need cycling help Help

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by bankruptjojo, Mar 31, 2012.

  1. bankruptjojo

    bankruptjojoFishlore VIPMember

    so i have cycled about 9 tanks and would consider myself all knowing about the cycling process but...

    so i bought a fluval 8g and wanted it instantly cycle it. so i added 2 pieces of driftwood, 1 sponge filter, 2 moss balls and some plants all from my 40g(in sig). also put the filter media from my aqua clear filter in the filter that comes with the fluval. it was on my 20g divided betta tank. the 40 and 20 have been running for almost a year!

    so i wanted to make sure it was cycled not as if i really had to but was gonna wait to put some fish in. so i added 3 drops of pure ammonia i normally used. waited a lil bit to test it but when i did it was .50. tested it next 2 day with the same result. i did a water change yesterday and it went down to .25 so why isnt my bacteria eating the ammonia? why arnt my plants soaking up the ammonia?

    guess i could do water changes to get rid of the ammonia but would the tank be cycled? i might do that and just keep a close eye on it. any advice would be appreciated.
  2. Wendy Lubianetsky

    Wendy LubianetskyWell Known MemberMember

    First off, plants don't "soak up" ammonia. Your tank is obviously not cycling and you keep changes directions to get it to cycle. It took my 60 gallon almost 12 weeks to cycle. It sounds like you have no fish in it, so be patient and let it cycle.
  3. OP

    bankruptjojoFishlore VIPMember

    ummm everything iv read says plants use ammonia. maybe you should stop posting just to post.

  4. bowcrazyWell Known MemberMember

    Some plants but not all will use ammonia by sucking it up threw their leaves and use it as a food source. Other plants like to suck up the nitrates in the substrate and they use that as their food source. So depending on what type of plants you have in the tank will determine how much good they will do in removing ammonia. I would think that the beneficial bacteria from your cycled filter should be able to handle the amount of ammonia produced by the original bio-load but it might take some time for it to build a larger colony to handle the pure ammonia you used. If you don’t have fish in the tank I would give it a week to see if the ammonia will naturally drop. If you have another filter or two that you can use you could rinse them out good in the tank to raise the population of your bacteria colony.
  5. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    +1 bowcrazy.

    I would be letting the bacteria colony grow, and then see how the parameters read.

    What temp do you have the 8G at? Beneficial Bacteria grow at the highest rate between 77 and 86F (25-30C)

    pH also plays a part in the growth of nitrifying bacteria (see this article for the technicalities:

    I do not recommend chasing a pH number, but it's important to understand the role pH plays in cycling a tank.

    Your best plan of attack at the moment is patience, although given you don't have fish in there yet, you can try increasing the temperature a bit to encourage the colony growth, and then bring the temp down before adding livestock.

    And most importantly - parameters can swing around a bit while a tank is cycling, so don't be discouraged if your readings are not "where you want them", wait until the tank cycles, then you'll have a clearer idea of your true parameters.

  6. Wendy Lubianetsky

    Wendy LubianetskyWell Known MemberMember

    I am sorry if I offended you, I was referring to the term soak. I know plants use most of the by products of cycling in some way or another...
  7. OP

    bankruptjojoFishlore VIPMember

    no im sorry for acting like a jerk. it was just a very short answer. and i noticed you post a lot. not saying thats a bad thing but sometimes when people post a lot they dont take time to give a very good answer. my main question was. i have instantly cycled a 5g with much less and couldnt see how it didnt work this time.

    all my PH is the same 7.8
    the temps i keep all my bettas at including this tank is 82F

    so i just added a little bit of ammonia its at .25 my nitrite 0 and nitrate .5. i guess should i just proceed as if its a normal cycle(adding 5.0 ammonia). or should i add less for a lil bit and see if it goes away.

    plants i have are broad leaf ludwigia, water spite(floating), HC, sagittaria, moss balls and java fern.

    PS i dont mind waiting just want to know if i can depend on a instant cycle in the future.
  8. jdhef

    jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    I am in the middle of a similar problem. I set up a new 6.6 gallon Betta tank with an AquaClear20 filter. I ripped out a piece of filter media from my goldfish tank (which has had that filter media in it for a pretty long time, definitly over 6 months) and expected an instant cycle. But for some reason it didn't happen and I'm stuck doing water changes.
  9. OP

    bankruptjojoFishlore VIPMember

    Its weird I idk why its not more dependable. Guess I'll just plan on doing a fish less cycle every time. Still add stuff to at least speed it along but no more expecting a instant cycle. Thanks everyone.
  10. bowcrazyWell Known MemberMember

    I have never had a problem with instantly cycling a tank with used media but this is not to say it will work every time. I am not sure what your problem was other tank adding the pure ammonia might have been more than the colony could handle. When I instantly cycle a tank I just move a used filter over to the new tank or use the muck water I get from squeezing sponge filters into the new tank and add fish. I normally keep the stocking list low at the start so that I don’t over whelm the bacteria colony with more than it can handle.
  11. OP

    bankruptjojoFishlore VIPMember

    Yeah that's what I did with the 5g but I wasn't ready to add fish yet so I add a little ammonia to keep the BB alive. That's probably the best theory, that the pure ammonia is to much. But I'm sure there's enough BB to work but Ill prob just start a fish less to be safe.
  12. bowcrazyWell Known MemberMember

    Not sure how much pure ammonia you added but if you added even a little too much it might of shocked the BB and it wasn't able to handle the load so it might of died or went dorment.
  13. OP

    bankruptjojoFishlore VIPMember

    it was 3 drops i didnt check right away, but in the morning about 11 hours later it was at .50. so i suspect thats what it was with the 3 drops. not exactly sure though. if i do it again ill try to only add 1 drop or make sure to just add fish and watch carefully.

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