Never Ending Cycle?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by EmmaBudgie, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. EmmaBudgieValued MemberMember

    Hi all (again)

    I thought my fishless cycle was almost done. My tank is currently this:

    225 litre
    Ammonia 0ppm
    Nitrite 2-5ppm (can't tell difference)
    Nitrate 10ppm (maybe more, hard to tell)
    Eheim 2217

    API master test kit liquid

    Started cycling 5th march with fish food, then moved to dr Tims 3-4 weeks ago. Have done multiple water changes 3 weeks ago to get nitrite spike down at the advice of some helpful ppl on the forum.

    If I add 2ppm ammonia, 12 hours later my tank reads 0. But nitrites don't go down for 2-3 days. I've only been dosing ammonia when the nitrites get down to under 1ppm (which is days) since I heard that a couple of days shouldn't starve your bacteria. I used seachem stability for 9 days after the first week nitrite wasn't going down. Haven't used it again but should I?

    I've been at this point where nitrites aren't going down for weeks now and I'm feeling very disheartened. Please tell me if it normally takes this long and if not what to do. My filter media is coarse sponge>ceramic noodles>fine sponge stuff. Should I added more biological media??
  2. AWheelerWell Known MemberMember

    I'm pretty sure you are suppose to add the stability when you do the water changes. Maybe post a pic of the most recent nitrite test and we can help you out on what ppm you are at :)

  3. EmmaBudgieValued MemberMember

    Hi thanks for the response, I actually only started adding the stability after I did the water changes. So the first day after water changes got my nitrite spike down I did extra like the bottle said then used it normal dosage until I ran out (I think 9 days). I haven't used it for a day or so now cause I run out but I'm wondering whether I should even keep using it or no?

    I'll take a pic when I get home of a nitrite test :) but I don't think it's a huge spike every time I add ammonia because it does go down to even .25ppm after a few days (at this point I add more ammonia)

  4. AllieStenFishlore VIPMember

    You should keep using the stability until you are finished cycling. You might even think about getting Stability and another bottled bacteria. Sometimes that works better. Tetra Safe Start doesn't work well with Prime, but there are others that do. API makes a version called quick start. Each brand usually has a little different strain of bacteria that can really help get you there. I had an old bottle of API QuickStart that I used about a month ago when I lost my cycle. Not sure if it exactly helped, but it certainly didn't hurt.

  5. EmmaBudgieValued MemberMember

    Hi Allie, cool I can easy get another bottle of stability. Unfortunately in Australia we don't have TSS or Dr Tims One and Only which are the ones most ppl recommend.
    I do have a bottle of API quick start but I've heard it's not as good as the bacteria is different and may outcompete the good bacteria I have already grown/that would naturally grow? I'm not good at explaining sorry
  6. MossBallValued MemberMember

    Hope I do not hijack the tread here but I am using both Quick Start and TTS at the same time so I am now also curious if this is a bad idea.
  7. EmmaBudgieValued MemberMember

    Hijack away friend, I am very new to this and if quick start is good I'm very glad cause I have a bottle already. The info I said was what I read of another thread here
  8. MossBallValued MemberMember

    I am new (again) too. It's been a while and relearning. But I have heard lately that quickstart is fine for the NH part but poor for the NO2 part so that is why I have been using TSS also. But I have no info on if the two products of bacteria counteract each other.
    I know I personally was using quick start for about two days with no change in readings, then I used TSS and got readings the next day. I then continued with Quick Start since and havnt changed my readings since other than increased NH. But no increase in anything else. So using both products at the same time might not be a great idea it seems.
  9. AWheelerWell Known MemberMember

    I used TSS when I first started again, and I think at the time I was using stress coat water conditioner. I'm pretty sure the tss+ bottle says that you should wait 24 or 48 hours after adding any kind of water conditioner, to add the TSS+ to the tank. I also used a bottle that was rated for like twice the size of my tank, my tanks cycled in about 2 weeks.
  10. AllieStenFishlore VIPMember

    I was using Stability and quick start and my 5g betta tank cycled in 14 days from start to finish. Also using Prime as my dechlorinator. I was doing a fish-in cycle, so I am not experienced with using Ammonia and all of that, but it seemed to work very well for me.

