Used TSS+ and stuck

YellowOwl

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Hi all,

I am doing a fishless cycle for a 5 gallon tank since July 31. I am using pure ammonia and TSS+ to do this. I am using API master kit to do the testing.

Below are the water parameters 2 days after adding TSS+:
Ammonia: 1-2
pH:6.8
Nitrite 0-0.25
Nitrate: 5-10

After the above test, I added more ammonia so it's back at 2 ppm. After that, nitrate started to increase slowly and nitrite dropped. However, it seems to be stuck when nitrite hit 0 and ammonia stopped moving.

Below are my water parameters that has been stuck for five days (Aug 7-Aug.11):
Ammonia: 2
pH: 6.8
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 20-40

I am not sure why it would stall. I ran into the same issue (2-0-40) with my last attempt as well, where I waited three weeks after it was stalled, and decided to start again .

I am worried the BB that consumes nitrite and produce nitrate will die since it seems the BB that is producing nitrite stopped working.

I am worried it will be the same thing again. Can anyone suggest what to do?

Thanks.
 

RomanNoodles96

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YellowOwl said:
Hi all,

I am doing a fishless cycle for a 5 gallon tank since July 31. I am using pure ammonia and TSS+ to do this. I am using API master kit to do the testing.

Below are the water parameters 2 days after adding TSS+:
Ammonia: 1-2
pH:6.8
Nitrite 0-0.25
Nitrate: 5-10

After the above test, I added more ammonia so it's back at 2 ppm. After that, nitrate started to increase slowly and nitrite dropped. However, it seems to be stuck when nitrite hit 0 and ammonia stopped moving.

Below are my water parameters that has been stuck for five days (Aug 7-Aug.11):
Ammonia: 2
pH: 6.8
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 20-40

I am not sure why it would stall. I ran into the same issue (2-0-40) with my last attempt as well, where I waited three weeks after it was stalled, and decided to start again .

I am worried the BB that consumes nitrite and produce nitrate will die since it seems the BB that is producing nitrite stopped working.

I am worried it will be the same thing again. Can anyone suggest what to do?

Thanks.
What's the ph? If ph is to low the bacteria won't turn ammonia into nitrites then into nitrates
 

mattgirl

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Change out 50% of the water. Be sure you add your water conditioner to the fresh water before pouring it in there. Also try to temp match the new water to the same temp as the tank. This should get the ammonia level down to 1ppm. If that is the number you are seeing don't add any more ammonia until it drops down close to zero. If the ammonia is lower than 1ppm after the water change add enough ammonia to get it up to 1ppm.

Since this is just a 5 gallon tank there is no need to add any more than that. 1ppm ammonia should grow all the bacteria you need for this size tank.
 
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YellowOwl

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mattgirl said:
Change out 50% of the water. Be sure you add your water conditioner to the fresh water before pouring it in there. Also try to temp match the new water to the same temp as the tank. This should get the ammonia level down to 1ppm. If that is the number you are seeing don't add any more ammonia until it drops down close to zero. If the ammonia is lower than 1ppm after the water change add enough ammonia to get it up to 1ppm.

Since this is just a 5 gallon tank there is no need to add any more than that. 1ppm ammonia should grow all the bacteria you need for this size tank.
Thanks a lot. I will give this a try.
 
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YellowOwl

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mattgirl said:
Change out 50% of the water. Be sure you add your water conditioner to the fresh water before pouring it in there. Also try to temp match the new water to the same temp as the tank. This should get the ammonia level down to 1ppm. If that is the number you are seeing don't add any more ammonia until it drops down close to zero. If the ammonia is lower than 1ppm after the water change add enough ammonia to get it up to 1ppm.

Since this is just a 5 gallon tank there is no need to add any more than that. 1ppm ammonia should grow all the bacteria you need for this size tank.
Just want to provide an update.

It has been 9 days since I followed the above suggestion and did a 50% WC. Unfortunately, nothing has changed.

The water parameter stayed the same since the day I did the WC :

Ammonia: 1
pH: 6.8
NO2-: 0
NO3-: 10-20

I have a feeling something is wrong with my setup. This is rather frustrated as this is like my fourth attempt and second time running into exact same situation.

Any advise is appreciated.
 

mattgirl

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Is it possible that you have faulty ammonia testing solution? Between the TSS and all this time this cycle should be done. Will your local fish store test your water for you?

It is way past my bedtime but I wanted to let you know I was here. I will be back in the morning and we will try to figure out why this tank isn't doing what it should be doing.

