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Old 07-16-2011, 08:06 AM   #1
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PWC to kick start cycle?

I've been trying to cycle for 16 days now with not a single budge in ammo. I measured it out to 4ppm and confirmed with api master. pH is about 7.8 and temp is kept at 86 degrees.

Question is, would a PWC and redosing to 4ppm help kick start the cycle? I only say this because I used an old tank, old gravel, etc. that had been sitting for at least 2 years. My thought is that even though I rinsed a whole heck of a lot, some contaminates may have still been in the gravel and such. After letting it run for over two weeks, some of those contaminates might be in the water prohibiting the bacteria from growing where it needs to. I used SafeStart to try and help since I do not have any seeding material and that did absolutely nothing.
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Old 07-16-2011, 08:38 AM   #2
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How long have you been running safestart? 2 weeks of cycling isn't that long of a period at all. Safestart is meant to be used with fish-in cycling, but I've heard it working with some that have fishless cycled as well.
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Old 07-16-2011, 08:56 AM   #3
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Did you use a water dechlorinator when putting the water in (like Prime)?

Otherwise, you could do a pwc although I don't think it would help or hurt. Fishless cycles can take a while, a lot of factors come into play. You could also try running an air stone for some extra oxygen and agitation, if you don't already.
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Old 07-16-2011, 09:44 AM   #4
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I used SafeStart due to reading many cases of it helping start the cycle, I understand it is meant for fish-in however I used it sort of like a seeding material since I have nothing from an established tank. From that experience I can say that it doesn't work that way unfortunately. I'm running a bubble wand full speed with the water level down an inch or two for aeration from the filter as well.

I'm also beginning to think my water conditioner was expired so maybe it didn't dechlorinate I'm not sure. I realize a little over two weeks is not long at all, however I would expect to see at least a tiny tiny drop in ammo which has not happened. From all my reading I see that 9 out of 10 cases the ammo starts to drop within a couple weeks and then it takes another month or so to be completely cycled.

I guess my next step would be getting new water conditioner and doing about a 50% PWC just incase my old gravel and such was tainted. I also have a large growth of what looks to be white fungus on my air tube, but I've also read that is nothing to be concerned with.

Unless there is someone in the South New Jersey area that can part with some seeding material, I'm kind of at a loss to get things going.
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Old 07-16-2011, 10:23 AM   #5
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Patience is needed unfortunately lol Two weeks isn't long enough to warrant worry. I've been fishless cycling for just over a month now and no signs that I'm even close to done, so everyone is different. If you can't find seeded material near you, you could try purchasing an "active" sponge filter from here. Make sure it's the "active" sponge. They keep them in their tanks and are seeded. Some members have had good luck with them, some not, but it might be worth a try to see if it can get things going for you. Good luck.
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Old 07-16-2011, 02:07 PM   #6
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So it's been 2 weeks since you added safestart and no change in parameters?

If so then definitely do a WC if you think it'll help. I've attempted tetra safestart a few times for testing purposes and it's sort of hit and miss, but I did notice that it doesn't seem to do very well when the starting ammonia level in the tank is high.
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Old 07-16-2011, 02:27 PM   #7
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How long ago did you use safestart? and did you use the whole bottle?
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Old 07-16-2011, 02:38 PM   #8
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Silly question...what brand of ammonia are you using?
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Old 07-16-2011, 03:11 PM   #9
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I used the whole bottle of SafeStart as the bottle suggested (full bottle for 30gal, I have 29gal). Like I said, my reason for using it was because it claims to have bacteria in it (which i know should be false since the bacteria would starve, but I assume there are scientists out there that could preserve it) and having no seeding material, I figured SafeStart would be my seed. I read enough success stories to go and use it, I just happen to be in the unlucky bunch that it didn't do anything for.

As for the ammo its Ace janitorial only ammonia and water nothing else.

I went and got new water conditioner to put in the tank incase mine didn't do the job. Hopefully that will help.
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Old 07-16-2011, 03:21 PM   #10
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Safestart contains the patented biospira. Has it expired? The scientist who discovered biospira went off to create his own product line called "one and only" and that seems to work as well. Its the same as biospira.

If you used the safestart while having some amount of ammonia in your tank, then it should work. If it didn't work, then it could have been a bad batch. Just continue cycling with pure ammonia and everything should be cycled within 2 weeks.
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Old 07-16-2011, 03:37 PM   #11
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Well then I'll assume it to be a bad batch, everything was set for it to work and it did absolutely nothing. I can only imagine if I was using it for an actual fish-in cycle. My fish would be long gone by now.

And I sure do appreciate your confidence that it will only take another 2 weeks. I'm sure it'll be a whole lot longer than that!
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Old 07-16-2011, 03:53 PM   #12
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SafeStart is one of the most (if not the only) respected of the "instant cycling" products. While I don't actively argue against, I'd say it has inconsistent results at best. I'd say wait it out and let the tank cycle in time. You seem to be doing everything right, you've just gotta remain patient
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Old 07-17-2011, 04:07 PM   #13
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Well the answer to my question was bad dechlorinator. Went and picked up some new stuff and within 8 hours of putting it in my ammo had gone from 4ppm to 2ppm. No nitrites yet though but I expect those within the next few days. Dosed back to 4ppm and will be expecting to see it down to 2 again tomorrow.
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Old 07-18-2011, 08:53 PM   #14
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I hope this isn't a bump, but I'd rather keep all my questions in one place:

So finally after realizing my dechlorinator was bad, and I dropped 4ppm to 2ppm (see above), I dosed up (accidentally to 5-6ppm ammo) and in 24 hours I'm back down to 3ppm, so I was then looking for nitrites. Well it is still at 0ppm but now I'm registering about 10-20ppm of nitrates. Is that normal for it to go so fast? From reading everyone elses experiences, it seems like its supposed to take some time from the point of dropping ammo to registering nitrites. It seems like mine just skipped that due to possibly enough bacteria converting nitrites-nitrates? I'm hoping that the SafeStart didn't cause anything screwy...
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Old 07-18-2011, 08:56 PM   #15
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I've seen it before with SafeStart...in fact I'll look for a similar thread...it might take a while...I'm subscribed to like 5000 of them, lol. If I was forced to choose one word to describe SafeStart...it'd be- "inconsistent".
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Old 07-18-2011, 09:09 PM   #16
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Here ya go-
Another Cycle Question-- No NitrItes but NitrAtes?

Again, remember my inconsistent term. It doesn't mean the same will happen with your cycle...but it'll give you some background on something similar.
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:30 PM   #17
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Well you sure do know how to let the air out of someones tires now don't you? The good news I gather from all that (always look on the bright side) is that the tank will eventually cycle as long as I keep doing the right stuff. Maybe I just feel better seeing different colors and numbers on my tests instead of nothing. If I kept seeing nothing I think I would have given up.
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:36 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bstnrdsx
Well you sure do know how to let the air out of someones tires now don't you? The good news I gather from all that (always look on the bright side) is that the tank will eventually cycle as long as I keep doing the right stuff. Maybe I just feel better seeing different colors and numbers on my tests instead of nothing. If I kept seeing nothing I think I would have given up.
What can I say? I guess bad things happen when you root for the Red Sox, hahaha!

Anyway, you're right...things will cycle, and it's always better to see some colors and movement rather than things sitting still. I'd be much more worried if you had used a different type of cycling product...I don't personally vouch for SafeStart, but it doesn't scare me like the other ones do.
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