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Old 07-13-2011, 11:52 AM   #1
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Week 5--still no nitrites

I'm on week 5 of a fish in cycle. I still have no nitrites or nitrates. I test daily, and every couple days I will show trace nitrates (not zero, but not 5ppm either), but I am chalking that up to possibly not testing correctly. pH tests cosistant at 7.6

Past week it seems ammonia climbs higher more quickly. I change as soon as I see readings above .25. Highest I've seen so far was .50. After water changes I do add aquarium salt to the tank, as I was told it helps the fish with stress and health while doing a fish in cycle. Could that be affecting anything? I use Prime to condition my water. Is there anything else I should double check? I know a fish in cycle takes a long time, but after 5 weeks I had hoped to see at least a sign of movement in this cycle. Is this normal or not?
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Old 07-13-2011, 12:08 PM   #2
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I'm also doing a fish in cycle that's taking awhile. It goes so much slower bc of the much lower lvls of ammonia...at least that's my understanding. I'm going to transfer my fish to other tanks and go fishless. Maybe that's an option for you?
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Old 07-13-2011, 12:32 PM   #3
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A fish-in cycle can take months, unfortunately, so get used to the water changes

Why are you adding salt? You should only use salt to treat certain illness or diseases. Regular salt can actually hurt certain fish that don't need it and it's generally not needed in a freshwater tank unless you are treating something. The only way to reduce stress in a fish-in cycle is keep doing water changes to keep your ammonia and nitrites <0.25 and nitrates <40.

If you don't have another established/cycled tank then moving the fish to another new tank will just start your fish-in cycle all over again. Don't move them unless the tank has been fully cycled. Just keep doing what you're doing, you'll get there, it just takes a while.
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Old 07-13-2011, 12:52 PM   #4
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Sounds like you're doing everything right . You've just got to keep it up and have a bit more patience. Unless I'm mixing up my info, I believe aquarium salt can help with excessive nitrItes, but as long as you are using Prime and doing frequent water changes, I don't believe it's necessary either.

You're doing a great job, just keep going and stay committed

You've probably seen it, but here a great guide-
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articl...now/Page2.html
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Old 07-14-2011, 11:18 AM   #5
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Okay, thanks everyone. I'll just keep doing what I'm doing then, minus the salt. Tarpon, no other tank to transfer to, but thanks for the idea anyway. I'll keep you guys posted of water tests in this thread.
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Old 07-14-2011, 12:22 PM   #6
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Don't worry RooRoo, I'm on the same boat. As soon as I see a sign of them nitrites/trates then I'll post in here. I also had been adding a small bit of aquarium salt but I guess I'll stop for now.
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Old 07-14-2011, 06:42 PM   #7
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Droid are you doing a fish in cycle, or fishless?
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Old 08-08-2011, 12:48 AM   #8
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OKay.....I'm still here, and still no nitrites. Nitrates are at 5ppm.....pH 7.6

Ammonia wil get up to about .50 in about 4 or 5 days.....then I do a 50% pwc and it comes down again.

I'm starting to wonder if the fact that I have nitrates means I'm cycled, and maybe the ammonia is from over feeding or something else? But I have never seen Nitrites and I test every day. Confusing stuff because to get Nitrates didn't there have to be nitrites at some point? This is I think week 9 now.
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Old 08-08-2011, 01:02 AM   #9
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I honestly think the salt affected and slowed your cycle.

I would do a BIG 50% water change to remove any leftover salt from the tank.
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Old 08-08-2011, 01:06 AM   #10
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hi bubble boy....I haven't used salt since my last post, mid July, and have done several 50% pwc.....the salt should be pretty much gone I think. I didn't know salt could affect the cycle....hopefully it is started over and is on its way again.
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Old 08-08-2011, 01:21 AM   #11
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what size is your tank?
what fish do you currently have stocked?
what filter are you using?

I really like that you are using Prime (seachem) conditioner. That's the BEST conditioner on the market, imo.


Here is some tips that worked for me.
Limit the water changes to once a week. And don't change the water unless you absolutely need to (i.e. ammonia above 0.5ppm). You don't want to disturb the good bacteria during cycling.

Alternatively, you can just add prime to the tank on a daily basis.
Prime detoxifies the ammonia and nitrite in your tank (up to 1.0ppm), but still makes it available for your biofilter
So you don't need to perform water changes.

