My 10g Won't Cycle

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by MossBall, Apr 12, 2017.

  1. MossBallValued MemberMember

    I just set up my 10 gallon on Monday. I added a pinch of fish food to create ammonia and a dose of this stuff called "right now". It is said to have the bacteria I need to start the cycle. It also says ready in 24 hours. Anyway, the tank has been cloudy ever since. I thought that was a good sign. I just tested for ammonia & nitrates. Everything is zero.

    What did I do wrong?
  2. FanaticFishlore VIPMember

    You are adding fish flakes, about a pinch a day to feed the natural beneficial bacteria.

    You need to let the tank cycle for longer than that, and maybe add a couple fish slowly, then introduce more as the days go on.

    What are you planning to stock with?

  3. KinsKicksFishlore VIPMember


    Firstly, don't believe about the ready in 24 hour cycle! That's a gimmick they put to sell them to you. Unfortunately, to cycle properly, you will have to have patience :(. You can find the information to cycle in the threads all over this site or in a general google search, so I wont go into much detail on how to cycle. But because your tank is empty, you can run a fish less cycle, which will take less time (yay!) than a cycle with fish, plus you've got the right bacteria going to reduce t even more (more yay!) If you really can't find a thread, just ask! I've researched the fishless cycle (however many years ago) and have done it successfully multiple times!
    But, as for the cloudiness, that's known as a bacterial bloom, and a cause by an ammonia spike (probably from what you had added to the tank), and beginning the cycling process in general.

    Hope this helps and all the best!

  4. AllieStenFishlore VIPMember

    So it will take much longer than 24 hours to cycle your tank. It will take a few weeks. You could choose to cycle your tank with fish in it, or without, it is totally up to you. Since you don't have fish I suggest looking into the fishless nitrogen cycle.

    Starting The Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle - Cycling Without Fish

    Most of us have started where you are, and have had to ask for help when the directions on the bottle just don't seem to be working.

    Welcome to Fishlore! Keep asking questions, we will all try to help when we can.
  5. MossBallValued MemberMember

    @Fanatic There will be 1 dwarf crawfish and a hand full of snowball shrimp. Plus any ghost shrimp that survive since I will be useing 3 to verify the cycle is over once readings indicate such. Maybe eventually a small school of something very small way later down the road.

    Thank you both @KinsKicks and @AllieSten but I think there might have either been confustiom in my post or in my understanding of the cycle. I think I understand the stages of the cycle. My confustion is why no Ammonia is even pressent yet. It's cloudy which should mean bacteria bloom and it has had two full days for the food to decompose. That's why when I tested and there was no ammonia I assumed the label was right and there should be some Nitrogens. But when there was none of that either, that is when I got confused and created the thread.
    But maybe my answer is that I have to wait longer than 2 days for Ammonia to be created?
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 12, 2017
  6. KinsKicksFishlore VIPMember

    Tbh, it's probably not the best idea to use ghost shrimp to test the cycle. They are actually quite sensitive and will most likely die than live through the cycle. Plus, it's a little more saddening to kill them off for that purpose :(. Also, you can't just determine the completeness of the cycle based on survival of your fish, you're truly test the parameters.

    Hope this helps and best of luck!
  7. MossBallValued MemberMember

    @KinsKicks My fault on explaining that wrong. I didn't mean use the ghost shrimp while the tank cycles. I meant after it cycles and Ammonia is 0, Nitrite is 0 and Nitrate is high. Then 75-90% water change, then the ghost shrimp to test is the cycle worked. Hopefully that better explains what I meant.
  8. KinsKicksFishlore VIPMember

    Thanks for the clarification! I'll use a little bit of bio knowledge to help clarify the situation (so I'm sorry if it begins to sound like a class lecture :/, can't really help it sometimes :p )
    There are two types of bacteria 1)autotrophs and 2)heterotrophs. The former consumes the nitrites and latter is what consumes the ammonia. The latter also grows MUCH faster and reproduces MUCH faster (every 15-20min, the autotroph=24 hours). The bloom appears with the introduction of new ammonia at a high concentration (the bottles stuff) and the heterotrophs (are the bloom)utilize the new introduction of nutrients to GROW. Eventually, the autotrophs should eventually catch up and the heterotrophs will slow down because in order to fix ammonia, they need oxygen (autotrophs don't) and they are consuming it rapidly as they grow, and as they switch to the anaerobic process, they'll start helping fix nitrites (although, literally a million times slower/less efficient that the autotrophs). The nitrates won't pop up until the bacteria get going; it's probably to low for your test kit to pick up, and one day isn't enough time.
    If you had to take away anything from that, it is to be patient! Everything should settle soon

    Hope this helps and all the best!
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2017
  9. MossBallValued MemberMember

    @KinsKicks and all the others who responded. I googled " how long it takes for fish flakes to create ammonia" which was basically the point of this thread. The answer I guess is about 2 weeks. I would have never guessed! This clears up my confusion on why after almost 3 days there is no Ammonia lol. Thanks again for everyone's help! Plus I don't think I added even close to enough food. I did 3 flakes a day. I just put in a small chunk of algea eater tab. I know that will work in a hurry. Just hope it doesnt make the substrate "dirty".
    Thanks everyone!
  10. MossBallValued MemberMember

    I thought I would post this in here since it kind of goes along. I am still cycling 14 days later now. I used TSS+ And ATP Quick Start together. I have a constant 1ppm NH reading now for about 4 days. My No2 never show up and my NO3 increase very slowly per day.
    I just want to make sure my plan is solid. Once my NH hits zero for at least two days straight I am going to do a 95% water change. Wait 24 hours then add my guppy trio. Then add a cap full of TSS+ and test the water every 8 hours for 3 days straight.(I will plan it so that those will be my off days.) these guppies were ultra expencive so I dont want to mess this up and I have read guppies are very hardy.
  11. MossBallValued MemberMember

    So this was origionally a thread about why havn't I seen NH yet. Well as I posted later, NH showed up and TSS converted some into Nitrate. All well and good. But now it's been almost a week of being stuck at 1 NH and 5 NO3. Do I need to add another bottle of TSS? The first time I added TSS it converted some NH to NO3 in 36ish hours. Its been six days since then now.

    IMG_2279.JPG These are the same colors for about a week now. I see them at 1 NH, O No2 & 5 NO3
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017

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