My tank won’t cycle!!

lucky123

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I’ve been trying to fishless cycle my ten gallon tank for over a month and the cycle is not progressing at all! I’m getting very impatient! I’ve tried Quick Start and Safe Start twice with no change! My ammonia has stayed at 2-3 ppm the entire time! I haven’t gotten any nitrites. My tap water has nitrates so obviously my tank has had nitrates the whole time (about 10-20). Does anyone have any suggestions? I want to get one of those Angel plus active filters but I don’t want to waste the money (shipping is expensive) if it isn’t going to work. (I’ve already spent A LOT on trying to cycle this tank) Any help is appreciated! Thanks
 
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stephpartin

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How
lucky123 said:
I’ve been trying to fishless cycle my ten gallon tank for over a month and the cycle is not progressing at all! I’m getting very impatient! I’ve tried Quick Start and Safe Start twice with no change! My ammonia has stayed at 2-3 ppm the entire time! I haven’t gotten any nitrites. My tap water has nitrates so obviously my tank has had nitrates the whole time (about 10-20). Does anyone have any suggestions? I want to get one of those Angel plus active filters but I don’t want to waste the money (shipping is expensive) if it isn’t going to work. (I’ve already spent A LOT on trying to cycle this tank) Any help is appreciated! Thanks
Hello:)) I'm going through a mini cycle myself!! How high is your water temp? It should be set to 86 degrees just for cycling purposes. Are you agitating the surface water? What are you using for filter media to build your beneficial bacteria? I'm sure there are others on here with a lot more info to give you:)) Good luck
 

RomanNoodles96

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lucky123 said:
I’ve been trying to fishless cycle my ten gallon tank for over a month and the cycle is not progressing at all! I’m getting very impatient! I’ve tried Quick Start and Safe Start twice with no change! My ammonia has stayed at 2-3 ppm the entire time! I haven’t gotten any nitrites. My tap water has nitrates so obviously my tank has had nitrates the whole time (about 10-20). Does anyone have any suggestions? I want to get one of those Angel plus active filters but I don’t want to waste the money (shipping is expensive) if it isn’t going to work. (I’ve already spent A LOT on trying to cycle this tank) Any help is appreciated! Thanks
Have you been feeding the bacteria?
 
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lucky123

lucky123

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stephpartin said:
How

Hello:)) I'm going through a mini cycle myself!! How high is your water temp? It should be set to 86 degrees just for cycling purposes. Are you agitating the surface water? What are you using for filter media to build your beneficial bacteria? I'm sure there are others on here with a lot more info to give you:)) Good luck
My water temperature is 82 and yes my filter is adding aeration. thanks for responding!
 

mattgirl

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lucky123 said:
I’ve been trying to fishless cycle my ten gallon tank for over a month and the cycle is not progressing at all! I’m getting very impatient! I’ve tried Quick Start and Safe Start twice with no change! My ammonia has stayed at 2-3 ppm the entire time! I haven’t gotten any nitrites. My tap water has nitrates so obviously my tank has had nitrates the whole time (about 10-20). Does anyone have any suggestions? I want to get one of those Angel plus active filters but I don’t want to waste the money (shipping is expensive) if it isn’t going to work. (I’ve already spent A LOT on trying to cycle this tank) Any help is appreciated! Thanks
We have to assume this tank is missing something that is keeping it from cycling. Have you run your pH test? If so what are you seeing? Have you tested your GH and KH? If they are too low that too can cause problems.

Have you done any water changes during the month you have waited for something to happen? Does your tap water run through any kind of water softener? What is your ammonia source? If liquid ammonia are you certain it is pure ammonia with no additives?
 
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lucky123

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My ph is 6.8. I don’t have a gh kh test. Do I need one? I’ve done a couple water changes but not frequently. I don’t think so. I use a couple pinches of Fritz ammonia to get it up to 2-3. Thanks for you help!!
 

LadfromLondon

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After I done my first fishless cycle for my first tank, I instantly cycled my second aquarium through seeded media, but I won’t get into that.

