FISHLESS CYCLING - ONLY GETTING AMMONIA RESULTS

voiceless_kat
Member
HI guys......I started fishless cycling a tank on June 17th. To date all I getting results for is my Ammonia test which is now up to 4.ppm. No Nitrites and no Nitrates. Ammonia has been at 4 for approx 9 days.

Any suggestions, or is this seemingly normal?? Started with Zymbac, adding bloodworms daily. Last time I was cycled in 3 weeks and I never had ammonia at 4 once in either of my other tanks. It was always around 2.00.

Any ideas?? Thanks. Val
 
sick-lid boy
Member
Patience. I've never done a fishless cycle, so I don't know if it makes a difference as far as time, but it's my understanding that if you are getting ammonia readings, the nitrite readings WILL come. Seems to me that when I did my first tank cycle, the nitrite readings took quite awhile to finally show up. I'm no chemist, It's possible that the nitrite readings are being a bit slow because you have such high ammonia readings. Maybe a water change??

EDIT: If you already have cycled tanks in your house, why don't you just use the filter media and/or gravel from one of those tanks to cycle your new tank with? I've done it that way before and it took practically no time at all to cycle a new tank.
 
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voiceless_kat
Member
sick-lid boy said:
EDIT: If you already have cycled tanks in your house, why don't you just use the filter media and/or gravel from one of those tanks to cycle your new tank with? I've done it that way before and it took practically no time at all to cycle a new tank.
How much gravel would I take out of the cycled tanks?? I have Eclipse filters, but could add a new filter to the cycled tank, and put the cycled tank filter into the one I am trying to cycle?? Sound good?? Thanks. ( I keep forgetting you can do that...dah!) Val
 
sick-lid boy
Member
voiceless_kat said:
How much gravel would I take out of the cycled tanks?? I have Eclipse filters, but could add a new filter to the cycled tank, and put the cycled tank filter into the one I am trying to cycle?? Sound good?? Thanks. ( I keep forgetting you can do that...dah!) Val
Use a filter from a cycled tank and you probably wouldn't need ANY gravel. I fully cycled a new 80 gallon tank in around 24-48 hours using the filter from a cycled 55 gallon tank. I used a couple of handfuls of gravel from the cycled as well as the filter, but I doubt if that made much difference. The filter alone should do the trick.
 
atmmachine816
Member
Just make sure you use some of the filter media unless you have two filters on the old tank, you don't want that tank going through a mini-cycle
 
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voiceless_kat
Member
atmmachine said:
Just make sure you use some of the filter media unless you have two filters on the old tank, you don't want that tank going through a mini-cycle
sorry I am confused. I have an Eclipse system, which uses a filter with carbon and also a bio wheel. If I just take out the filter and replace it with a new one in the cycled tank, won't the bio wheel hold up the cycling/bacteria?? then I just replace the filter in the cycling tank with the one I took from the cycled one????? ( It also is an eclipse and also has a bio wheel.) so sorry to need so much clarification. :-[ Val
 
capekate
Member
voiceless_kat said:
HI guys......I started fishless cycling a tank on June 17th. To date all I getting results for is my Ammonia test which is now up to 4.ppm. No Nitrites and no Nitrates. Ammonia has been at 4 for approx 9 days.

Any suggestions, or is this seemingly normal?? Started with Zymbac, adding bloodworms daily. Last time I was cycled in 3 weeks and I never had ammonia at 4 once in either of my other tanks. It was always around 2.00.

Any ideas?? Thanks. Val
HI Val, it looks like you started your fishless cycle a day before I started my own fishless cycle. I started getting nitrate readings before I got any ammonia readings. Now my ammonia readings are at 1.0, nitrate at 10 and nitrite at .25. I also used bloodworms daily. I'm surprised your ammonia is so high at 4. But with your ammonia so high I would think you can now add some of your media from another tank if you have any extra sponge running in one of them? When I started this new tank cycling, I put a extra small sponge into a cycled tanks filter and left it there til I can get some ammonia going in my cycling tank. If there is no ammonia there, any beneficial bacteria you add through use of sponge or gravel from a cycled tank will just die off. But since your ammonia is so high, you should be able to use something from your cycled tank, whether its a scoopfull of gravel or any of the filter media IF you have any extra. Or you can cut a small piece off of one of your sponges in the cycled tank and add that piece to your new tanks filter system? I won't be able to add any cycled sponge to my tank until I get higher readings on the ammonia. I don't understand why you have no nitrates showing up tho? Maybe Luniyn can help you with this question... ;D Shes good at all that stuff and has been helping me with my cycling questions.
One thing that's great about cycling without fish is that we don't have to go through all those water changes til we are ready to add fish. Then we will have to get rid of some of the nitrates and if there are any nitrites as well as a high ammonia content. But at least we don't have to do water changes every day!! Like I had to do when I cycled with fish.
good luck with your fishless cycle. ;D I can't wait to add fish either, but doing it the right way will solve a lot of problems in the end! ;D
 
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voiceless_kat
Member
thanks Kate......hopefully I am on the right track when I am thinking of taking the filter out of the cycled tank. I will wait a little longer and then just go ahead and do it. I am almost afraid to finish this tank cycling, cuz that means I will have an empty tank................I just know there is a betta waiting to be rescued.............ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

