Newbie - help! stalled cycle? - Page 2

GuppyGal7
Member
Please don't start over! The start is always the hardest. Remember, you're creating a functioning eco system inside a closed space. Starting a tank is by far the most difficult part of fishkeeping in my opinion. Detritus worms shouldn't be affecting the pH, and they're harmless. Your Betta might exterminate their tasty selves so I wouldn't worry about them. I genuinely don't have any advice besides keep waiting. I'm really sorry. But don't give up. I know this seems like an absolute nightmare and you're regretting every little thing you've done, ignore that voice. Things will get better
 
mattgirl
Member
Since there are no fish in this tank I am going to suggest you do something to get the pH up while waiting for the crushed coral. I've never done it but others have and it has helped.

Add a tiny bit of baking soda. I am not sure how much it is going to take so it is going to take a bit of experimentation. Start out with a teaspoon of it. It isn't going to hurt anything so don't be afraid of doing it. Let the tank run for about an hour and then run the pH test. Add more if it isn't up to at least 7. Hopefully getting the pH up it will get to work removing that ammonia.
 
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BeardieMama
Member
mattgirl said:
Since there are no fish in this tank I am going to suggest you do something to get the pH up while waiting for the crushed coral. I've never done it but others have and it has helped.

Add a tiny bit of baking soda. I am not sure how much it is going to take so it is going to take a bit of experimentation. Start out with a teaspoon of it. It isn't going to hurt anything so don't be afraid of doing it. Let the tank run for about an hour and then run the pH test. Add more if it isn't up to at least 7. Hopefully getting the pH up it will get to work removing that ammonia.
I’m about to go to an aquarium about an hour away, I will see if they have crushed coral that I can purchase, if not I will try your baking soda option, also does api ph up make a difference as I do have some of that but i have a feeling soda is way more natural.
 
mattgirl
Member
BeardieMama said:
I’m about to go to an aquarium about an hour away, I will see if they have crushed coral that I can purchase, if not I will try your baking soda option, also does api ph up make a difference as I do have some of that but i have a feeling soda is way more natural.
The pH up may work just a well. I wouldn't recommend using it long term but in this instance it might be the perfect option. Good thinking.
 
BadhbhCatha
Member
This forum has taught me so many things. Most valuably:

1. Don’t add shi...stuff to your tank that is not absolutely necessary. I used to use everything the store sold me. 90% of that stuff just makes your tank harder to take care of.
2. Don’t rush anything. When you Google stuff that’s someone else’s tank. It’s not yours. I have multiple tanks in my home that are treated the exact same way (same tap, WC on the exact same day, fed the same foods at the same times) and each of them is a completely different environment according to the parameters.
3. This should probably be number one but ride your cycle out naturally. Also, don’t be super neurotic about your cycle (or weird parameter shifts in your tank after it’s cycled that make no sense but are within safe levels.) the cycle takes as long as the cycle takes. I have a tank now that is a full on paradox to any fish person I talk to. If you are 0/0 for a week straight, you are cycled.
 
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BeardieMama
Member
So the aquarium said, the issue with raising my PH will be that then I will be constantly manipulating it. Said it’s generally when it starts to reach 6 where it will significantly slow the cycling?....

I’m so tempted to strip the whole tank and start over cos it’s full of so much yuk.

I also have these Seachem Readers and even when I had 2ppm ammonium chloride in there it’s never read as toxic - guess that’s proof they are rubbish haha
Am I reading this correctly



If I’m using Ammonium Chloride to cycle the tank, and my PH drops below 7, the BB can’t process it?
 
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BeardieMama
Member
mattgirl said:
The pH up may work just a well. I wouldn't recommend using it long term but in this instance it might be the perfect option. Good thinking.
Would crushed Oyster Shell work too? The company I ordered the other stuff from have gone away on holiday and won’t be back for a week before they can send it.

Also have done a heap of reading tonight about Ph crashes causing cycling to stall, so I am testing the theory, I’ve used PH Up to get my PH to 7.4, added 2 ppm ammonia and will see how the best 24 hours go and report back. I mean I have nothing to lose really.

We went betta looking today and Kadee couldn’t find anything she really liked which I feel is a blessing in disguise at this current point and time.
 
mattgirl
Member
BeardieMama said:
Would crushed Oyster Shell work too? The company I ordered the other stuff from have gone away on holiday and won’t be back for a week before they can send it.

Also have done a heap of reading tonight about Ph crashes causing cycling to stall, so I am testing the theory, I’ve used PH Up to get my PH to 7.4, added 2 ppm ammonia and will see how the best 24 hours go and report back. I mean I have nothing to lose really.

We went betta looking today and Kadee couldn’t find anything she really liked which I feel is a blessing in disguise at this current point and time.
Yes. oyster shell should work just as well.

Testing this theory out sounds like a good solid plan. I am anxious to see the results.

I know she is anxious to get here fish but I agree, it is a blessing in disguise.

I have to be perfectly honest with you. You aren't the first and certainly won't be the last to be feeling like you are butting your head up against a brick wall while fishless cycling and just feeding the bacteria bottled ammonia.

