The Cycle That Never Arrived..... Untill Today!

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by LineRat, Mar 26, 2010.

  1. LineRat

    LineRat New Member Member

    The Cycle That Never Arrived.....

    Hello all :;hi1

    New to the forums and wanted to share my cycling ordeal with you all.

    Back just before Valentines day ( I want to say Feb 12th iirc ) My wife and I were at the nearest Petco ( near being an hour away... living in the boonies is great till you need to buy something) Buying some food for our 2 cats when we saw a 28 Euro Bowfront Aquarium combo on clearance (Tank, Penguin 150B, Glass Top, Light, Thermometer and stand for $180!)

    Now, I have never owned any fish but my wife has and we both thought (well mostly I thought) It would be fun to start an aquarium especially since the price was right.

    Got it home and set it up.. decorated it and filled it with de-chlorinated water (The kit came with a packet of Tetra Aqua Safe).

    I then sat down and scoured google for all the info I could find on this new hobby I had just committed myself to and saw that I needed to let the tank cycle before we add any fish. Okay I say.. lets start on that and wait so off to our LFS just down the street to see what they had to help that along and fish gaze a bit lol.

    I mentioned that we weren't buying any fish for a few weeks to let the tank cycle first and that's when the clerk suggested TSS. GREAT! Now we can "Add Fish Immediately" as the package says.

    Then she went ahead and sold us some fish ( more than we should have we know now but that is soon to be remedied... read on.. sorry for the book I seem to be writing here lol ) 2 Marble Angels, 6 Barbs ( 2 Tigers and 4 Green) A Pleco and a Catfish ( of what type I still cant remember and cannot for the life of me find a pic of online) We also had 2 Bala Sharks :;dk ( took them back the next day after one started to swim upside down lazily)

    So we take them home and add the TSS and then we add the fish.

    Water tests seemed great for 2 days 0,0,0 no anything in there.. as far as I knew at the time things had worked out. Till day 3 when I had 0.5,0,0.... did a 50% water change and the next day we had 1,0,0.. did back to back water changes and this has been the story of my cycle ever since.. I have even added a second bottle of TSS just incase I used it wrong the first time... numbers are still consistantly 1,0,0 and this is now week 6 going into week 7.

    So 2 weeks ago ( knowing alot more now.. knowledge is power right?) We purchased a 55g kit from walmart.. again the price was right. Set it up and decided to cycle it fishless and just move all the fish into it once it's good to go and till then coninue the daily water changes to keep them atleast alive.. poor fish.

    Got a cup of gravel from the LFS (all they would give me but I wasnt counting on any) placed it in a new nylon and dosed the tank with ACE brand ammonia ( yep the pure stuff.. did my research this time around lol. I can learn sometimes) to 5ppm and waited for the magic to happen..... it didn't.

    For the last 2 weeks my 55 has been sitting at 5,0,0 ph is 7.6, KH is 87ppm temp 86.

    So I did more and more reading... I have asked around at work and no one I know owns an aquarium which since most of them live on base in Navy barracks isn't surprising I figured I was SOL as far as cycling anything went. Till I read a short post where someone mentioned Fritz Turbo Start #700. I had never heard of it but figure I'd google it and see if it was worth even considering ( So far I have tried TSS twice, BioZyme once.. that stuff is utter crap and used gravel) Everything I had read seemed like it was the real deal... so now in desperation I ordered some.

    My 4oz bottle arrived yesterday in an inflatable Ice chest box liner thingy with an ice pack in it :eek: I was now curious.. I know it has to be refrigerated but hey this was cool.. the bottle also had a use by day for 3 months from now... even better.

    So I dose my tank with 2 oz of it ( package says 1 oz treats a 40g and one can dose 5x more than needed so I went for just over my needed amount) And waited.

