Help Me Complete Cycle

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Photobelle

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I have been working on cycling my tank for several months now. I believe I was over cleaning before. I will be finishing my second round of tss tomorrow. Yesterday pH was 7.8, ammonia 2-4, nitrites 0, and nitrates 5-10. I am paranoid about doing anything after tss because I can't seem to complete my cycle. I plan to just do a 50% water change, wave my hand around the gravel to stir up the waste and that is it. How often and much should I do water changes until the cycle completes? Don't stir gravel just get waste off the top until it is complete? Then I can do gravel cleanings just alternating sides correct? Now for the filter I have a aquaclear 30. I don't plan to touch the biomedia or foam pad. However I have a polishing pad and a charcoal/ammonia reducing bag in there. I believe those should be changed but should I wait til the cycle completes or change them as needed (once a month I believe). I have a 10g with 3 platies and a molly. I do have a 20long I will be moving everything too but I am waiting to cycle before moving everything. Thank you!
 

DuaneV

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If youve been running a tank for several months and you had ammonia of 2-4 and no nitrites or nitrates, something is SERIOUSLY wrong. Those are numbers from a brand new tank, not a tank running for months. A tank running for months should be in full cycle.

What do you mean you've been over cleaning? Are you replacing those throw away filter cartridges? If so, EVERY SINGLE TIME you do that youre throwing away your cycle.
 

Photobelle

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Yes I figured that out a few months in. I have sense done alot of research and essentially started over about a month ago. I did one round of tss and the nitrates kept getting lower a couple of weeks after completing it and I was told that the gravel cleaning and water changes I was doing was too much .I had another bottle of tss so it was recommended I do another round and that ends tomorrow and I want to make sure I am not making the same mistakes and understand how to proceed.
 

DuaneV

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In all the years Ive kept fish, Ive only done fish-in cycles, so I dont know much about the "bottled bacteria", but if you have high ammonia do a water change. Keep doing everything else but do a 50% water change to lower it. When youre producing a TON of ammonia you need to know how much a day and try to keep it down to 2 or under (1 or less WITH fish) and then do water changes daily if need be to keep it down. As long as theres ammonia in there, the tank WILL cycle. If the ammonia gets TOO high, youll lose fish and eventually youll be changing out all the water. As long as youre not letting your filter media dry out and youre not replacing it weekly, you will eventually produce nitrites and shortly after nitrates. Good luck!
 
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Honeyislife

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I don't think you should use the ammonia stuff while using TSS. When using TSS to cycle you should avoid using any water conditioner or ammonia blocker for at least 24 hours before adding the TSS. Otherwise your tss dies off. A 50% water change after adding tss will likely kill off your tss as well.
The TSS needs ammonia to feed off of, that is why it works with fish in cycling. You should not add or change water in the tank for 2 weeks unless the dose fails and it spikes.
You should also pour the entire bottle in to cycle. The smaller doses are for maintenance after your tank is cycled and you add new fish or do a water change.
 

Hunter1

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You never said if it’s a fish in cycle or fishless cycle.

And if it’s fishless, what are you doing for ammonia?

Answer those and we can help.
 

GuppyDazzle

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I'm going to sound like a broken record, but every time I see someone who can't get their cycle going, they're using some kind of cycle starter, or other additive to start the cycle or speed it up. I've cycled dozens of tanks, and never used any additives to get them going. The cycle always progressed like it should, with ammonia first, then nitrite, then nitrate, and in five or six weeks it was all done.

I'm a proponent of letting nature take its course and letting the cycle occur naturally. Even with fish in, I did partial water changes of 25% every other day while it was cycling, and I never lost a fish during the process.

When you look at all the people who have bad problems while using cycle starters, there's a corresponding lack of people having problems cycling when they don't add anything to push the process along. You never see anyone who's had their tank up for a month saying, "I never added anything, and I can't understand why my tank won't cycle."
 

Hunter1

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I'm going to sound like a broken record, but every time I see someone who can't get their cycle going, they're using some kind of cycle starter, or other additive to start the cycle or speed it up. I've cycled dozens of tanks, and never used any additives to get them going. The cycle always progressed like it should, with ammonia first, then nitrite, then nitrate, and in five or six weeks it was all done.

I'm a proponent of letting nature take its course and letting the cycle occur naturally. Even with fish in, I did partial water changes of 25% every other day while it was cycling, and I never lost a fish during the process.

When you look at all the people who have bad problems while using cycle starters, there's a corresponding lack of people having problems cycling when they don't add anything to push the process along. You never see anyone who's had their tank up for a month saying, "I never added anything, and I can't understand why my tank won't cycle."
And that may work. But the added beneficial bacteria works too. I cycled my first tank using TetraSafeStart. Followed directions and it was cycled in 14 days.

I have read that the beneficial bacteria in TetraSafeStart is weak. I’ve cycled 6 other tanks using sponge filters from the original tank.