    Edit: I did wait for 24 hours after adding prime to add quick start though. I did it on the days I didn't need a water change. So in total I probably added the quick start 3 times in 14 days. I added Stability everyday. Prime everyday except the days I added the quick start (if that makes sense)
  11. EmmaBudgieValued MemberMember

    Attached pic of my result, looks like 5ppm is to me.

    But yeah, my ammonia dissapears in under 12 hours but my nitrite is taking 2-3 days to go down... it has been like that for 3 weeks. Is that normal? I only add ammonia once nitrite is .5ppm or under (which is every 2-3 days, more often 3 I swear it's taking longer now than 2 weeks ago)

    Attached Files:

  12. scarfaceFishlore VIPMember

    A lot of times I think people get API Stress Zyme confused with their Quick Start, thus spreading false information. The Stress Zyme I've heard has a freefloating, more temporary strain of bacteria that may compete with the filter bacteria. I just know that the company doesn't advertise it as a cycling bacteria, as far as I know. Quick Start, on the other hand, is actually meant for cycling, and is fine. Using it, I saw nitrates within 9 days. Follow directions and shake the bottle well before dosing is my best recommendation.

    Edit: I edited for mistakes. Here is a review I did of Quick Start: Fish In Cycle With Api Quick Start
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2017
  13. EmmaBudgieValued MemberMember

    Thank you scarface for the information, it looks like it's been very good for you and I'm willing to try anything at this point because it's taking so long I'm very disheartened almost to the point of giving up.

    Just to confirm I've added a photo of the Quick start thing I have, is this the good bacteria in a bottle that you had success with?

    Attached Files:

  14. scarfaceFishlore VIPMember

    Yes that's it. Mix it up really well before adding. Since you're doing a fishless cycle you don't have to worry about doing water changes. I would only do ot if you are reading abnormally high ammonia and nitrite, which could stall it. In that case just do a water change and redose with API. Good luck!

    Edit: I just saw your photo. Your nitrite is crazy high. Do a big water change first.
  15. BettanewbWell Known MemberMember

    Nitirites can take twice as long as the ammonia portion of the cycle.
    Do a water change it's possible that your cycle has stalled.
    I have tried stability but for whatever reason it didn't work for me.

    Edit: what is your ph
  16. EmmaBudgieValued MemberMember

    Hi there, my nitrite was only 1ppm, maybe less on Thursday night when I added 2ppm ammonia. Since then the test has read that colour, but I find it hard to believe I have a huge amount of nitrites from only that much ammonia?

    I have previously been through a huge nitrite spike which I did 2 x 50% changes then a 90% change to get them down to under 1ppm and since then only been adding ammonia when the nitrite is under 1ppm. Do you still think my nitrite is spiked and I should water change? Normally it takes 2-3 days to come down to 1ppm or under for this colour.

    Yeah I've heard the nitrites convert to nitrate slower than ammonia to nitrite. See above regarding nitrite spike and water changes.

    My pH was 7.6 last I checked which was during the week

    Edit: also note I am getting some nitrates, it's 10ppm atm. I just am worried that 3 weeks for my nitrites still taking ages to convert. If anything they've gotten slower at converting even with the help of stability.
  17. BettanewbWell Known MemberMember

    Have you tested your water out if the tap?
  18. EmmaBudgieValued MemberMember

    My tap water is this:
    Ammonia 0
    Nitrite 0
    Nitrate 0
    pH 8
  19. BettanewbWell Known MemberMember

    All I can say is be patient it seems like your on the right track
  20. EmmaBudgieValued MemberMember

    Thanks for the feedback, I think I will continue with the seachem stability should be able to grab some tomorrow

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