This thread isn't exactly what you are seeing right now but in my humble opinion still applies. I feel something is missing when bacteria is grown without some natural food. The first post explains my thoughts. Throughout the thread others do agree with my thoughts and some go into detail as to why what is happening is happening. If you don't have time to read the whole thread you can save time by just reading the first post and then the one I have marked as the best answer.

https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfi...-more-and-more-often-fishless-cycling.477380/
BeardieMama said:
So the aquarium said, the issue with raising my PH will be that then I will be constantly manipulating it. Said it’s generally when it starts to reach 6 where it will significantly slow the cycling?....
I agree with this up to a point. Adding the CC or oyster shell isn't really manipulating the pH. It is basically stabilizing it. You don't have to constantly do anything. It is basically add it and forget it.
I’m so tempted to strip the whole tank and start over cos it’s full of so much yuk.
I know this can be so frustrating but hang in there. Once all of this is behind you you will be glad you did. Personally I would have set the tank up, let it run a day or two to make sure all was working as it should and then added the fish. A single Betta will have such a low bio-load in this size tank weekly water changes alone may do what the cycle will.

I also have these Seachem Readers and even when I had 2ppm ammonium chloride in there it’s never read as toxic - guess that’s proof they are rubbish haha
Am I reading this correctly

It's not actually the pH drop that causes the stall. It is what caused the pH drop that causes the problem. Simply put it is the depletion of the minerals that make up the pH number that causes the problem. Others can go into all that entails but getting the pH back up normally gets the cycle moving forward again.

BTW: That was an interesting read. The only thing I don't agree with is the part about changing your filter media. Rinsing off yes, but I don't recommend changing it.

If I’m using Ammonium Chloride to cycle the tank, and my PH drops below 7, the BB can’t process it?
The lower the pH drops the slower the bacteria will grow. The thread I linked above might give you some insight into only using ammonium chloride as your ammonia source.
 
Dunk2
Member
BeardieMama said:
So the aquarium said, the issue with raising my PH will be that then I will be constantly manipulating it.
This is true if you’re using chemicals to raise your pH. I’ve had the same crushed coral in my tanks for over a year and it’s still holding my pH level steady.
 
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BeardieMama
Member
mattgirl said:
Yes. oyster shell should work just as well.

Testing this theory out sounds like a good solid plan. I am anxious to see the results.

I know she is anxious to get here fish but I agree, it is a blessing in disguise.

I have to be perfectly honest with you. You aren't the first and certainly won't be the last to be feeling like you are butting your head up against a brick wall while fishless cycling and just feeding the bacteria bottled ammonia.

This thread isn't exactly what you are seeing right now but in my humble opinion still applies. I feel something is missing when bacteria is grown without some natural food. The first post explains my thoughts. Throughout the thread others do agree with my thoughts and some go into detail as to why what is happening is happening. If you don't have time to read the whole thread you can save time by just reading the first post and then the one I have marked as the best answer.

PSA: Something I am seeing more and more often, fishless cycling.... | Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle Forum | 477380

I agree with this up to a point. Adding the CC or oyster shell isn't really manipulating the pH. It is basically stabilizing it. You don't have to constantly do anything. It is basically add it and forget it.

I know this can be so frustrating but hang in there. Once all of this is behind you you will be glad you did. Personally I would have set the tank up, let it run a day or two to make sure all was working as it should and then added the fish. A single Betta will have such a low bio-load in this size tank weekly water changes alone may do what the cycle will.


It's not actually the pH drop that causes the stall. It is what caused the pH drop that causes the problem. Simply put it is the depletion of the minerals that make up the pH number that causes the problem. Others can go into all that entails but getting the pH back up normally gets the cycle moving forward again.

BTW: That was an interesting read. The only thing I don't agree with is the part about changing your filter media. Rinsing off yes, but I don't recommend changing it.


The lower the pH drops the slower the bacteria will grow. The thread I linked above might give you some insight into only using ammonium chloride as your ammonia source.
I will go pick up some Oyster Shell today since I cant get the CC for another week.

I read that thread and it all makes complete sense - that said, its made me want to strip the tank completely and start fresh with the fishy since like you said, a very low bio load for tank size.

I have thrown way more money into this tank that i ever thought would be possible (i orignally tried to cycle it with Dr Tims One and Only which was super expensive and the shop encouraged me to buy 2 bottles of it)

SO......to the test, its only been 12 hours BUT my PH bottomed out. crazily.
Will jump on my phone and add the photos of testing results
Here are the 12hour results after taking the PH to 7.4 and Ammonia to 2ppm
 
mattgirl
Member
We know you have both ammonia and nitrite eating bacteria since the ammonia does go down some, you have no nitrites and you have nitrates. I wouldn't strip the tank down and start over but I would change out most of the water and siphon out any build up of "stuff" that needs to come out.

Adding the oyster shells should stabilize your pH up somewhere close to the same as your tap water. Once you do your water change, add the OS and confirm that the OS is going to help you can go ahead and let Kadee pick out her fish.

If she can't find the one she wants right away add enough ammonia to get it up to no more than 1ppm. If it is not back down to zero within 24 hours I would start adding a tiny pinch of crushed flakes daily for at least a week. Hopefully it will process the 1ppm.
 
Corylover123
Member
BeardieMama said:
Hey all ‍♀

Please bare with me while I write this long post.

