Second Cycle Attempt

Deedee365

New Member
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
Points
3
I am working on my second attempt at cycling a tank. The first attempt I regularly dosed with amonia and used Seacham stability. My amonia rose and then fell to about .25 but never went to 0 my nitrites rose to off the API test kit detectable level and then went to 0 and my nitrates rose to about 80 ppm but then dropped to about 5. I dosed with amonia to 4 ppm thinking my tank cycled. It went to 2 ppm but never fell after. I took my water to the local fish store and they told me my PH had stalled the cycle by dropping to below 6. They recommend I buy Prime and Seachem Neutral Regulator and do a large water change. I decided to use this opportunity to just upgrade to a 5 gallon tank (was 3.5). The pet store suggested when setting up the new tank that I buy "cheap" fish and start over with a fish-in cycle, but I would still like to do fishless.

I used my old gravel and decor and set up my new 5 gallon tank. Current readings with no dosing:

Amonia-1.5
PH-7
Nitrite-.25
Nitrate-Around 2.5

My questions are how to make this cycle work. Should I keep dosing with amonia or just let the cycle continue? Should I add more Prime and or Stability? Any other tips would be greatly appreciated.
 

mattgirl

Fishlore VIP
Messages
8,426
Reaction score
7,033
Points
608
Location
Closer to Heaven every day but for now-Arkansas
Experience
More than 10 years
Did you do any water changes when your nitrites and then nitrates sky rocketed? If the PH of your source water is higher than the water in your tank a simple water change would have raised it back up where it needed to be and would have also lowered both nitrites and nitrates and would have gotten this cycle back on track.

The low PH would have slowed your cycle down to a crawl as would the off the chart nitrites and nitrates. The bacteria was overwhelmed. Water changes would have gotten you back on track.

BTW: Prime is a water conditioner. It does nothing to help cycle a tank. The only time you need to use it is when adding new water.

Your 3.5 gallon tank was basically cycled but was so far out of balance it wasn't letting you know you were done.
 

Deedee365

New Member
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Did you do any water changes when your nitrites and then nitrates sky rocketed? If the PH of your source water is higher than the water in your tank a simple water change would have raised it back up where it needed to be and would have also lowered both nitrites and nitrates and would have gotten this cycle back on track.

The low PH would have slowed your cycle down to a crawl as would the off the chart nitrites and nitrates. The bacteria was overwhelmed. Water changes would have gotten you back on track.

BTW: Prime is a water conditioner. It does nothing to help cycle a tank. The only time you need to use it is when adding new water.

Your 3.5 gallon tank was basically cycled but was so far out of balance it wasn't letting you know you were done.
I did no water changes during the whole cycle. The pet shop said the water in my city was notorious for low pH so something I need to monitor much more closely it seems.
 

mattgirl

Fishlore VIP
Messages
8,426
Reaction score
7,033
Points
608
Location
Closer to Heaven every day but for now-Arkansas
Experience
More than 10 years
Can you test your source water to see what the PH is straight out of the tap?

Did you move everything from the 3.5 over to the 5 gallon tank?

If your nitrates dropped from 80 down to 5 and you didn't do a water change then it is telling me that your nitrates were in fact so high the test defaulted back down to 5. The nitrates were still there but were so high they overwhelmed the test.
 

Deedee365

New Member
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Can you test your source water to see what the PH is straight out of the tap?

Did you move everything from the 3.5 over to the 5 gallon tank?

If your nitrates dropped from 80 down to 5 and you didn't do a water change then it is telling me that your nitrates were in fact so high the test defaulted back down to 5. The nitrates were still there but were so high they overwhelmed the test.
Thanks. I didn't know that about the nitrates. I will test the tap PH when I'm back home later today. I moved everything over except the filter. I moved over rocks, a Betta hammock, a real and an artificial plant, and a cave decoration.
 

mattgirl

Fishlore VIP
Messages
8,426
Reaction score
7,033
Points
608
Location
Closer to Heaven every day but for now-Arkansas
Experience
More than 10 years
Thanks. I didn't know that about the nitrates. I will test the tap PH when I'm back home later today. I moved everything over except the filter. I moved over rocks, a Betta hammock, a real and an artificial plant, and a cave decoration.
Oh my goodness, where are my manners. Welcome to Fishlore

I am curious as to why you didn't move the filter. Bacteria grows on all the surfaces in a tank but the strongest colony lives on the filter media.

We will get your new 5 gallon tank cycled. Moving some of the deco from the small tank to this one will have provided some bacteria to jump start the cycle in this tank but would have been better if you had moved the filter too.

What is your ammonia source (fish food? liquid ammonia?)
 

Deedee365

New Member
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Oh my goodness, where are my manners. Welcome to Fishlore

I am curious as to why you didn't move the filter. Bacteria grows on all the surfaces in a tank but the strongest colony lives on the filter media.

We will get your new 5 gallon tank cycled. Moving some of the deco from the small tank to this one will have provided some bacteria to jump start the cycle in this tank but would have been better if you had moved the filter too.

What is your ammonia source (fish food? liquid ammonia?)
Thank you for the welcome!

Pet store mentioned moving the rocks and decorations and not the filter so I probably took this too literally and didn't move the filter. I actually found my old filter. It hasn't been submerged in water but is still damp. I can add this in?

My tap PH is around 7.2. I am dosing with Dr. Tim's Amonia.
 

mattgirl

Fishlore VIP
Messages
8,426
Reaction score
7,033
Points
608
Location
Closer to Heaven every day but for now-Arkansas
Experience
More than 10 years
Thank you for the welcome!

Pet store mentioned moving the rocks and decorations and not the filter so I probably took this too literally and didn't move the filter. I actually found my old filter. It hasn't been submerged in water but is still damp. I can add this in?

My tap PH is around 7.2. I am dosing with Dr. Tim's Amonia.
It is possible that there is still some bacteria on it so go ahead and use it. It could help.

PH is at a good number and it is great that you are using that ammonia. What temp are you keeping the tank at. Bacteria seems to grow better at higher temps so if you can keep it up to at least 80 that would be great.
 

Deedee365

New Member
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
Points
3
It is possible that there is still some bacteria on it so go ahead and use it. It could help.

PH is at a good number and it is great that you are using that ammonia. What temp are you keeping the tank at. Bacteria seems to grow better at higher temps so if you can keep it up to at least 80 that would be great.
I added the old filter. Tank stays around 76 degrees but I have ordered an adjustable aquarium heater that will be here soon.
 
Toggle Sidebar

UV Sterilizers Worth It?

  • Yes

    Votes: 23 26.1%
  • No

    Votes: 8 9.1%
  • IDK - never used one before

    Votes: 57 64.8%




Top Bottom