Light Vacuuming While Cycling

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JamieLu

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So I've been fish in cycling for I don't know how long, feels like forever but prb about a month (I didn't keep track cuz I didnt want to drive myself crazy with how long it was taking which I'm doin anyway lol) but still no nitrites. My ammonia wasn't increasing above 1ppm in a 20 tall with 2 small mollies so others said I needed more ammo source so got another small molly last weekend. I still haven't seen the ammo go up past 1ppm even when I stopped water changes for a few days(was dosing prime) Ph is 8, nitrates are around 20ish, about same as tap, ammo is .5 out of tap as well. Anyway, I added a bit of gravel from a new established tank I just bought, about a week ago and added plastic pot scrubbers in addition to keeping the cartridge and biowheel. I now know ur not supposed to vacuum gravel while cycling which I was doin in the beginning for a weekish. I need an extension on filter intake cuz it only goes halfway since its a tall. Also have an undergravel filter, not sure its doin its job tho cuz the plates didnt cover the bottom completely but still usin it, can't hurt. But now I just barely sweep the vac over the gravel to get excess food or poo since my filter really doesn't get to the bottom of tank. Is this ok to do while cycling? Do u think sucking up too much stuff is delaying my cycling or am I being impatient? Sorry for long post I'm just frustrated cuz I kno since no nitrites yet I still have a LONG way to go
 

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If it were me I would be vacuuming the gravel. It might slow your cycle a tiny bit but while doing a fish in cycle you have to do whatever it takes to keep the ammonia level as low as possible. The health of the fish is more important than a quicker cycle.

Did you add bottled bacteria? If so then that may be why you aren't seeing nitrites but are seeing nitrates. Quite often the nitrite spike never happens when bottled bacteria has been added.

Do you have nitrates in your source water? If not then I have to think your cycle is progressing and should be close to complete.

I realize that you are having to deal with .5 ammonia in your source water but Prime will neutralize that low amount. You should be safe to do water change as often as needed to keep the ammonia level in your tank down to that .5 number.
 
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If it were me I would be vacuuming the gravel. It might slow your cycle a tiny bit but while doing a fish in cycle you have to do whatever it takes to keep the ammonia level as low as possible. The health of the fish is more important than a quicker cycle.

Did you add bottled bacteria? If so then that may be why you aren't seeing nitrites but are seeing nitrates. Quite often the nitrite spike never happens when bottled bacteria has been added.

Do you have nitrates in your source water? If not then I have to think your cycle is progressing and should be close to complete.

I realize that you are having to deal with .5 ammonia in your source water but Prime will neutralize that low amount. You should be safe to do water change as often as needed to keep the ammonia level in your tank down to that .5 number.
Ya I agree about the vacuuming that's y I've been doing it, but wanted others opinions. I just don't get y my ammo never gets higher even without vacuuming. I'm not worried about the tap ammo since I use prime, just giving info. And I do have nitrates in my tap and they're about the same in the tank, I'll double check right now to b sure since I haven't in awhile. But if my cycle was progressing shouldn't my ammo be decreasing then? And yes I added TSS when I added new molly but that was only last weekend. I plan to get stability just to have next time we go to petstore. Thanks for the reply too, I'll go check params now and post it
 

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A lot of folks that use TSS never see the nitrite spike. I have to assume the TSS contains the bacteria that takes care of it and if the spike happens at all it clears up so fast we don't see it.

You can of course go ahead and add Stability but since you have already added TSS I can't see where it is needed.

Now that you have added the TSS your ammonia should start going down. Just give it time to work.

Come to think about it....Stability may not be a bad idea. If you added Prime since you added the TSS it is possible that the TSS won't do its job. I have read many times one shouldn't add anything that neutralizes ammonia until the TSS has done its job.
 
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A lot of folks that use TSS never see the nitrite spike. I have to assume the TSS contains the bacteria that takes care of it and if the spike happens at all it clears up so fast we don't see it.

You can of course go ahead and add Stability but since you have already added TSS I can't see where it is needed.

Now that you have added the TSS your ammonia should start going down. Just give it time to work.

Come to think about it....Stability may not be a bad idea. If you added Prime since you added the TSS it is possible that the TSS won't do its job. I have read many times one shouldn't add anything that neutralizes ammonia until the TSS has done its job.
1550597110119740609041.jpg
both are nitrate test, the one on the left is out of my tap so I think the tank has increased slightly in amount. I just wish my ammonia would do somethin! Rise, fall, somethin so I know it's not stuck
 

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View attachment 530365both are nitrate test, the one on the left is out of my tap so I think the tank has increased slightly in amount. I just wish my ammonia would do somethin! Rise, fall, somethin so I know it's not stuck
Yes, it does look like it is doing something. I may have just missed it but how long have you been working on this cycle? It isn't unusual for a fish in cycle to take 6 weeks or so if not adding bottled bacteria or seeded media. I see you have done both so I expect to see yours finishing up quicker than that.

Right now the health of your fish is much more important that a finished cycle. I know that is the goal and it will happen sooner or later. Just keep up the good work you are doing and give it time.
 
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1550598358163-1281267110.jpg
BUT I did just check ammonia out of tap and in tank and it looks like my ammo in tank has gone down a touch! The one on the left is out of the tank, middle is tap. Yay! Yes I want my fish to live, there awesome. but am afraid the new molly I just got is pregnant so hoping the tank is done before babies come!
 
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Yes, it does look like it is doing something. I may have just missed it but how long have you been working on this cycle? It isn't unusual for a fish in cycle to take 6 weeks or so if not adding bottled bacteria or seeded media. I see you have done both so I expect to see yours finishing up quicker than that.

Right now the health of your fish is much more important that a finished cycle. I know that is the goal and it will happen sooner or later. Just keep up the good work you are doing and give it time.
And am unsure about how long cuz I didnt really want to keep track. Just kept up with water changes and testing water. But it has been atleast a month since I first started cycle. And I know fish in cycles take longer but my husband and 3yr old were impatient and wanted fish NOW. I'm a stay at home mama so have the time (sort of lol) to keep fishies safe. Thanks for ur help!
 

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I can't say I blame them. I've never done a fishless cycle. I couldn't stand looking at an empty tank for very long. Fish in is totally doable as long as one is willing and has the time to keep up with the water changes.

I know my husband made one comment about how many water changes I was doing when I cycled my last one. I explained why they were necessary and he just asked me if there was anything he could do to make it easier for me. I think he is a keeper
 
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I can't say I blame them. I've never done a fishless cycle. I couldn't stand looking at an empty tank for very long. Fish in is totally doable as long as one is willing and has the time to keep up with the water changes.

I know my husband made one comment about how many water changes I was doing when I cycled my last one. I explained why they were necessary and he just asked me if there was anything he could do to make it easier for me. I think he is a keeper
Ya ive been in the hobby for years but just recently got back in. I wanted to do it right this time, test water and not lose any fish(I lost many in the past) Ur husband sounds incredibly thoughtful and sweet! Def a keeper! Mine just gives me a hard time, for fun I think mostly "why did we get a fish tank if they're so much work? Hows it gonna cycle if u keep takin water out and changing it?" Or " Ur over thinking it, u act like it's science or somethin " I told him, "well that's exactly what it is, maybe read about the nitrogen cycle..lol he doesn't have a clue when it comes to tanks, he just wants to get a bunch of fish and stick em in there. When we met he called me the crazy fish lady cuz i had so many fish. Now he asks every couple days if we can get more fish yet lol
 
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