am using is an AquaManta EFX 300 canister filter which is rated for 1100 LPH.

Hope that helps!
Spot on. You totally know what you're talking about and doing now :)

Is it test day today??

I feel like I check back all the time to see if those nitrites are gone! Haha.

I did think yesterday test tube looked a little lighter than the pic before.

One day they will just be gone. You're doing fab :D
 
  • Thread Starter
Harraj128
Member
Jo7984 said:
Spot on. You totally know what you're talking about and doing now :)

Is it test day today??

I feel like I check back all the time to see if those nitrites are gone! Haha.

I did think yesterday test tube looked a little lighter than the pic before.

One day they will just be gone. You're doing fab :D
Haha I feel like I've really learnt alot from you guys and doing research in these last few weeks!

It is test day today! Will be testing this evening, and dose ammonia accordingly. May also test nitrates today aswell to see if we are seeing more. Haha yay I'm glad you think it looks lighter too :D

Stay tuned, nitrites be gone!
 
alven
Member
Harraj128 said:
Haha I feel like I've really learnt alot from you guys and doing research in these last few weeks!

It is test day today! Will be testing this evening, and dose ammonia accordingly. May also test nitrates today aswell to see if we are seeing more. Haha yay I'm glad you think it looks lighter too :D

Stay tuned, nitrites be gone!
Don't worry, we'll get the nitrites someday and that day is soon.
 
joe919
Member
aIvinn said:
Yes, but isn't a tank supposed to read 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites with even further tests to determine the strength of their bacteria to even think about concluding that a cycle is complete?
Yes, it sould, but if you have a batch of bad test kit, it will give you bad readings, it happened to me in my salt tank. And Harraj128 clarified that it is only 2 weeks in cycleing not 4 or 5 (that I thought) based on the post. To can aim for 0 reading, but rearly will be 0, if you can maintain 0-0.5 that is pretty good.
Harraj128 said:
Hi Joe, so it's 4 weeks exactly today as I bought the tank on the 7th April! And as mattgirl stated I'm most likely only 2 weeks in due to the LFS not telling me to dose or provide an ammonia source meaning the bacteria probably starved off half way!

I've had the water tested at my LFS who use the API strips and they show similar readings so I know my test kit is sound.

Yes it's a 230L tank which translates to roughly 60 gallons. The filter I am using is an AquaManta EFX 300 canister filter which is rated for 1100 LPH.

Hope that helps!
OK, that is more realistic, and it would explain why your tank it didn't finish the cycling.
 
alven
Member
joe919 said:
Yes, it sould, but if you have a batch of bad test kit, it will give you bad readings, it happened to me in my salt tank. And Harraj128 clarified that it is only 2 weeks in cycleing not 4 or 5 (that I thought) based on the post. To can aim for 0 reading, but rearly will be 0, if you can maintain 0-0.5 that is pretty good.
I'm 99.9% sure that he has a perfect test kit. Also in my humble opinion (this might depend on harraj), I'd wait until his ammonia reaches that bright bright yellow color which is considered 0ppm. Everything in an aquarium is a process and we are the ones who have to adjust ourselves to it. You can't speed up nature...
 
mattgirl
Member
Harraj128 said:
Hi Joe, so it's 4 weeks exactly today as I bought the tank on the 7th April! And as mattgirl stated I'm most likely only 2 weeks in due to the LFS not telling me to dose or provide an ammonia source meaning the bacteria probably starved off half way!

I've had the water tested at my LFS who use the API strips and they show similar readings so I know my test kit is sound.

Yes it's a 230L tank which translates to roughly 60 gallons. The filter I am using is an AquaManta EFX 300 canister filter which is rated for 1100 LPH.

Hope that helps!
Thank you for clarifying the timeline. I started to do so but thought better of it.

It is time to run the nitrate test along with the others. If your nitrites are now going down I suspect nitrates are not far behind.

A little hint for making your ammonia and nitrate testing solution go twice as far. You are going to need a fairly accurate syringe for this one. Instead of testing 5mls of water each time, test 2.5. Instead of 8 drops from each ammonia bottle you only need 4 from each. For the nitrate test instead of 5 drops from each bottle you only need 5 from each.