Also, do NOT add any chemicals (bacteria boosters, ammo-lock etc...) to the tank during cycling. They may help, but they make your biofilter unstable in the long term.
Just keep everything simple and let nature take its course.

Keep to this routine for 1month, and you should be cycled!
I've been keeping fish for 7 years and this method has always worked.


Hope this helps.
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:26 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RooRoo View Post
OKay.....I'm still here, and still no nitrites. Nitrates are at 5ppm.....pH 7.6

Ammonia wil get up to about .50 in about 4 or 5 days.....then I do a 50% pwc and it comes down again.

I'm starting to wonder if the fact that I have nitrates means I'm cycled, and maybe the ammonia is from over feeding or something else? But I have never seen Nitrites and I test every day. Confusing stuff because to get Nitrates didn't there have to be nitrites at some point? This is I think week 9 now.
I don't think so; if your tank were fully cycled the bacteria would be able to handle the ammonia and it would stay at 0 and not rise. The fact that it's taking a few days to rise could be a good thing; what size is the tank and what kinds of fish and how many do you have in there?

I would also try to keep the ammonia from rising to .5 if you can. When you see it get to 0.25 do a 50% water change. If it does get to .5, you should be doing a larger water change than 50% to get it down under 0.25.

Have you changed out any filters or anything recently? Regardless of what the packaging says, never replace your filter media unless it's literally falling apart. All of your bacteria live on there and you don't want to lose it.

Just hang in there with the pwc.
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:30 AM   #13
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I respectfully disagree on some points; my replies in blue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubble_B0y View Post
what size is your tank?
what fish do you currently have stocked?
what filter are you using?

I really like that you are using Prime (seachem) conditioner. That's the BEST conditioner on the market, imo.


Here is some tips that worked for me.
Limit the water changes to once a week. And don't change the water unless you absolutely need to (i.e. ammonia above 0.5ppm). You don't want to disturb the good bacteria during cycling.

I sort of disagree here. With fish in the tank and with a cycling tank you want to keep ammonia as low as possible. I agree doing a 60%+ pwc when it gets to .5 is good, but limiting water changes at this point would be detrimental to the fish. The good bacteria live on filter media and some on the substrate and decor, very little in the water itself. Changing the water won't affect the cycle and the fish need clean non-toxic water right now.

Alternatively, you can just add prime to the tank on a daily basis.
Prime detoxifies the ammonia and nitrite in your tank (up to 1.0ppm), but still makes it available for your biofilter
So you don't need to perform water changes.

Prime is very good yes, but it does NOT take the place of water changes. It only lasts a couple of days, so then you'll be back to doing pwc anyway. And adding Prime repeatedly without changing the water is not a good thing IMO.


Also, do NOT add any chemicals (bacteria boosters, ammo-lock etc...) to the tank during cycling. They may help, but they make your biofilter unstable in the long term.
Just keep everything simple and let nature take its course.

Keep to this routine for 1month, and you should be cycled!
I've been keeping fish for 7 years and this method has always worked.


Hope this helps.
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Old 08-08-2011, 11:04 AM   #14
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Back when I did my fishless cycling it went on for at least six weeks and I never saw the "spike" in readings that I was supposed to see. I finally added Dr Tim's right into the sumps Bio area and then cycle worked like textbook. Never had a problem. As for my media....when I do Ned to replace the blue back pad, I cut the older one and move it to a different part of the sump.
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Old 08-09-2011, 01:47 AM   #15
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I've got a 40 gal tank with 6 zebra danios. I haven't changed any filter media or anything like that. Will it help if I add more of the ceramic media? I am running an aquaclear 70 filter.
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:10 AM   #16
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More filter media will increase the surface area for the bb to grow. So sure you can add more. Also don't use and carbon yet. Keep it out if your filter.

I have a 90 gal with a 30 sump
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:18 PM   #17
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I did daily pwc's (sometimes up to 4 in day), on my 10 gal... fish-in, and was cycled at 26 days. I also had gotten a seeded filter from my LFS and stuck it in with my filter (i'm sure this helped tremendously). Are you using a liquid test kit or strips? Also I had a much larger bio load so my Ammo rose more quickly. I was getting .5 - 1.0 in 24 hrs. I also lost a lot of fish... I think you need a stronger ammo source, but it would put the zebras at risk. I'm no expert but I wanted to share my experience.
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