    It felt like I was a kid waiting for Santa to arrive. My numbers before adding were

    PH 7.6
    KH 87ppm
    Ammonia 5ppm
    Nitrites 0ppm
    Nitrates 0ppm

    This morning, roughly 12 hours after adding it my numbers were

    PH 7.6
    KH 87ppm
    Ammonia 2ppm
    Nitrites 1ppm
    Nitrates 10ppm

    And today after work a full 24 hours later my numbers are

    PH 7.6
    KH 87ppm
    Ammonia 1ppm
    Nitrites 1ppm
    Nitrates 20ppm

    I'm can't sit still I'm so happy to see a color other than light blue on my nitrite kit and Yellow on my nitrate kit lol!! I've had them for 6 weeks now and they never were any color but the one for 0!

    So looks like I'm on my way and soon my fish will move into their new luxury condo ..... and hey then I'll have an empty 28 Euro to play with lol :;tea

    Again sorry about the wall-o-text... just too excited (and frustrated) to keep it in :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2010
  2. Stang Man

    Stang Man Well Known Member Member

    It usally takes a few weeks for notice in cycle change doesn't happen over nite Lol!!! Bio chemicals don't work like the bottle reads takes time for tank to go thru cycle!What did these tanks come with? Are they under gravel filters or hang on the back? At most tanks in fresh take around 4 to 6 weeks to gain strenght and even then can take longer depending on what your setup is can you give me more info on all that you have so far?
     
  3. OP
    OP
    LineRat

    LineRat New Member Member

    Yeah, I know a fish in cycle takes a while but 6 weeks with nothing but ammonia spiking and nothing else even hinting at registering is getting tiresome. I'm also concerned for the long term health effects it will have on my fish ( which I can't return.. my LFS is really a crappy little store).

    In my 28g I have a Penguin 150B HOB filter and a Aquatech 10-20 HOB with a combined flowrate of 270g. I'm going to upgrade to a second Penguin 150B as soon as I can afford to.

    Substrate is Gravel and the plants are plastic.

    The ph and kh is the same as the 55g I'm doing the fishless in and the temp is kept at 80.

    I'm not expecting an instant cycle with the turbostart.. I'm just thrilled to finally see a cycle going period.
     




  4. Stang Man

    Stang Man Well Known Member Member

    Yeah I totallty understand. It takes a good while to cycle a tank but with no fish or a bacteria start will take twice as long. If there is no fish in your tank then there is a faster way to acheive this buy a shrimp not frozen but a fresh one and hang it in your tank for a week and let bio load get started this way it's alot cheaper this way and you will see a change don't let shrimp totally decay but just enough to see a spike in ammonia levels then as well as nitrites. You do know about cycle I suppose ? this will happen much faster this way.After tank cycles slowly introduce fish into your tank like 1 or 2 every other week but make sure all ammonia and nitrites are at 0 levels.
     
  5. Aquarist

    Aquarist Fishlore Legend Member

    Welcome to Fish Lore LineRat!

    I hope you enjoy the site.
    Ken
     
  6. OP
    OP
    LineRat

    LineRat New Member Member

    Yep, I now know all about the Nitrogen cycle lol.. have done nothing but research it for the last 6 weeks since my 28 was set up.

    You are talking about doing a fishless cycle.. thats what I am doing in the 55 gallon that I added the ammonia and Turbostart to.

    Thanks for the suggestions :)
     
  7. Stang Man

    Stang Man Well Known Member Member

    You need to feed bacteria to start up and I would just put in a few gold fish to help out and feed them every day the thing that's happening is there is nothing in your tank that bacteria can feed on so I suggest doing this to help bio lload to produce or other wise you spent money on bottled stuff that has nothing to eat and end up dying so try this and you will see.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    LineRat

    LineRat New Member Member

    Stang Man, I have been feeding the bacteria 5ppm of ammonia once a day since adding the bottled stuff. So far my ammonia is going from 5ppm down to 1 ppm in a 24 hour period.