I'm currently trying to cycle a 15g Fluval Flex:

5th April

Ammonia - 0
Nitrites - 0
Nitrites - 0

Added 7.5mls Seachem Stability
Added 10 drops Ammonium Chloride


6th April

Ammonia -1
Nitrites - 0
Nitrites - 0

Added 5mls Seachem Stability
Added 10 drops Ammonium Chloride - this brought the ammonia up to 2ppm


7th April

Ammonia -1.5
Nitrites - 0.2
Nitrites - 0

Added 5mls Seachem Stability
Added 5 drops Ammonium Chloride - this brought the ammonia back up to 2ppm
ALSO added was some seeded manky filter wool from a friends cycled tank


8th April

Ammonia -2
Nitrites - 0.5
Nitrites -2

Added 5mls Seachem Stability
Added in some seeded bio media from another friends tank


9th April

Ammonia -0.5-1
Nitrites - 0
Nitrites -5

Added 10mls Seachem Stability
Added 7 drops Ammonium Chloride - this brought the ammonia back to 2ppm


10th April

Ammonia -1
Nitrites - 0
Nitrites -5

Added 7.5mls Seachem Stability


11th April

Ammonia - 0.25
Nitrites - 0
Nitrites -8

Added 10mls Seachem Stability


12th April

Ammonia - 0
Nitrites - 0
Nitrites -10

Added 10mls Seachem Stability
Added 10 drops Ammonium Chloride - this brought the ammonia to 1ppm


13th April

Ammonia - 0.5
Nitrites - 0
Nitrites -10

Added 10mls Seachem Stability
Added 15 drops Ammonium Chloride - this brought the ammonia back to 2ppm

(this night I had an issue, the table tank was on broke, so I had to take water out, move tank to stable table, then I put the water I removed, back in)


14th April


Ammonia -1
Nitrites - 0
Nitrites -10

Added 10mls Seachem Stability


Which brings me to today -15th April

Ammonia -1
Nitrites - 0
Nitrites -10

Added 5mls Seachem Stability
Added 1.5mls Seachem Prime

What has caused the stall of processing ammonia? Was it my moving the tank? If so why did it process ammonia the night after the tank shift but not last night?

ANY help is GREATLY appreciated. I'm totally about to throw in the towel

This tank was meant to be for my 12yr olds birthday back in Feb - she wants a Betta
If I were you I’d dose beneficial bacteria and add cycled media and do a 50% water change Then you can easily start adding fish just do it slowly
 
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BeardieMama
Member
Corylover123 said:
If I were you I’d dose beneficial bacteria and add cycled media and do a 50% water change Then you can easily start adding fish just do it slowly
I had been dozing BB daily (seachem stability) and at 2 diff points I also added in cycled media from 2 friends tanks.
 
Corylover123
Member
Ok ur good for fish
Go slow though
 
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BeardieMama
Member
mattgirl said:
We know you have both ammonia and nitrite eating bacteria since the ammonia does go down some, you have no nitrites and you have nitrates. I wouldn't strip the tank down and start over but I would change out most of the water and siphon out any build up of "stuff" that needs to come out.

Adding the oyster shells should stabilize your pH up somewhere close to the same as your tap water. Once you do your water change, add the OS and confirm that the OS is going to help you can go ahead and let Kadee pick out her fish.

If she can't find the one she wants right away add enough ammonia to get it up to no more than 1ppm. If it is not back down to zero within 24 hours I would start adding a tiny pinch of crushed flakes daily for at least a week. Hopefully it will process the 1ppm.
What’s your thoughts on getting some Tetras to complete the cycle? Feels kinda mean cos they would kinda be like sacrificial fish (but not cos I won’t be trying to kill them I’ll do al I can to keep them happy and alive)
 
Corylover123
Member
BeardieMama said:
What’s your thoughts on getting some Tetras to complete the cycle? Feels kinda mean cos they would kinda be like sacrificial fish (but not cos I won’t be trying to kill them I’ll do al I can to keep them happy and alive)
Don’t do tetras, I would do like cories, rice fish or something hard to kill look for peppered cories and rice fish. if I were you also( if your kid minds ) I would get a fish besides a betta because they can have problems very commonly unless They are from a breeder, wild mahachaiensis betta are very hardy and have a nice green color and can be kept in groups. Apistogramma borelli are hardy coldwater dwarf chiclids that are super peaceful and you could make a nice breeding group with some cories and ricefish and both are adapted to hard water and paradise gourami are cool too. But do what you want, I would recommend tetras for a 20 gal tank cause most of them like being crowded but not in a small tank. 6 cories 12 ricefish and a betta mahachaiensis or apistogramma borelli group of 4 could work out well
 
mattgirl
Member
BeardieMama said:
What’s your thoughts on getting some Tetras to complete the cycle? Feels kinda mean cos they would kinda be like sacrificial fish (but not cos I won’t be trying to kill them I’ll do al I can to keep them happy and alive)
I wouldn't have a problem adding some but they may not get along with a betta. Or I should say, I don't know if a betta would accept them. What kind of tetra's were you thinking about getting?
 
GuppyGal7
Member
mattgirl said:
I wouldn't have a problem adding some but they may not get along with a betta. Or I should say, I don't know if a betta would accept them. What kind of tetra's were you thinking about getting?
I recommend ember tetras. They're very small so your Betta is very unlikely to care about them. It also means they'll be happier in a 15G compared to something like neons, who need more space. They're also bright orange when healthy, they look really nice imo.
 