I am following your postings as well to pick up hints and see how things are going. Cheers Val
 
atmmachine816
Member
voiceless_kat said:
atmmachine said:
Just make sure you use some of the filter media unless you have two filters on the old tank, you don't want that tank going through a mini-cycle
sorry I am confused. I have an Eclipse system, which uses a filter with carbon and also a bio wheel. If I just take out the filter and replace it with a new one in the cycled tank, won't the bio wheel hold up the cycling/bacteria?? then I just replace the filter in the cycling tank with the one I took from the cycled one????? ( It also is an eclipse and also has a bio wheel.) so sorry to need so much clarification. :-[ Val
O sorry, when you said filter I thought pick up the filter and move it completely the unit and all. Ya as long as the bio-wheel isn't out of the water for more than a half hour tops that would be fine. So taking the filter cartridge out of the cycled eclipse and putting it in the new eclipse and putting a brand new cartridge in the cycled eclipse yes that would work and you should have a cycled tank practically instantly, the next day you could probably add a fish.
 
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voiceless_kat
Member
atmmachine said:
Just make sure you use some of the filter media unless you have two filters on the old tank, you don't want that tank going through a mini-cycle
Ya as long as the bio-wheel isn't out of the water for more than a half hour tops that would be fine. So taking the filter cartridge out of the cycled eclipse and putting it in the new eclipse and putting a brand new cartridge in the cycled eclipse yes that would work and you should have a cycled tank practically instantly, the next day you could probably add a fish.
[/quote]


Well I am all over this then. I changed the filter in the cycled tank about a week ago. Hope it has enough magic gunk on it. The bio wheel is totally separate and won't be out of the water at all. This is a wonderful idea...............something I should have been able to think of myself. I will do it and then do readings in the morning. Stay tuned. And again, thanks for your help!! Wish me luck!! Val
 
atmmachine816
Member
Good Luck, this little link at the top show new replies to your posts should help me keep tuned here very well
 
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voiceless_kat
Member
Well, well, well....................obviously I have too many balls in the air...... ......I think I figured out what is going wrong.......well, past tense. I changed the filters and tested this morning. Readings were still the same...ammonia was at 4. I was standing in a stupor looking at the tank, and what I should have noticed before........I am sure I have been adding way too many bloodworms. I started with Zymbac so should have only used a tiny few, but I was adding every twelve hours a big pinch........the gravel was icky even. There was crud (blood worm) laying on top of the gravel in places.

So, I siphon vacuumed out the gravel ( it was so yucky when it was disturbed) then did a 1/3 water change. I am sure that is why there was so much ammonia. We will be at the cabin this weekend, so I will check it again on Sunday. Might add a touch more Zymbac before we go. My last tank was done in 3 weeks, I suppose I thought well if I add more of everything, it will go faster. Dah again!! All I did was dirty it up. There is still enough crud to keep the cycle going, I am sure.

So once again, now that I have my brain in gear............wish me luck!!
 
atmmachine816
Member
Well that might explain things to you for hopefully solving your problem
 
Xenomorph
Member
For future tank setups (I'm fishin here for my own benefit too ) wouldn't it be easier (with a HOB type filter) to just hang the new filter on the back of a cycled tank, turn it on, wait a week, then transfer the whole new filter to the new tank? or is there something I'm missing?
 
capekate
Member
Xenomorph said:
For future tank setups (I'm fishin here for my own benefit too ) wouldn't it be easier (with a HOB type filter) to just hang the new filter on the back of a cycled tank, turn it on, wait a week, then transfer the whole new filter to the new tank? or is there something I'm missing?
You can do that, but I'm thinking the easy thing to do is just add another sponge in your HOB filter. Stuff it down, you will find the room, or use a sponge that's made for a mini, which is a much smaller sponge. For my cycling, I left the sponge in the filter of the cycled tank for almost two weeks. It was easy to just take the sponge out, and bring it over to the other tank and push it into the back of that filter.
 
atmmachine816
Member
capekate said:
Xenomorph said:
For future tank setups (I'm fishin here for my own benefit too ) wouldn't it be easier (with a HOB type filter) to just hang the new filter on the back of a cycled tank, turn it on, wait a week, then transfer the whole new filter to the new tank? or is there something I'm missing?
You can do that, but I'm thinking the easy thing to do is just add another sponge in your HOB filter. Stuff it down, you will find the room, or use a sponge that's made for a mini, which is a much smaller sponge. For my cycling, I left the sponge in the filter of the cycled tank for almost two weeks. It was easy to just take the sponge out, and bring it over to the other tank and push it into the back of that filter.
Ya I agree with that since some tanks don't allow you to put on another filter either, then it might get tricky
 
capekate
Member
atmmachine said:
capekate said:
Xenomorph said:
For future tank setups (I'm fishin here for my own benefit too wouldn't it be easier (with a HOB type filter) to just hang the new filter on the back of a cycled tank, turn it on, wait a week, then transfer the whole new filter to the new tank? or is there something I'm missing?
You can do that, but I'm thinking the easy thing to do is just add another sponge in your HOB filter. Stuff it down, you will find the room, or use a sponge that's made for a mini, which is a much smaller sponge. For my cycling, I left the sponge in the filter of the cycled tank for almost two weeks. It was easy to just take the sponge out, and bring it over to the other tank and push it into the back of that filter.
Ya I agree with that since some tanks don't allow you to put on another filter either, then it might get tricky
Yep... I have a top fin HOB filter in the 55 which I really don't like, it came with the set up. They use cartridges whereas my aquaclear,which I have on three other tanks have enough room to add a few extras. In the topfin I just stuffed that lil minI sponge in the back of the cartridge. I imagine that you can also cut a small section out of a sponge and use that. Even the whisper that I had, even tho it uses cartridge as well, I managed to stuff alittle sponge in the back of that. You can find the way if you need it...
 