    Nitrites have been holding steady at 1 ppm but the nitrates are climbing by 5-10ppm a day.

    I'm not sure if my first post was confusing or not but I am pretty sure I explained that I was dosing the 55g with ammonia maintaining 5ppm in there.... I wrote that after a long day at work so it's possible it was un clear.
     
  9. Stang Man

    Stang Man Well Known Member Member

    Okay so ammonia has done it's job and nitrites are next sounds alot better than nothing happening. Have you tested water for ammonia and nitrites?
     
  10. A

    AspiringAquarist Valued Member Member

    If I'm reading your thread correctly, you did a water change when TSS was in the tank? If so, that might have led to the TSS failing you. You're not supposed to do a water change until the tenth day of having TSS.

    Also, you had 5 PPM of ammonia when adding Fritz? Amazing...I thought that ammonia readings greater than 2.0 ppm would shock any bacterial additive...

    I was going to buy Fritz in case my TSS failed me, but I saw the high shipping costs ($22) and I think I'm just going to do daily W/C's or get some SuperBac if TSS fails.
     
  11. t

    trailblazer295 Well Known Member Member

    A couple points

    A I don't like penguin biowheel filters at all (if your has the bio wheel a white cylinder) I prefer aquaclear but that's a personal choice

    B what kind of pleco? Most types of pleco will out grow your tank within a year. I'd suggest looking it up and if he isn't one of the ones that stay small let him go to a better home and buy a different type.
     
  12. t

    trailblazer295 Well Known Member Member

    A couple points

    A I don't like penguin biowheel filters at all (if your has the bio wheel a white cylinder) I prefer aquaclear but that's a personal choice

    B what kind of pleco? Most types of pleco will out grow your tank within a year. I'd suggest looking it up and if he isn't one of the ones that stay small let him go to a better home and buy a different type.
     
  13. Prince Powder

    Prince Powder Well Known Member Member

    Hello and welcome to Fishlore!

    I agree that it was most likely the water changes that caused the TSS to fail. I've used it twice on two separate tanks and IME, as long as you follow the directions carefully and completely it works well. Since the TSS didn't work, I would recommend getting a bottle of Prime or Amquel+ and starting a daily water change routine until the cycle is complete.

    I'm sorry this part is a bit confusing, are we talking about the 28 or the 55 here? You start and end with what seems like the 55, but there are parts where it sounds like you are talking about the 28. ??? You mention that you used TSS and BioZyme, but were those supplements added to the 28 with fish, or the 55 without? Which tank did you add the Fritz to? and which tank do these readings belong to?
    PH 7.6
    KH 87ppm
    Ammonia 5ppm
    Nitrites 0ppm
    Nitrates 0ppm

    This morning, roughly 12 hours after adding it my numbers were

    PH 7.6
    KH 87ppm
    Ammonia 2ppm
    Nitrites 1ppm
    Nitrates 10ppm

    And today after work a full 24 hours later my numbers are

    PH 7.6
    KH 87ppm
    Ammonia 1ppm
    Nitrites 1ppm
    Nitrates 20ppm
     
  14. OP
    OP
    LineRat

    LineRat New Member Member

    I did do water a water change. Nowhere in the instructions printed on the bottle does it say not to do that. I might give TSS another go in the 28g that has fish in it. Tetra really should update the bottles to let people know not to do that :;dk

    It came with the setup. I also have an AquaTech 10-20 running as a supplement to the penguin.

    He is a Clown Pleco so he should fit just fine in the 55g once we get them all moved into it. I also found out the catfish is a Bumblebee Catfish and he too shouldn't get to big from what I've read about them

    Thats been the game plan so far. I have been doing daily W/C on my 28g since day 3.. going on 7 weeks now.

    Yep, it is kinda confusing... thats what I get for posting at the end of a 14 day stretch of 12 hour work days lol.