Corylover123
Member
Karena007 said:
I recommend ember tetras. They're very small so your Betta is very unlikely to care about them. It also means they'll be happier in a 15G compared to something like neons, who need more space. They're also bright orange when healthy, they look really nice imo.
I wouldn’t do embers they could be betta bait
 
GuppyGal7
Member
Corylover123 said:
I wouldn’t do embers they could be betta bait
I doubt it. Tetras are lightning fast. A Betta wouldn't be able to catch them if it tried, not that most bettas would. If OP ended up with a particularly grumpy Betta it would still give up chasing them after realising it can't catch them. That's why tetras are such good Betta tankmates.
 
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BeardieMama
Member
How much Crushed OS should I add?

I’m bout to clean glass, siphon gravel, do a huge water change then refill with prime treated water (while doing this I will put my filter media in a bucket of the old water, then put media only back in once filled with fresh treated water.

I have the shop holding the last of their ember tetras (only had 4 left) for me to add once I’ve reset tank up.
 
GuppyGal7
Member
BeardieMama said:
How much Crushed OS should I add?

I’m bout to clean glass, siphon gravel, do a huge water change then refill with prime treated water (while doing this I will put my filter media in a bucket of the old water, then put media only back in once filled with fresh treated water.

I have the shop holding the last of their ember tetras (only had 4 left) for me to add once I’ve reset tank up.
Ahh, I'm sorry no one has replied to you yet. Since there's no fish in yet, be conservative but experiment with amounts to add. If you end up going to 8.5 or something, welp, you can always do a water change. Just fyi, tetras prefer soft water so if you add this you might need to wait a bit before adding them.

Edit: And listen to mattgirl more than me. ⬇
 
mattgirl
Member
BeardieMama said:
How much crushed coral should I add?

I’m bout to clean glass, siphon gravel, do a huge water change then refill with prime treated water (while doing this I will put my filter media in a bucket of the old water, then put media only back in once filled with fresh treated water.

I have the shop holding the last of their ember tetras (only had 4 left) for me to add once I’ve reset tank up.
I would start with about a cup of it. If you don't have a media bag with a weave small enough for the OS not to fall through you can use a piece of panty hose. Normally I recommend rinsing it first but since there are no fish in the tank it isn't as important to rinse it as it would be if there were fish. If it is rinsed first it will take a few days for it to start raising the pH. Put it in there without rinsing and it should raise the pH fairly quick if it is going to do so.

The 4 little guys should work out well. Not too much but still enough to grow and feed the bacteria. Should the ammonia start going up just keep it down with water changes and add Prime to detox any that might be left after a water change. I am actually thinking you won't get an ammonia spike but it is best to be prepared just in case.
 
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BeardieMama
Member
mattgirl said:
I would start with about a cup of it. If you don't have a media bag with a weave small enough for the OS not to fall through you can use a piece of panty hose. Normally I recommend rinsing it first but since there are no fish in the tank it isn't as important to rinse it as it would be if there were fish. If it is rinsed first it will take a few days for it to start raising the pH. Put it in there without rinsing and it should raise the pH fairly quick if it is going to do so.

The 4 little guys should work out well. Not too much but still enough to grow and feed the bacteria. Should the ammonia start going up just keep it down with water changes and add Prime to detox any that might be left after a water change. I am actually thinking you won't get an ammonia spike but it is best to be prepared just in case.
I’ve added this much in a media bag! Will see where that takes me? Cos I only got the single 500g bag, can easily get more if needed though
 
mattgirl
Member
BeardieMama said:
I’ve added this much in a media bag! Will see where that takes me? Cos I only got the single 500g bag, can easily get more if needed though
This should be enough to get the job done if it is going to work.
 
  • Thread Starter
BeardieMama
Member
mattgirl said:
This should be enough to get the job done if it is going to work.
Thank you!

Ok so I pulled my media out and stored it in a bucket of old tank water, with an air stone running.
Cleaned the glass and the substrate as it was DISGUSTING (so many detritus worms all under the substrate)
Drained the rest of the tank water.
Refilled tank, put in the water conditioner, waited 2 hours then returned the media back into the tank (such a mish as I have a ton of it (250g ceramic media, 500gs fluval matrix, filter wool, course sponge), haha)
I put the Crushed Oyster Shell (after rinsing it) next to my filter pump so its the last bit of "media" the water goes through before going through the pump.

Readings:
PH - 7.2
Ammo - 0
Nitrites - 0
Nitrates - 0

Tomorrow I will go get the 4 Ember Tetra that they have on hold for me, plus a friend is bringing over some cycled filter wool for additional protection.

My question tonight is, should I put some fish food in there until I get the fish tomorrow? And should I added Seachem Stability?

Again thank you all for helping me through this ever so painful process - NEVER again will I cycle with bottled Ammonium Chloride EVER!!
 
GuppyGal7
Member
BeardieMama said:
Thank you!

Ok so I pulled my media out and stored it in a bucket of old tank water, with an air stone running.
Cleaned the glass and the substrate as it was DISGUSTING (so many detritus worms all under the substrate)
Drained the rest of the tank water.
Refilled tank, put in the water conditioner, waited 2 hours then returned the media back into the tank (such a mish as I have a ton of it (250g ceramic media, 500gs fluval matrix, filter wool, course sponge), haha)
I put the Crushed Oyster Shell (after rinsing it) next to my filter pump so its the last bit of "media" the water goes through before going through the pump.

