how much longer! 120 Gallon Tank

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by nooby87, Mar 26, 2010.

  1. nooby87New MemberMember

    how much longer befor my 135 gal tank is done with its fishless cycle. ammona is elevated nitrates and nitrite as well. and its been cycleing for like 8weeks! could i have added to much ammona in the beginnig and killed my cycle. or do i need to just wait a little longer. all my levels are not moving at all. and havent for the last week or 2. im thinking of just going and buying some feeder fish. but i dont really want to do that. anyone have any clue what im doing wrong? for a 135 gal tank i add a small shot glass of pure ammona onece a day. enough to give me a reading. :;fru what am i doing wrong!
  2. LyndaBFishlore LegendMember

    What are your readings?

  3. jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    What are your ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels?

    Itis possible that you have nitrates in your tap water so you may want to test it as a baseline.

    I would think that since you are getting a nitrite reading, you are converting ammonia into nitrites (and if your tap water does not contain nitrates) then you are also converting nitrites into nitrates. which would indicate that you are well on your way.

    It is possible that you are just adding too much ammonia and there is not enough bacteria to process it all within 24 hours. I *think* you are supposed to add enough ammonia to bring the level to 4ppm.

  4. Prince PowderWell Known MemberMember

    There are a number of things that could be extending your cycle. If you have unusually high levels of ammonia, nitrites or nitrates it could be overwhelming the bacteria and causing their reproduction to slow. Your pH might have dropped below 7.0 and that would cause the bacteria reproduction to slow. Your temperatures could be too low which would slow down reproduction. You could also be adding too much ammonia. When cycling with pure ammonia you start off bringing your ammonia levels to 4-5ppm, then when you start getting nitrite you cut the level of ammonia in half. Many people keep adding the same amount of ammonia and that causes the cycle to stall. Let us know your readings for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH so we can have a clearer picture of where you're at. Also, as jdhef mentioned, testing your tap water will also help so we can know what your parameters are starting with.

  5. nooby87New MemberMember

    this is what my water tested yesterday. ammonia 1.0 ppm nitrate 10ppm nitrite 1.0 ppm
    i use a regular sized shot glass of 10% ammona every morning. and i chose to begin the cycle by dosing my fish tank with enough ammona to get a 5.0 ammona reading,i have since cut in half since i got nitrate readings. i got nitrate readings in about a week. and have been in the process of cyleing now for almost 2 months. i sometimes am not home to give it its regular dose of ammonia, but the next day i test it and it still has about 0.50 or 0.25 ammona in it. never droping down to absoultly zero. also used water and gravel and filter (squezzings) from my alredy cycled 10 gal. everytime i do a water change in 10 gal tank i put the water in my 135 gal. and temp is a very stedy 84 degres
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2010
  6. jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    The dirty water from your ten gallon will not help your tank cycle (but it won't hurt). The bacteria you are trying to cultivate is in the filter media, gravel, decorations (basically all hard surfaces) but it is not in the water. All you end up doing is adding nitrates to your tank.

    But aside from that I'm surprised you aren't cycled at this point. What is your ph? Sometimes a lower ph takes longer to cycle because under a ph of 7 ammonia becomes ammonium and cause the bacteria to develope slower.

    Did you have any difficulty cycling the 10 gallon?
  7. nooby87New MemberMember

    my 10 gallon did not take that long about 8 weeks but i used feeder fish Because i was not aware of fish-less cycling at that point( have since read that using fish takes longer?). my pH of tap water is 7.6. i;m sure its something to do with the amount of ammonia i add. but any ammonia as long as its not to much, and i get a reading on my test kit should work is what i figure. but i'm prolly wrong. the test today indicates
    Nitrite 2.0 nitrate 5.0 ammonia 4.0( just added my ammonia) my readings budged but not in the right way. my nitrate dropped ?
  8. nooby87New MemberMember

    is it just me or does using ammonia seem to much like high school bio chemistry.:;rules i think there may just be to many variables for me to wrap my head around.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2010
  9. ZiaValued MemberMember

    What's the pH of your TANK water? The tap water you put in your tank will fluctuate frequently as your tank cycles. Several times during my fishless cycle, the pH crashed and my cycle would stall. I finally started to test pH daily and add baking soda if I saw it moving down. This was also tied to KH levels dropping. Someone told me NO3 consumes KH, though I was never able to verify.

