Long Cycle

chipster55

Valued Member
Messages
163
Reaction score
1
Points
178
Experience
5 to 10 years
I am 5 weeks into my cycle on a 75 gallon aquarium with a cascade 1500 canister filter. I have 5 tiger barbs, 2 coreys, 2 pleco's and 6 white clouds. I am testing with aquarium pharmaceuticals which is good testing kit. I have had zero nitrite, ammonia and nitrates since startup. I have bio-rings with coarse sponge on bottom (1st level) of filter compartment with regular filter pads on the levels 2 and 4 (uppermost) activated charcoal on the 3rd level. My fish are very healthy (great color and activity) so I assume the water is very good for them prior to a cycle. I will watch the ammonia and nitrite level and do necessary water changes when I get a reading. If anyone has any comments or suggestions why my cycle has taken this long I would really appreciate it. Also my tank is crystal clear now after a small battle brown algae.
 

chickadee

Fishlore VIP
Messages
6,676
Reaction score
21
Points
358
Experience
5 to 10 years
I really do not know but it sounds like you are very fortunate and should be pleased. Just keep testing and check for the parameters you have listed. I have no idea why the ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates have never shown up but it isn't because you don't have enough little "waste producers" to make the ammonia. Hope you continue to have such amazing readings.

Hope you had a nice birthday, by the way.

Rose
 

hopesmom

Valued Member
Messages
322
Reaction score
0
Points
176
hello, I think you are a skunk!! LOL LOL just kidding! ;D I have been having the hardest time to Not have ammonia in my tank! So, count your blessings! These daily water changes are killing my back!! Sounds like you have a very nice tank going. Can I coax you into showing us pictures? How do you like the canister-type filter? I have no experience with them yet. Keep us posted,
Denise
 

chickadee

Fishlore VIP
Messages
6,676
Reaction score
21
Points
358
Experience
5 to 10 years
Denise

What kind of ammonia readings are we talking about? Could you be changing out too much water and disturbing a cycle? Or has your cycle completed once and then gone back on itself?

Rose
 

hopesmom

Valued Member
Messages
322
Reaction score
0
Points
176
yes, Rose, I had my tank cycled, and then I changed my filter media and cleaned my filter really really really well. Bad idea, I got rid of my good bacteria and started a mini-cycle all over again. Got some good help from Isabella on my whisper filter 20, and did huge water changes every day for several days, and finally today my ammonia was gone. I learned why we never throw away our good bacteria even though it looks really ugly/nasty/slimy...we just swish it around in used tank water and put it back - or - in my case, I cut a piece of the old and inserted it between the new filter and the sponge and crammed it all back in the filter...in 2 weeks, I'll throw out the old piece, and my new filterwill have been seeded with good bacteria from my old one.(I hope!). That python syphon system is looking better and better! I'm sick of lugging buckets back & forth thru my house! LOL !
love ya!
Denise
 

Isabella

Fishlore VIP
Messages
5,310
Reaction score
37
Points
358
Experience
5 years
I'm glad your ammonia is gone Denise. As I have said before, I only regularly rinse my filter media in my tank water and change the filter media (which is the bio-bag in the Whisper Tetra filter) when it's starting to fall apart and doesn't perform good mechanical filtration (i.e. doesn't remove debris such as uneaten fish food from the water). As for activated carbon, I've used it regularly in the past, but ever since I've learned it's not absolutely necessary if you perform regular water changes, I stopped using it. Though it's up to you if you want to use it. As for cleaning the filter box, I also only rinse it in tank water. But when it gets too dirty (too much slime, etc ...) I clean it in tap water and with a brush, then I towel dry it to make sure no chlorine is left. Then I put the filter media back in. Never had any mini-cycle so far, but then again my 10 gallon tank is very lightly stocked.

Chipster, I am glad your water is doing great so far. I hope it shall stay this way. Perhaps you've already had ammonia and nitrite but for a very brief period of time, or in very small amounts? If your tank is very lightly stocked, is large, and your filter has A LOT of surface area for the beneficial bacteria to develop, perhaps this is why your cycle was either (1) very brief, or (2) nonexistent? Canister filters have lots of filter media for the beneficial bacteria, and with a very small fishload and a large tank, perhaps you were able (somehow) to cycle very fast or not at all? Just my thoughts ... not really sure if it was indeed this way.
 

