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Old 12-03-2013, 05:51 PM   #1
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Cycle issues

I am 2 weeks into my fish in cycle and have some questions. My ammonia level is starting to spike, tested about 2 hrs ago and got between 2&3.
I did a 50% WC and rested in about an hour and Ammonia was reading 1.
Tested tap water and was getting .25 ammonia.
I did back to back 50 % change last night because of the same issue and never got below 1 ppm.
Do I need to add something to help drop the ammonia?
After the WC the nitrites came down to .25, nitrates around 30.
Help
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Old 12-03-2013, 06:04 PM   #2
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I am 2 weeks into my fish in cycle and have some questions. My ammonia level is starting to spike, tested about 2 hrs ago and got between 2&3.
I did a 50% WC and rested in about an hour and Ammonia was reading 1.
Tested tap water and was getting .25 ammonia.
I did back to back 50 % change last night because of the same issue and never got below 1 ppm.
Do I need to add something to help drop the ammonia?
After the WC the nitrites came down to .25, nitrates around 30.
Help
Have you added any of the bottled bacteria cultures? A lot of people don't rate these, but I have had a lot of success.

The best ones I have found are Hagen Cycle and JBL Denitrol... just depends where you live. Cycle is probably the most available if you are in USA

You have done right in performing water changes as you dilute the problem straight away. Adding the bacteria will help. I would add bacteria, then do 10% water changes per day for around 5 days, adding a half dose of bacteria after each change. I have found this method very successful in the past.

Hope it helps
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Old 12-03-2013, 06:16 PM   #3
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I did add SeaChem tank stabilizer for about a week but I really don't think it did much.
Fish seem to be ok but I'm basically changing the whole tank everyday, seems a bit much!
What about Prime?
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Old 12-03-2013, 06:24 PM   #4
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I did add SeaChem tank stabilizer for about a week but I really don't think it did much.
Fish seem to be ok but I'm basically changing the whole tank everyday, seems a bit much!
What about Prime?
Hi
Sorry, but I am not familiar with prime. I take it you are in the states?

If prime is a bacteria culture, then yes give it a try.

Fish are tougher than we think sometimes and generally, ammonia tested by most home kits is NH4 or total ammonia. The toxicity depends on pH and temperature. If your fish are doing ok, then it can't be as bad as it may look.

Such large water changes shouldn't be necessary.

Give us a short breakdown of how long, how many fish, etc. More info is always good in case there is something that may be inhibiting the cycle.
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Old 12-03-2013, 06:32 PM   #5
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Hi
Sorry, but I am not familiar with prime. I take it you are in the states?

If prime is a bacteria culture, then yes give it a try.

Fish are tougher than we think sometimes and generally, ammonia tested by most home kits is NH4 or total ammonia. The toxicity depends on pH and temperature. If your fish are doing ok, then it can't be as bad as it may look.

Such large water changes shouldn't be necessary.

Give us a short breakdown of how long, how many fish, etc. More info is always good in case there is something that may be inhibiting the cycle.
Seachem Prime removes chlorine, chloramine. It detoxifies ammonia, nitrite, and nirate. (I believe just temporarily, however)
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Old 12-03-2013, 06:35 PM   #6
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So what do I need to do? Obviously the WC aren't enough.
Tank is 29 gal biocube
I have an in tank filter tower in the back
Stage 1 is filter floss, stage 2 is purigen 100ml and stage 3 is Chemipure.
Currently I have 5 white clouds in my tank, no plants.
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Old 12-03-2013, 06:47 PM   #7
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Sorry, just read your original post... 2 weeks in!

White clouds will give off tiny amounts of ammonia, but until there are enough bacteria in the filter, this will accumulate. I would definitely add some bacteria culture.... ask at you LFS and get Hagen 'Cycle' if possible.

As I said, I would do smaller regular changes of 10% and add the bacteria as per the instruction on the bottle. Also, be careful with feeding. Small amounts regularly is better than one or two feeds per day and will help prevent fluctuations in the ammonia.

