Tank update

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Eskielvr

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Still no progress with the cycling. It's been 2 weeks since I added the Bio Spira. Before I added it I did a complete 95-99% water change. After a while I had to remove Spartacus from the tank due to high ammonia levels that just kept rising.

As of tonight, the readings are at:

Ammonia- 4ppm
Nitrite- .50 ppm
Nitrate- 5 ppm

The only difference between those readings and the readings all this time before is that Nitrite moved up from .25ppm. Unless the Ammonia level was at 6ppm. (I stopped comparing it to the card once it started turning that pretty emerald green color.)

But, as of tonight, those are what my readings are. I added Stress Zyme the other night out of frustration, so that's probably the only reason why my Nitrites went up. But why would those go up and the ammonia not go down? In any case, that's where we stand so far.

On the plus side, Spartacus is recovering nicely in his vase while we wait. I gave it a good cleaning the other day and added some Betta SPA to his bowl and gave him a few days break from the Bettafix.
 

COBettaCouple

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Do you have any Amquel+ to bring the ammonia down? (if you'd want to use it at this point) I hope that the ammonia is coming down now, maybe the cycle is finally starting on it's own (since the bio-spira was no help). I believe the nitrite moving up could also be a sign of the cycle progressing on it's own since the nitrite spike comes after the ammonia spike, if i'm remembering right. Hopefully it wasn't a result of the Stress Zyme being added and your cycle is finally getting going. btw: what do you treat the tap water with? and what kind of filter do you have in that tank? Do you (or a friend of yours) have any older established tank you could take some gravel from?

Have you gotten a chance to get any of that Zymbac-Freshwater? I think that might be worth a shot with this tank cycling since it's being such a pain.

I'm glad to hear Spartacus is recovering though. Best of luck and I hope to hear good news soon on the cycle going in the tank.
 
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Eskielvr

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If I use the AmQuel+ right now, it'd defeat the point of trying to cycle it, since it would starve the bacteria that feeds on the ammonia/nitrite.

If I'm doing a major water change, I use Stress Coat. Otherwise, if I'm just changing a couple of gallons or adding water, I use Wardley's Chlor out or whatever it's called. I use that for small water changes because it gives a dosage per gallon (3 drops per gallon), but the stress coat only gives a dosage based on every 10 gallons. So, using the Wardley makes it easier for me to dose since I just add 3 drops of it in my 1 gallon bucket.

The filter that came with it is I believe a Whisper Jr.

I tried the older gravel stuff from my 20 gallon and that didn't seem to work, either. I even floated my Bio-Wheel from my 20 gallon in it, but didn't leave it in long since I didn't want it being out of the tank it's supposed to be in. With the gravel, I took a handful into a Whisper filter pad thing and secured it close. (One of those add the carbon and fill it yourself thing, except instead of adding carbon, I added the older gravel.) It soaked in there for 3 or 4 weeks. I think it did finally start to cycle, about like what it was doing now, except when I treated with Tetracycline, which said it would not harm the bacteria, I found that I was back to square one as all my readings were wiped back out to 0.

I've never heard of Zymbac-Freshwater. What does that do? (*sigh*, yet another product on the market to have to figure out)
 

COBettaCouple

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Sounds like you're doing everything right, i can see why it's frustrating.

The Zymbac is a product like Bio-Spira, just a lot less expensive and it's longer lasting. Supposedly, not as effective but then Bio-Spira seems hit or miss. There's a thread for it here in the Betta section:

Hope that helps.. wish i could be more help, but i'm still learning about the cycle.
 
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Eskielvr

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Ah ok, I remember Val posting about that. I'll do some reading up on it. I had been wondering if I should retreat it with Bio Spira again or not.
 

COBettaCouple

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Eskielvr said:
Ah ok, I remember Val posting about that. I'll do some reading up on it. I had been wondering if I should retreat it with Bio Spira again or not.
I'd considered BioSpira until reading about your trials with it. Seems like something that expensive should be dependable. I like Kordon products and so far have been happy with them, so i'd be willing to take a shot with the Zymbac-Freshwater when we next need to get a cycle going. Not sure if you should do another dose of BioSpira, but i hope you'll see the ammonia coming down with a small & short nitrite spike to indicate a cycle starting in the next day or 2 since it sounds like you might be heading that way with that tank.. maybe you won't need another cycle accelerator.
 

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I'm sorry to hear that it's taking so long, but a least you do have readings, I would leave things alone, (save for feeding the tank with some fish flakes or ammonia to keep the cycle going) and just wait it out. It seems like your little fishy is doing fine for now in the vase thanks to your expert care. You have a little time. One day you are going to wake up and have no ammonia, then you wait a while and wake up and the nitrites will be down too and this whole mess will be behind you! good luck.
 
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Eskielvr

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Thanks for the encouragement.........I'll keep trying to look positive and think "It will cycle, it will cycle!"

The tank needs a really good cleaning. I have 2 snails in there and haven't touched it since I added the Bio Spira. Last night I added half a gallon of dechlorinated water to replace the amount that evaporated, and it stirred up so much junk and snail poo in there! Would I be able to do a good water change with gravel vacuuming? I know that'd knock out a good amount of ammonia, but don't really want to knock out my nitrite or nitrate reading. Should I just wait some more before touching it?
 

COBettaCouple

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Eskielvr said:
Thanks for the encouragement.........I'll keep trying to look positive and think "It will cycle, it will cycle!"

The tank needs a really good cleaning. I have 2 snails in there and haven't touched it since I added the Bio Spira. Last night I added half a gallon of dechlorinated water to replace the amount that evaporated, and it stirred up so much junk and snail poo in there! Would I be able to do a good water change with gravel vacuuming? I know that'd knock out a good amount of ammonia, but don't really want to knock out my nitrite or nitrate reading. Should I just wait some more before touching it?
I vote for a partial water change and gravel vacuuming.. it sounds like there's just too much in the gravel to leave it like it is. i easily could be wrong, but that's what i'd do.
 

Timesdragonfly

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I'm still fairly new to this too, but I would agree that a partiacl water change, 25 to 30% wouldn't hurt things too much since the snails are feeding the tank with more waste for ya... If your nervous about it, do half the gravel, wait a few days and do the other half if your readings are still good.
 

nmwierman1977

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To be honest I thik the reason why you are having so much trouble with it cycling and the ammonia getting up to high and not going down is because of the snails. They are probably providing too much waste and that's why. I really don't think the bio-spira has much to do with it. I don't mean to sound cocky if I do I'm just trying to provide my advise as well. Natalie
 
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Eskielvr

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I haven't even been feeding the snails much. I'm noticing some brown stuff on the decorations, gravel, and filter. I thought it was algae but someone else mentioned it could be Diatoms? Since I thought it was algae I haven't even been feeding them. I don't have anywhere else to put them. They absolutely can not go into my 20 gallon planted tank. If the snails are the cause of it, is there anything I can do? Will it still be able to cycle eventually?

I'm also wondering if I'm going to need to get a different ammonia test? Apparently the AmQuel+ won't work with certain ammonia test kits, and I don't know which kind I have. These Kordon products are more confusing than anything!!
 
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