No crashes, no issues.

So if done right, it works.
 

Photobelle

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I don't think you should use the ammonia stuff while using TSS. When using TSS to cycle you should avoid using any water conditioner or ammonia blocker for at least 24 hours before adding the TSS. Otherwise your tss dies off. A 50% water change after adding tss will likely kill off your tss as well.
The TSS needs ammonia to feed off of, that is why it works with fish in cycling. You should not add or change water in the tank for 2 weeks unless the dose fails and it spikes.
You should also pour the entire bottle in to cycle. The smaller doses are for maintenance after your tank is cycled and you add new fish or do a water change.
I did that. The tss was added 14 days ago after waiting 24 hrs after a water change and using water conditioner. Tomorrow is the 14 days and I want to make sure I am doing the correct steps going forward.

You never said if it’s a fish in cycle or fishless cycle.

And if it’s fishless, what are you doing for ammonia?

Answer those and we can help.
I have 3 platies and 1 Molly. Today is the end of the tss 14 days cycle and I want to make sure I understand steps going forward to make sure the cycle completes and how to clean my tank without losing the bb.

I'm going to sound like a broken record, but every time I see someone who can't get their cycle going, they're using some kind of cycle starter, or other additive to start the cycle or speed it up. I've cycled dozens of tanks, and never used any additives to get them going. The cycle always progressed like it should, with ammonia first, then nitrite, then nitrate, and in five or six weeks it was all done.

I'm a proponent of letting nature take its course and letting the cycle occur naturally. Even with fish in, I did partial water changes of 25% every other day while it was cycling, and I never lost a fish during the process.

When you look at all the people who have bad problems while using cycle starters, there's a corresponding lack of people having problems cycling when they don't add anything to push the process along. You never see anyone who's had their tank up for a month saying, "I never added anything, and I can't understand why my tank won't cycle."
Since I am ending the 14 days with tss should I just do 25% water changes every other day until it cycles?

And that may work. But the added beneficial bacteria works too. I cycled my first tank using TetraSafeStart. Followed directions and it was cycled in 14 days.

I have read that the beneficial bacteria in TetraSafeStart is weak. I’ve cycled 6 other tanks using sponge filters from the original tank.

No crashes, no issues.

So if done right, it works.
I was looking into sponge filter but I don't have the filter system and I only have a 10g and then a 20g long once I switch and I felt the sponges were to big.
 
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Photobelle

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On another note is it better to wait until I know my cycle is complete to switch to the 20 gallon tank or just switch now and complete the cycle in the 20 gallon. I plan to add sand but I have gravel now. Can I just spread the gravel from the 10 gallon and cover with sand? Thanks
 

Honeyislife

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In afraid you'll run into the same problem once transferring things over to the larger aquarium. It may be easier to just start anew with the 20 gallon.
Anytime you are using TSS or TSS plus whether to cycle or as maintenance, always wait 24-48 hrs to use it after using any type of water conditioner. I'd hold off on using the ammonia reducer until you know your tank is seeded and completed cycling and if you even need it.

You need only 1 fish per 10 gallons to cycle with tss, so the 3 may have been too much, esp if you were over feeding.
 

DuaneV

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If youre planning to add sand, dont move the gravel over. Get the sand, put it in the new tank, saturate it and then put your plants in, fill 50% of the way with new water (make sure the PH and temp are the same), adjust any plants or decorations, fill it with your old tank water, move the filter over and youre good to go.
 

Photobelle

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If youre planning to add sand, dont move the gravel over. Get the sand, put it in the new tank, saturate it and then put your plants in, fill 50% of the way with new water (make sure the PH and temp are the same), adjust any plants or decorations, fill it with your old tank water, move the filter over and youre good to go.
Ok doing that tonight then. No point in waiting since I am transferring the filter over so anything that came of the tss will go with it. I would rather start the new tank tjan do the water change in the other knowing I want to switch them
 

Hunter1

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I did that. The tss was added 14 days ago after waiting 24 hrs after a water change and using water conditioner. Tomorrow is the 14 days and I want to make sure I am doing the correct steps going forward.


I have 3 platies and 1 Molly. Today is the end of the tss 14 days cycle and I want to make sure I understand steps going forward to make sure the cycle completes and how to clean my tank without losing the bb.


Since I am ending the 14 days with tss should I just do 25% water changes every other day until it cycles?


I was looking into sponge filter but I don't have the filter system and I only have a 10g and then a 20g long once I switch and I felt the sponges were to big.
I would test your tank. Make sure it is fully cycled even though you followed the directions.
 

Photobelle

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I would test your tank. Make sure it is fully cycled even though you followed the directions.
Definitely! We had to order the hood we wanted so I will be doing a water change tomorrow anyways. I plan to keep testing regularly for a few weeks to make sure i an cycled and it stays. Then I want to add pygmy cories.....the biggest reason I decided to upgrade the tank. They are adorable and I have to have them.
 
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