Readings:
PH - 7.2
Ammo - 0
Nitrites - 0
Nitrates - 0

Tomorrow I will go get the 4 Ember Tetra that they have on hold for me, plus a friend is bringing over some cycled filter wool for additional protection.

My question tonight is, should I put some fish food in there until I get the fish tomorrow? And should I added Seachem Stability?

Again thank you all for helping me through this ever so painful process - NEVER again will I cycle with bottled Ammonium Chloride EVER!!
Personally, I would add a very small amount of food. Just enough to sustain the bacteria until you get the fish. That way hopefully your ammonia will remain at 0. And you use prime as your dechlorinator, right? It also detoxifies ammonia, so if levels are ever high, you can do water changes and dose prime. The tests will still show ammonia, but it will be a harmless variant called ammonium.
 
Celestialpearl
Member
Whether you add fish food or not it up to you. Since you just changed out the water and have been having these issue, I'm thinking finely crushed food may not hurt. Just add enough to feed the four tetras.

As for adding Stability, that is up to you as well. These are only 4 small fish so I personally do not think it is necessary. However a lot of people will add bottled BB when adding fish. I will when starting up a new tank that has not been cycled. I use seeded media from my other tanks and pour in some BB for a boost. I also add it when adding a lot of fish.

A side note about the seachem ammonia alert.... I remember reading eons ago when they came out that they do not work well in acidic water because they do not pick up ammonium.

Another side note, in the future if you run out of COS (crushed oyster shell) and decide to set up another tank- MTS is a thing, you've been warned >.< - you could also use cuttle bone- found in the bird section, or aragonite substrate- used with cichlids and reef tanks. Or baking soda.... that one is a little trickier to use, luckily all you'd need it for is cycling.
 
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BeardieMama
Member
I put a pinch of fluval bug bites in a little container with tank water and smooshed it up until it was dissolved in the water and poured into the tank, thought a little food in there can’t hurt!

Hmmm just read about Embers and the PH levels, I may have to remove the OS as it’s raised my PH to 7.2 and it seems that’s too high for Embers.
Argh

I’m looking at harlequin rasbora, these be ok or am I better off still getting just the 4 ember tetra? GuppyGal7 - it also suggests no less than 5 Embers but shop only has 4 left

Celestialpearl said:
Whether you add fish food or not it up to you. Since you just changed out the water and have been having these issue, I'm thinking finely crushed food may not hurt. Just add enough to feed the four tetras.

As for adding Stability, that is up to you as well. These are only 4 small fish so I personally do not think it is necessary. However a lot of people will add bottled BB when adding fish. I will when starting up a new tank that has not been cycled. I use seeded media from my other tanks and pour in some BB for a boost. I also add it when adding a lot of fish.

A side note about the seachem ammonia alert.... I remember reading eons ago when they came out that they do not work well in acidic water because they do not pick up ammonium.

Another side note, in the future if you run out of COS (crushed oyster shell) and decide to set up another tank- MTS is a thing, you've been warned >.< - you could also use cuttle bone- found in the bird section, or aragonite substrate- used with cichlids and reef tanks. Or baking soda.... that one is a little trickier to use, luckily all you'd need it for is cycling.
Lol I have had a few friends warn me about MTS however after this headache I’m not so sure that’s going to be an issue in my house
 
mattgirl
Member
Keep in mind most of the fish available to us are many many generations away from their wild cousins. I would keep the OS in there to keep your pH stable. A lot of the pH levels you read that fish need are based on the waters the fish originally came from.

Adding the pinch of fish food was the right thing to do.

Since you are getting more seeded media adding stability is not needed. Personally I would not add it. Some bottled bacteria's mess with the numbers.
 
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BeardieMama
Member
One completely uncycled tank! Hate this so much.

Ok so will 4 ember tetra actually cause enough load to cycle this tank? I have a feeling it’s too small a bio load?

Also the PH dropped again darn it
 
GuppyGal7
Member
BeardieMama said:
One completely uncycled tank! Hate this so much.

Ok so will 4 ember tetra actually cause enough load to cycle this tank? I have a feeling it’s too small a bio load?

Also the PH dropped again darn it
A tank is cycled when it has enough beneficial bacteria for the waste in the tank. Four tetras will have a small bioload, but your tank will cycle as much as it needs to. Once your have the established bacteria, it'll grow much faster. So when you add more fish, it'll quickly grow to catch up with the increased bioload. And don't be hard on yourself, you're tank is almost completely cycled! Add them in when your ammonia is below 0.25ppm and I bet it's not going to rise at all.
 
  • Thread Starter
BeardieMama
Member
What I mean is if only using 4 embers, won’t it take months to cycle it enough to add the Betta?
 
mattgirl
Member
BeardieMama said:
One completely uncycled tank! Hate this so much.

Ok so will 4 ember tetra actually cause enough load to cycle this tank? I have a feeling it’s too small a bio load?

Also the PH dropped again darn it
Since you rinsed the oyster shells it is gong to take a few days for it to raise and stabilize the pH. Unlike something that comes in a bottle it takes time for natural products to do their job. It is going to very slowly dissolve.