Good Morning,

What kind of water are you using in this tank? If you are using your tap water will you run all the test in the kit on that water? The only reason I can think of for what is not happening is something is missing from the water.
 
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YellowOwl

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mattgirl said:
Is it possible that you have faulty ammonia testing solution? Between the TSS and all this time this cycle should be done. Will your local fish store test your water for you?

It is way past my bedtime but I wanted to let you know I was here. I will be back in the morning and we will try to figure out why this tank isn't doing what it should be doing.

Good Morning,

What kind of water are you using in this tank? If you are using your tap water will you run all the test in the kit on that water? The only reason I can think of for what is not happening is something is missing from the water.
First of all, I just want to say thank you so much for the help.

I am hoping I am getting faulty reading. However, I have changed to the new test bottles for ammonia about half way through this cycle so they should be working fine.

I am using tap water and I tested it before I start the cycle:
Ammonia: 0
pH: 6.8
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0

I have also took out some water and add more ammonia to see if the test kit is actually working. Since the water had lots ammonia, it went off the chart and I don't know what color it should be, but it did change color.
 

mattgirl

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High levels of ammonia should just continue getting to a deeper green. If you are seeing anything other than some shade of green then something strange is going on. How do you clean your test tubes between uses? Is it possible that there is residue from previous test left in the tube?

I am thinking you are one of the unfortunate ones where the TSS didn't do what it was designed to do. Sometimes it speeds up the cycling process and sometimes it does nothing. If you just started cycling this tank July 31st you are still kinda early in the cycling process but even so you should be seeing forward progress. It isn't unusual for it to take at least 6 weeks to complete a cycle. It has been known to take some folks much longer than that.

If you are cycling this tank for a Betta you may want to just consider changing out most of the water and going ahead and getting your fish. As long as you keep an eye on the numbers and do water changes as needed your little guy will never be in any danger. Water changes will do what a cycle does. It will remove ammonia and prevent it building up to dangerous levels.
 
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YellowOwl

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The color of the water with lots ammonia did changed to something greenish. But you asked a very good question regarding tube cleaning. That's something I am unsure how to do it properly/thoroughly. Most of the time, I just rinse with water > add more water that's about 1/3 of tube > close cap and shake for couple seconds. So stones, though very rarely, I clean the tube by putting small piece of paper towel.

I have some new tubes from additional test kits I bought, I will try with those later when I get home.

I agree with you that I might be one of those unfortunate people :/ This is my third time trying with TSS without success. I also feel I am one of those who will take much longer than average to have a cycled tank.
In my last attempt (also with TSS), I got to where I am now and the number didn't change for a long time (more than a month, unsure if got to 2 month mark).

Yes, I only plan to put one Betta in for this tank. Its reassuring to hear that WC would work. I guess I don't have many other choices now.

So would you say I should do a 100% water change now, then add the fish? What about the filter media? Do I need to change any?
 

mattgirl

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YellowOwl said:
The color of the water with lots ammonia did changed to something greenish. But you asked a very good question regarding tube cleaning. That's something I am unsure how to do it properly/thoroughly. Most of the time, I just rinse with water > add more water that's about 1/3 of tube > close cap and shake for couple seconds. So stones, though very rarely, I clean the tube by putting small piece of paper towel.

I have some new tubes from additional test kits I bought, I will try with those later when I get home.

I agree with you that I might be one of those unfortunate people :/ This is my third time trying with TSS without success. I also feel I am one of those who will take much longer than average to have a cycled tank.
In my last attempt (also with TSS), I got to where I am now and the number didn't change for a long time (more than a month, unsure if got to 2 month mark).

Yes, I only plan to put one Betta in for this tank. Its reassuring to hear that WC would work. I guess I don't have many other choices now.

So would you say I should do a 100% water change now, then add the fish? What about the filter media? Do I need to change any?
Yes, If you decide to go ahead and get your water pet change out as much of the water as you can. That way he will be starting out with fresh clean water. Be sure you use your water conditioner and temp match the water. There is bound to be some bacteria in there so treat it as if you already had a fish in there.

What kind of filter do you have? What kind of media do you have in it? My normal answer to this questions is don't change any media unless it is literally falling apart or water will no longer flow through it freely. Bacteria grows mostly on the filter media so you don't want to be throwing it away.

Since there are no fish in this tank I can't imagine the filter media needing much in the way of attention right now. It shouldn't have a buildup of much of anything on it. I know the folks that sell cartridges recommend changing them once a month but you don't want to do that. I have to think they aren't thinking about the fact that you will be disrupting your cycle. They just want to continue selling you cartridges. :(
 
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