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Old 07-04-2011, 08:37 PM   #1
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Unhappy Day 4 Fishless Cycle... no change... normal?

I checked the ammonia this morning and no change. I went out and bought an air pump so I could make bubbles and it knocked some scum or something off the top of the water and eventually my filter grabbed it.

Checked the ammonia again and still no change.

I am starting from NADA. I don't have any seed material so i am waiting for stuff to grow from the air.

I was really tempted to by some Stable but I resisted. Frankly because I saw some Tetra stuff that was twice as much and "patented." I got confused so got neither.

Is this par for the course or should something be happening by day four?
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Old 07-04-2011, 11:29 PM   #2
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It can take a few weeks to see something .... esp. in a cold water tank.

You can speed things up a bit by turning the temp up (to ~80), but the fastest is to seed with something. <Sometimes in a very clean tank, it takes forever to get the spores from the air.>

If you don't have a tank to seed from, you can get a bit of muck from a pond. Some people have use a little pinch of clean garden soil (no pesticide/herbicide ... preferably pure organic). You can also seed with some cheap plant from the lfs - as long as the plant comes from a tank with fish.

<By garden soil, I mean soil from a growing garden .... potting soil etc. in bags won't work.>

I think that seeding with dirt is better than those bacteria in a bottle. Most people have no luck with them - prob because the bacteria are dead from storage.... I would save my money...
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Old 07-05-2011, 12:49 AM   #3
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Thanks for the feedback. I hope that something starts happening soon!
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Old 07-05-2011, 01:47 AM   #4
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You do have an ammonia source right?
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Old 07-05-2011, 02:11 AM   #5
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it definitely takes weeks to start seeing some conversion if you aren't adding bacteria. There are a few products that do have decent success rates, but most of them are snake oil.
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Old 07-05-2011, 02:13 AM   #6
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That's kinda weird....you just drop in ammonia and bacteria appears out of nowhere. Magic
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Old 07-05-2011, 07:32 AM   #7
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it definitely takes weeks to start seeing some conversion if you aren't adding bacteria. There are a few products that do have decent success rates, but most of them are snake oil.
That's what I understand too... I have no idea which ones work so I haven't bought anything. I use Seachem products so I am inclined to trust their Stable but who knows.
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Old 07-05-2011, 07:35 AM   #8
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Give it some time, it will get going. You could buy a submerged piece of wood or decoration from the store. Just keep it wet and stick it in the tank. It will give you some seeding.
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Old 07-05-2011, 11:13 AM   #9
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I started from scratch for my big tank. yes, it takes time. And is really slow. Did you read the cycling guide? Mine followed what it said to do. I used this one Fishless Cycling For Dummies and this one The (almost) Complete Guide and FAQ to Fishless Cycling

The first one gives a breakdown of what should happen when. And my tank did like it said. good luck
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Old 07-05-2011, 03:58 PM   #10
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That's what I understand too... I have no idea which ones work so I haven't bought anything. I use Seachem products so I am inclined to trust their Stable but who knows.
I've had very dubious results with seachem's stability product. There's a lot of clever wording and marketing behind that product, but some of the things that give it away as a snake oil product is that it has an indefinite shelf life, and that whole 'synergistic blend' nonsense, which just screams that even if it does give you some of the right bacteria, it's also giving you lots of the wrong kind as well.

I've tested several of the major brands, but not all of them. I have some (keyword: some) confidence in tetra safestart and angelsplus active sponge filter. I believe Dr Tim's will work also, but i have no experience testing it. I believe it works because he's the same person that originally put biospira (and later safestart) on the market, so his science is right.

Even when using these, I prefer using a very light stocking. In the event that it doesn't work, at least a light stocking will make the toxin levels in the tank much more manageable.

Out of those options, I prefer the active sponge filter because whether it works or not, after you are done using these products, all you have to show for it is an empty bottle. With the sponge filter, you have a sponge filter to use on a spare tank or to keep running so you can throw together a quick QT/hospital tank.
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