However, when I did research up on the Nitrogen Cycle, I read a few things accelerate the process-

Temp at 29/30C makes the bacteria establish quicker
An air stone or sponge produces oxygenation, which again accelerates the cycle as the gas exchange at the surface is quicker

Maybe try these out and see how it goes :)
 
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lucky123

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LadfromLondon said:
After I done my first fishless cycle for my first tank, I instantly cycled my second aquarium through seeded media, but I won’t get into that.

However, when I did research up on the Nitrogen Cycle, I read a few things accelerate the process-

Temp at 29/30C makes the bacteria establish quicker
An air stone or sponge produces oxygenation, which again accelerates the cycle as the gas exchange at the surface is quicker

Maybe try these out and see how it goes :)
Ok next time I go to the store I’ll get an air stone! Thanks
 

mattgirl

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lucky123 said:
My ph is 6.8. I don’t have a gh kh test. Do I need one? I’ve done a couple water changes but not frequently. I don’t think so. I use a couple pinches of Fritz ammonia to get it up to 2-3. Thanks for you help!!
pH should be fine as long as it is holding steady at that number. If the KH is too low the pH often drops. LadfromLondon posted very good suggestions as to a couple of things to try. Make sure your temp is well above 80. Along with that more water movement may help.
 
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lucky123

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mattgirl said:
pH should be fine as long as it is holding steady at that number. If the KH is too low the pH often drops. LadfromLondon posted very good suggestions as to a couple of things to try. Make sure your temp is well above 80. Along with that more water movement may help.
Ok thanks
 
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lucky123

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So I don’t need a kh and gh test as long as my ph doesn’t drop anymore?
 

Katie993

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If you're looking at a new filter anyway, you might try buying a sponge filter that's already seeded. I can't remember the company that sells them but, I think I heard about it on this forum. Maybe someone on here can help with the name. If I find it, I'll edit. That won't help seed the filter you already have but it would get you through the cycling stall. You could also keep running the filter you already have on your tank along with the seeded sponge filter and cycle both of them!

EDIT
It's Angel's Plus! There's a great thread about a fishlore members experience with their filters also! They sell them for $11 plus shipping I'm sure. If you've never cycled a tank before, than it would be good for you to go ahead and try to get your filter cycled for the experience but, if you're really needing the tank space or something, it is an option.
 

Islandvic

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What filter do you have ?

Beneficial bacteria will colonize in the substrate and the filter media.

Sponge filters or corner box filters work well in a 10g tank.

If it's a hang on balck style filter with a cartridge, I suggest to consider adding a block of foam sponge to it.

Foam sponge media does a very good job at both mechanical and biological filtration.
 

kbn

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My personal advice is , pack out your tank with loads of plants, and the problem will sort itself out (unless all the plants die, them you've got a serious problem).
 
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lucky123

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Katie993 said:
If you're looking at a new filter anyway, you might try buying a sponge filter that's already seeded. I can't remember the company that sells them but, I think I heard about it on this forum. Maybe someone on here can help with the name. If I find it, I'll edit. That won't help seed the filter you already have but it would get it so you could go ahead and put a fish in. You could also keep running the filter you already have on your tank along with the seeded sponge filter and cycle both of them!
Ok I believe one company that sells them is Angelplus. I am thinking about getting one but I don’t want to waste my money if it isn’t going to work. If anyone has used one please post how the experience was!
 

kbn

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lucky123 said:
Ok I believe one company that sells them is Angelplus. I am thinking about getting one but I don’t want to waste my money if it isn’t going to work. If anyone has used one please post how the experience was!
Please don't spend more. If you already have a tank (I assume you do since your dp is presumably your own betta) just exchange a bit of the old filter media with the new filter. Also, to cycle an aquarium you literally don't need to spend anything. A pinch of fish food or something organic will do to set the cycle in motion and if you don't want to wait that long, most petstores are happy to give or exchange some of their established filter media with you to help out. Bare essentials are all that are required for a successful, enjoyable aquarium.
 

mattgirl

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lucky123 said:
So I don’t need a kh and gh test as long as my ph doesn’t drop anymore?
I don't think so. I bought the kit and only used it once or twice.
 

mattgirl

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kbn mentioned something I hadn't thought to ask and needs some follow up. Do you already have a cycled tank? If you do you can most likely help this tank with bacteria from your other tank.
 