I agree with GuppyGal7 Cycling a tank simply means growing enough bacteria to process the ammonia the fish are producing (the bio-load) be that the bio-load of one fish or a dozen fish.
BeardieMama said:
What I mean is if only using 4 embers, won’t it take months to cycle it enough to add the Betta?
It will take the same amount of time to cycle with one fish as it will with lots of fish.
 
GuppyGal7
Member
BeardieMama said:
What I mean is if only using 4 embers, won’t it take months to cycle it enough to add the Betta?
Nah, a Betta probably has a bioload or 1 or 2 ember tetras. Your filter will catch up very quickly, in a matter of hours. If you add too many fish at once you might experience a small ammonia spike, but that's only if you add, like, 20 embers at once. Even then, it'll be small.
 
Celestialpearl
Member
Nah, you'll be fine with the tetras. You have been dosing 1ppm ammonia per day. The tank will more than handle the waste from 4 ember tetras and their food. Honestly I'm at a loss when you say the tank is uncycled with the last set of pics. It looks like the ammonia is zero, which it should be if you only added a little bit of food. That means it is working. You just did a good sized water change so I wouldn't expect to see nitrates at all, even with the food you put in. Keep in mind the cycle isn't a 1:1 equation. Meaning if you put a dime in, you don't get a dime out. More like put a dollar in and get a dime out (1: 1/10).

Also 7.2 is not too high for tetras. It is actually within a good range for them. The extra emphasis on acidic water is really only necessary when trying to breed them to encourage spawning behavior. My neons display spawning behavior in water that is at 7.4.
 
Pfrozen
Member
A few things:

1. At this point I would just dump a bottle of Tetra Safe Start Plus (concentrated version) or Fritzyme bottled bacteria in there to help your cycle finish

2. Messing with your pH to keep it within range is a bad idea, just adjust your KH and your pH will stay stable from now on. If your tap is soft you can buy a liquid or powdered KH booster. Why are you using crushed coral just to move your pH by 0.2?

3. After the nitrite stage ends I only dose ammonia once more, maybe twice at most. You've been overdoing it from what I can see

4. Make sure your filter media is sufficient. What are you currently using in there? I tried to cycle a tank using only quartz bioballs as an experiment and it failed.
 
mattgirl
Member
Pfrozen said:
A few things:

1. At this point I would just dump a bottle of Tetra Safe Start Plus (concentrated version) or Fritzyme bottled bacteria in there to help your cycle finish

2. Messing with your pH to keep it within range is a bad idea, just adjust your KH and your pH will stay stable from now on. If your tap is soft you can buy a liquid or powdered KH booster. Why are you using crushed coral just to move your pH by 0.2?

3. After the nitrite stage ends I only dose ammonia once more, maybe twice at most. You've been overdoing it from what I can see

4. Make sure your filter media is sufficient. What are you currently using in there? I tried to cycle a tank using only quartz bioballs as an experiment and it failed.
In this case I can't agree with number 2. Adding crushed coral or in this case oyster shells is only to keep the pH from dropping and is the most natural way I know of to do it. I can't see adding powdered or liquid kh booster when the CC or OS will do the same thing and will do it constantly. It is basically add it one time and forget it.
 
GuppyGal7
Member
Pfrozen said:
A few things:

1. At this point I would just dump a bottle of Tetra Safe Start Plus (concentrated version) or Fritzyme bottled bacteria in there to help your cycle finish

2. Messing with your pH to keep it within range is a bad idea, just adjust your KH and your pH will stay stable from now on. If your tap is soft you can buy a liquid or powdered KH booster. Why are you using crushed coral just to move your pH by 0.2?

3. After the nitrite stage ends I only dose ammonia once more, maybe twice at most. You've been overdoing it from what I can see

4. Make sure your filter media is sufficient. What are you currently using in there? I tried to cycle a tank using only quartz bioballs as an experiment and it failed.
This is all useful info that I agree with, but let's not overload OP with advice, I'm sure they're very stressed right now. I wouldn't bother buying bottled BB. Just a large water change, and add the tetras. Oyster shells very slow change pH, so it shouldn't affect the fish. Not saying your advice isn't good or shouldn't be followed, but OP has put so much effort into cycling, I genuinely think they don't need to do anything else. A water change to get rid of the ammonia should be enough. 4 embers will have a very small bioload.
 
Pfrozen
Member
Edit:

Seems I hit a nerve here. It seems the OP is already receiving help so I will respectfully bow out

Kind regards
 
mattgirl
Member
Pfrozen said:
KH is what keeps pH stable.. crushed coral simply raises KH you can adjust it much easier with the liquid or powder if you only want to keep pH from moving a few ticks. Crushed coral is great for moving pH from 7.0 to 8.0 or larger jumps like that, not so much for bumping it up just a little
Her pH was falling down to 6. The oyster shell should prevent this happening again. Crushed coral is only going to stabilize the pH by raising the kh. It isn't going to shoot it up. It will be a different number in each tank. The number will depend on the chemistry of the water it is in. What it does in mine won't necessarily be the same as what it would be in yours or anyone else's.
 
  • Thread Starter
BeardieMama
Member
Pfrozen said:
A few things:

1. At this point I would just dump a bottle of Tetra Safe Start Plus (concentrated version) or Fritzyme bottled bacteria in there to help your cycle finish

2. Messing with your pH to keep it within range is a bad idea, just adjust your KH and your pH will stay stable from now on. If your tap is soft you can buy a liquid or powdered KH booster. Why are you using crushed coral just to move your pH by 0.2?

