When Will Beneficial Bacteria Grow?

Emuhlee

Member
Hello. My tank has been in the process of cycling....uhm I wanna say a little over a week now...my ammonia levels are really high, close to 8. My ph is 7.4 to 7.6 nitrite and nitrate are 0. I have two hang on the back filters and the temp is around 78. There is no way for me to adjust the heat on this heater btw. When will see my tank start to cycle? I'm just leaving it alone hoping it grows. I check it every couple of days and its still the same. Also...I'm losing water. There is not water coming from the tank. I've checked all around it and No water is coming out and I don't think it's hot enough for it to evaporate, although I could be wrong. Is that normal?.. thanks!

I left out that It's a ten gallon.
 

Tesla

Member
Tank cycle time are impossibly to predict, however there are few things you can do to speed it up and looking at your ammonia count I hope you are doing a fishless cycle.
Get tank temp to 82-84f is your thermometer allows to, if not then it isn’t end of the world. Add bacteria from a bottle source , safestart, dr Tim... I myself didn’t have success with these. Best option is imo to get a seeded filter pad from a used tank from a friend or lfs which should cut down the whole thing from couple of months to 2-3 weeks. Once the ammonia starts to to go down and converting to nitrites then you need to start watching the 2nd part of the cycle for nitrites to nitrates. Second part is usually longer and needs more patience. Here is a link to that I usually recommend anyone getting into the hobby to read.
As for water loss, there will be some from evaporation and having a lid on the tank would slow it down. You should not be needing to top it off more than once a week. Also do not add tap water directly into your filters.
If possible, add some media like matrix or biohome to your filter to give more area for the beneficial bacteria to home. Good luck and share pictures once done!
How this helps
 
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Emuhlee

Member
Tesla said:
Tank cycle time are impossibly to predict, however there are few things you can do to speed it up and looking at your ammonia count I hope you are doing a fishless cycle.
Get tank temp to 82-84f is your thermometer allows to, if not then it isn’t end of the world. Add bacteria from a bottle source , safestart, dr Tim... I myself didn’t have success with these. Best option is imo to get a seeded filter pad from a used tank from a friend or lfs which should cut down the whole thing from couple of months to 2-3 weeks. Once the ammonia starts to to go down and converting to nitrites then you need to start watching the 2nd part of the cycle for nitrites to nitrates. Second part is usually longer and needs more patience. Here is a link to Fishless Cycling that I usually recommend anyone getting into the hobby to read.
As for water loss, there will be some from evaporation and having a lid on the tank would slow it down. You should not be needing to top it off more than once a week. Also do not add tap water directly into your filters.
If possible, add some media like matrix or biohome to your filter to give more area for the beneficial bacteria to home. Good luck and share pictures once done!
How this helps
Thank you. I know a bit about the cycling process, just not how long it would take. I was just curious when I'd see something happening. Just the smallest change. I think I have some safe start somewhere. And yes I'm doing a fishless cycle. Thanks for your response
 

TexasGuppy

Member
I used seachem stability on my new 54g tank and didn't see any changes for 2 weeks... I stole a few pieces of media from my existing 10 gallon tank and immediately saw some nitrites the next morning.. It still took 2 more weeks to fully cycle. It just takes awhile...
 
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Emuhlee

Member
TexasGuppy said:
I used seachem stability on my new 54g tank and didn't see any changes for 2 weeks... I stole a few pieces of media from my existing 10 gallon tank and immediately saw some nitrites the next morning.. It still took 2 more weeks to fully cycle. It just takes awhile...
I wish I had some media to help cycle. my local fish store says they never change theirs out, rip. i'm so impatient. I'm ready for it to be done already
 

Ms rose

Member
You can go to hardware store and buy grilling lava rock, it's small red rock that's great used as bio media. And be sure to add an ammonia source to the water such as pure ammonia or fish food or even a hardy fish with most won't recommend
 

TexasGuppy

Member
Drop in a little bit of fish food (assuming your using pure ammonia already)... the phosphates can help it a little as well.
 

Ms rose

Member
Also clean the lava rock well with declorinate water before placing into filter
 
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Emuhlee

Member
Ms rose said:
Also clean the lava rock well with declorinate water before placing into filter
okay, I'll have to check for that!

TexasGuppy said:
Drop in a little bit of fish food (assuming your using pure ammonia already)... the phosphates can help it a little as well.
i'm using fish food. not pure ammonia.
 

DarkOne

Member
Your ammonia is stalling your cycle. do a 50% water change to get ammonia down to 4ppm. Anything over 5ppm will stall. Your other parameters are fine.
 
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Emuhlee

Member
DarkOne said:
Your ammonia is stalling your cycle. do a 50% water change to get ammonia down to 4ppm. Anything over 5ppm will stall. Your other parameters are fine.
Oof, thanks. I didn't think that was a problem...
 

Ulu

Member
Ditto on the high ammonia count.

You can't really over feed the bacteria to speed bacterial growth: you just kill them off with ammonia.

All this bacteria-in-a-bottle stuff you buy at the store is live, but it's not the same bacteria that your tank needs to grow on its own.

And it's not a linear process.

Nothing much seems to happen for a long time and all of a sudden bb really blooms.
 
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Emuhlee

Member
Ulu said:
Ditto on the high ammonia count.

You can't really over feed the bacteria to speed bacterial growth: you just kill them off with ammonia.

All this bacteria-in-a-bottle stuff you buy at the store is live, but it's not the same bacteria that your tank needs to grow on its own.

And it's not a linear process.

Nothing much seems to happen for a long time and all of a sudden bb really blooms.
I changed my water and have it down to about 3 or 4 ppm. So things should be good now right? I just wait?
 

TexasGuppy

Member
All your parameters look good for BB growth. I'm assuming this is a fishless cycle. Add a small pinch of fish food, the phosphates will also help it grow as well.
 
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Emuhlee

Member
TexasGuppy said:
All your parameters look good for BB growth. I'm assuming this is a fishless cycle. Add a small pinch of fish food, the phosphates will also help it grow as well.
Yes fishless.
 
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Emuhlee

Member
TexasGuppy said:
All your parameters look good for BB growth. I'm assuming this is a fishless cycle. Add a small pinch of fish food, the phosphates will also help it grow as well.
Now it's at 0 ammonia and 5 to 8 nitrite. Is this good?
 

TexasGuppy

Member
You'll want a little water change to keep nitrites down to 5 or lower. You also need to dose ammonia back to 2ppm each time it hits zero. They need food or they'll die off.
 
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Emuhlee

Member
TexasGuppy said:
You'll want a little water change to keep nitrites down to 5 or lower. You also need to dose ammonia back to 2ppm each time it hits zero. They need food or they'll die off.
I put food in a sock and put it in the tank, will that work? and will do a water change when I get back up. Running fever right now, not up to carrying buckets back and forth atm.
 

Ulu

Member
Just a little pinch of fish food each day or about the same amount that you would feed if you just had small stock in the tank.

Too much and you will make it stink, because objectionable bacteria will grow as well.
 

TexasGuppy

Member
Don't change too much, you want to keep nitrites up a little... Once you add ammonia, it will creep up again. Yes, the sock should be fine but unnecessary for just a pinch.
 
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