    Let me try to clear that up... That bit is referring to the 55g I am cycling without fish. I haven't used any TSS in it only the 28g was ever treated with that and only that.

    The 55g has had Used Gravel, BioZyme and Fritz added to it.

    So far everything looks to be on track. My Ammonia is dropping daily and the nitrates are climbing while the Nitrites have held steady at 1ppm the whole time.

    Yesterday afternoon I had readings of (this is the 55g just to be clear)

    Ammonia 1ppm
    Nitrites 1ppm
    Nitrates 40ppm

    That was day 4. I dosed it up to 2ppm ammonia right after taking the readings. Ill keep updating with where the numbers are at this afternoon.
     
  15. c

    click Well Known Member Member

    Hi. Just weanted to say welcome to the forums! Looks like the other members got you covered. Good luck with the rest of your cycle.
     
  16. Tigerfishy

    Tigerfishy Well Known Member Member

    Congrats that your cycle is appearing! It seems you are doing all you can for now, best of luck, it gets easier once this is all done!
     
  17. Prince Powder

    Prince Powder Well Known Member Member

    Thank you for the clarification!

    You're right that the bottle of TSS doesn't really give sufficient information regarding proper use for success. Our mods were kind enough to ask Tetra directly about the proper use of TSS and received a very detailed response. Q & A With Tetra on TSS If you would like to try TSS one more time, we can help you ensure that this time would be more successful. If so, please post your readings for your 28g, and we can give you a step by step on how to proceed with TSS. It would also be a good idea to test and post results of your tap water so we can get an idea of what your base parameters are.

    Your 55 seems to be coming along great! Just keep up with that one and you should be good to go in no time.
     
  18. OP
    OP
    LineRat

    LineRat New Member Member

    Ok, you now have the best of my curiosity lol. I am giving TSS another go in my 28g :)

    I read the info contained in the Q & A With Tetra about Tetra SafeStart post and purchased another (and hopefully the last) bottle of TSS.

    My base tap water readings are.

    Ammonia 0ppm
    Nitrite 0ppm
    Nitrate 0ppm
    PH 7.2

    Current readings in the tank

    Ammonia 1ppm
    Nitrite 0ppm
    Nitrate 0ppm
    PH 7.6

    I have not done any water changes in 3 days so the water would be free of any conditioners or ammonia purifiers etc.

    I added the full ammount of the bottle (Bought the one for 75g tanks as recommended in the Q & A post..)

    So today will be day one and I will update as it goes along over the next couple of weeks. Now if I can only restrain myself from testing the water over the next 48 hours I'll be good lol!
     
  19. Prince Powder

    Prince Powder Well Known Member Member

    Good luck! Remember even if you test NO water changes until you test on day 10. If your cycle isn't done then you'll have to go back to daily water changes. If it is done than generally all you need is one water change to get nitrate levels down for your regular maintenance.
     
  20. OP
    OP
    LineRat

    LineRat New Member Member

    Just an update..

    I am starting day 5 of the 28g TSS cycle and just thought I'd post my readings over the last 4 days..

    Before adding TSS
    Ammonia 1
    Nitrite 0
    Nitrate 0
    Ph 7.6
    Temp 80

    Day 1. Added bottle of TSS, did not test as per instructions Here

    Day 2 Did not test as per instructions.

    Day 3
    Ammonia 1.5
    Nitrite 0
    Nitrate 0
    Ph 7.6
    Temp 80

    Day 4
    Ammonia 1.5
    Nitrite 0
    Nitrate 0
    Ph 7.6
    Temp 80

    Day 5
    Ammonia 1.5
    Nitrite 0
    Nitrate 0
    Ph 7.6
    Temp 80

    At what point do you start seeing anything move? I don't have anything but ammonia still and I'm halfway through the 10 days... I haven't done anything to the tank but watch the poor fish swim ( they seem to be doing OK and with the high ph the ammonia shouldn't be that bad)
     




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