3. After the nitrite stage ends I only dose ammonia once more, maybe twice at most. You've been overdoing it from what I can see

4. Make sure your filter media is sufficient. What are you currently using in there? I tried to cycle a tank using only quartz bioballs as an experiment and it failed.

Hey there

1: We dont have either of those options here in New Zealand. I have been as you see, using Seachem Stability, I also at one point used 2 bottles of Dr Tims One and Only.

2: My KH is 3 at most, so yes very soft water, I know that manipulating PH is not good when you have fish, but i need the PH to be up a bit higher for the cycle to happen succesfully? Once thats done then i shouldnt have to do anything further to manipulate it?....

3: The nitrite stage ended almost instantly when i added seeded media, but it still wasnt processing the amount of ammonia the guide that i was going off told me to, and said to redose until it was processing the 2ppm of ammonia within 24hours.

4: I have a huge course sponge in my first compartment (its a 3 stage filter compartment at the rear of the tank), next to that i have filter wool, in the second compartment i have 500gms of fluval matrix and another 500gms of mixed ceramic media, third compartment i have the Oyster Shell, the filter pump and heater.
GuppyGal7 said:
This is all useful info that I agree with, but let's not overload OP with advice, I'm sure they're very stressed right now. I wouldn't bother buying bottled BB. Just a large water change, and add the tetras. Oyster shells very slow change pH, so it shouldn't affect the fish. Not saying your advice isn't good or shouldn't be followed, but OP has put so much effort into cycling, I genuinely think they don't need to do anything else. A water change to get rid of the ammonia should be enough. 4 embers will have a very small bioload.
I did such a good job yesterday with the tank i have NOTHING left in the water, 0 ammonia. 0 nitrite. 0 nitrate.
So essentially im starting new which is darn frustrating. ‍♀

I have been ghost feeding the tank 2x a day atm, tomorrow or wednesday im going to a diff fish store and will get 10 ember tetra and watch very very closely, the local store had 4, but one looked like it has swim bladder, wasnt comfortable with purchasing the others after that.

Im also a little worried about the tetra getting through the fluval flex intake grills - Ive attached a pic of grills and the rear of the tank. ⁉
Celestialpearl said:
Nah, you'll be fine with the tetras. You have been dosing 1ppm ammonia per day. The tank will more than handle the waste from 4 ember tetras and their food. Honestly I'm at a loss when you say the tank is uncycled with the last set of pics. It looks like the ammonia is zero, which it should be if you only added a little bit of food. That means it is working. You just did a good sized water change so I wouldn't expect to see nitrates at all, even with the food you put in. Keep in mind the cycle isn't a 1:1 equation. Meaning if you put a dime in, you don't get a dime out. More like put a dollar in and get a dime out (1: 1/10).

Also 7.2 is not too high for tetras. It is actually within a good range for them. The extra emphasis on acidic water is really only necessary when trying to breed them to encourage spawning behavior. My neons display spawning behavior in water that is at 7.4.
Definitely put in the dollars
The reason why i dont think its cycled is cos i think i cleaned it all out too much i did a 100% water change (however i did leave the media in a bucket with some old tank water and an air stone running until i could get the media back into the tank.
 
GuppyGal7
Member
BeardieMama said:
Hey there

1: We dont have either of those options here in New Zealand. I have been as you see, using Seachem Stability, I also at one point used 2 bottles of Dr Tims One and Only.

2: My KH is 3 at most, so yes very soft water, I know that manipulating PH is not good when you have fish, but i need the PH to be up a bit higher for the cycle to happen succesfully? Once thats done then i shouldnt have to do anything further to manipulate it?....

3: The nitrite stage ended almost instantly when i added seeded media, but it still wasnt processing the amount of ammonia the guide that i was going off told me to, and said to redose until it was processing the 2ppm of ammonia within 24hours.

4: I have a huge course sponge in my first compartment (its a 3 stage filter compartment at the rear of the tank), next to that i have filter wool, in the second compartment i have 500gms of fluval matrix and another 500gms of mixed ceramic media, third compartment i have the Oyster Shell, the filter pump and heater.


I did such a good job yesterday with the tank i have NOTHING left in the water, 0 ammonia. 0 nitrite. 0 nitrate.
So essentially im starting new which is darn frustrating. ‍♀

I have been ghost feeding the tank 2x a day atm, tomorrow or wednesday im going to a diff fish store and will get 10 ember tetra and watch very very closely, the local store had 4, but one looked like it has swim bladder, wasnt comfortable with purchasing the others after that.

Im also a little worried about the tetra getting through the fluval flex intake grills - Ive attached a pic of grills and the rear of the tank. ⁉

Definitely put in the dollars
The reason why i dont think its cycled is cos i think i cleaned it all out too much i did a 100% water change (however i did leave the media in a bucket with some old tank water and an air stone running until i could get the media back into the tank.
Most of your bacteria is in your filter. If anything, your substrate likely had a bunch of gunk releasing ammonia into the water. Now that everything is sparkling clean, the BB will have no ammonia source besides your embers and food. And don't worry about anyone getting stuck in the filter. A healthy ember tetra won't ever get caught in it. I think adding the ember tetras now will be fine. Ghost feeding + your (apparently) filthy substrate means your filter has constantly been receiving large amounts of ammonia.
Ohh, by the way, to keep your substrate clean, instead of just putting food in the tank, cut open a tea bag, wrap a small pile of fish food with it, and put in against the filter intake. You can remove it whenever you'd like, no mess.
10 embers should be completely fine. Or you could buy 5, then get 5 more a week later if you'd like. Don't feed them for the first 24 hours and then test the water. I'm sure your ammonia levels will be 0 or very close to it.
 
