What The Heck Is Going On With My Cycle? Help

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by Starflyr3, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. Starflyr3

    Starflyr3Valued MemberMember

    UGH!

    Every time I think I’m good, THIS happens!

    Ive been cycling Rainbow’s tank for weeks. It was fine, 0-0.25(hard to tell)/0/5-10.
    I did a 50% water change a few days ago, and the nitrates disappeared, but I figured it was the water change.

    Yes, I used prime and stress coat +, plus, my water doesn’t have chlorine/chloramine.

    Today, this is Rainbow’s tank (8.2/0.5/0/0):

    5080A41A-617F-44F6-9128-DC1B7A52C336.jpeg

    This is Ocean’s tank (8.2-8.4/0/0/5):

    735E45FB-318D-4BD1-9C63-7056A891F211.jpeg

    This is together (black is Rainbow, clear is Ocean:)

    0A9815E1-2B09-4BC9-A7B7-9C3070552FC2.jpeg

    This is tap ammonia/ rainbow/ ocean in that order (0/0.5/0)

    95899018-44AC-4DAB-9FC5-FDAC517C634C.jpeg

    What the HECK?

    Same tap water, same conditioner, same food, same test kit, both have 4 moss balls in their tanks.

    This keeps happening to Rainbow’s tank. I do NOT understand!

    I’m about to do a water change.

    Help?!?!?
     
  2. StarGirl15

    StarGirl15Valued MemberMember

    What is your tap waters Ph? That looks drastically high (BOTH) for a freshwater tank. I have never seen purple before. What are the decorations in Rainbows tank compared to Oceans?
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Starflyr3

    Starflyr3Valued MemberMember


    Our tap water is at 8.2, with a kH of 200-400 (18 drops). I tried almond leaves, which didn’t change anything.

    I’ve been told stable pH is better than pH swings trying for “ideal”. With such a high pH, though, I’m super vigilant about the ammonia, since almost none will be ammonium, which is why this was making me nuts. I do use Prime with each water change, though.

    The other decorations are basically the same. Betta log, silk plants, ceramic fish decorations from Petco, 1 large and 3 small Marimo moss balls in each.

    (Please ignore the ammonia; this was taken before we got Ocean, while I was cycling his tank.)

    Rainbow on the left (dragons/Dino’s), Ocean on the right (pottery):

    D34E57D2-3ABC-4DDC-9EB9-BFF1340557E4.jpeg
     
  4. StarGirl15

    StarGirl15Valued MemberMember

    Hmmmm that is crazy! I have no ideas...Im sorry... I hope someone else chimes in for you! :(
     
  5. GlennO

    GlennOValued MemberMember

    Was there a reason that you did a 50% water change near the end of the cycle? Small tanks can fluctuate rapidly and you may have kick started a mini cycle. Keep an eye on ammonia and use Prime when necessary, it should move forward from here. Some Stability might help move it along if you don’t have any mature media to soak the filter sponge in, but probably not necessary.

    Keepers of African Rift Lake Cichlids would love your tap water. ;)
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Starflyr3

    Starflyr3Valued MemberMember

    It was fine for awhile; i used TSS, but it doesn’t seem to affect the ammonia; today is the highest it’s been in awhile, and is the reason I did the water change. I added a bit more TSS today.

    I did daily 25-50% water changes while doing the fish in cycle with him; I had left it alone (but still doing daily testing) since Thursday, adding prime every other day; I’m never sure if ammonia is 0 or 0.25, so I erred in the side of caution. The filter media is almost 2 months old, plus I have a prefilter sponge too, same age.

    Ugh...

    I thought it had finished cycling...

    Do I need to add an airstone? I un-baffled the filter, thinking maybe it was an oxygen thing, but when I tried an airstone, the bubbles create more current than he can deal with.
     
  7. GlennO

    GlennOValued MemberMember

    Just a little water turbulence or a few bubbles would be ample. The length of time that it was cycling and your numbers do suggest that cycling was near finished so I’m not sure what happened. I can only guess that with such a low waste load the bacteria colony is going to be very small and susceptible to changes in water parameters. Daily 25%-50% changes may have been excessive. They might prolong cycling and make it harder for your bacteria to stabilise.
     
