Not Your Average Fishlore Question

  1. Lauren4events

    Lauren4events Valued Member Member

    Ok maybe I can try something new here.

    I’m not going to tell you anything about my tank or my fish, because I don’t want it to influence your response at all.

    Can you guys list all the reasons you can think of for why a cycle (in any tank) would stall for a long period of time or what can prevent a cycle from completing? If you have been following my threads, don’t even think about my situation at all. I’m encouraging any and all ideas, even if you think it’s irrelevant to me. Even if it has nothing to do with freshwater fish. Literally whatever you got. I’m hoping if enough reasons are mentioned, something will click for me.

    For example, refilling the water in your filters after a water change with chlorinated tap water.

    You are all so intelligent. And when it comes to fishkeeping, I’m clearly not. And that’s putting it nicely. So please help me and list everything you can think of.

    Thank you!
  2. Ed204

    Ed204 Well Known Member Member

    The Plants you bought carried a super rare bacteria called “I Like Pie”, this rare micro organism once in you’re Aquarium would manipulate the chemical compounds in the tank which would cause a chain reaction destroying the houses that the Benefical bacteria/ Nitrosamonas live in, causing the extinction of Benefical bacteria in you’re tank, hence eliminating the possibility of the tank ever being cycled.

    If you’d like there’s plenty more of where that came from
  3. Briggs

    Briggs Well Known Member Member

    Serious answer, there is something in the environment that is killing or inhibiting the growth the bacteria like: extreme temperatures, ph swings, too much ammonia, too little ammonia, chlorine, soap, not enough oxygen, etc. Some times getting a cycle just takes forever, and it can be hard to pin down why.

    Silly answers, uh, time traveling bacteria killed their own grandparents? You live to close to the hadron collider? You have a infestation of fairies? Your bacteria gained sentience, decided they don't like your drapes, and moved away?

  4. JLeeM

    JLeeM Well Known Member Member

    Have you cleaned the filter media? If so did you use ANY kind of soap? Or did you give it a really vigorous rinse in any water (aquarium or tap)?
  5. scarface

    scarface Fishlore VIP Member

    I think maybe the main reason is misuse/misreading of the test kit. When I hear people say that their tank won't cycle or that it's been stalled for a while, but had the fish for 3-6 months, then that's usually where my thinking lean towards. Second: people just overthinking/complicating things by worrying too much. If the fish are okay, showing no signs of stress, and had them for a good month or two, then who cares. When you add the two together you make more mistakes, which can become detrimental. I never test for anything once I'm done cycling.
  6. OP

    Lauren4events Valued Member Member

    Thank you to everyone who is actually trying to help.

    As for the rest... not my kind of humor, I guess.
  7. Mary765

    Mary765 Well Known Member Member

    Not enough ammonia.

    The beneficial bacteria are on a strike until your up their wage by at least £1 an hour.

    Not enough beneficial bacteria added via boosters and plants.

    The water you are putting into the tank contains the dreaded Phobilious Cantenratos (Raspere Microfish) which feasts off your beneficial bacteria for breakfast.

    Too many water changes/not enough water changes.

    Your tank just isn't feeling in the mood to cycle today.

    Not enough of a strong filter current; or just a bad filter.

    Every time you turn your back; your fairy godmother makes the beneficial bacteria disappear in a poof of sparkles! Seriously; set up a camera recording your tank for a month solidly and you will either see a poof of sparkles periodically or your tank will cycle!

    Hope these help :D and good luck!
  8. OP

    Lauren4events Valued Member Member

    This was clearly a mistake. Since everyone is being rude and just making jokes.

    Don’t quit your day jobs!
  9. Mary765

    Mary765 Well Known Member Member

    Hey every other one of my advice is real advice!
  10. Briggs

    Briggs Well Known Member Member

    Whoops, sorry. Hopefully none of us were actively trying to be rude. I think people misunderstood when you asked for silly answers. I hope you got some good info in between the bad jokes.
  11. OP

    Lauren4events Valued Member Member

    What other part is real advice? The bacteria is on strike for more money, Phobilious Cantenratos, sparkles, or that my tank just isn’t in the mood?