  • Thread Starter
BeardieMama
Member
GuppyGal7 said:
Most of your bacteria is in your filter. If anything, your substrate likely had a bunch of gunk releasing ammonia into the water. Now that everything is sparkling clean, the BB will have no ammonia source besides your embers and food. And don't worry about anyone getting stuck in the filter. A healthy ember tetra won't ever get caught in it. I think adding the ember tetras now will be fine. Ghost feeding + your (apparently) filthy substrate means your filter has constantly been receiving large amounts of ammonia.
Ohh, by the way, to keep your substrate clean, instead of just putting food in the tank, cut open a tea bag, wrap a small pile of fish food with it, and put in against the filter intake. You can remove it whenever you'd like, no mess.
10 embers should be completely fine. Or you could buy 5, then get 5 more a week later if you'd like. Don't feed them for the first 24 hours and then test the water. I'm sure your ammonia levels will be 0 or very close to it.
The substrate WAS filthy, but I cleaned that completely when I did the water change. There were hundred of dead detritus worms.

Fantastic idea re the tea bag! That’s the one thing I hated about the idea of ghost feeding - the mess left over.

Sweet. Thanks. I will see if I have time to get them tomorrow, will acclimate them and not feed and check parameters the following morning.

You have both been a godsend
 
GuppyGal7
Member
BeardieMama said:
The substrate WAS filthy, but I cleaned that completely when I did the water change. There were hundred of dead detritus worms.

Fantastic idea re the tea bag! That’s the one thing I hated about the idea of ghost feeding - the mess left over.

Sweet. Thanks. I will see if I have time to get them tomorrow, will acclimate them and not feed and check parameters the following morning.

You have both been a godsend
Aww, thx. I have one more piece of advice: don't stress. I'm a complete hypocrite saying that, but don't.
I was thinking about your stalled ammonia and I think it was the substrate causing it. It was simply releasing so much ammonia the filter couldn't keep up with it all. Any "extra" ammonia you added would quickly be converted, but the constant ammonia releasing from the substrate kept your ammonia above 0. When you stopped adding an ammonia source (food), there was actually ammonia still being released, thus it looked like the BB was doing nothing. That's my theory at least. I'm 97% sure when you add the embers your ammonia will not go above 0.25ppm. Keep us posted!
 
  • Thread Starter
BeardieMama
Member
GuppyGal7 said:
Aww, thx. I have one more piece of advice: don't stress. I'm a complete hypocrite saying that, but don't.
I was thinking about your stalled ammonia and I think it was the substrate causing it. It was simply releasing so much ammonia the filter couldn't keep up with it all. Any "extra" ammonia you added would quickly be converted, but the constant ammonia releasing from the substrate kept your ammonia above 0. When you stopped adding an ammonia source (food), there was actually ammonia still being released, thus it looked like the BB was doing nothing. That's my theory at least. I'm 97% sure when you add the embers your ammonia will not go above 0.25ppm. Keep us posted!
Hahha im a huge stress ball, but I will try to stress less
Will update the thread when we add the Embers, for now i did your teabag idea and have it sitting right in front of the top intake grill
 
GuppyGal7
Member
BeardieMama said:
Hahha im a huge stress ball, but I will try to stress less
Will update the thread when we add the Embers, for now i did your teabag idea and have it sitting right in front of the top intake grill
Great! Try to test your water before you get the embers. If it's above 0, remove the teabag so the filter can get it back to 0 for the arrival of the embers. All the best. Enjoy your new fish!
 
  • Thread Starter
BeardieMama
Member
Today’s testing - have a little teabag with an amount of fish food sitting at the inlet like GuppyGal7 suggested. - I’m sure there’s slightly more than 0 nitrates when I compare to yesterday’s ?
 
GuppyGal7
Member

BeardieMama said:
Today’s testing - have a little teabag with an amount of fish food sitting at the inlet like GuppyGal7 suggested. - I’m sure there’s slightly more than 0 nitrates when I compare to yesterday’s ?
Aha, you're being paranoid. That's 0. You know what that means, right? Your cycle is done! Congratulations. Can't wait to see your new fishy friends!
Edit: Sorry, I thought you were talking about Ammonia. Yes, your nitrates have climbed! Your tank is completely cycled. It can definitely keep up with your new fish. Stop worrying and send us pics when you get them.
 
  • Thread Starter
BeardieMama
Member
GuppyGal7 said:


Aha, you're being paranoid. That's 0. You know what that means, right? Your cycle is done! Congratulations. Can't wait to see your new fishy friends!
Edit: Sorry, I thought you were talking about Ammonia. Yes, your nitrates have climbed! Your tank is completely cycled. It can definitely keep up with your new fish. Stop worrying and send us pics when you get them.
Just as I thought. HahHa I thought you were confusing which parameter I was talking about.
Instead of getting the tetra could she now just get her betta?
 

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