atmmachine816
Member
capekate you can just take out the cartridge and put in whatever you want. That's what I do, I have a aquaclear sponge and bio-bag thing (foreget what it's called) and filter floss in my penguin bio-wheel. I just keep a aquaclear mesh bag and carbon on hand if I ever need it. Works great for me.
 
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voiceless_kat
Member
Well, I thought I was so smart. My little cleaning episode, and filter transfer did dick all!!!! Tonight I checked the water which still has ammonia 4 and 0 for both of the others. So , not sure what to do now, just give it more time, or start over.

I am still thinking that there was/is too much crud in the tank, and that I was adding way too many bloodworms. Perhaps another partial water change and siphon vacuum tomorrow and then go from there. If I add gravel from a cycled tank, how much do I add, and do I just scoop it out and dump it in the cycling tank???

Fish are so complicated........ ???...........Val
 
Xenomorph
Member
If it was me... since there aren't any fish in the tank I'd just clear it all out, wash it all down, set up again and do the filter thing. Somethings causing the ammonia blowout, if you start from scratch all you've lost is time.
 
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voiceless_kat
Member
Slowyly losing my mind here............

I did a 30% water change today, removed some smooth stones and a silk plant and siphoned out the gravel. When I tested , ammonia was 2.00 , nitrites still 0 ; didn't test nitrates. but that could just be because water was changed. I am thinking since I used do much Zymbac, I should not have added bloodworms also, perhaps that is why the high ammonia.

So Unless anyone has any better ideas, I think if the ammonia hasn't come down by tomorrow, I will empty out the whole tank and start from scratch.

Any suggestions, ideas on what else could be causing all this ammonia?? Thanks. :'(
 
capekate
Member
voiceless_kat said:
Slowyly losing my mind here............

I did a 30% water change today, removed some smooth stones and a silk plant and siphoned out the gravel. When I tested , ammonia was 2.00 , nitrites still 0 ; didn't test nitrates. but that could just be because water was changed. I am thinking since I used do much Zymbac, I should not have added bloodworms also, perhaps that is why the high ammonia.

So Unless anyone has any better ideas, I think if the ammonia hasn't come down by tomorrow, I will empty out the whole tank and start from scratch.

Any suggestions, ideas on what else could be causing all this ammonia?? Thanks. :'(
HI Val,
sorry to hear your still having problems with your cycle. I'm not sure what I can contribute to this thread, but some of my own experience. I'm not sure that taking out the decorations in the tank, vacuuming the gravel and doing a water change is a good idea. You may have destroyed some of the beneficial bacteria that grows on these items. There are a few things you and I have done differently in both of our fishless cycling of our tanks. I started my cycle on june 18th a day after you. I have not added any water conditioners since I filled the tank, only some prime and stress zyme on the day of set up. Since I was fishless cycling didnt think I needed to add anything to the water at that point. We both fed our tanks fish food. I also used frozen bloodworms. I was putting in about a 1/2 teaspoon twice a day. I used a syringe. Sometimes I added the bloodworms only once a day. I started getting readings on nitrate after three days, but no ammonia readings til the sixth day and that was only a .25. I didnt get any nitrite readings til july 3rd. and that was a 1.0. In six days it has jumped to a 2.0+. I also put in a 4 inch square of blue fish. Since you are showing ammonia and no nitrate or nitrites, there is some reason why you do not have any bacteria started in your tank yet. What is your water temp* maybe you can raise it? I think you may have slowed the process down with the water change and cleaning of the gravel, silk plants etc. I would not clean it all out and start over again if I were you. You don't have any fish in the tank so why worry about the high ammonia reading at this point? I wouldnt do any water changes either til you get the readings you want, and just before adding fish. Your not hurting anything now, with no fish in the tank so let the ammonia go sky high if it wants to. The ammonia isn't the problem, its the lack of readings for your nitrate and nitrite that is the problem. You really should be showing those readings by now.
I wish you luck...hang in there... I hope I was able to be of some help for you. By cycling fishless you really are doing the best thing.
~ kate
 
