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Old 03-15-2019, 11:12 AM   #1
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Fishless cycle - No Nitrites after 14 days?

I have a 40 gallon breeder that I am trying to do a fishless cycle with. All decorations and substrate is in, filter is up high (Aquaclear HOB 70) and I have an air pump on and no light. Temp is set to 86. Up until early this week I was putting in 2 caps of stability daily. I can't seem to get any nitrites, even with ammonia dropping. Is this normal?


Feb 11th: Filled tank and added some food.



Feb 13th: Very cloudy.



Feb 24th:
I added some ammonia from true value to bring the levels up to 3-4ppm according to the API master kit test.



Feb 28th:

Ammonia still at 3-4, pH is 7.6. Nitrites at 0.



March 4th:

I saw a slight dip in Ammonia to around 2ppm, GH was at 6, Alkalinity at 3 and pH still at 7.6. I added a small amount ammonia as well as alkaline buffer and some equilibrium. Nitrites at 0.


March 8th:
Ammonia at or just under 2ppm and alkalinity up to 6 and GH at 8. Nitrites at 0.


March 12th:

Ammonia still at or slightly under 2ppm, no nitrites or nitrates.


March 14th:
Ammonia seems to be around 1ppm, no nitrites or nitrates.


Do I need to just wait this out longer? Wasn't sure if I should do a water change or add something else? The water is still just as cloudy as it was 2 days after filling it.
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Old 03-15-2019, 07:41 PM   #2
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Add more ammonia to 4 ppm. Wait it out longer.
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Old 04-04-2019, 12:36 PM   #3
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I was able to get an old filter pad from someone and what a difference once I put that in my filter. Within 2 days, I had a nitrite spike and ammonia dropped and the tank was crystal clear. Also seeing the nitrates increase quite a bit.



I think I'm close because now the Ammonia levels are dropping almost overnight. I have been adding Ammonia to keep the ammonia levels up around 3-4 and it seems to be turning to Nitrites within 12-15 hours. Nitrates are also a deep orange color on the test kit.



Going to let the Ammonia and Nitrites drop down, then add in some more ammonia to see if both drop within 24 hours, then I'll do the water change.
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Old 04-04-2019, 01:57 PM   #4
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Sounds like you will be cycled and ready to go now.
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Old 04-07-2019, 10:31 AM   #5
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Tank seems cycled now. Ammonia and nitrites are at 0 after 24 hours. Nitrates were above 40 so I did a 60-70% water change. Now they are around 20 so might do 1 more change to lower it before adding fish.

When should I remove the filter pad that I put in for seed material?
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Old 04-07-2019, 11:26 AM   #6
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Hello, if old pad is not impeding the flow then I would leave it. If you plan on using store bought pads then you may want to use a couple of plastic pot scrubbers(pak of 4=1$)to hold bacteria so when you finally do have to clean or change out your floss pads no worries about losing cycle.
I usually just rince floss cartridge out in tank water & reuse them till they fall apart. I'm still using ones I stocked up on 1.5yrs ago. Here's some pics of how I have a tetra whisper 30-60 set up(took cartridge off mounts to hold more). Hope this helps!Click image for larger version

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Old 04-07-2019, 06:22 PM   #7
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Thanks! Water flow is fine so I'll leave it alone as I don't want to mess up the cycle. The pot scrubbers look like a great idea. My filter is a little different (aquaclear 70) but I might be able to squeeze 1 in there.
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