  8. Wraithen

    WraithenFishlore VIPMember

    Are you changing the water at the same time, dechlorinating at the same time?
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Starflyr3

    Starflyr3Valued MemberMember

    He had pretty bad fin rot, and that’s what the vet told me to do.; since the beneficial bacteria are in the filter, it shouldn’t matter, yes?
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Starflyr3

    Starflyr3Valued MemberMember

    I
    I don’t have chlorine or chloramine (or heavy metals/pesticides) in my tap water, as we have a whole house filter, but I still use a water conditioner, yes. I dont have the ability to set water out for 24 hours, so I use a 2 qt pitcher and put the Prime in the first fill of it; enough for the tank (about 1 mL). I try to test/change water around the same time daily (after work).
     
  11. Wraithen

    WraithenFishlore VIPMember

    Ok. Are you adding prime at the same time? To both tanks at the same time?
     
  12. GlennO

    GlennOValued MemberMember

    That’s the usual (and good) advice for fin rot which is commonly caused by poor water quality in established tanks with high nitrates due to infrequent water changes. That’s not your scenario.

    You do need a constant low level of ammonia to feed your bacteria. In established tanks it is generally below detectable levels and is converted quickly to nitrite then nitrate. If ammonia is depleted, the bacteria die off, the nitrogen cycle is disrupted, and the cycle will have to start again, either fully or partly.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    Starflyr3

    Starflyr3Valued MemberMember


    Now we’re back to when I came here in May, in a panic, having realized that I had not been taking optimal (or even good) care of him for a year, and he developed fin rot after being taken to show and tell at my daughter’s school. Then the tank started leaking like crazy, and I did need up building a new 10 gal one. That I had to toss together and put him in immediately. I didn’t have established media, so...

    But that was several months ago. Should i take some filter media from the other tank that I did a fishless cycle for?

    Should I get a nerite snail for him to increase the ammonia demand? I just know I’m on my 2nd api master kit since May
     
  14. GlennO

    GlennOValued MemberMember

    If you have a mature filter that's a great resource. Squeeze some into a container and soak it up with the other sponge. I don't think that you need to increase ammonia output. The quantity of bacteria in the filter will adjust to whatever level is present.
     
  15. OP
    OP
    Starflyr3

    Starflyr3Valued MemberMember


    The weird thing is, the fishless cycle tank was set up in June, and Rainbow’s tank has been (properly) set up since early May.

    Idk if the tank I set up this month is qualified as “mature”...
     
  16. OP
    OP
    Starflyr3

    Starflyr3Valued MemberMember

    So... the parameters are the same today,

    0.5/0/0, pH 8.2.

    I dosed Prime a couple times normal and added a bottle of TSS.

    UGH.
     
  17. GlennO

    GlennOValued MemberMember

    Well you said it was cycled but if it's only been running for a few weeks I'd be reluctant to disturb it.

    I don't have a lot of faith in 'bacteria in a bottle'. I've tried a few brands and only once noticed a quicker than normal cycle. That was with Seachem Stability. Nothing beats media from a well established filter.

    I think you just need to keep on doing what you're doing. Assuming that you have adequate filtration you should see the cycle progress soon. Another option would be to install a divider in your existing cycled tank and have both fish in there while you fishless cycle the other. You'd have to be careful to feed them sparingly for a while because your cycled tank is currently operating on the bio-load of one fish.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
  18. OP
    OP
    Starflyr3

    Starflyr3Valued MemberMember

    Sadly, I can’t put them together, as rainbow has myco.
     
  19. OP
    OP
    Starflyr3

    Starflyr3Valued MemberMember

    Well, TSS helped some.

    Rainbow isn’t on <—— of each pair

    8.2/0.25/0/10

    Ocean (cycled) is on the ——-> side of each pair:

    8.2-8.4/0/0/5.

    I’m leaving it and adding prime again

    3550F642-9D3A-489D-9968-8C0BAFE81CA1.jpeg
     
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