Luniyn
Member
voiceless_kat said:
I am thinking since I used do much Zymbac, I should not have added bloodworms also, perhaps that is why the high ammonia.
I think you might be a little confused about what Zymbac is actually supposed to do. Adding it to your tank without doing anything else does absolutely nothing... except give you a tank with some Zymbac in it. It doesn't have any ammonia or ammonia adding abilities. Without adding some source of ammonia in the tank for the good bacteria in the Zymbac to eat, nothing happens. So adding the blood worms or fish flakes or whatever, is a must weather you add the Zymbac or not. The Zymbac is supposed to have the good bacteria in it so that the ammonia gets eaten quicker which makes the nitrite and those nitrite eating bacteria can start growing that much quicker. Now that is assuming 2 things, one that it actually works (but let's just assume that it does), and two that the bottle you have is less then 6 months old. After 6 months, all of the good bacteria will have died off and basically you are just adding dirty water to the tank (there should be an expiration date on the bottle somewhere). As for the blood worms, yeah adding food to a tank to feed it the ammonia can get pretty messy. However, you don't really have all that high of an ammonia reading. In fact, when cycling with pure ammonia drops it's recommended to add enough so that you get a reading of 5 ppm of ammonia in your tank (counting how many drops it took to get that high), and to keep adding that amount of pure ammonia to your tank every 24 hours. So your reading of 4 ppm is about what it should be to get this cycle going. The question is... why isn't it going? Unfortunately that's not as easy to answer. My first thought is what are you using to treat your tap water with to get rid of the chlorine and or chloramines in it? Secondly, you mentioned in the text I quoted above that you think you used too much Zymbac, how much did you use? Third, I'm assuming that your filter seems to be in working order (i.e. bio-wheel is spinning freely, water flow out of it seems to be moving steady, etc.) Also, in reference to adding the blood worms and making less of a mess, I wonder how it would work if you put the blood worms into a stocking or some sort of nylon mesh. Small particles would escape and still dirty the tank a little bit, but it might not cause such a layer of sludge to form at the bottom of your tank as you have observed. This same method is also to be used if you want to add gravel from your cycled tank to your non-cycled tank. In other words you would scoop up some of the gravel and put it into a stocking and just hang it in your un-cycled tank. Again you must have ammonia in the tank when you do this or the good bacteria in the gravel will die off in less then 24 hours. Another question is do you have any live plants in the tank yet? That's all I can think of for now, if you could answer the questions above maybe we can find the cause of the lack of nitrites.
 
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voiceless_kat
Member
thanks for replies. I added 4 ounces of Zymbac ( spoke to company tech) in a 3 g Eclipse. ( June 17th) It is not too old, and I used it just previous to cycle another tank in just under 3 weeks. Then I was adding dried bloodworms twice a day ( approx every 12 hrs)

I use NovAqua as a conditioner. ( Same as previous tank). I started with ammonia reading at .5 on the 21st of June. June 25th it was between 1 & 2. On June 29th it started reading 4.0. and has been there ever since ( well, until today when I did a water change. On July 5th I moved the entire filter cartridge from my cycled tank and put it into the uncycled tank. ( I replaced the filter in the cycled tank with a brand new cartridge.)

July 6th I did some siphoning as per some advice. July 8th ammonia was still 4, no other readings. I left the tank until this morning, when I did some siphoning and about 1/3 water change. Ammonia was high 2.0 ( kinda between 2 & 4). I have no idea why I took the stones/plant out...just thought it was less to deal with. Tank is nice and clear at this time. there are no live plants.,

While I was doing a water change on Neptune this morning ( in a 6 g cycled - I noticed a piece of filter material I had placed on top of the filter cartridge in his tank. ( forgot I did this ) So now I am thinking I should take some of his gravel ( how much ) put it into a stocking and then also put this little square of filter material on top of his cartridge?????

Bio Wheel is working great, filter is working great..............nitrogen cycle, not so great. LOL :'(

Meanwhile, every couple of days,I keep promising Wink Jack Sparrow that he is going to move .... liar, liar pants on fire he says. LOL.

I will wait for your replies before I go ahead with anything else. I should add that I have not added any more bloodworms since Friday night. Should I restart that? Should I add more Zymbac ?? ( I have cycled two previous tanks with it, no problem ) Why is the ammonia coming from?? Why isn't the good bacteria growing??? I know, only God can answer that....LOL Thanks. Val
 
Luniyn
Member
Man, it sounds like you have been doing everything correctly here. This is REALLY strange that you still don't have any nitrite with those nice levels of ammonia (that amount is coming from all the blood worms you've been adding and their decay is what has been keeping it constant). If Neptune has some gravel to spare, then put a good scoop full into a stocking and hang it in the tank. Also, but all means move that piece of filter material over as well. Anything can help get things moving here. What is the temp of the tank by the way? Also you don't need to add more bloodworms as long as your ammonia levels stay high for now. But keep an eye on them as you want them to stay in the 2+ range in order for the good bacteria to have enough to eat. Once you start to get nitrite of course that level will be hard to maintain (and you shouldn't try) as the good bacteria will be eating a lot of the ammonia, however, you should still keep feeding the tank bloodworms to keep the flow of ammonia constant (even if the tests show a reading of 0). Wow, other then that, I really don't have an answer for you as to why things haven't progressed. I'm sorry I couldn't be of more help here (not giving up, just ran out of things to try right now... I'll keep thinking about it ).
 
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voiceless_kat
Member
Luniyn, thanks so much for your help and support. I am going to go do a scoop of Neptune's gravel, and also move the piece of filter media over.

I will try to think of something as well, I might even phone Novalek tomorrow and see if they have any answers, cuz this time their product isn't doing its thing!

