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Old 04-26-2012, 09:29 AM   #1
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Question PWC? Fishless cycle stalled

My other fish less cycle stalled so I want opinions as to what you would do here. I have been cycling a 75 gallon tank for 20 days or so. It has been moving along nicely.

Started chewing through ammonia pretty well 7 days ago. I dosed the ammonia back up to 4 the evening of the 24th after a 50% water change. It is now down to .5

I am torn between doing another PWC and dosing ammonia or just dosing ammonia.

Test Results for the 24th (before water change):
Ammonia 1
Nitrates and Nitrites off the chart
pH 7.2 (we are usually 8 or 8.2)

50% PWC and dosed Ammonia back up to 4

Today:
Ammonia .5
Nitrates 10
Nitrites off the charts
pH 7.6

the pH today is only .4 or .6 of a drop from our usual so I am tempted to leave it.

What should I do?
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:16 AM   #2
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How long have your nitrites been 5+? If its a week or less, dont worry about them yet. If your nitrates are very high as well, your nitrites are being converted but just not fast enough yet to see a drop. I would suggest doing a water change (if you have the time) to re-establish your buffer levels because your ph is dropping. Retest your amm, nitrite & nitrate after the wc and see where they are. Then skip the ammonia for today & lets see how things look tomorrow.
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:19 AM   #3
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Nitrites have been +5 for 6 days.

I will do a 50% water change later today and test.

Thanks!
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:36 AM   #4
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After a 50% water change and 24 hrs the water tests at:
7.4 - 7.6 pH (we are usually 8.0-8.2 so this seems lower than I want it)
Ammonia 0
Nitrites off the charts
Nitrates 80-90'ish

So I am thinking another water change and dose ammonia? Or am I waiting for the Nitrites to go away?

Thanks!
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:37 AM   #5
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After a 50% water change and 24 hrs the water tests at:
7.4 - 7.6 pH (we are usually 8.0-8.2 so this seems lower than I want it)
Ammonia 0
Nitrites off the charts
Nitrates 80-90'ish

So I am thinking another water change and dose ammonia? Or am I waiting for the Nitrites to go away?

Thanks!
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:40 AM   #6
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Do a big wc (90-100%) to drop your nitrites down to a readable level (2ppm or less) & bring your ph back up into normal range for tank. Then just add a low dose of amm (@2ppm) and we will see how things look in 24hrs.
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:15 AM   #7
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Ok will do this afternoon. Thanks again!!!
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:21 AM   #8
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Ph is still hanging around 7.4-7.6 (does the pool filter sand lower ph? other than fake plants there is nothing else in the tank. I am going to test the tap.)

Ammonia (after dosing with 2ppm) is 0
Nitrites +5
Nitrates 40

What now coach? I am not sure what I am concerned about at this point I would say dose to 3 ppm but the Nitrites and Nitrates are off the chart and the pH is still wonky)

Thanks so much for the help I feel like this tank will be cycled soon! If only I knew what to put into it!

Jana
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:39 AM   #9
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Pfs has actually raised my ph a bit when I switched my tanks over to it (not permanently) so I doubt its a factor here. Definitely set out some tap water with an airstone or bubbler overnight. If you dont have an extra, just give the water a good stir every so often to help release gasses. Let us know how this looks tommorrow & we will have a better idea of where your ph should be.

Ok, at only around a week into the nitrite phase, you just need a bit of patience. This phase typically lasts twice as long as the amm>nitrite phase and its def the hardest part to wait out! Skip the ammonia & lets see if your nitrites come down some by tomorrow. We may even skip it for a few days if they dont budge. Your amm>nitrite bacteria will be fine so dont worry! Your nitrates are not high yet & they really dont factor into the cycling process much other than determining that the nitrites are being converted. We want to see the nitrates steadily increasing. Keep us posted!
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Old 04-28-2012, 12:04 PM   #10
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In all of our other tanks it is testing at 8'ish. I can still set some water out over night and see.

This one is going at a more rapid rate than the 20 gallon upstairs (which eventually stalled) so pH dropping wouldn't be a surprise right?

I am glad that it will take a bit longer cause I still have no clue what I will put in it. BUT having a successful cycle is exciting and I have my fingers crossed (plus I want the red eye tetras out of my 28 gallon asap!).

I will lead it alone and see what it reads tomorrow. Thanks again!
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Old 04-29-2012, 01:05 PM   #11
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Crap forgot to take water out to test pH BUT this tanks ph is the same as another tank.

Well as of today the ammonia and Nitrites are 0! Woohoo! Nitrates are about 30. So the question is 4, 3, 2 or 1 ppm of ammonia added?

Or retest because I can't believe the nitrites are 0!?!?
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Old 04-29-2012, 01:44 PM   #12
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Thats great! Its what we wanted to see because it indicates your nitrites are being converted. For today, start with 1ppm dose of ammonia. If it zeroes in 24hrs, tommorrow add 2ppm. If it your numbers dont zero, just add 1ppm again tommorrow. We will gradually increase the dose to allow your nitrite>nitrate bacteria time to catch up. As they do, we can keep gradually increasing the amm until its at 4ppm without seeing crazy spikes in nitrites. If all goes well, this tank should be fully cycled soon! Just make sure you are watching your ph- as the doses increase & the amount of conversion increases, we need to make sure it stays stable to prevent any stalls.
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:01 PM   #13
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Accidentally went to 2 ppm ammonia but I checked last night and it was down to .25 or .5

This morning definitely .25 but nitrites are off the chart again :/. Will wait till the 24 hr mark and see.
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:12 PM   #14
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Ok! If the nitrites come down to under 1, dose another 2ppm. If they dont, skip it again tonight & you can go from tommorrows numbers.
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Old 04-30-2012, 07:20 PM   #15
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Nope. Ph is 7.2 still lower than usual
Ammonia is 0
Nitrites off the charts
nitrate between 80-160

Guess I'll leave it and check again tomorrow
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:35 AM   #16
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Yay! Nitrites and Ammonia are 0. Nitrates between 80 and 160. pH is 7.2
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:41 AM   #17
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Thats great! Ok, lets gradually work on increasing the amm again. Start again with 1ppm amm & hopefully there will be all zeroes in 24hrs. Then, the dose can go to 2pmm if theres zeroes. Keep us posted!
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:21 PM   #18
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Accidentally put in enough ammonia to dose to 2 but maybe not. That was 4-5 hrs ago and the ammonia is already .5 and the nitrites are 2 or higher. Hope tomorrow has good results! Thanks so much.
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Old 05-01-2012, 04:43 PM   #19
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Thats fine! Lets see how things look tomorrow!
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:00 PM   #20
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It's looking good! As of 2hrs ago ammonia was 0 and nitrites were 1. If it falls more should I dose tonight or wait till the full 24 hrs passes?
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