Katie993

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kbn said:
Please don't spend more. If you already have a tank (I assume you do since your dp is presumably your own betta) just exchange a bit of the old filter media with the new filter. Also, to cycle an aquarium you literally don't need to spend anything. A pinch of fish food or something organic will do to set the cycle in motion and if you don't want to wait that long, most petstores are happy to give or exchange some of their established filter media with you to help out. Bare essentials are all that are required for a successful, enjoyable aquarium.
I always forget LFSs do cool stuff like that. I don't have one nearby and have had to find other ways of doing things lol
 

kbn

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Thing is, you don't need to spend anything at all to get a tank cycled quickly especially if it's not the only tank you have.
 
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lucky123

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I do have a 2.5 gallon tank with a Tom mini internal filter. How would I use this for my 10 gallon? Wouldn’t taking it out hurt my bettas 2.5 tank?
 

mattgirl

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lucky123 said:
I do have a 2.5 gallon tank with a Tom mini internal filter. How would I use this for my 10 gallon? Wouldn’t taking it out hurt my bettas 2.5 tank?
Since your betta tank is so small with just a tiny filter I am afraid there will not be a great deal of bacteria in there. There will only be enough to handle the bio-load of the one little fish. Are you planning on keeping him in the tiny tank or were you planning on upgrading him to this tank? If your plan is to move him to this tank once cycled you could just move him and the cycle over to this tank.
 

kbn

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lucky123 said:
I do have a 2.5 gallon tank with a Tom mini internal filter. How would I use this for my 10 gallon? Wouldn’t taking it out hurt my bettas 2.5 tank?
As I said, just transfer a little bit of your filter media to the new tanks filter. If it's a sponge, cut the 2 filter sponges of the two filters in half so you have 4 pieces and then put one piece of the established sponge with one piece of the new sponge in the new filter, then you already have a decent starting colony. A little heavier water change each week for the betta tank will suffice for the loss of bacteria until the colony repopulates itself. Best of luck
 
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lucky123

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mattgirl said:
Since your betta tank is so small with just a tiny filter I am afraid there will not be a great deal of bacteria in there. There will only be enough to handle the bio-load of the one little fish. Are you planning on keeping him in the tiny tank or were you planning on upgrading him to this tank? If your plan is to move him to this tank once cycled you could just move him and the cycle over to this tank.
My plan is to upgrade him to the ten gallon because he is looking a little squished in his current tank lol. What do you mean move the cycle to this tank? I got new gravel and a new filter
 

mattgirl

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lucky123 said:
My plan is to upgrade him to the ten gallon because he is looking a little squished in his current tank lol. What do you mean move the cycle to this tank? I got new gravel and a new filter
First change out as much of the water as you can from the 10 gallon. You want to start with fresh clean water. When you refill it leave enough room in there for all the water in the tiny tank. Since you are going to use new substrate put the substrate that is in the tiny tank in a media bag. There will be bacteria on it and we are trying to transfer as much of it as we can. If you have decor in the tiny tank move it over to the 10 gallon. It can be removed later if you don't want it in there. Run the tiny tanks filter in the 10 gallon along with the filter you have in there right now. The tiny filter can be removed in about a month. That will give the bacteria on it plenty of time to seed the new filter. By moving EVERYTHING from the tiny tank over to the 10 gallon you will simply be moving the cycle from one tank to another.

The amount of water in a tank doesn't matter to the cycle. The important thing is the bio-load. In this case it is the amount of ammonia your little guy produces. He will produce the same amount in 10 gallons as he is right now in the tiny tank.
 
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lucky123

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Ok I’ll be moving him in a couple days probably when I get the time! Thanks
 

mattgirl

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lucky123 said:
Ok I’ll be moving him in a couple days probably when I get the time! Thanks
Please let us know how it is going and feel free to ask questions if you don't understand something.
 

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