Following the above little jobs, I am going to have a glass of wine and ponder betta fish, aquariums, and all the puzzling things that they have brought into my life!! LOL ??? Val
 
Luniyn
Member
At this point, the only bit of advise I'm worried about is the part where I said to hold off on the blood worms. If you've removed enough so there isn't enough to keep that level of ammonia in the tank and it starts to go down, then adding some at a later date to bring the level back up might not be as quick as you would need it to be. The ammonia doesn't start to leach out of the blood worms (or any food) as soon at it touches the water, it has to actually start to decay. This can take anywhere from 12 hours to 3 days. So I'm worried about letting the supply of ammonia get too low especially once you start to actually get a good colony of bacteria growing, because it only takes 24 hours for it to die off without food (i.e. ammonia). So, it is probably worth starting to add the blood worms again to the tank. I mentioned trying to put some in a stocking to try and avoid the mess they make. I have no idea if it would help, but it couldn't hurt if you want to try. Just don't tie it off so you can add a bit more to the stocking each day. You could also try a square of fresh fish like Kate did (her post above) and though it wasn't nice to look at, at least it didn't dirty her tank. I just want to be sure a constant supply of ammonia is given. Also, let's try without the Zymbac for right now. I know it hasn't caused a problem in the past, but so far it doesn't seem to be helping so let's rule it out as the problem. Also make sure your tank is around 80oF (~26oC) for right now to keep things nice and warm for the bacteria to grow. Then I'm afraid, it's sit back and wait and see what happens mode at that point. Major Good Luck to you!
 
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voiceless_kat
Member
Thanks again Luniyn...Last night I scooped some gravel out and put it into a stocking and hung it in the tank. I didn't realize I would have to keep adding to it, since my tanks are 6 gallon & 3 gallon and I am not so sure I can keep scooping since they are not that deep with gravel. I thought it was a one time thing. I also moved the piece of filter media from Neptune's tank and set it on top of the filter cartridge in this cycling tank. I checked water this morning, it is still ammonia 2 and 0 nitrites.

I will start to add bloodworms again every 12 hours, hold off on the zymbac as you suggested. When it finally cycles, it is no big deal to do a part water change and siphon some of the gunk. The filters on the eclipses work really well at keeping the water clean, so I am happy for that.

I saw a tiny raggedy spot on one of Wink JS's fins, so have started treating him with Maracyn Plus anyway, so best he is in that uncycled tank where it is easier to medicate with that product. I will check each day.........I am watching Kate's progress as well, it looks like she is going to be cycled very soon......I am soooooooooo jealous.

Oh I wanted to ask, is top of the filter cartridge where I should put this other piece of filter media to get "seeded" again? All filtered water runs through it here.

Thanks, Val
 
capekate
Member
voiceless_kat said:
Thanks again Luniyn...Last night I scooped some gravel out and put it into a stocking and hung it in the tank. I didn't realize I would have to keep adding to it, since my tanks are 6 gallon & 3 gallon and I am not so sure I can keep scooping since they are not that deep with gravel. I thought it was a one time thing. I also moved the piece of filter media from Neptune's tank and set it on top of the filter cartridge in this cycling tank. I checked water this morning, it is still ammonia 2 and 0 nitrites.
HI Val, It looks like your ammonia has dropped alittle bit to 2? Also, the gravel can stay in the stocking without having to add to it. I believe that Luniyn mentioned that if you put the bloodworms in a bag you would have to add to it.

I will start to add bloodworms again every 12 hours, hold off on the zymbac as you suggested. When it finally cycles, it is no big deal to do a part water change and siphon some of the gunk. The filters on the eclipses work really well at keeping the water clean, so I am happy for that.

I saw a tiny raggedy spot on one of Wink JS's fins, so have started treating him with Maracyn Plus anyway, so best he is in that uncycled tank where it is easier to medicate with that product. I will check each day........

.I am watching Kate's progress as well, it looks like she is going to be cycled very soon......I am soooooooooo jealous.

Ohhhh that is soooo funny. lol..yes it looks like my tank will soon be cycled. Still keeping my fingers crossed it can be cycled by saturday so that I can add some fish. If not I will have to wait til next week. ;D

Oh I wanted to ask, is top of the filter cartridge where I should put this other piece of filter media to get "seeded" again? All filtered water runs through it here.
If you don't mind my answering this question, as long as the extra piece of sponge is under water at all times, it should be ok, Luniyn will correct me if I'm wrong
wishing you continued good luck on your tank, you have been working so hard to get it right. take care, kate
Thanks, Val
 
Luniyn
Member
Yep Kate answered all correctly .
 
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voiceless_kat
Member
"If you don't mind my answering this question, as long as the extra piece of sponge is under water at all times, it should be ok"

Well I checked it and it is a puffy piece and the top is wet but not under water. I am going to try putting it underneath the filter cartridge to see if that keeps it inside. So far only one little crisis..............The tank I am trying to cycle is sitting on a 100 yr old treadle sewing machine.........I had the top of the stocking outside the tank, and up on top of the cover. Seems the sock somehow came over the side and was hanging on the side of the tank, and water was just a dripping off of it, all under the tank and all over the wood cabinet...................was it me, ???; was it my cats ??? or was it Mr. Nobody..the ghost of fishes passed...........LOL ???

And I did read it wrong............bloodworms in stocking, add more perhaps no mess.........I am thinking adding more gravel every day.......dah. somedays it just doesn't compute.

I am so anxious to see my manic little Wink Jack Sparrow get into this tank............he forgets that he can swim more than just up and down in front of the tank..........so cute!!

