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Old 07-02-2003, 09:47 PM   #1
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72g + 22 fish + 13! weeks=no cycle?

I added 12 zebra danios to my 72g tank on April 26th. About 4 weeks in, ammonia was at .25ppm, NO2 was at .2, and NO3 at 0. I added the driftwood I had been soaking and boiling to the tank, and NO2 dropped to zero without reaching any higher. Now here I am, 10 weeks in, with the same 0.25ppm and zeroes for both nitrIte and nitrAte. 10 weeks should be more than enough to finish the cycle, let alone see nitrIte...

Being patient is one thing, but how would 12 well fed fish not be producing more ammonia? Not for weeks!

Other considerations:
-I bought the red sea master test kit right before adding fish. I bought the marine kit by mistake, but the tests should be the same
-I have brown algae(not surprising)
-I have not disturbed the eheim 2026 at all
-I added the driftwood

I don't see how any of those would affect ammonia production though. My next step will probably be buying a new test kit either way.

Any ideas on what's wrong so far, or better yet, what I can do about it? Thanks.


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Old 07-03-2003, 08:24 AM   #2
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I don't think it is a matter of your fish or food not breaking down into ammonia. I simply think it is more of a matter the bacteria responsible for breaking down nitrite into nitrate are extremely slow. One of my tanks is into its 8th week of cycling and my nitrites are still above 10 ppm. I decided to go ahead and buy some of the Marineland Bio-Spria (bacteria in a bottle). It's been about 15 hours or so and I haven't seen any improvement yet.

It's a mystery as why some tanks cycle faster than others. I feel your pain as I am in the same boat. I guess I will keep waiting it out to see what happens.

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Old 07-03-2003, 07:31 PM   #3
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I hear you loud and clear!

I'm fed up with my own tank. I have a 10 gallon and it hasnt cycled yet. My levels used to be sky high, but Ive brought them way down. I still have a ton of ammonia, little Nitrate and more nitrite. I've been trying everything and anything. At this point, I'd sell my soul if I have to. The key is water changes. I do them every three days. It's helping a little, and I am noticing a difference. My biowheel is starting to look a little dirty

So while I can't offer any advice, I'd like to say:

Keep trying. You'll get it right!

Good luck.
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Old 07-03-2003, 07:59 PM   #4
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As long as the fish are ok just continue being patient, the whole idea is to have them survive and eventually you will be able to add more fish, but you do need to wait for the benefitial bacteria to control the ammonia and nitrite.

My tank is coming up to the 7th week of the cycle and I too have had some strange readings (to me anyway)but I am pleased that my fish are doing fine. I am a very impatient person but I want to do things the right way for this tank.

Hang in there Todd.
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Old 07-04-2003, 10:53 AM   #5
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I guess I'm confused then. I'm not even at the point yet of worrying when the bacteria will develop. Of course nitrate and nitrite aren't there. I'm not even getting ammonia! The bacteria would have no reason even to start. That's what's getting at me. There have been a dozen fish in here for 10 weeks that should have been producing ammonia. I know its not getting converted, so where is it??

If I barely have ammonia and no bacteria has developed at all, I really haven't even BEGUN the cycle...
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Old 07-05-2003, 07:32 PM   #6
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Have you got any old media in your filter? If you do, it is not unusual to have no ammonia considering it is a large tank. Are you sure the test kits are working properly? IF you are really desperate to finish the cycle quicker, add ammonia hydroxide in...its ammonia mixed in water...this should speed up things but it might be dangerous to the fish so use sparingly!
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Old 07-22-2003, 08:26 PM   #7
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Yes, I have added gravel from an existing tank before week 1, and again at week 10.

It is now three weeks since I originally posted this, and my readings have not changed. Very little ammonia, 0 nitrites, 0 nitrates.

Two weeks ago I added 4 cories and 6 red phantom tetras to the tank, and prepared for the ammonia spike. I also added 1 bunch of purple cabomba, one melon sword, and one inidentified reddish leaved plant just to ease my frustration. I understand that the plants will remove some of the ammonia, but not enough to prevent the inevitable spike.

Nothing. No changes in any reading for two weeks since new fish were added, and now 9 weeks since the initial 0.25, 0, 0 reading. There is now 20+ inches of fish. I have now used three ammonia tests and all read 0.25ppm. Now I am ready to question the zero in nitrAte, thinking maybe the tank is cycled and I'm going nuts over nothing. But why would there still be some ammonia if that was the case...

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Old 07-22-2003, 09:52 PM   #8
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There is an off chance the ammonia is coming from your tap water (its happened before). Have you tested it to see what it reads?

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72g, cycle

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