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Old 02-17-2018, 04:49 AM   #1
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2nd cycle

I have a 29 gallon tank with a 700 Cascade filter. The tank was originally cycled 3 years ago and has been maintained since. I chose to go from tropical to cold water. I removed the fish and gave them to a friend. I threw everything else out except the Cascade 700 which I rinsed in cold water from the sink. ( We have well water with a tap pH of 6 and no chlorine added). And also kept the 29 gallon tank. I added pool filter sand as a substrate and 5 plants ( 3 anubias and 2 Java ferns). My initial water test (API Freshwater Master Test Kit) after filling was pH off of the low scale side, ammonia and nitrite at 0 and nitrate at 5 ppm. Our well water here is very acidic as it is a shallow well with pine trees all around. I started a fishless cycle by adding ammonia at the rate of 4 ppm. On average, how long have you guys experienced the secondary cycle last? I remember at the beginning 3 years ago my initial cycle was 34 days. This time around I am seeing the nitrates immediately, but at a small rate.
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Old 02-17-2018, 10:27 PM   #2
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If your filter didn't dry out and you have kept it fed the cycle should be immediate. Maybe a week at most. But your pH being so low may slow it way down or stop it. Maybe a small bag of crushed coral in your filter would help bring it up?
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Old 02-18-2018, 09:43 PM   #3
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It did dry out for the most part. I had it sitting on the counter as I cleaned the aquarium and moved everything upstairs. I went ahead and dosed it with ammonia and also added a bag of crushed coral to the top tray in the filter. I also bumped the heat up to 85 degrees. Thanks for the input.

It is definitely a patience game. I have stopped testing daily for everything and am only watching the ammonia right now. I check the other items every 3 days or so until the ammonia starts dropping.
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Old 02-18-2018, 09:55 PM   #4
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If the sponge and media did not dry out for a week or more I will bet you re cycle in under 7 days. Bacteria dies very slowly. First the weakest [unneeded ]die and the strongest begin to " hibernate ". IMO hibernation can last months in the right condition.
I think you are still in good shape...
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Old 02-18-2018, 10:24 PM   #5
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If the sponge and media did not dry out for a week or more I will bet you re cycle in under 7 days. Bacteria dies very slowly. First the weakest [unneeded ]die and the strongest begin to " hibernate ". IMO hibernation can last months in the right condition.
I think you are still in good shape...
That is good to hear. Maybe I'll check my nitrates tomorrow.

Thanks for the input.
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Old 02-19-2018, 04:50 PM   #6
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It is finally starting to move a little. I tested today and the ammonia that I dosed is still at 4ppm, however, the Nitrates have come up to .25 ppm from 0 and the nitrates moved from 5pm to 20 ppm. The PH is 7.6 at the moment, but I think it is fairly inaccurate due to the amount of ammonia in the tank.
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Old 02-19-2018, 07:27 PM   #7
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That is awesome! Thanks for the info Coral! I always thought once it dried it was done for!
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Old 02-20-2018, 04:59 AM   #8
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That is awesome! Thanks for the info Coral! I always thought once it dried it was done for!
I read an article on potassium permanganate and the author/user took his bio media out and lay it on his basement floor overnight for 24 hours on the regular without issue. He was "a rocket scientist" so I kind of trust his info.. I also corresponded for a short time with a person who was a scientist who specifically dealt with bacteria for a living.. They mentioned the die off and hibernation...
I myself have plenty of used media hanging around and have found older ,non cleaned before storing would cycle rather quickly..
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Old 02-25-2018, 09:19 PM   #9
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The crushed coral has definitely held the PH steady. I have a strange cycle going on. My ammonia stays around 2ppm and does not drop. I have 0 nitrites and 20ppm nitrates. Is this a normal thing?
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