Thanks again, stay tuned for tomorrow. Best of luck Kate, perhaps a day or two for you!! Val
 
capekate
Member
HI Val,
best of luck as well! keeping my fingers crossed that your tank will also cycle asap for lil wink Jack sparrow....
~ kate
 
capekate
Member
HI Val
haven't seen any new posts from you lately... I was wondering how your cycleing is coming along? Any luck yet on the readings?
~ kate
 
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voiceless_kat
Member
HI Kate.............so busy, with my folks moving from their house of 65 years into a condo...too many flowers/garden to look after..........you know the drill I am sure. Anyway, this morning was a fish morning, changing Winks Water; part change of Storms water and new filter since I just finished medicating for a week for those nasty pin holes; and then I had this brainwave about my uncycled tank - still yet!!

I had a second catastrophe with the stocking hanging out of the tank, with water all over the carpet and my antique sewing machine - guess it is not the best place to put it anyway. I did readings on the 15th, Nitrites still 0, Ammonia between 2 &4. I cut the stocking off and let it sit in the tank. then this morning, I took out the piece of filter media I put into Neptunes cycled 6g, and pinned it to the stocking, so it is also now floating in the uncycled tank. That may be dumb, but I have a piece of cycled tank media already on top of the uncycled cartridge. At this point I am almost ready to start over. I am not going to test water until tonight - little game I play with myself, like saving the best piece of meat for the last bite..LOL...thinking maybe by tonight it will show some changes.

So thanks for asking.....I saw you had posted some pics and am going to look at them. I imagine of your new fish..........I am happy for you that your cycled tank is finally in use.

Val
 
capekate
Member
voiceless_kat said:
HI Kate.............so busy, with my folks moving from their house of 65 years into a condo...too many flowers/garden to look after..........you know the drill I am sure. Anyway, this morning was a fish morning, changing Winks Water; part change of Storms water and new filter since I just finished medicating for a week for those nasty pin holes; and then I had this brainwave about my uncycled tank - still yet!!

I had a second catastrophe with the stocking hanging out of the tank, with water all over the carpet and my antique sewing machine - guess it is not the best place to put it anyway. I did readings on the 15th, Nitrites still 0, Ammonia between 2 &4. I cut the stocking off and let it sit in the tank. then this morning, I took out the piece of filter media I put into Neptunes cycled 6g, and pinned it to the stocking, so it is also now floating in the uncycled tank. That may be dumb, but I have a piece of cycled tank media already on top of the uncycled cartridge. At this point I am almost ready to start over. I am not going to test water until tonight - little game I play with myself, like saving the best piece of meat for the last bite..LOL...thinking maybe by tonight it will show some changes.

So thanks for asking.....I saw you had posted some pics and am going to look at them. I imagine of your new fish..........I am happy for you that your cycled tank is finally in use.

Val
HI val, yes I know what you mean about being busy.. and this time of year, gardening and yard work. Hope things are going well for you now and you are getting some time to yourself. I love antiques and vintage items and I can imagine how you were worried about your antique sewing machines wood getting warped from the water! Did the water end up running up the stocking as it got wet? I can see that happening.
With the new addition of filter media to that tank, and the gravel from the other cycled tank, you should start to see some kind of readings soon. I can't understand why it hasnt cycled yet for you and the zero readings for nitrate and nitrite is just unbelievable at this stage in the game. :-\ Yes I finally got the discus in the tank, and on wed will be picking up cardinal tetras to go with them. These discus are really sweet fish and I'm enjoying watching them explore their new home.
Thanks for getting back... Ive been wondering how its been going for you. I will keep my fingers crossed and please keep us posted!

~ kate
 
  • Thread Starter
voiceless_kat
Member
Well I am stumped. I checked water parameters today and Ammonia is back up to 4, Nitrites are still 0 - didn't do nitrates - suppose I should soon just in case...............It is one month today that I started this tank. It makes no sense at all. So much for using filter media and gravel from the cycled tanks............dah...............

I am at my wits end, but holding onto a thread of hope that since the Ammonia climbed up, perhaps more action will follow.

Now I am going into a closet and do a primal scream, finished off with a glass of wine!!

I will check again in a couple of days. Val
 
lilsoccakid
Member
after 3 weeks of no readings at 80 *, I turned the water up to 87*, and in 2 days had very high readings of nitrite and nitrate!
 
  • Thread Starter
voiceless_kat
Member
lilsoccakid said:
after 3 weeks of no readings at 80 *, I turned the water up to 87*, and in 2 days had very high readings of nitrite and nitrate!
Thanks for that tip. No harm in trying it , I will turn up the heater. Val
 
capekate
Member
voiceless_kat said:
Well I am stumped. I checked water parameters today and Ammonia is back up to 4, Nitrites are still 0 - didn't do nitrates - suppose I should soon just in case...............It is one month today that I started this tank. It makes no sense at all. So much for using filter media and gravel from the cycled tanks............dah...............

I am at my wits end, but holding onto a thread of hope that since the Ammonia climbed up, perhaps more action will follow.

Now I am going into a closet and do a primal scream, finished off with a glass of wine!!

