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Old 03-20-2005, 05:11 PM   #1
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Need help... 15 days, and tank still not cycling

Hi, folks...

I had a well-established tank, but with an undergravel filter which (after two years) was totally clogged up with mud. I was having a pretty bad nitrate problem that water changes just wouldn't dilute. I was getting mold and fungus over a lot of areas in the tank. My fish population had slowly dwindled to a handfull of fish (detailed below). I figured it's as good a time as any to tear it down and start over.

So, I netted the fish out into my quarantine tank, and cleaned it up. New everything.

Put the fish in, and started watching for my first cycle.

7 days go by... nothing but ammonia.

10 days... ammonia.

13 days... ammonia.

Here I am, 15 days later, and not a trace of nitrite. I've done two partial water changes in the 15 days (about 20% changes) to keep the ammonia levels below the dangerous levels, but no so much that I have no ammonia at all.

I have: 2 glass cats, 2 upside down cats, 1 emerald cat, 1 neon tetra, 1 albino tiger barb, 1 hatchet tetra (yes... I know all three of these are schooling fish.. they are the only remaining ones from their original schools... I intend on adding mates, but only after the tank has cycled).

I'm using a Marineland Penguin 350 filter (dual bio-wheels). pH is about 6.7, I can't recall hardness at the moment, but it I remember it was in the 'moderate' range, ammonia is 3.5 if I recall correctly, 0 nitrite, 0 nitrate, 77 degree temperature.

I've added substrate from a well-established aquarium of friend (gravel with a bit of muck in a Whisper filter bag, slid into my Penguin)... I've tried NutraFin Cycle (I know... many people say it doesn't work... but, I'm desperate).

The first time I set this tank up, it took about 10 days to fully cycle.

What's up with it this time?
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Old 03-20-2005, 05:16 PM   #2
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Has your ph been changing much? Some people had their cycle stall because of ph i t hink. Do you have a filter in your quarantine tank? is the qt tank cycled? if so then put your qt filter in you main tank, it might help.
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Old 03-20-2005, 05:21 PM   #3
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well...im on the 15th day of my cycle as well...i have a 5gal tank with 2 platies...the first 10 days i had 0.25pp. ammonia (i started with that since my tap water has chloramine) and just 5 days ago my ammonia went up to 0.50ppm...and its been like that since then...0 nitrites and nitrates...i guess it takes about 4 to 6 weeks to fully cycle the tank...
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Old 03-20-2005, 05:25 PM   #4
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Maybe some beneficial bacteria in a bottle, bio spira?
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Old 03-20-2005, 08:32 PM   #5
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Well I'm in the process of re-cycling a tank after having my biofilter wiped out by an antibiotic. THis is in a 29 gal tank with seven zebra danios (~ 1.5" ea) and 6 cory cats (~ 1.5-2" ea.)--so relatively heavily stocked by cycling standards. I have been keeping daily records, and here is what I have seen so far. I began counting day #1 two days after the last dose of antibiotic, with 50% water changes each of those two days and the re-addition of activated carbon to my filter.

* 10-11 days before I began showing any signs of ammonia.
* additional 18 days after that before I saw the first signs of nitrite
* I'm now in day 9 of my nitrite spike, showing some nitrates but still very high nitrite levels

So for me, I am 37 days in and the cycle is not yet complete. And that's in a 29 gal tank that is at well over half of its maximum stocking level.
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Old 03-21-2005, 06:55 AM   #6
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here are my numbers...

day 1 to 10
ph= 7.6
ammonia= 0.25ppm
nitrites&nitrates= 0ppm

day 11 to day 15
ph= 7.6
ammonia= 0.50ppm
nitrites&nitrates= 0ppm

day 16 (today)
ph=7.6
ammonia= 0.50ppm
nitrites= 0.25ppm
nitrates= 0ppm

i havent changed any water since i started because my values are not critical....2 platies in 5 gal....and the temperature has always been around 74F...
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Old 03-21-2005, 11:17 AM   #7
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Well, either your test kits are old and aren't reading accurately....or some of your bacteria survived the big cleaning. Have you tested nitrates since you started the cycle. If you have nitrates again, then you probably didn't have a new cycle to deal with.
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