Fishless Cycling Tank, Help!

Anthony DiMezza

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im doing a fishless cycle of a new 20 high gallon tank and i used dr.tims ammonia and i think i put too much ammonia in cause the directions for it are weird. it said 4 drops per gallon which seemed like a lot to me but thats what i did and then i read that you should only do 2 drops per gallon so i did a 25% water change and added more bacteria and then more again a few days later when i tested for ammonia hoping it would help and it hasn't, what should i do? do i really need to start my cycle over? :/ its only been 2 weeks but im getting no results, ammonia is still really high and my nitrite and nitrates are still at zero, HELP!!!
 

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What is your ammonia reading now? Which bacteria product did you use? What is your pH level? What test kit are you using.

Answering those questions will go a long way in being able to figure out what is happening in your tank.
 

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Anthony DiMezza said:
im doing a fishless cycle of a new 20 high gallon tank and i used dr.tims ammonia and i think i put too much ammonia in cause the directions for it are weird. it said 4 drops per gallon which seemed like a lot to me but thats what i did and then i read that you should only do 2 drops per gallon so i did a 25% water change and added more bacteria and then more again a few days later when i tested for ammonia hoping it would help and it hasn't, what should i do? do i really need to start my cycle over? :/ its only been 2 weeks but im getting no results, ammonia is still really high and my nitrite and nitrates are still at zero, HELP!!!
Dr. Tim's changed their formula not so long ago. The instructions say on the bottle to use 4 drops per gallon. If you read a post from someone who had an old formula, you will be treating wrong. From your own test kit you should have your kit testing at 4ppm. If you begin to get barely a reading of nitrites, add enough ammonia to keep your ammonia at 4ppm until you start getting high nitrite levels. When you 1st start getting nitrates with still high nitrite, do a partial water change and bring your ammonia back up to 4ppm. The next day check all levels. If the ammonia is down to nearly 0 but nitrites are still high. You need to do another partial water change and add more ammonia to about 4ppm. What's happening is the nitrite changing bacteria take longer to grow. If you let you ammonia bacteria take the levels down to zero while the nitrite bacteria are growing, the ammonia bacteria will starve to death waiting for the nitrite bacteria to grow. Keep a watch to see when the nitrates are growing...that a good sign. But make sure that if the ammonia is low, but the nitrites are still high, you still don't have enough nitrite bacteria. More partial water changes along with more ammonia. Just make sure you don't take the ammonia above 5ppm, but try to keep it around 4ppm. When you get to the point where you have nearly 0 ammonia, nearly 0 nitrites, and high nitrates the very day after you dosed ammonia back up to 4ppm, your tank is cycled. Then all you have to do is water changes to bring down the nitrates and slowly begin adding fish.
 

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Anthony DiMezza said:
im doing a fishless cycle of a new 20 high gallon tank and i used dr.tims ammonia and i think i put too much ammonia in cause the directions for it are weird. it said 4 drops per gallon which seemed like a lot to me but thats what i did and then i read that you should only do 2 drops per gallon so i did a 25% water change and added more bacteria and then more again a few days later when i tested for ammonia hoping it would help and it hasn't, what should i do? do i really need to start my cycle over? :/ its only been 2 weeks but im getting no results, ammonia is still really high and my nitrite and nitrates are still at zero, HELP!!!
I used Dr. Tim's ammonia & nitrifying bacteria. My ammonia was at 8+ the first day and I dosed the bacteria that day and the next as well. It's been a week and my ammonia was down to 2 yesterday. I'd maybe add more bacteria. I used the 4 drops per gallon too & put about 3 tsp in my 29 gallon
 
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Anthony DiMezza

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jdhef said:
What is your ammonia reading now? Which bacteria product did you use? What is your pH level? What test kit are you using.

Answering those questions will go a long way in being able to figure out what is happening in your tank.
ammonia-2.0-2.5
i used tetra safe start plus
and my ph has been going up and down like crazy, anywhere from 6.0-8.2
test kit-api freshwater master test kit, it also has a reading for "high range ph" i didnt know what that meant but i figured it meant that if your ph reads 7.6 the to test the water again using the high range ph solution but obviously i could be wrong im new as you can tell. aslo when doing the "high rang ph" test i dump out the water and solution thats in my tube and just test with the high range ph solution, should i leave the regulas ph solution and tested water in my test tube and just add the high range or am i doing it right
 

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Okay, with TSS+ you cannot use a water conditioner less than 24 hours before adding the TSS+. Also you cannot perform any water changes for 14 days after adding the TSS+. Doing either (or both) of those things can cause the TSS+ to fail. So I'm sorry to say, you may have to get another bottle of TSS+ and try again.

If you look at the two pH test kits, you will see that one can read a pH level anywhere from 6.0 to (what is it) 7.6. And the other kits can read a pH level anywhere from (maybe) 7.4 to 8.4. (I forget the exact numbers). But they do not have a single test kit that can read the full range between 6.0 and 8.4. And you were correct, you use one bottle or the other bottle, not a mixture of the two.
 
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Anthony DiMezza

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jdhef said:
Okay, with TSS+ you cannot use a water conditioner less than 24 hours before adding the TSS+. Also you cannot perform any water changes for 14 days after adding the TSS+. Doing either (or both) of those things can cause the TSS+ to fail. So I'm sorry to say, you may have to get another bottle of TSS+ and try again.

