Trouble Cycling - can't seem to get it started

Jason7031
  • #1
Hey everyone, recently set up a 55 gallon about a month ago and can't seem to get the cycle started. The kit came with an aqueon quiet flow 75 led pro and a basic heater set at 79F. Initial setup followed the instructions with about 40 lbs of gravel substrate. Filled, treated with prime, ran it for 24 hours. Stocked tank with 6 mollies and began supplementing stability, only thing I did outside of instructions is supplemented for 2 weeks instead of 1. Ammonia was consistently under 1ppm for that period. Did a 10% water change/vacuum, dosed prime in the refill bucket at proper temp. Tried adding a bottle of TSS a few days later to boost the BB. Water parameters stayed the same for the next two weeks Ammonia around 1 Nitrites/Nitrates 0. This weekend I went back to the LFS for some of their filter media and another bottle of TSS. I'm a little leery about continuing to use prime because of all the conflicting information about whether or not it stalls your cycle. Mollies seem happy other than their initial adjustment to the tank. Feed them once in the morning and once at night.
 
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Dunk2
  • #2
Hey everyone, recently set up a 55 gallon about a month ago and can't seem to get the cycle started. The kit came with an aqueon quiet flow 75 led pro and a basic heater set at 79F. Initial setup followed the instructions with about 40 lbs of gravel substrate. Filled, treated with prime, ran it for 24 hours. Stocked tank with 6 mollies and began supplementing stability, only thing I did outside of instructions is supplemented for 2 weeks instead of 1. Ammonia was consistently under 1ppm for that period. Did a 10% water change/vacuum, dosed prime in the refill bucket at proper temp. Tried adding a bottle of TSS a few days later to boost the BB. Water parameters stayed the same for the next two weeks Ammonia around 1 Nitrites/Nitrates 0. This weekend I went back to the LFS for some of their filter media and another bottle of TSS. I'm a little leery about continuing to use prime because of all the conflicting information about whether or not it stalls your cycle. Mollies seem happy other than their initial adjustment to the tank. Feed them once in the morning and once at night.

Welcome to Fishlore!

What is your pH? Prime will not stall your cycle.
 
Jason7031
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Sorry I forgot to put that in there, pH around 7.8. Also running a 6 inch dish and bubbler clam for aeration on opposite sides of the tank.
 
Dunk2
  • #4
Your pH is fine for cycling.

What type of media was in the filter and what type did you just get? Have you cleaned or eliminated any media from your filter?
 
jtjgg
  • #5
if it wasn't starting to cycle then the ammonia would continue to get higher and higher. nitrite levels just aren't at a detectable level yet.

what test kit are you using?
 
Jason7031
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Filter is HOB, came with two mesh filters filled with carbon I believe. The filter media I got from the store was a large sponge sheet, probably 12"X12" that I cut some sections out of and placed in the reservoir near my 2 filters. I haven't eliminated or changed any media, only cleaned some debris off during the water change in a bucket with dirty tank water.
 
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Dunk2
  • #7
Filter is HOB, came with two mesh filters filled with carbon I believe. The filter media I got from the store was a large sponge sheet, probably 12"X12" that I cut some sections out of and placed in the reservoir near my 2 filters. I haven't eliminated or changed any media, only cleaned some debris off during the water change in a bucket with dirty tank water.

I’d keep doing what you’re doing. . . Not seeing anything out of the ordinary and a full cycle can take 6 weeks.

Although I don’t think it had an impact on your cycle, I’d leave your filter alone for the remainder of the cycle unless you notice water flow being restricted.
 
Jason7031
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
jtjgg I agree but i figured I'd pick something up by now after 4 weeks. I'm using the API master test kit. Only thing I don't like about it is it's a little hard to differentiate between the ammonia levels for me but whatever.

Dunk2 yeah I didn't have any plans for changing media or anything else. I wish I would have thought about cycled media sooner but it is what it is. The reason I said about prime stalling a cycle is because I remember reading a thread about how it changes the food source to ammonium which may not necessarily be consumed by the strains in TSS which is what I used last. Trying to hold off as long as I can to do a WC change as I don't want to mess with the food source for the BB.
 
Dunk2
  • #9
jtjgg I agree but i figured I'd pick something up by now after 4 weeks. I'm using the API master test kit. Only thing I don't like about it is it's a little hard to differentiate between the ammonia levels for me but whatever.

Dunk2 yeah I didn't have any plans for changing media or anything else. I wish I would have thought about cycled media sooner but it is what it is. The reason I said about prime stalling a cycle is because I remember reading a thread about how it changes the food source to ammonium which may not necessarily be consumed by the strains in TSS which is what I used last. Trying to hold off as long as I can to do a WC change as I don't want to mess with the food source for the BB.

Doing a water change won’t affect your cycle. Change enough water to keep ammonia and nitrites at safe levels for your fish without worries!
 
mattgirl
  • #10
Stepping in for just a quick note.

As Dunk2 said. Prime will not stall your cycle. It detoxes the ammonia but it is still available to the bacteria. This untrue information is going around and is now getting folks like yourself concerned about using the product.

Please pass the word. Prime alone will not stall the cycling process. My tanks and numerous other tanks here on the forum are living proof of that. I have always and will always recommend using prime when doing a fish in cycle. The tank will cycle and the fish will be safer. If the cycle stalls it will be caused by something other than adding prime to protect the fish.

Leaving you in the very capable hands of Dunk2
 
Jason7031
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Thanks for the input everyone. I've read about more people swearing by prime than against it. Just trying to achieve the fastest/safest cycle.
 

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