freshwater aquarium - cycle

  1. l

    lea1 New Member Member

    Hi,
    I need some advice. I am not really a beginner but I might as well be. I have a 40b with a huge goldfish in it that seems to not cycle. I have not got a clue why or how to remedy.
    I moved the filter from his 20 gallon when I put him in the 40b and thought all would be good - NOTHING is happening. I have - pH 8.2 ammonia 1.0 nitrite 0 nitrate 0 - exact same readings for way over a month. I use Prime and do frequent water changes so my guy is safe but I cannot get this cycled. I have TWO aquaclear 50 filters, TWO airstones, one inch sand substrate, fake plants and my fish.
    My water is 2/3 well water (unfortunately, the water is softened) and 1/3 bottled drinking water (just to relieve fish a little from the softened water).
    I dont even have a clue what more to write. I have used Dr Tims One and Only TWICE and Seachem Stability for 10+ days - still the same water parameters. I have never had to use these products before and tho the cycle was slow (large water changes), it still cycled.
    HELP :)
    thank you!
     
  2. T

    Teishokue Well Known Member Member

    Leave it for 3 months you'll be done
     


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  3. OP
    OP
    l

    lea1 New Member Member

    Teishokue - wow - ok I never thought it took this long! thank you :)
     


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  4. el337

    el337 Fishlore Legend Member

    How are you rinsing the filter media? Have you replaced any of it at all? What test kit are you using? I find it very strange that you would have no nitrite or nitrates for over a month considering you have goldfish unless the filter media was rinsed in tap water or replaced. The bacteria supplements you used should have helped at the very least.
     
  5. Mothercrow

    Mothercrow Well Known Member Member

    I have goldfish in my tank, it's been five or six weeks, and I'm still not cycled. I dose Prime and Stability every day, after I test. I've never even had nitrites. Last weekend I added Fluval Biomax ceramic rings to my filter in the hopes that it will help. But as of last night I'm still at ammonia .5, nitrites 0, nitrates 0. I *have* heard that it can take three months to cycle. :-/ My LFS wants me to try a different brand of bacteria, fwiw, but I'm holding out until I finish the bottle of Stability.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    l

    lea1 New Member Member

    e1337 - I know! I have no clue what is going on. I have cycled a couple aquariums before and it took longer than normal because I did really large water changes. I rinsed everything and cleaned 10 days ago only because nothing was happening. I use well water so there is no chlorine/chloramine worries.
    Two weeks after I started, I replaced the filter that was from the old tank because I felt it was not doing anything - I have two new filters but they are still over a month old. I removed the carbons from both and added two extra Biomax to each one. I have 6 Biomax total so there has to be enough space for the nitrifying bacteria I think. I don't know if ammonia of 1.0 is too high for the bacteria to do its thing or not? The water I use does not have ammonia in it. The weird thing is it NEVER goes above one. I use API Freshwater Master Test Kit. I got a new one in case it was old a month ago and I just ordered ANOTHER one to make sure. Someone told me I was changing too much water so now I am just doing 50% every three days. I don't like it, but am trying. In the 20 gallon, I did 50% every other day for a year to make up for a tank that is too small for a comet (40 is still too small, I know). The first two weeks of the cycle, there was no ammonia even and I did not change ANY water - there was also no nitrites/nitrates so it has been weird from the beginning. I somehow am blaming the sand because it is the only thing different I have done? Thank you for any input :)))
     
  7. OP
    OP
    l

    lea1 New Member Member

    Mothercrow - ooo that makes me feel better :)
    and don't listen to me because mine is not working either but someone who knows a lot told me ONLY Dr Tims and Tetra SafeStart actually work (they contain the correct bacteria you need to cycle). Stability works too, but in a different way - like it buys you time until the correct bacteria decide to show up.
     
  8. Mothercrow

    Mothercrow Well Known Member Member

    Well, I started with Tetra Safe Start+, but I do believe I did it wrong because the tank had only been set up for a few hours when I added the TSS+, and I vacuumed the gravel in the first week, which is a big no no. I've been using the Stability because it's ok to do water changes, and I've worked so hard to keep these fish alive! I'm too timid to let the ammonia rise. But, I do know that 1ppm ammonia is not too high for the bacteria--people who are doing a fishless cycle are being told to raise their ammonia to 4ppm.

    I am doing a fish-in cycle because my fish were unplanned. The tank I'm trying to cycle is a 20g, but I've been at it long enough that I now have a bigger tank waiting to get set up. (Like you, I know my tank isn't big enough for my commons, but my fish are very small. So I'm going to keep them in a tank until they're bigger.)

    ETA: It's interesting that you said that about Stability. It would explain why the bottle says "for marine and freshwater" even though my LFS said that marine and freshwater need different bacteria.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    l

    lea1 New Member Member

    MotherCrow
    good for you! I have had my guy for 6 years - I love him - and I have cut back on water changes but have to keep him safe or what is the whole point? fishless cycle 4ppm sure but if would kill a fish - I dont even like 1.0 but that is what I got. I moved him with his filter and thought all would be ok or I would have done fishless so I got ya :)
     
  10. el337

    el337 Fishlore Legend Member

    That's not true about stability. It also has the nitrifying bacteria to cycle the tank. Also, doing large enough water changes have no negative impact to your cycle. It's even recommended because you're doing a fish in cycle so you want to keep toxic ammonia and nitrite levels low for the fish.

    I think the changing of the filters, media and rinsing them even in the well water may have had something to do with the delay in your cycle. I know you're on well water but I would still rinse your media only in removed tank water to be safe.

    Ammonia at 1 does not stall a cycle but you will want to do another 50% water change to bring it down, dosed with Prime. Start dosing Stability again and let us know what you get in a couple of days. Just don't touch any part of the filter media for now.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    l

    lea1 New Member Member

    e1337 - thank you! something to try :)
    I have done 75% a couple times and the ammonia was still at 1.0 after - I am thinking it has to be a faulty test kit because I know this cant be - it would drop to 0.5 if 50% and should have been 0.25 with 75% but nope :). I have other people look at it in case my eyes are off but they all say 1.0 :(.
    thank you
     
  12. Mom2some

    Mom2some Well Known Member Member

    Ugh. I would follow the suggestion of el337. Given your testing before and after water changes with no change in ammonia - have you tested your well water? Maybe just for kicks & giggles? I assume with this test kit you have previously had different readings? Wish I had a magic wand or better idea.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    l

    lea1 New Member Member

  14. OP
    OP
    l

    lea1 New Member Member

    Mom2some
    thanks :) I tested my well water (the unsoftened has 0.5 ammonia (no clue why - never did before) and the softened has 0 - not sure how softener gets rid of ammonia - gonna have to think on this point again! something weird here
     
  15. Mom2some

    Mom2some Well Known Member Member

    Well that helps explain some of the ammonia issue. I have been dealing with 1.0 ammonia in my source water for a couple of months. Some weeks my tank seems to be able to process all of it without difficulty, and some weeks I have a residual 0.25. I empathize.
     
  16. OP
    OP
    l

    lea1 New Member Member

    crazy - never would think that it changes but I guess humans dont care and take it for granted :)
     


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