Moved cycled Aquaclear filter to new tank and getting 0 nitrates for 5 days now?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by yogosans14, Aug 13, 2015.

  1. yogosans14Valued MemberMember

    Ok so I had 2 fancy goldfish in a 20 long with a aqua clear 50, the filter was fulled cycled and I was constantly getting 0 ammonia 0 nitrite and .10-.20 nitrates. I recently bought a 40 breeder tank and moved them to that, brought my filter right over and added a new aqua clear filter to give me 400 GPH of filtration. I think my cycle may have crashed, Ive tested over and over with the API test kits and am getting 0 nitrates each time, sometimes I get ammonia readings then ill re test and itll show 0, some with the nitrites. Idk whats going on my test kits don't expire to 2019. I also added a bottle of TSS and am still getting 0 nitrates.

    Any thoughts on whats going on?

  2. chrt396Well Known MemberMember

    The bacteria that you had in your old tank was attached to the gravel, the walls of the tank, the decorations, plants..everything! The filter that you brought over will help kick start the cycle..but just because you have a established filter, does not mean the tank will be instantly cycled. Did you keep the bio media wet in your filter while you set up the tank,,or did it dry out? Did you transplant the gravel and did you clean or scrub the decorations since they were going into a new tank...did you transfer any water from the old tank into the new tank?

    Even if you go into a mini cycle, the TSS will help speed it along. If you put new gravel in the tank, your nitrates would be close to 0-5ppm. All the sediment and goo that creates the nitrates would be gone! Disturbing the substrate can also open up some gas pockets yielding an ammonia reading.

    I wouldnt worry. Your cycle should speed along.

  3. yogosans14Valued MemberMember

    my new tank is Bare bottom, yes I did put the ceramic rings etc in dechloranted water. What I find strange is I tested again and am getting 0 ammonia, which if the tank was uncycled there should be some ammonia....most of the BB lives in the filter anyways so why would it effect it so much?

  4. chrt396Well Known MemberMember

    The bacteria in the filter is just one part of the ecosystem. The bacteria still forms on the glass walls and bottom of the tank. I would have placed the bio rings in tank water. Just because a reading of zero ammonia is showing, trust me...that does not mean its cycled. I started a African Cichlid tank and started off with quite a few fish. The ammonia, nitrites and nitrates were zero for 7 days,, All of a sudden, the ammonia started showing,,then the nitrites shortly thereafter. Thanks to the TSS, the cycle quickly cycled the tank. three days ago, I had .25 pppm ammonia, 2.0 ppm nitrites and 20ppm nitrates. two days later it was zero ammonia, .25 nitrites and 20ppm nitrates. Tonight it was zero ammonia, zero nitrites and 40ppm nitrates. CYCLED!

    Give it a little time and the readings will start giving a true rendition of whats going on in your tank. You have the filter and the TSS in there, It should be quick.Just feed lightly and keep your lighting down to a minimum until you are positive that it is cycled.
  5. ricmccWell Known MemberMember

    The vast majority of your BB should be in your filter media, as BB needs both food and oxygen to thrive, and filters are designed maximize exposure to each. Had your cycle crashed, you wold being seeing ammonia now. I would just wait; your nitrates should show shortly. I assume that you fish are behaving normally, as you don't mention them? Best of luck, rick

    BTW, you say that you sometimes get a trace of ammonia or nitrite when testing, and then 0 on a re-test; I would put this down to testing error, which is easily enough done:).
    Also, excellent choice of tank in the breeder 40, IMO
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2015
  6. Bijou88Well Known MemberMember

    You may not have gotten enough ammonia production yet to register in nitrates, since most nitrate tests really only show something if it's over 5ppm, you might not have had that much ammonia to convert yet (hopefully that made sense, lol) I'd give it few more days before you start to worry.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
  7. yogosans14Valued MemberMember

    But goldfish produce so much waste I cant believe theres 0 ammonia or nitrates. Ill try another bottle of TSS I guess.
  8. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    What I don't get is that the OP has goldfish, which are big on bioload lol... So there must be some kind of nitrate reading, especially after five days.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  9. lbonini1Well Known MemberMember

    OP, just to confirm. You are shaking Nitrate bottle 2 very well and beating it on the table and throwing it on the floor right? (Excessive but that reagent is known for forming crystals and causing a false reading)

    Also make sure you test each reagent in their specific vials as this can also cause error. If you're not doing that make sure you have some distilled water to rinse out your tubes with.
  10. yogosans14Valued MemberMember

    Yes Ive shook the bottles hard and beat them on a table and washed out the tubes etc etc. My fish seem fine no gasping at the surface or anything..
  11. ricmccWell Known MemberMember

    The fact that your goldfish show no signs of ill health would indicate that your cycle did not crash. I realize that they have been in the tank 5 days, but I really feel that it is simply a matter of your nitrates not yet having reached a concentration suitable for them to show on your test. Certainly, by now, had your cycle crashed, there would be sufficient ammonia in the tank to cause them a good deal of distress.
    Remember that by doubling your tank size, you have halved the concentration of nitrogenous waste, plus done a total water change in setting up the 40, plus removed any substrate that may have held decaying organic matter. Unless your fish tell you differently, I would relax and wait on the nitrate. It is not like there is anything unique about transferring a filter cycled to a specific body mass to a larger tank and immediately transferring both the filter and an equal bio mass to a larger tank. it is a tried, true and very safe method. Best of luck, rick
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2015
  12. chrt396Well Known MemberMember

    I started a cycle with 10 cichlids in a 55g tank and it took 8 days for ammonia to show. They can eat, poop and pee better than most. Just keep testing and monitoring. Don't assume it's cycled at this point. Where a lot of concentrated bacteria is formed in the filter, there are a lot of other areas of the tank that add to the bio. Just be aware and test frequently. Ammonia doesn't always show up quickly on the testing as I have found out. Everyone thought I was nuts because the tank full of cichlids wasn't showing ammonia or ANYTHING for DAYS. Then..all of a sudden it started and cycled quickly because I had also put a bottle of TSS in to assure the cycle. The ammonia never reached very toxic levels and Nitrites spiked to 2.0ppm. Within 4 days, the cycle completed. You have a head start with the established filter...but that is only one part of the equation.

    I changed out the substrate in a 29 gallon tank that was established from gravel to sand.. I had a Fluval 306 as a filter.with Matrix and Bio rings. When finished, within 1 week, there was a mini cycle where the nitrites spiked to over 2.0ppm...and ammonia was at .5ppm. It ended quickly, but when you upset an eco system, there will be subtle correction.
  13. yogosans14Valued MemberMember

    So I tested my water again and its showing an orangish yellowish color..its looks like .5ppm but not exactly. My ammonia is still 0 and my fish are very active and healthy :).

    Sorry for the bad quality its hard to get a picture of the right coloration with my iPhone. But when I hold it up against the white card it looks more like .5ppm then 0.

    Attached Files:

  14. chrt396Well Known MemberMember

    How are nitrites? Nitrates are starting to rise! More waste yields higher nitrates. Check your nitrites to see if they register any reading besides zero.

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