White clouds are tough little cookies, but keep your eye on them for signs of stress.
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Old 12-03-2013, 06:50 PM   #8
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Read the article on fish in cycling. Here is the link Fish-in Cycling: Step over into the dark side - Aquarium Advice It has just about the best advice I have found. Prime will detoxify the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate but allow the test to pick it up. It will help protect the fish some. Water changes will not hurt your cycle and are necessary since you have fish in the tank. Check your PH. During cycling the PH will suddenly fall and the lower it gets the bacteria begin to die. You need to keep the PH up to at least 7. The above linked article will tell you what to do if it falls. If the PH gets to 6 all your bacteria dies. Are you using a liquid test kit like API Master test kit?
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Old 12-03-2013, 07:06 PM   #9
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PH has been steady 7.4-7.6 I have the API master kit and use it daily!
My concern is there's something in the tank causing the ammonia to remain high even after back to back 50% WCs.
This is so frustrating, I get different advice from everyone I ask!!
I use purigen, chemipure and filter floss, is this wrong?? I was told this was a great setup but now I'm told to ditch the chemipure and add bio balls??
Again this is a 29g biocube, 5 white clouds, no plants, temp 75, ph steady 7.4-7.6
Last test tonight after 50% WC was;
Ph 7.6
Ammonia 1
NitrItes .25
Nitrate 30
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Old 12-03-2013, 08:13 PM   #10
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The Purigen an Chemipure are not really needed. The first one does basically what charcoal and filter media do, remove particles, the second one is charcoal and isn't really needed unless you need to remove medicines or other water additives. What type of filter do you have? You need something for the bacteria to grow on. All filters usually come with something like beads or filter that is supposed to provide a place for bacteria. You could remove the Purigen and Chemipure and put in some type of bio media for the beneficial bacteria. Your filter floss will provide some surface area but adding another would be a good idea. Your tank is just starting to cycle. It takes a month or longer without seeded material for a tank to fully cycle. Until the bacteria has grown enough to deal with it, the ammonia keeps building as the fish poo and pee and that rots. Left over food will also cause ammonia problems. In the cycle, first the ammonia rises high, then the nitrites will get really high, and then the nitrates will go sky high. You tank is cycled when all of these things has happened and you get a zero reading on ammonia and nitrite and at least a 5 on the nitrate. This takes a while to occur. I would recommend getting some bio media, using Prime per the directions on the bottle, testing water daily and doing water changes when the ammonia is .50 or higher. Change if any nitrites show up. However you will not be able to get rid of all the nitrite until the tank is fully cycled. The Prime will help protect your fish until then. Keep an eye on your PH. About 3-4 weeks in your Ph will start to fall. When it gets to 6.6 or lower you need to add a little baking soda to get it back up to at least 7. You can add Limestone, cuttlefish bone, eggshells, or crushed coral to the tank to help keep the PH stable. Patience is needed when cycling your first tank. After that you can just get filter media from your old tank and almost instantly cycle the next one.
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Old 12-04-2013, 08:27 AM   #11
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So if I add a bio filter (fluval bio max) will my cycle start all over again?
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Old 12-04-2013, 04:50 PM   #12
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If you keep the filter floss from the other filter and use it with the biomax your cycle will not be hurt. You could greatly speed up your cycling by getting a little bit of filter media from a cycled tank. Maybe from a fish store if their stock is healthy. Just keep testing your water and doing a water change when the ammonia gets to .50 ppm if you are using the Prime. If you are using any other water conditioner I would change it at .25 ppm. You need to leave a little for the bacteria to eat and grow but you do not want your fish to suffer. If nitrites are present you will have to do a water change because it is more deadly than ammonia. Just keep doing that and your tank will cycle in about 30 days.
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Old 12-06-2013, 02:48 PM   #13
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Here is new filter setup
Stage 1 filter floss
Stage 2 purigen
Stage 3 fluval bio filter

Does this look ok?

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Old 12-09-2013, 03:52 PM   #14
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Anyone???
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Old 12-09-2013, 04:55 PM   #15
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As far as I can see, the way you have it now should work great. I am more familiar with HOB filters though. I just bought my first canister filter a month ago and I am using filter floss on one side and bio media on the other. The holidays have slowed down replies but hopefully a more experienced canister filter user will answer you. How is your cycling doing now?
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Old 12-09-2013, 05:01 PM   #16
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Cycle is still real slow going, almost looks like it started all over again.
I added some bottle bacteria ( special blend) to help speed it up but seems to be taking forever.
I treat with Prime every WC, which has been daily lately. I'm concerned that the 50% is too much and I'm taking away from the BB which is slowing everything down.
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Old 12-10-2013, 12:58 AM   #17
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Water changes will not get rid of the BB. It does not live in the water. It grows on your filter material, substrate, decorations, and such. Big water changes are not necessary until the end of the cycle if you do not have fish to worry about. It does help keep the PH from fallng though. Turning up the temperature and adding an air stone can help. The BB likes lots of oxygen. That is why it colonizes the filter. Lots of constantly moving water means more oxygen for it to use.
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Old 12-10-2013, 01:06 PM   #18
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Here is new filter setup Stage 1 filter floss Stage 2 purigen Stage 3 fluval bio filter Does this look ok?
I always make sure that the chemical filtration is the last stage the water goes through. This way the ammonia and nitrites the BB feed on aren't accidentally being removed or altered before the water hits the bio media.
May just be my own paranoia though. I tend to overthink things sometimes.
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Old 12-10-2013, 03:45 PM   #19
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I have heard that it doesn't matter. But then again I've heard 100 different ways to do a cycle too since I've been on here so I'm going with what I got!
I don't think it will effect the bio filter at all being before it but who knows.
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Old 12-16-2013, 03:06 PM   #20
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Ok I've had 0 NitrItes for over a week, 20-40 NitrAtes but still getting between .25-1.0 ammonia. I'm over a month into fish in cycle, why won't ammonia go away. I think my bio filter is good by looking at the other numbers!!!
I have been doing 50% WCs every day for the last few weeks.
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