Need Help With Super Long Fishless Cycle!

Benjafin

New Member
Member
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Hey everyone! I was wondering if I could get some help with my fishless cycle for my 29 gallon tank, as it's been running since around April-May and I'm starting to lose it lol.
So I have a 29 gallon tank with an Aqueon QuietFlow filter, that I have been cycling with Dr Tim's ammonia. I used 2 bottles Seachem Stability on this tank but nothing really seemed to change. I eventually got my nitrite spike, and then my nitrates, and now I'm just waiting for my nitrate to be able to consume my ammonia and nitrite within 24 hours.
That's where I'm having a problem. For over a month now, It's taken about a week, maybe a week and a half, to get everything down to nearly zero. Nothing has been changing in this amount of time, except now all of a sudden my nitrites are gone? But my ammonia is still taking forever to be processed with no improvement.
I added ammonia back to 2 ppm 1 week ago, and here are my readings for today:
Ammonia: .50 ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm (it's been 0ppm for a couple weeks now with no changes, I'm confused at that)
Nitrate: 40ppm
Is there anything I'm doing wrong? Or anything I can do? Any help would be HUGELY appreciated.
Also! Follow up question: I've had the Aqueon preset aquarium heater on in this tank to help with the cycle, but since I'm cycling it for an axolotl, I'm going to need to decrease the temperature significantly once it's ready. Will that hurt my beneficial bacteria?
 

Dray

Active Member
Member
Messages
97
Reaction score
113
Location
Oceanside, CA
Experience
More than 10 years
After the BB are established, changing the temperate shouldn't really affect them.

What's your pH? If it has gone acidic, that can dramatically slow the cycling process down. Water changes will fix this.

Do you have adequate aeration in the tank to supply enough oxygen for the bacteria? (Especially if the temperature is high--their demand for oxygen will increase.)

I have heard that using Stability can cause strange test readings. Try doing a big water change to remove most of it and continuing on without it for a while.

I started out cycling my 55-gallon and 220-gallon tanks with Dr. Tim's and also noticed it seemed to be taking much longer than I would have expected. I switched to Fritz Pro (powder) and feel like I saw much better results with it. Could just be a coincidence, but I did get feedback from other members that Dr. Tim's might have been part of the problem.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
OP
B

Benjafin

New Member
Member
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Dray said:
After the BB are established, changing the temperate shouldn't really affect them.

What's your pH? If it has gone acidic, that can dramatically slow the cycling process down. Water changes will fix this.

Do you have adequate aeration in the tank to supply enough oxygen for the bacteria? (Especially if the temperature is high--their demand for oxygen will increase.)

I have heard that using Stability can cause strange test readings. Try doing a big water change to remove most of it and continuing on without it for a while.

I started out cycling my 55-gallon and 220-gallon tanks with Dr. Tim's and also noticed it seemed to be taking much longer than I would have expected. I switched to Fritz Pro (powder) and feel like I saw much better results with it. Could just be a coincidence, but I did get feedback from other members that Dr. Tim's might have been part of the problem.
My pH is at 6.6. Is this too low?
I believe I have adequate aeration, although maybe I should forget the heater and switch on the cooling fans I have installed over my tank if that'd help?
And I ran out of Stability a little while ago, so I'm not completely sure if that's the issue, but I really don't know haha.
 

jamesw6810

Active Member
Member
Messages
121
Reaction score
64
Location
Retford, Nottinghamshire - UK
Experience
Just started
Ph is a little low - what’s your ph from the tap or water source?

I would at this point do a water change, see if ph raises above 7 with that and then add ammonia

Measure ammonia and nitrate from the source water aswell

Test 24 hours after that
 

jdhef

Moderator
Moderator
Member
Messages
14,321
Reaction score
3,446
Location
South Jersey
Experience
More than 10 years
Welcome to FishLore! I hope you enjoy the site.
 

mattgirl

Fishlore Legend
Member
Messages
12,137
Reaction score
11,926
Location
Closer to Heaven every day but for now-Arkansas
Experience
More than 10 years
I am not sure you understand the cycling process. Nitrates don't consume ammonia or nitrites. Nitrates are the end product after ammonia eating bacteria eats the ammonia and produces nitrites. Then the nitrite eating bacteria eats nitrites and produce nitrates.

Have you been doing water changes during all this time? Contrary to what you may have read or heard water changes during the fishless cycling process do need to be done. Not as often as when doing a fish in cycle but still need to be done.

As the bacteria grows it using up all or most of the necessary minerals present in our tap water. Our PH drops and we are left with dead water. Water change add the necessary minerals and often gets what seems to be a stalled cycle moving forward again. .
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
OP
B

Benjafin

New Member
Member
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Ah, I hadn't actually been doing many water changes with my tank!
So I did a 50% water change today and added ammonia up to 2ppm again, but... now my pH is at 6.4?? Does that make sense?
My tap water's pH is 6.8, with no ammonia or nitrate.
My tank's nitrate levels are now 20 ppm.
I guess I'll wait 24 hours and see where everything's at by then.
 

mattgirl

Fishlore Legend
Member
Messages
12,137
Reaction score
11,926
Location
Closer to Heaven every day but for now-Arkansas
Experience
More than 10 years
Benjafin said:
Ah, I hadn't actually been doing many water changes with my tank!
So I did a 50% water change today and added ammonia up to 2ppm again, but... now my pH is at 6.4?? Does that make sense?
My tap water's pH is 6.8, with no ammonia or nitrate.
My tank's nitrate levels are now 20 ppm.
I guess I'll wait 24 hours and see where everything's at by then.
Sometime the PH of our tap water will go down as it gasses off. You can check this out by putting some of your in a container. Run the PH test on the water in the container as soon as you put it in there. Now run an air stone in the container and check the level again in 24 hours. That number will be the actual PH of your source water and may explain why the PH in the tank is lower than the tap.

With a PH that low it is going to be difficult for this cycle to grow properly. If I were you I would get some crushed coral. Put some in a media bag and put it in your filter. I can't tell you exactly how much it will take but start with about a cup of it. If after 2 or 3 days your PH is still below 7 add a little bit more. The CC won't immediately raise the PH so give it a day or two after each addition.

The good thing about using CC instead of any of the products sold for adjusting the PH is it is natural and will keep the PH where it needs to be without having to constantly add things. I have very soft water and run CC and actual seashell in all my tanks to keep the PH at a stable 7.2
 

New Threads

Similar Threads

Follow FishLore!

FishLore on Social Media

Online statistics

Members online
241
Guests online
2,761
Total visitors
3,002

Aquarium Photo Contests

Aquarium Calculator

Top Bottom