If you look at the two pH test kits, you will see that one can read a pH level anywhere from 6.0 to (what is it) 7.6. And the other kits can read a pH level anywhere from (maybe) 7.4 to 8.4. (I forget the exact numbers). But they do not have a single test kit that can read the full range between 6.0 and 8.4. And you were correct, you use one bottle or the other bottle, not a mixture of the two.
okay so your saying i should wait more then 24 hours before adding the tss? and thanks ill probably look into getting a better ph test set
 

finnipper59

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Anthony DiMezza said:
okay so your saying i should wait more then 24 hours before adding the tss? and thanks ill probably look into getting a better ph test set
I've found that for most fish and community tank water is safe for just testing with API 6.0 to 7.6 range pH kit. They're are times when after being away and not able to do water changes, I've gotten readings of 6.0. The actual readings could have been as low as in the 5's but it wouldn't matter anyway because a reading of 6.0 meant that I had to take action. The same if I got a reading of 7.6...action needs to be taken because for a community tank, 7.0 is ideal with 6.8 to 7.2 being accepted as safe limits. As long as you supply water (tap water) is not too soft, I've found just regular water changes keep the pH in check. There may spikes either way once in awhile, especially after giving the certain high protein treats, but usually a partial water change will keep that in check.
 

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yes, if you are going to add more TTS, you should wait 24 hours minimum after your last use of a water conditioner.

The API pH test kit is a good test kit, so I wouldn't think you would need to buy a new one.
 
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Anthony DiMezza

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jdhef said:
yes, if you are going to add more TTS, you should wait 24 hours minimum after your last use of a water conditioner.

The API pH test kit is a good test kit, so I wouldn't think you would need to buy a new one.
and just curious if you have any recommendations on conditioner? ive been usuing prime but if you think there is something better out there let me know. oh and i have a picture of the 20 gallon im cycleing if that helps with nay more suggestions if you wanna take a look
 

finnipper59

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Anthony DiMezza said:
and just curious if you have any recommendations on conditioner? ive been usuing prime but if you think there is something better out there let me know. oh and i have a picture of the 20 gallon im cycleing if that helps with nay more suggestions if you wanna take a look
The water conditioner I Swear by the most is Aqueon Water Conditioner and in conjunction with it I use AmQuel Ammonia remover (not AmQuel Plus). I have 1 line etched on the measuring lid for each one. That's because I remove close to a third of my tank with a vacuum hose, but I replace it 1 gallon at a time with the conditioners already added to eack gallon of same temperature tapwater. I stick a 2nd pitcher under the tap to catch water while I'm dumping the conditioned one in the tank. I only use both products during a water change. They both detoxify ammonia and get rid of chlorine and chloramine, but the AmQuel has an ingredient that detoxifies pheromones from dominant fish, which cuts down on aggression. AmQuel is more expensive so it only gets used during water changes. There are times between water changes that I just throw in a dose of Aqueon between water changes just to make sure any ammonia is detoxified because I have an overstocked tank. 55 gal that has 5 now grown angelfish, 6 redeye tetras, 4 cories, and a bright Red Betta. I have another 55 gal in my basement that I just started cycling so that in about a month, I be able to cut the fish load in half. Here's a pic of my Angel tank that looks cloudy in the pic and my cycling tank that is cloudy...bacterial bloom. An extra pic of my blond Angel too.
810e27da8699b439e597a419dea473df.jpg
48f8fcf9b0d0e155491147ebdff32d3a.jpg
9e5b041127a22d59e958fb3b73ab7be5.jpg
 

jdhef

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Anthony DiMezza said:
and just curious if you have any recommendations on conditioner? ive been usuing prime but if you think there is something better out there let me know. oh and i have a picture of the 20 gallon im cycleing if that helps with nay more suggestions if you wanna take a look
I personally use Prime, so I have no recommendations for anything better. But in reality, if you are just trying to remove chlorine, chloramines & heavy metals, pretty much all water condtioners are the same. But what makes Prime shine is the fact that it can detox up to 1ppm of ammonia and/or nitrites for 24 hours.
 

finnipper59

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jdhef said:
I personally use Prime, so I have no recommendations for anything better. But in reality, if you are just trying to remove chlorine, chloramines & heavy metals, pretty much all water condtioners are the same. But what makes Prime shine is the fact that it can detox up to 1ppm of ammonia and/or nitrites for 24 hours.
If you have Prime, it's a good product and almost identical in chemistry to AmQuel Plus. They both use sodium thiosulphate to change ammonia into ammonium. One product I do not care for is Ammolock. It changes the ammonia using a different chemical. The only problem is their undisclosed chemical has been found to change it in a way that the Nitrosomas cannot break the ammonium down. It only protects the fish for a short time and more Ammolock has to be added. The rest of the processes get confusing, but just remember that overdosing prime by more than 3 x the recommended dosage can actually create ammonia in tapwater that chloramine. Ammonia + Chlorine = Chloramine. Most water conditioners convert ammonia to ammonium, but if there is sufficient Chloramine in the water, it gets broken back down into chlorine and ammonia...each of which are supposed to be detoxified by the same water conditioner. But it the chloramine is sufficiently high, temporary spikes in ammonia may occur...but will equalize.
 
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Anthony DiMezza

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Update: my fish less cycle for my 20 gallon tank seemed to lower the ammonia to about 1.0 but I haven’t seen any nitrite or nitrate spikes, is it possible that I missed the spikes? Today is the first time in a few days I’ve been able to test the water
 

finnipper59

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Anthony DiMezza said:
Update: my fish less cycle for my 20 gallon tank seemed to lower the ammonia to about 1.0 but I haven’t seen any nitrite or nitrate spikes, is it possible that I missed the spikes? Today is the first time in a few days I’ve been able to test the water
You would not miss nitrates. If there were any nitrites produced that got converted into nitrates, the nitrates would still be there because there are no bacteria that gets rid of nitrates. They have to be removed by plants or water changes. Your simply having to do the normal waiting game. I would try to go ahead and bump the ammonia up to 3 or 4.
 
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