I tested this out and we get the same results whether testing 5mls or 2.5mls. I do wish I had discovered this before I went through the bottles that came with my kit and the replacement nitrate testing kit I bought. I don't test as often now so my third set is lasting much longer.

I've not had to replace ammonia, nitrite or pH, only nitrate. Once cycled we only need to use those once in a blue moon. Once we have determined how much water we are going to change each week to keep the nitrates down we won't be testing them as often either.

I noticed a couple of days ago that my test kit is now past its expiration date. I may or may not buy another one. Instead of testing I just go ahead and do my weekly 50% or more water changes on all tanks.
 
  • Thread Starter
Harraj128
Member
GUYS OMGGGG..


Look at these results I'm actually about to scream with joy. Should I retest my nitrites maybe this is a false reading?

mattgirl Jo7984 @alvinn joe919
mattgirl said:
Thank you for clarifying the timeline. I started to do so but thought better of it.

It is time to run the nitrate test along with the others. If your nitrites are now going down I suspect nitrates are not far behind.

A little hint for making your ammonia and nitrate testing solution go twice as far. You are going to need a fairly accurate syringe for this one. Instead of testing 5mls of water each time, test 2.5. Instead of 8 drops from each ammonia bottle you only need 4 from each. For the nitrate test instead of 5 drops from each bottle you only need 5 from each.

I tested this out and we get the same results whether testing 5mls or 2.5mls. I do wish I had discovered this before I went through the bottles that came with my kit and the replacement nitrate testing kit I bought. I don't test as often now so my third set is lasting much longer.

I've not had to replace ammonia, nitrite or pH, only nitrate. Once cycled we only need to use those once in a blue moon. Once we have determined how much water we are going to change each week to keep the nitrates down we won't be testing them as often either.

I noticed a couple of days ago that my test kit is now past its expiration date. I may or may not buy another one. Instead of testing I just go ahead and do my weekly 50% or more water changes on all tanks.
Perfect I will order some syringes so I can be as efficient as possible :D
 
mattgirl
Member
Harraj128 said:
GUYS OMGGGG..


Look at these results I'm actually about to scream with joy. Should I retest my nitrites maybe this is a false reading?

mattgirl Jo7984 @alvinn joe919


Perfect I will order some syringes so I can be as efficient as possible :D
This is what I was telling you. It is now time to do the happy dance. :D Those nitrites can be real brats. They seem to hang of forever and then almost like magic they drop down to that beautiful sky blue. I have nothing against purple but just don't want to see it in my test tube.

You may want to add 2ppm ammonia one more time just to be totally sure but I have to think this cycle is done. Not yet firmly established so no heavy handed cleaning but a water change to get the nitrates down to 20 or less and you can then add fish. You want to see a true orange in the nitrate test tube. We don't want to go over board but since this tank can handle 2ppm ammonia you can now add several fish.

Let us know your plans and we can kinda guide you.
 
  • Thread Starter
Harraj128
Member
mattgirl said:
This is what I was telling you. It is now time to do the happy dance. :D Those nitrites can be real brats. They seem to hang of forever and then almost like magic they drop down to that beautiful sky blue. I have nothing against purple but just don't want to see it in my test tube.

You may want to add 2ppm ammonia one more time just to be totally sure but I have to think this cycle is done. Not yet firmly established so no heavy handed cleaning but a water change to get the nitrates down to 20 or less and you can then add fish. You want to see a true orange in the nitrate test tube. We don't want to go over board but since this tank can handle 2ppm ammonia you can now add several fish.

Let us know your plans and we can kinda guide you.
Yes finally! The happy dance is happening as we speak in my head :D tbh I had a feeling based off yesterdays test we may see something but wasn't expecting such a clear light blue with no trace of purple!

Okay so we're at around probably 40-60ppm nitrates so would you say a 75% water change should be sufficient?

Secondly should I do the water change first, then re dose the ammonia and remove the fish food bag?

