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Old 07-07-2013, 05:37 AM   #1
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fishless cycle fail

When I was younger I had several tanks, and was completely oblivious to the nitrogen cycle which was obviously pretty cruel for my fish.

I recently decided to get back into the hobby, and bought a little 54 litre/14 gallon tank and thought i'd go with the whole fishless cycle thing.

I got the ammonia up to 4ppm etc, and have been monitering ph to ensure there was no dramatic drop. I attempted to seed the tank with some gravel from a friend's tank to speed up the cycling process.

The issue is that it has been 3 weeks now and my test kit (API) is displaying no drop in ammonia, and there are no signs of nitrites.

Here are my two areas of concern:

1) I'll admit to using cloudy ammonia, only as pure ammonia is incredibly difficult if not impossible to come across here in New Zealand. Actually, the only reason I ended up using it was reading about several other fish keepers here that had cycling success with cloudy ammonia. However despite this I am philosophical to the fact that there could be a chemical in the cloudy ammonia that is killing any bacteria.

2) The filter is a pretty rubbish Juwel internal filter that came with the tank- with a sponge inside it, and no ceramic media or anything good like that. So I am wondering if my lack of bacterial growth could be to do with the filter not being an ideal place to harbour bacteria.
___

All in all the whole process has become incredibly frustrating and all I can think to do is to buy and aquaclear HOB filter, somehow source some ceramic media to seed it with- and see if anything changes. However I don't know whether I'm going to have any luck with that either.

Sorry for this massive post, and it would be amazing if someone could give me a little advice
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:23 AM   #2
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Definitely the ammonia. Cloudy ammonia is no good. Does it foam when you shake the bottle? If NZ is anything like Aus pure ammonia can be difficult to find.
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:25 AM   #3
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Hello from across the ditch!

I think you are spot on about the filter- I think having two filters is great because you not only have better filtration, more choice of media, and a larger BB colony, but it ensures you have a continuous supply off BB if you clean only one filter at a time.

Perhaps you could try a raw prawn for the ammonia?
If you can get a manky bit of sponge or something from a friend or lfs, that would be great, otherwise you can use something like seachem's stability to get your BB kick started.

Hang in there!
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:36 AM   #4
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thanks so much for the quick reply! I think i'm going to go and get a HOB tomorrow, maybe plead for some media while I'm at it and try the prawn cycle- thanks for your help )
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:40 AM   #5
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It's probably a good idea to tear the tank down and wash everything thoroughly before starting again.
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:42 AM   #6
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yup thats the plan for tomorrow haha
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:57 AM   #7
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Keep us posted! :thumbs:
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