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Old 06-14-2013, 09:21 AM   #1
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Still not cycled!

I started my 20 gallon long on 2/27/13. Dosed with ammonia to 4 ppm. Noticred ammonia level dropping and redosed had thought it was cycled when I added some fish, about 4 weeks later, now I know the error in my ways, I was too impatient.

Initially my tank hovered around 1-2 ppm ammonia and I would do almost daily water changes.

I purchased a seeded sponge filter from angelsplus.com and it dropped the ammonia to 0.5 now it seems like its stuck at 0.25-0.5 with all tests.

Since 2/27 I have only lost 1 Cory cat from my stock, the water is clear but I still get an ammonia reading, I have NEVER had any nitrites reading since starting my tank. Nitrates are 10. My tap has 0 ammonia and I dose with Prime.

How can I get the ammonia to zero and keep it there?
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Old 06-14-2013, 03:49 PM   #2
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Any insight from the experts?
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:50 PM   #3
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I don't do fishLESS cycling. I would just get a hardy fish like danio or platy, and go from there.
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Old 06-14-2013, 11:39 PM   #4
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Ok, aside from losing one Cory, what is your present stock? How often/what type of foods do you feed? What type of media in your filter? Substrate? Any decor? Ph/kh/gh?

Just so I am clear, you did a partial fishless cycle for month or so then added fish. Did you ever see increases in nitrite/nitrate during the time fishless? Exactly how long have you had fish now?

I know it's a lot of questions but we need to know the specifics and background to figure what is going on here!
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Old 06-15-2013, 07:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlk View Post
Ok, aside from losing one Cory, what is your present stock? How often/what type of foods do you feed? What type of media in your filter? Substrate? Any decor? Ph/kh/gh?

Just so I am clear, you did a partial fishless cycle for month or so then added fish. Did you ever see increases in nitrite/nitrate during the time fishless? Exactly how long have you had fish now?

I know it's a lot of questions but we need to know the specifics and background to figure what is going on here!
Yes I guess I did a partial fishless cycle.
I have 1 dg, 2 kuhli loach. 2cory cat, 6 zebra danio, 6 glowlight tetra. So I'm basically fully stocked.
I feed flakes and pellets w the occasional bloodworms.
Fake plants decorations gravel substrate
Ph is high at 8.0 my tap is high.
I have yet to get nitrites, nitrates were maybe 5 when I was fishless.
I've had fish about 3 months. First added the danios then gradually added the others.
I guess I thought when I had 5 nitrates and 0 ammonia I was cycled but I think I added fish too soon, any recommendations?
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Old 06-15-2013, 09:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bix22 View Post

Yes I guess I did a partial fishless cycle.
I have 1 dg, 2 kuhli loach. 2cory cat, 6 zebra danio, 6 glowlight tetra. So I'm basically fully stocked.
I feed flakes and pellets w the occasional bloodworms.
Fake plants decorations gravel substrate
Ph is high at 8.0 my tap is high.
I have yet to get nitrites, nitrates were maybe 5 when I was fishless.
I've had fish about 3 months. First added the danios then gradually added the others.
I guess I thought when I had 5 nitrates and 0 ammonia I was cycled but I think I added fish too soon, any recommendations?
At this point I would continue doing PWC to keep the levels down. What kind of filter are you using? How are you cleaning the media?

I think what Jlk was asking was if during the fishless cycle did you dose the ammonia once or did you do it several times. The repeated dosing will allow the bacteria to be constantly fed. I did a fishless cycle in 6 days (I ran the filter in an existing tank for 9 days and transferred some of the old media as well). I chose fishless because it was going to be a shrimp tank and I wanted the crank up the ammonia to 4ppm.
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Old 06-15-2013, 11:00 AM   #7
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Sorry, some additional questions:

Have you tested your tap water for nitrate? If not, do so, that way you'll see if any of the nitrates are coming from your tap water. IF not then that's good (it means at least some of the ammonia is being converted to nitrite and then nitrate). You already tested for ammonia so since there's no ammonia in your tap then it's coming from the tank.

If you never saw nitrites when fishless cycling then you probably did add fish too soon. You may not see nitrites at all now depending on how much bacteria and what kind the angels plus filter had on it, so I wouldn't worry about that yet.

Are you vacuuming the bottom regularly as well? If not waste and food can buildup and decay and can cause toxin spikes as well, particularly in new tanks.

Clear water isn't an indication of toxins in the water; you can have clear water and high ammonia, etc. The two don't necessarily go together.

What test kit are you using? Liquid or strips?

How often are you doing water changes and what size changes are you doing? If ammonia is .5 for example and you do a 10% water change, it won't affect levels much. Try doing 50% water changes when ammonia is .25 or over, that should bring the levels down until the tank can balance itself out.

What filter do you have on the tank and what media is inside? Have you changed anything in the filters at all?
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Old 06-15-2013, 11:39 AM   #8
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Sorry, some additional questions:

Have you tested your tap water for nitrate? If not, do so, that way you'll see if any of the nitrates are coming from your tap water. IF not then that's good (it means at least some of the ammonia is being converted to nitrite and then nitrate). You already tested for ammonia so since there's no ammonia in your tap then it's coming from the tank.

If you never saw nitrites when fishless cycling then you probably did add fish too soon. You may not see nitrites at all now depending on how much bacteria and what kind the angels plus filter had on it, so I wouldn't worry about that yet.

Are you vacuuming the bottom regularly as well? If not waste and food can buildup and decay and can cause toxin spikes as well, particularly in new tanks.

Clear water isn't an indication of toxins in the water; you can have clear water and high ammonia, etc. The two don't necessarily go together.

What test kit are you using? Liquid or strips?

How often are you doing water changes and what size changes are you doing? If ammonia is .5 for example and you do a 10% water change, it won't affect levels much. Try doing 50% water changes when ammonia is .25 or over, that should bring the levels down until the tank can balance itself out.

What filter do you have on the tank and what media is inside? Have you changed anything in the filters at all?
No nitrate in tap water
I do vacuum the bottom but my gravel is about 2 inches thick us that too much? I try to get the vacuum as far down as I can,
I use API master kit
I have done countless water changes usually 25% but sometimes 50-75% if ammonia is at 2.0
Since I put the seeded sponge in with airline it seems my ammonia is always 0.25-0.5 so it definitely helped but I am not fully cycled yet.
Filter is Aqueon quiet flow that came w the kit, I periodically swish the media in tank water during a change I haven't changed the cartridge
Thanks for your replies!
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Old 06-15-2013, 11:40 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Fresh2o View Post

At this point I would continue doing PWC to keep the levels down. What kind of filter are you using? How are you cleaning the media?

I think what Jlk was asking was if during the fishless cycle did you dose the ammonia once or did you do it several times. The repeated dosing will allow the bacteria to be constantly fed. I did a fishless cycle in 6 days (I ran the filter in an existing tank for 9 days and transferred some of the old media as well). I chose fishless because it was going to be a shrimp tank and I wanted the crank up the ammonia to 4ppm.
I dosed about 4 times w ammonia when the levels were 0 and nitrate 5 I added fish.
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Old 06-15-2013, 02:34 PM   #10
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I dosed about 4 times w ammonia when the levels were 0 and nitrate 5 I added fish.
I'm stumped. Everything you have done appears to be on point with possibly the exception of adding the fish a bit too soon. Good idea on checking the tap; I had chronic ammonia and nitrates in my tap last year (1.0 ppm / 10-20 ppm).
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