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Old 07-16-2020, 07:49 PM   #1
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Exclamation Help with my fishless cycle

Hello everyone Im new in the forum and in the hobby, I have problems with my cycle and I dont know what to do :/

I started the fishless cycle on June 24, my tank is 45 Gallon, I used tap water, prime, and api quick start. My tap water ph: 8.2, kh: 13, GH: 26.
I added pure ammonia 4.0 ppm nitrite and nitrate was 0.
After a week the ammonia was the same and I had 0.25ppm nitrite and 0 nitrate. On July 8 since I didnt see any change, I read that one of the problems could be the minerals on the tap water and since my tap water is too mineralized I decided to do a 50% water change and using R/O Water. So I did the water change
my ph went down to 7.4, kh 6, and gh 13. The ammonia went down to .50ppm and nitrites disappeared. So I added ammonia again to 2.0ppm.
Since then I dont have changes and I dont know what to do, I added TSS+ 4 days ago but everything is the same. ammonia 2.0, nitrites 0, nitrates 0
What should I do? I shouldn't changed the water? Im frustrated with my empty aquarium and I dont have experience is my first aquarium and I dont know what to do,
Thank you.
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Old 07-17-2020, 03:06 AM   #2
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Every fishless cycle is different. Someone on here recently completed one in 2 weeks, others sometimes take 2 to 3 months. Not seeing any change in 3 weeks though must be frustrating.

A few points.

- What is your tank temperature? Optimum temperature for growing the beneficial bacteria is 28c/82.5f.

- Products like safe start are very hit and miss. If they arent stored and transported in temperature controlled conditions the bacteria can die off and be useless. Try a different product or supplier?

- A better option than biological booster would be some cycled filter or sponges from an established tank. Do you have access to any? Perhaps a friend keeps aquariums?

- If you dont have the patience for fishless cycle, drain the tank, start over, put in a small number of hardy fish (1 small fish/10 gallon) and do a fish in cycle.
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Old 07-17-2020, 03:15 AM   #3
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the temperature right now is 84F,
I just got a bottle of seachem Stability but I havent used yet.
I got bio rings from an established aquarium but after that I made the 50% water change that I mentioned, Did I kill all the bacteria from the bio-rings when I did the water change?
I can keep doing the fishless cycle I just want to know that Im going in the right direction or correct what I have made wrong.

Thank you
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Old 07-17-2020, 04:32 AM   #4
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Water change wont kill off or remove bacteria (or at least not a significant amount), otherwise the fish keeping hobby would be in trouble. Unless you did the water change shortly after adding the safe start, in which case it wont have had time to establish on your media, on your substrate etc. Also did the bio rings dry out between taking them from their old filter and getting them in your aquarium? 2 to 3 hours in the dry and the bacteria will die off.

I would up the temperature a little.

I don't have any first hand experience of safe start or stability. I've used Fluval Cycle with some success, had best results with Dr Tims One and Only.

Is there a possibility you forgot to add water conditioner?

Are you sure your ammonia is 100% pure? No perfumes or additives?

You arent doing anything wrong. The water change probably wasnt needed, but wont have done any harm either. And its good to try things if it isn't going how you planned. I would probably redose ammonia back to 4ppm though. Once it has dropped below 1ppm, then redose it back to 2ppm.

If your fishless cycle really doesnt go anywhere i would consider changing tack to a fish in cycle. But give it a little more time. 3 weeks really isnt such a long time to get the cycle started. I think my last one was 7 or 8 weeks beginning to end.
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Old 07-17-2020, 04:44 AM   #5
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They gave me the bio rings with aquarium water and i put them in the filter in less than 30 min, thats why Im confused why the bio-rings didnt work at all or I killed the bacteria somehow.
I used prime double dose at the beginning,
Yeah I got fritz pro aquatics ammonium chloride from amazon.
I will add more ammonia to 4ppm and raise the temperature.
Thanks for your help
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Old 07-23-2020, 11:54 PM   #6
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Hello again,

Its been a month and still no changes, ammonia has not dropped yet, no nitrites no nitrates.

should I drain the tank and start over?
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Old 08-12-2020, 12:06 PM   #7
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Hi,
I got your message
I haven't had fish in a while and I'm out of practice but I read through your thread and I don't think you're doing anything wrong, per se, it could just take a while. When I started I had no movement at all for months. I wouldn't use the artificial bacteria stuff, I don't think it's effective in most cases and could cause a false cycle. Ammonia and time is all you really need. What did help me was buying an active filter (they sell them here: https://angelsplus.com/products/active-sponge-filter), it's an actual filter sponge from an active tank with live bacteria. Add it to your tank (keep using your current filter) and that might kick-start things for you.
Good luck!
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Old 08-12-2020, 03:05 PM   #8
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Waiting for ammonia-eating bacteria is just a waiting game like Aiken Drum said. I wouldn't use Stability, as it is more nitrite in a bottle than bacteria.

I cycled my tank in 4-5 weeks. I waited impatiently until ammonia started going down substantially and nitrites started going up. The nitrites were stuck for a week and nothing went down. Someone told me to just a 90% water change and then add fish. I added 6 small fish and within the week the tank cycled.

I know a person that didn't even know about cycling and just put their fish into the tank. Surprisingly, not a single fish died. I still wouldn't recommend going that route, though.

If you don't want to go thru a whole cycle, then you should probably get some cycled filter sponges or gravel. If you do it right, the tank might get cycled very quickly.
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