    No it’s ok. I realized my mistake with saying that. That’s not what I meant though. So I just edited my original post to take “silly” out. Maybe that will help. I’m not really mad. Just frustrated.
  12. Briggs

    Briggs Well Known Member Member

    Yeah, I can see what you wanted now, sorry for the confusion. It might be hard to get a variety of feedback on this sort of thing, since a lot of hobbyists only cycle a tank from scratch once or twice. (It makes for a great excuse to get that second tank, actually. Backup cycled media, in case one of them crashes! You never have to do it from scratch again!)

    But lets see, outside of the box reasons bacteria might be struggling... placement in your home? If it's too close to a window or ac vent, it could cause temperature swings, encourage algae growth that competes with the bacteria for nitrogen, or introduce molds or chemicals like air fresheners from your ac. Not washing all the soap off your hands before putting them in the water, or cleaning with certain chemicals too close to the tank might have introduced something antibacterial to the water. This is all theoretical, though.
  13. Hill Dweller

    Hill Dweller Well Known Member Member

    I always find the cycle takes off best once I get water hardness up enough (I use alkaline buffer) to combat low ph / ph crashes. I can't get a cycle going when it's in the 6 range, once it's about 7.4-7.8 it takes off (this is obviously only relevant to my tap water not necessarily for everyone else) and I have no idea how people keep acid-loving fish! :)
  14. Mary765

    Mary765 Well Known Member Member

    Sorry :( we all just misunderstood! It's seems most of us will jump onto any opportunity we can to have a little fun!

    I've always cycled my tanks with plants, not on purpose, but I like to get my plants as soon as I have water in my tank so I can start aqua scaling and planning where everything will go. I don't know whether this is because of my plants or not, but my tanks always cycle in under a month; usually only in a couple of weeks. Maybe it has something to do with plants!

    I've heard that plants can bring across a lot of beneficial bacteria from other cycled tanks, so any plant from your lfs might help to get your tank going (just be sure to check it over for pests)
  15. Briggs

    Briggs Well Known Member Member

    You know, I wonder if there are different species of nitrifying bacteria that thrive in different levels of alkalinity? It could go a long way to explaining why some kinds of bottled bacteria work for some people every time, and others never. So people with acid water and people with liquid cement are actually breeding completely different bacteria that just happen to fill similar roles in different ecosystems? This seems like a question for a micro biologist. Or at least someone who has kept fish on both sides of the spectrum.
  16. DoubleDutch

    DoubleDutch Fishlore Legend Member

    Not enough waterflow in a filter to make these aerobic bacteria do their thing (or too small surface to live in on)
  17. Neutral-Waterinos

    Neutral-Waterinos Valued Member Member

    HAHAHA, you are absolutely hilarious!
  18. sloughdog

    sloughdog Well Known Member Member

    1. Contaminants from outside the aquarium somehow getting into the water- ie cleaning chemicals
    2. Something inside the aquarium causing anerobic conditions- ie a piece of driftwood collected with dead stuff in it consuming the O2 as dead stuff decays
    3. Bad test kit- thinking aquarium has cycled or not cycled and then manipulating the water to fix it
    4. Bad water source for filling the aquarium (unknown contaminant or chemical or who knows what)

    These are a few that come immediately to mind.
  19. jdhef

    jdhef Moderator Moderator Member

    @Lauren4events keep in mind, nit everyone is aware of all of the problems and frustrations you have been experiencing. So many members might have thought this was a much more light hearted fun thread.'s some reasons I can think of for a stalled cycle:

    PH is too low and most/all ammonium has turned into ammonium which is a bad food source for the bacteria.

    Too frequent water changes. Ammonia (and nitrites) needs to be present in the water to feed the bacteria. Too many water changes would keep the ammonia/nitrite levels so low, there would be no food for the bacteria.

    Ammonia and nitrite levels that are too high.

    Forgetting to use dechlorinator, or your water containing so much chlorine/chloramine that a standard dose of the water conditioner you are using isn't removing all of the chlorine/chloramines.

    No enough oxygen in the water. Bacteria, like fish require oxygen.

    Changing the filter media.

    Using an additive which removes ammonia (as opposed to detoxing it).
  20. Hill Dweller

    Hill Dweller Well Known Member Member

    Good point! I actually ended up dumping in 3 different bacteria products/brands to hedge my bets! Not really sure if it helped or would have been the same with just one