    I have read that ideally, you want to shoot for at least 7.5 or higher. (I think 8.4 is the upper threshold?)

    I feel for you... I found fishless cycling to be an exercise in extreme patience!
  10. nooby87New MemberMember

    thanks i will test the aquarium pH and see if its low and if it is ? baking soda. keep adding it till i get a higher pH read? or is there a dosing chart to follow?
  11. ZiaValued MemberMember

    Here's some more info I found about KH and pH:

    "KH above 50 ppm helps prevent sudden drops in pH. KH (carbonate hardness) is an important source of energy for nitrifying bacteria that eliminate ammonia and nitrite."

    If you can measure kH (I bought API's test kit), you can use   to figure out how much baking soda to add and how it will impact your ph.

    Otherwise, measure your pH. If you want to raise it, start with 1/2 teaspoon baking SODA (not powder). Mix it with a small amount of your tank water to dissolve, and add back into your tank. Wait about 12 hours, measure, and repeat if needed. A water change could accomplish the same thing, but I found baking soda easier.

    I am convinced KH/pH crashes extended my fishless cycle by weeks, so I have been very curious to understand exactly how these variables fit into the nitrogen cycle. Good luck! I hope things pick up for you

    (Tons of detailed info   if you want to read more...)
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2010
  12. Prince PowderWell Known MemberMember

    I think one problem is that you're adding too much ammonia. Once you start to get nitrite you only need to add enough to bring the ammonia up to 1-2ppm. Your nitrates shouldn't be going down unless you've done a water change, or if you have live plants they will consume some nitrate, but how much would depend on how heavily planted you are. You might want to test your nitrates again and make sure you REALLY bang bottle #2 for the full 30 seconds (or even a bit longer) and then shaking the test tube for the full minute. It's really hard to mix up the crystals in it and if they aren't mixed properly your test won't be accurate.
  13. nooby87New MemberMember

    tested pH in aquarium measures 7.6 . tested water again this morning everything is the same except that nitrates went up to 10 ( which is wear it normally is) i will however defiantly decrease the ammonia dose. half a shot glass it much ammonia what i was thinking may have been my problem in the first place. thank u guys so much, being new with keeping fish and jumping from a 10 gal to a 135 gal i need all the advice i can get.:;toast THANKS
  14. nooby87New MemberMember

    i tested my water last night and its still not cycled. in fact there was hardly any nitrates and nitrite was maxed out. low ammonia to. think i was getting false readings from using aquarium water from old aquarium? and its just now starting to cycle. this is after about a week of cutting ammonia in half(don't have the exact measurements im at work)
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2010
  15. Prince PowderWell Known MemberMember

    If your ammonia and nitrite are falling, but your nitrate is still the same or rising then you are getting there. After 8 weeks of adding so much ammonia you should have had SOME bacteria growth. If your ammonia and nitrite levels are really low now that you've cut back, it's possible that you had enough bacteria to just about handle the current ammonia levels where as you didn't have enough for the previous, higher amounts of ammonia. Keep a log with daily readings for a few days to track your cycle. Test just before you add the ammonia and again just after so you can get an idea of how many ppm you are adding each time. After 24 hours test again. Those results should give you some info as to what is going on with your cycle.
  16. nooby87New MemberMember

    just tested it tonight and this is what i got as far as readings.ammonia 0.25 nitrate 5-10 ( its very hard to tell what the colors are sometimes) nitrite 2-5(maxed out). i did some digging on the cycle and some people found that too much nitrite staled there cycle. so they recommended to do a water change. any ideas on that? after i put the ammona in i get a 1.0 reading THANK U !
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2010
  17. nooby87New MemberMember

    Happy day i think I'm outta the woods, my tank tested in the very high range for nitrates! FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER!! still high on the nitrite but progress! this after about a 50% water change to bring the Nitrite down from almost un-testable to just high. and adding a little fish food(very little) which wile looking on the internet is supposed to help by adding something or other that might be missing.oh and what i think really helped was i got a very large airstone( BUBBLES!!) THANKS IM SOO HAPPY:;banaman:;banaman:;banaman:;banaman:;banaman:;thx
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2010
  18. nooby87New MemberMember

    ITS FINISHED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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