Is there a chance if I do this tonight I can get fish tomorrow?! If so what would you recommend I get first and quantities?

Ideally I want a couple of "exotic wow fish" and the rest to be community type schooling fish.

Happy to be guided :)
 
Jo7984
Member
Harraj128 said:
GUYS OMGGGG..


Look at these results I'm actually about to scream with joy. Should I retest my nitrites maybe this is a false reading?

mattgirl Jo7984 @alvinn joe919


Perfect I will order some syringes so I can be as efficient as possible :D
Yay!!!!!

Told you they would just drop to nothing at some point!

Well done :D
 
alven
Member
WOW! CONGRATS! I feel happy for you and it's not even my tank lol, but congrats though! You really have to thank mattgirl though because she's the best cycle guru ever. :D
 
  • Thread Starter
Harraj128
Member
aIvinn said:
WOW! CONGRATS! I feel happy for you and it's not even my tank lol, but congrats though! You really have to thank mattgirl though because she's the best cycle guru ever. :D

100‰ I couldn't do it without mattgirl who's been amazing putting the time in to respond to me!

She truly is the best cycling guru and there's definitely something about adding fish food which is clearly proven here!
 
mattgirl
Member
Harraj128 said:
Yes finally! The happy dance is happening as we speak in my head :D tbh I had a feeling based off yesterdays test we may see something but wasn't expecting such a clear light blue with no trace of purple!
Until you actually see it happen it is hard to believe it can happen like this. It happened for me and time after time I see happen for other folks. Each time I am thrilled for them. :)

Okay so we're at around probably 40-60ppm nitrates so would you say a 75% water change should be sufficient?

Secondly should I do the water change first, then re dose the ammonia and remove the fish food bag?
I would wait on the water change. No need to do one now and then have to do another one in a few days. When you do your water change go ahead and siphon out the first food you added if you still see it. Leave the bag of fish food in there until you add fish. It isn't hurting anything and will still be feeding the bacteria.

Is there a chance if I do this tonight I can get fish tomorrow?! If so what would you recommend I get first and quantities?
After being so patient for all this time we don't want to rush it now. Normally I would like to see a tank this size grow more bacteria than a smaller tank. Since we are only up to processing 2ppm ammonia we don't want to overload the bacteria by adding too many fish too quickly. If we had grown enough bacteria to handle about 4ppm ammonia I would be comfortable fully stocking the tank all at once.

Since I know both you and your family are getting very anxious to start stocking this tank we need to go slower than that. Add one school of fish. Watch the numbers. If there are no spikes of ammonia/nitrites with in few days we will know you have enough bacteria to handle their bio-load.

Do this each time you add more fish and eventually the tank will be fully stocked.

Ideally I want a couple of "exotic wow fish" and the rest to be community type schooling fish.

Happy to be guided :)
I really don't know what kind of fish y'all are wanting. Now would be a good time to research the fish you want to keep to make sure they will be comfortable in your water parameters and will get along with each other. Personally I try to keep very peaceful tanks. I stick to various Tetras. With big enough shoals they get along with each other and their tank mates. Tetras tend to do well in my very soft water.

If you are going for some type of schooling fish it is better to get a big school of one or maybe 2 schools instead of just a few of lots of different kinds of fish.
 
  • Thread Starter
Harraj128
Member
mattgirl said:
Until you actually see it happen it is hard to believe it can happen like this. It happened for me and time after time I see happen for other folks. Each time I am thrilled for them. :)


I would wait on the water change. No need to do one now and then have to do another one in a few days. When you do your water change go ahead and siphon out the first food you added if you still see it. Leave the bag of fish food in there until you add fish. It isn't hurting anything and will still be feeding the bacteria.


After being so patient for all this time we don't want to rush it now. Normally I would like to see a tank this size grow more bacteria than a smaller tank. Since we are only up to processing 2ppm ammonia we don't want to overload the bacteria by adding too many fish too quickly. If we had grown enough bacteria to handle about 4ppm ammonia I would be comfortable fully stocking the tank all at once.