I will check again in a couple of days. Val
Val ~
Dont give up!!!!.... let that ammonia raise again so there is plenty of ammonia that the benefical bacteria can eat and grow on. Keep up with the filter media from your other tank, its bound to start to produce bacteria at some point, I believe you will get nitrate readings before you get nitrite readings so it may be a good idea to check the nitrates before testing nitrite. I agree on raising the tank temp as well!
..... BTW... did the glass of wine help! Good luck... I'm hanging in there with ya!! ;D
 
Luniyn
Member
capekate said:
... let that ammonia raise again so there is plenty of ammonia that the benefical bacteria can eat and grow on. Keep up with the filter media from your other tank, its bound to start to produce bacteria at some point, I believe you will get nitrate readings before you get nitrite readings so it may be a good idea to check the nitrates before testing nitrite.
The good bacteria is already on those additional items you added (or should be) however you have to understand that it's not a lot. Bacteria grows exponentially, meaning that you start with 1 and that divides into 2 which in turn divides into 4, then 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024, 2048, 4096, etc. Now each division takes at least 15 hours to happen. So you can see that what starts of very small, will eventually get very large, however, it will literally take days before it gets to a size large enough to actually consume enough of the ammonia to make a dent in your readings. So adding the filter material is not an overnight thing (i.e. the way to an instant cycle). If there wasn't much of the good bacteria on the material you added (i.e. if you didn't over feed the tank that you were using to seed from) then there isn't going to be much good bacteria on it at all. But some is better then none . As to the nitrate readings, no... normally you will not get nitrate before you get nitrite readings. The good bacteria eat the ammonia and their waste is nitrite, then another set of good bacteria eats that and their waste is nitrate. The nitrite eating bacteria don't even start to form until there is actually nitrite to eat in the tank (i.e. the first set of good bacteria have grown and are now making enough nitrite to support the next set of good bacteria) so without them, there normally won't be any nitrate. However, this doesn't mean it's impossible (especially since I've seen it mentioned in more then just Kate's tank before) it's just not the norm. Upping the temp can only help things here, so give it a whirl and hope for the best. I know I'm hoping for the best for you and your tank. Good Luck!
 
  • Thread Starter
voiceless_kat
Member
Kate: the glass of wine always helps, however, between this move of my folks, (they are 82 & 87 ), this cycling thing; and Storm causing me some grief...............I just may need a twelve step program for something besides MTS...LOL.

I turned the tank up and am still feeding every 12 hours. Nothing to do but wait & ponder( and have another glass of wine)- well not right now LOL!

Thanks Luniyn: I kinda did misunderstand about the other media to seed, since I read where others are having instant results. However, as you said, they hadn't been planted in the cycled tank for that long. So thanks for clearing it up.....it is still in me to expect miracles.........LOL again!!

Seems I am laughing a lot today... ..hmmmmmm haven't even had wine yet!!!! ( Bad girl!!)

Val
 
  • Thread Starter
voiceless_kat
Member
Well, well, well..............no surprise here!!! We gotr home from the cabin a couple hours ago, and of course I couldn't wait to check my cycling tank...it is 86 degrees now, I missed only Sat for feeding....................NOTHING BUT AMMONIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHGGGGGGGGGG!!!

Ammonia is 4, nitrites and nitrates are both 00000000000000000000000 ZEROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. ???

****, ****, ****...............AND MORE ****!!

While at the cabin, I think I had my hubby agreeing to get a large aquarium............however,,,,,,,,,,,,I am not so sure now. I will not want to cycle another tank for a long while!!!! So,,,,,,,,,,,,the waiting game is back on. What the ****, I am going to add more Zymbax..............I am going crazy!!

Val :'(
 
capekate
Member
voiceless_kat said:
Well, well, well..............no surprise here!!! We gotr home from the cabin a couple hours ago, and of course I couldn't wait to check my cycling tank...it is 86 degrees now, I missed only Sat for feeding....................NOTHING BUT AMMONIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHGGGGGGGGGG!!!

Ammonia is 4, nitrites and nitrates are both 00000000000000000000000 ZEROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. ???

****, ****, ****...............AND MORE ****!!

While at the cabin, I think I had my hubby agreeing to get a large aquarium............however,,,,,,,,,,,,I am not so sure now. I will not want to cycle another tank for a long while!!!! So,,,,,,,,,,,,the waiting game is back on. What the ****, I am going to add more Zymbax..............I am going crazy!!

Val :'(
HI Val
I am so sorry that its not cycling for you. I just can't understand what is going on???? Jesshh.. This is just plain nuts! I am truly dumbstruck as to what can be going on.. or rather what is NOT going on in your tank!! Even if you were to dump it all and start over, you still would only be starting off with ammonia anyway, so why bother getting set back that much at this point? I just don't understand..... I know how frustrated you are... Wish there was something I could do to help... But I'm also at a loss.
~ kate
 
armadillo
Member
Haven't read the whole thread so apologies if that has already been mentioned, but would you consider cycling with fish, and put up with the regular water testing and water changes? Of course there is the huuuuge risk that then you're stuck with an eternally uncycled tank and the maintenance that involves, and uncomfortable fish.

Apologies also if the following are really silly questions, but perhaps it'll make you think of somethign by association? I know when I am in a situation sometimes I am so involved that it takes other people to point at something I thought of, but discarded too quick. Anyway, enough of my very long disclaimer. Here's some random thoughts:

Could it be that (if you use shop-bought ammonia way back when) the ammonia you were given has additive or stuff in it and, well, just isn't the real stuff, and is now screwing things up?

