Stalled Cycle?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by Grace83, Jul 31, 2017.

  1. Grace83New MemberMember

    Having some issues with my fishless cycle, and hoping for some insight!

    40g breeder tank
    Aqueon Quiet Flow 75 filter
    Air bubbler running
    Temp 82-84F
    API master test kit
    Tank is about 50/50 fake/live plants - added two moss balls since picture was taken.

    Set tank up on 7/11, used aqueon water conditioner.
    Was using this as a guideline for fishless cycle: Ammonia instructions for a fishless cycle

    Tap water: 7.2ph, 0.25ppm ammonia, 2KH (was pale yellow at 1st drop, bright bright yellow at 3), 2GH. Water district does add chloramines, this was the most recent water report I could find:  

    • 7/14 Dosed ammonia to 4ppm. Don't have the brand handy, but it is free of surfectants, no bubbles, brand new bottle. Dosing with a syringe. Added 5ml every half hour and tested. Appears to be 10ml=1ppm for us.
    • 7/16 Added TSS+ (~100ml), however bottle had been sitting in mailbox and was pretty warm. Assuming most/all of bacteria died in transit. (Dumped in other half of bottle 7/17, ~150ml, just in case) Nitrates were reading 5ppm already at this point, though I don't recall if these tests were before or after I switched from strips to the API kit...
    • 7/22 ammonia was finally down to 2ppm.
    • 7/23, ammonia 1ppm. Still no nitrites, 5ppm nitrates. Dosed back to 4ppm ammonia.
    • 7/24, ammonia 2ppm. Dosed with TSS, having assumed prior bottle was DOA. (And because I'm impatient!?)
    • 7/26, ammo 2ppm, 0 nitrites, 5 nitrates
    • 7/28 Added more water conditioner after reading some posts about high chloramines possibly being the cause of not cycling/stalled cycling.
    • 7/31, ammo still sitting at 2ppm, 0 nitrites, 5 nitrates. After reading suggestions to bang the second bottle, retested nitrates (banged it quite a bit, then shook for 2 minutes before adding to tube), slightly darker than before, but still doesn't seem quite as dark as 10ppm on the chart. *sigh*

    Even if the TSS was a dud both times, shouldn't I still be seeing some bacteria growth and resultant parameter changes? And why would I have seen those ammonia numbers start to drop without any increase in nitrates?? I can't imagine I'm planted heavily enough to be consuming THAT many nitrates.

    Any suggestions on my next step? I was really hoping the TSS would have jump started things, as we were hoping to have at least a couple fish in the tank for my son's birthday next weekend. After hearing all the posts about people cycling with TSS so quickly, it's a bit frustrating to not be seeing any movement!
  2. Kellye8498Well Known MemberMember

    If it got hot in the mailbox my guess is that they bacteria cooked to death. It shouldn't be exposed to extreme heat or cold. Are you near a Petco? The big bottle is only 10.00 on their website and they price match their own site so it's a big savings over the 14.99 it is in the store.
  3. Grace83New MemberMember

    Yeah, I'm assuming that bottle cooked. The TSS I dosed on the 24th was a seperate bottle from Walmart however.
  4. Kellye8498Well Known MemberMember

    The water conditioner you added on the 28th could have killed that bottle. You aren't supposed to add more water conditioner until at least 7 days after adding TSS+
  5. Grace83New MemberMember

    Shoot! I remembered the 24hr rule, but forgot about the 7 days before...

    It looks like maybe a tiny bit of a change tonight, but why is ammonia reading HIGHER than it did yesterday??

    Ammonia - 4ppm??? Definitely darker than it was yesterday.
    Nitrite - 0.25ppm
    Nitrate - 10ppm?
    PH - 8.0
    KH - 5
    GH - 6


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