Since I know both you and your family are getting very anxious to start stocking this tank we need to go slower than that. Add one school of fish. Watch the numbers. If there are no spikes of ammonia/nitrites with in few days we will know you have enough bacteria to handle their bio-load.

Do this each time you add more fish and eventually the tank will be fully stocked.


I really don't know what kind of fish y'all are wanting. Now would be a good time to research the fish you want to keep to make sure they will be comfortable in your water parameters and will get along with each other. Personally I try to keep very peaceful tanks. I stick to various Tetras. With big enough shoals they get along with each other and their tank mates. Tetras tend to do well in my very soft water.

If you are going for some type of schooling fish it is better to get a big school of one or maybe 2 schools instead of just a few of lots of different kinds of fish.
Okay yay no having to lug buckets around :D

Okay so let me get this clear so I know what to do haha, I'm not going to touch the tank now and will leave the food in the bag still. Should I still go ahead and dose 2ppm ammonia?

And am I right in saying tomorrow shall I add in a school of fish (maybe just 6 neon tetras?).

Thanks once again for all your help :)

In terms of what sorts of fish I want, I just want the most colourful vibrant fish tbh so I need to do some research! I however do like neon tetras and apparently they're quite hardy?
 
mattgirl
Member
Harraj128 said:
Okay yay no having to lug buckets around :D

Okay so let me get this clear so I know what to do haha, I'm not going to touch the tank now and will leave the food in the bag still. Should I still go ahead and dose 2ppm ammonia?

And am I right in saying tomorrow shall I add in a school of fish (maybe just 6 neon tetras?).

Thanks once again for all your help :)

In terms of what sorts of fish I want, I just want the most colourful vibrant fish tbh so I need to do some research! I however do like neon tetras and apparently they're quite hardy?
Yes, go ahead and get the ammonia back up to 2ppm. Run the test 24 hours later. This is the final test to make absolutely sure the cycle is done. May not be necessary but I like to play it safe.

Sorry, the buckets will have to be used before fish are added. We need to get the nitrates down before fish are added.

Neon tetras used to be pretty hardy but it seems they aren't as healthy as they once were. You could actually start with up to a dozen of them. They have a very low bio-load. Be prepared to lose some. Some folks say cardinal tetras are hardier but I've never had them so can't say for sure. I am partial to black skirt tetras but they aren't as colorful as some of the others. Red blue columbian tetras are a much bigger tetra and are very pretty once settled in and comfortable.
 
  • Thread Starter
Harraj128
Member
mattgirl said:
Yes, go ahead and get the ammonia back up to 2ppm. Run the test 24 hours later. This is the final test to make absolutely sure the cycle is done. May not be necessary but I like to play it safe.

Sorry, the buckets will have to be used before fish are added. We need to get the nitrates down before fish are added.

Neon tetras used to be pretty hardy but it seems they aren't as healthy as they once were. You could actually start with up to a dozen of them. They have a very low bio-load. Be prepared to lose some. Some folks say cardinal tetras are hardier but I've never had them so can't say for sure. I am partial to black skirt tetras but they aren't as colorful as some of the others. Red blue columbian tetras are a much bigger tetra and are very pretty once settled in and comfortable.
Okay great so I've dosed ammonia back up to 2ppm and will run test tomorrow at this time. If all goes well, should I go ahead and do a 90% water change, and throw in prime on this change? I've been using a different water conditioner but heard prime is the best and protective for fish so have loaded up on that.

Great will take a look at what Tetras my LFS has on Sunday if all goes go plan then
 
mattgirl
Member
Harraj128 said:
Okay great so I've dosed ammonia back up to 2ppm and will run test tomorrow at this time. If all goes well, should I go ahead and do a 90% water change, and throw in prime on this change? I've been using a different water conditioner but heard prime is the best and protective for fish so have loaded up on that.

Great will take a look at what Tetras my LFS has on Sunday if all goes go plan then
I both use and recommend Prime but if there is no ammonia reading in the tank once fish are added any of the many water conditioners will work just as well.