What sort of conditionner do you use? Is it an ammonia/nitrates/nitrite locking one and if so would you consider switching to another one? Although I've cycled fishless with Prime and was OK.

Have you been vaccuuming at all, or rinsing the filter media? Am sure you know not to but, you know, as an oversight perhaps? Again, I've sometimes vaccuumed while cycling and was fine, so not likely, unless you've REALLY gone for it with the cleaning.

Could anyone or anything have been messing with the tank? I know our cleaning lady sprayed chemicals on the outside glass to make it shine and used our fish bucket to clean the floor!!!

Really stretching it now, but could it be a child hid a toy in there that is releasing something toxic to the bacteria?

Do you have any type of gravel/substrate/decoration that you hadn't used in a tank before and that could be playing havoc with your bacterial colony (e.g. something releasing metals or chlorine?).

Do you use any chemicals in your water, like stuff to adjust your pH, or deal with algae, or something?

Again, dont' bother answering each of these. It'd just give you more work. It's just that perhaps on the off chance. Am scratching my head to think of various reasons for your situation and, well, it'd be great if one of them led you to the right track. Good luck, and have a glass o' wine for me!
 
  • Thread Starter
voiceless_kat
Member
Good Morning, Armadillo, thanks for trying to help. I am sure now this is a test from God....lady that she is. LOL

To reply: never added ammonia; NovAqua; no vacuuming for a month; no cleaning lady ( well, unless the cats are tormenting me for getting fish ---hmm a real possibility - however there is a canopy on the tank); no kids, refer back to cats.....substrate, deco, etc all same as when I started ...well, I removed one plant way back when..silk anyway..; no chemicals. I tell you, it is a mystery.

So now have to go to my second time consumer, helping my folks who are moving into a condo............and I am definetly going to have that glass of wine when I get home, cuz it will definetly be 5 o'clock somehwere....as if that mattered. Val

You guys..........I am not a sous......honest........honest!
 
Luniyn
Member
I am absolutely perplexed at why you aren't getting nitrite at this point Kat. I have no idea why I think this might do anything, but just for the heck of it try leaving the canopy open on the tank for a week or so. Just remember to keep an eye on the water level as this will probably allow more evaporation to occur then normal. Also doesn't the filter area have a hood over it? If it does, open that to the air as well. What I'm trying to do is allow the greatest flow of air to the bio-wheel as possible so that it gets as close to a wet/dry action as possible. This plus the high heat you've already added should make for the greatest possibility of bacteria growth... that and I'm just plain out of ideas.
 
armadillo
Member
This is really strange. Would it comfort you to think that you're reaching the status of a classic textbook case?
 
  • Thread Starter
voiceless_kat
Member
armadillo said:
This is really strange. Would it comfort you to think that you're reaching the status of a classic textbook case?
Well, after cycling my first tank ( from Feb til May) , then cycling second in 2.5 wks......I was hoping I was finally "one of the guys" when it came to cycling tanks. When I brought Wink Jack Sparrow home, I ordered him a new tank which I received in a couple of days. I figured this little teeny tiny would be moving in a couple of weeks.

Well, thank goodness he is still a teeny tiny, and happens to love the little hex he is in..........cuz I feel like I have really let him down!! Hubby keeps asking when Wink J.S. gets to move..........we can hardly wait because we know how much he will love that new tank, that has all that horizontal swimming room!!!

So I will accept the "status of classic textbook case"....humbly - I am sure there is a lesson here - just when we thought we were winning, they moved the goal posts..LOL.

Come to think of it, perhaps Wink's feisty attitude is related to him being made to wait..............I will check water in the morning, that will be two more days....................Val
 
armadillo
Member
He he he. So your excruciatingly slow cycling could be due to bad karma... from your fish' bad attitude!

voiceless_kat said:
armadillo said:
This is really strange. Would it comfort you to think that you're reaching the status of a classic textbook case?
Well, after cycling my first tank ( from Feb til May) , then cycling second in 2.5 wks......I was hoping I was finally "one of the guys" when it came to cycling tanks. When I brought Wink Jack Sparrow home, I ordered him a new tank which I received in a couple of days. I figured this little teeny tiny would be moving in a couple of weeks.

Well, thank goodness he is still a teeny tiny, and happens to love the little hex he is in..........cuz I feel like I have really let him down!! Hubby keeps asking when Wink J.S. gets to move..........we can hardly wait because we know how much he will love that new tank, that has all that horizontal swimming room!!!

So I will accept the "status of classic textbook case"....humbly - I am sure there is a lesson here - just when we thought we were winning, they moved the goal posts..LOL.

Come to think of it, perhaps Wink's feisty attitude is related to him being made to wait..............I will check water in the morning, that will be two more days....................Val
 
capekate
Member
HI Val
I was thinking... have you thought of just dumping the water out, clean the gravel and start over so that you won't have any ammonia readings and just put wink in the new tank and cycle with him? I didnt cycle any of the three betta tanks that I have, as they are a very hardy fish and if they can live for a long long time in most bowls I know they would do fine in a uncycled tank, unlike other tropical fish. In these small tanks its so easy to do a lot of water changes for them while the tank is actually cycling. My guys are fine and have been disease free and problem free since I got them. This way you would be able to use the new tank you have waiting for him... just a suggestion!
 

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