Butterfly

Fishlore Legend
Messages
23,122
Reaction score
115
Points
518
Experience
More than 10 years
Chipster- do you have any live plants in your tank? Sometimes if a tank is just stuffed with plants the tank will go through a "silent cycle" meaning ammonia, nitrite and nitrates don't show up because the plants use them as fast as they are produced.
Carol
 

Isabella

Fishlore VIP
Messages
5,310
Reaction score
37
Points
358
Experience
5 years
That's a good question Carol. I wanted to suggest that too but I assumed he doesn't have live plants. If he does, the plants must be responsible for removing ammonia and nitrite. I've read that plants do remove ammonia and nitrite, as well as nitrate (though to a lesser extent). Live plants also remove heavy metals from the water, which also happen to be nutrients for plants.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #10

chipster55

Valued Member
Messages
163
Reaction score
1
Points
178
Experience
5 to 10 years
Thanks for your responses.. Sorry I haven't answered sooner but I am on the road and could not get logged in at the motels I was at...thats another story. I have fake plants (but they really look good). I guess it could have cycled quickly during the short time I was checking it weekly but I doubt it. I will gladly post somes pics if you would like. It will be this weekend when I get back. I love the canister filter. Its very quiet and keeps the water crystal clear. Fish seem to like playing in the water flow also. Does anyone think that is is possible to underfeed fish. The reason I ask is give them quite a bit but none of seems to hit the bottom. From what I have read the amount I am giving them should be plenty but they must be like dogs when it comes to food. They do not look like they are underfed.Thanks
 

Butterfly

Fishlore Legend
Messages
23,122
Reaction score
115
Points
518
Experience
More than 10 years
chipster55 fish are more often overfed than under, contrary to what your fish tell you It would be really hard to under feed them since their stomachs are about the same size as their eye so it doesn't take much
Carol
 

chickadee

Fishlore VIP
Messages
6,676
Reaction score
21
Points
358
Experience
5 to 10 years
Oh YES do let's have some pictures!!  We do love pictures around here.  Always.

Your fish would probably eat everything you give them even if they were getting OVERfed unless their little tummies just plain exploded.  They do not know when they have had enough and it is a rare or perhaps sick fish that will turn their back on food.  I am guessing that your description of them (little dogs where it comes to food) is quite apt.  Mine scour the bottom and the edges of the tank and just keep it up in spite of the fact that I KNOW they have had a belly full and their little tummies are even showing.  I am sure that your fish would not be as healthy as they sound if they were not getting what they need.  Playing in the water is a very good sign.  It says they feel good.  If they were still and at the bottom they would be something to worry about.

Rose
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #13

chipster55

Valued Member
Messages
163
Reaction score
1
Points
178
Experience
5 to 10 years
Hi all Sorry I have been out of touch for a while..My business takes me on the road from time to time. Since I last posted my water readings are now showing 5.0 nitrate with 0 nitrite and at most .25 ammonia. Nitrite has never registered and ammonia has never been more that .25...Water has been tested daily for the last week. Is it possible my tank could have cycled without any ammonia spike and no nitrite reading ever. My water is crystal clear and the fish are real healthy. I posted some pics in pic forum. I am totally confused (but happy).
 

Isabella

Fishlore VIP
Messages
5,310
Reaction score
37
Points
358
Experience
5 years
The normal sequence is with ammonia showing up first, nitrite second, and nitrate third. What happens is ammonia converts into nitrite (with the development of certain bacteria that do this), and then nitrite converts into nitrate (also with the help of certain bacteria). So it is puzzling to me that you never had nitrite but you do have ammonia and nitrate now. I don't think it's possible for ammonia to convert right into nitrate. So if I were you, as Carol said, I'd keep an eye for ammonia, AND for nitrite now.

The fact that your fish are fine now should not discourage you from large and frequent water changes to be removing the ammonia that's in your water now. Ammonia is very toxic and though your fish may seem fine now, they may get sick or die later on as a result of ammonia poisoning. Even smallest amounts of ammonia can be very dangerous. I'd perform those water changes if I were you and had any ammonia present in my water.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #16

chipster55

Valued Member
Messages
163
Reaction score
1
Points
178
Experience
5 to 10 years
I am checking all readings daily and waterchanges are just waitin to happen..I just don't understand how nitrates can have a reading (even low as 5.0) but never had a nitrite reading. But maybe I got lucky on the cycle with the canister filter...Fish still happliy playin
 
Toggle Sidebar

Aquarium Calculator

Follow FishLore!





Top Bottom