If the nitrates in the tank are 60 a 50% water change will lower them to 30. I have to think a 75% will be enough to get them down where they need to be. Thankfully the nitrate level isn't a critical as both ammonia and nitrites.

A word of warning :D

If you or your family see and like something like guppies, platys or mollies and decide to get them be sure you get all males. If you get females or a mixture of them before long you will be overrun with lots of little fish. Female are normally already pregnant when you get them so if you don't want fry get all males.
 
  • Thread Starter
Harraj128
Member
mattgirl said:
I both use and recommend Prime but if there is no ammonia reading in the tank once fish are added any of the many water conditioners will work just as well.

If the nitrates in the tank are 60 a 50% water change will lower them to 30. I have to think a 75% will be enough to get them down where they need to be. Thankfully the nitrate level isn't a critical as both ammonia and nitrites.

A word of warning :D

If you or your family see and like something like guppies, platys or mollies and decide to get them be sure you get all males. If you get females or a mixture of them before long you will be overrun with lots of little fish. Female are normally already pregnant when you get them so if you don't want fry get all males.
Okay that is great, I'll probably just stick to prime as the concentrated version is very good value for money!

I've just woken up and now to wait 12-15 hours more before retesting. I'm so nervous lol, if I see any purple in the nitrites that'll be a downer but good we are doing this to ensure everything is cycled!

If tests are positive I'll be lowering my tank temperature as it was around 84F as wanted it nice and toasty to speed up bacterial growth, will probably bring it down to 76F when doing the water change as I think that's a happy medium. So I've had a look and zebra danios are apparently also quite Hardy fish, would a a dozen of these also not be too much bioload on the tank or are they more strain than tetras?
 
Jo7984
Member
Long wait! Keep yourself busy! Haha :)

When my nitrites dropped to zero I just turned off the heater I had in.
I was putting White Cloud Mountain Minnow in my tank though and they don't need a heater.
The temperature just slowly dropped rather than a sudden water change drop. Dont know if this makes much of a difference though but I just didn't want to kill any bacteria i had just grown.

I dont have danio myself so maybe someone will come along and answer your questions on that.
I have always steered away from live bearers so far, I don't want to be dealing with babies all the time!

Though I did see some Endler Guppies in my local fish store the other week and they looked so pretty (and so small) for my empty tank but their rate of breeding just puts me off.
 
mattgirl
Member
Harraj128 said:
Okay that is great, I'll probably just stick to prime as the concentrated version is very good value for money!
My thought exactly. Once I started using it I just stuck with it. It takes so much less of it than the one I had used for years.

I've just woken up and now to wait 12-15 hours more before retesting. I'm so nervous lol, if I see any purple in the nitrites that'll be a downer but good we are doing this to ensure everything is cycled!
Be sure to wait the full 24 hours. The ammonia will probably go down to zero sooner than that but we want to make sure the nitrites have too. As you have discovered, it normally takes them longer to go down. I would hate for you to see purple and freak out. :D

If tests are positive I'll be lowering my tank temperature as it was around 84F as wanted it nice and toasty to speed up bacterial growth, will probably bring it down to 76F when doing the water change as I think that's a happy medium.
Turn the heater off now and let the water start cooling down. I don't know that it makes a bit of difference but to err on the safe side I wouldn't want to drop the tanks temp instantly from 84 to 76. I consider the bacteria a living thing. I don't know that there is such a thing as temp shock for it but I wouldn't take the chance. I wish I had thought to mention this yesterday but never too late.

So I've had a look and zebra danios are apparently also quite Hardy fish, would a a dozen of these also not be too much bioload on the tank or are they more strain than tetras?
Zerba danios are great little fish. I love their activity level. I probably wouldn't start with a dozen but I'd have no problem starting with 8. Another one I like are pearl danios. They get a bit bigger than the zebras. When you first see them they look fairly plain but as they get comfortable and start growing you will start seeing their colors start to shimmer and the orange stripe on their back becomes more prominent. Again, I would start with 8 in this size tank.
 

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