Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Freshwater > Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 04-03-2006, 12:23 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Miami, Florida
Posts: 120
TOTAL DISASTER!

8O
Hello everybody,

Sad day for me, am starting a new fishless cycle on my 29 gal tank AGAIN!
For those that have read some of my posting will know that since 03-10-2006 I had a 29 gal tank going on a fishless cycle. Short ago, like a week or so, my readings started to go bunker, pH dropped to 6.2, Nitrite down to zero, Nitrate up off the charts...and AMMONIA up off the charts! It didn't make sense.
A new test kit by RED SEA was bought, and the ammonia test showed that ammonia was at a low 2.5 if not less, yet my AP kit showed ammonia off the roof. A new "recommended" AP Master Kit was purchased this past Friday and water re-tested on Saturday. Lets just say that in frustation and in experimentation a few drops of Bio-Safe were added to the tank to see if it would lower the Ammonia.
New test were done using both RED SEA and AP ammonia kits, both test showed very different result. Lets just say I finished screwing up the tank when another 50 % PWC was done and Tetra Aqua-Safe was added.
At the end my suspicions were proven correct after reading on my Bio-Safe bottle a note that lighted my mind, it said that some kits based on the Nessler system would give false positive result.
I treated a 5 gal bottle to do PWC on my 10 gal and 2 ga QT, and got positive results for ammonia even after the water had been treated with 5ml of PRIME.
I am mad at myself for not seen the fact that soo clearly was right under my nose when both kits will show same results for ammonia on regular tap water, yet go to both opposite ends when testing my tank's water. 8O

I have as of Sunday, purchased a Python and changed about 75% of the 29ga tank water. Today will re-start a new fishless cycle. I used Agua-Safe to treat the water and will be adding an aged filter media from my 10 gal display tank and the recommended amounts of Cycle or Stress Zyme to boost the good bacteria chances of speedy cycling.
Moral of the story: Be careful out there guys with false ammonia readings, and check what quemicals you used to set up your tanks and which kits you are using. I couldn't find what quemicals are in the AP Ammo test kits, but RED SEA listed them.
Well, here I'll go again... wish me luck, add any comments, call me an idiot, or share your stories, all welcome.
__________________

__________________
MiamiFishy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2006, 12:49 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Harlingen, Texas
Posts: 1,643
Send a message via MSN to crazyred
No, you're not an idiot...some of this test stuff is just a PITA ......IMO. I know you probably already have this page as a reference....it may even be you home page, but here is a link I ran across a while back that makes the fishless cycle seem so perfectly clear to me....just thought it might help. http://www.aquatic-hobbyist.com/prof...sscycling.html
__________________

__________________
"My name is Crazy Red and I'm an Aquariumaholic." ~~Melissa~~dedicated Ram breeder~~

55 gal.FW: 4 platies, 3 angelfish, 3 Cochu's blue tetras, 2 Rummynose tetras, 4 A. cacatuoides, 1 A. trifasciata, 2 blue rams, 6 Von Rio tetras, 1 Queen Arabesque pleco

29 Gal. FW: 2 variatus platies, 6 cherry barbs, 10 harlequin rasboras, 1 opaline gourami, 1 hillstream loach, 1 Rio Jari pleco (L-316), 1 GBR

10 Gal. FW: 1 african clawed frog, 1 dwarf flame gourami

10 Gal. FW:tons of blue ram fry

(4) 2 Gal. FW: all four with male bettas
crazyred is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2006, 01:01 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Miami, Florida
Posts: 120
Thank you crazyred,
And thank you too for the link, I had come across a similar one and was using it, but I'll read yours and use it as a guide too. Wish me luck for this second and hopefully final run!!
__________________
**** it! Give me Full Power,
All ENGINES FULL SPEED AHEAD!!!
BATTLE STATION, RAISE THE MAIN GUNS!
Lets have some fun boys, time to test our metal!
MiamiFishy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2006, 01:02 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Zagz's Avatar



POTM Champion
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada
Posts: 17,108
Send a message via MSN to Zagz
Good luck to you and believe me you are no idiot. This hobby is a learning process and sometimes the learning can be quite hard. We have all been there and sympathize with you.
__________________
AA Community Rules | AA TOS

-----------
Site Administrator
Zagz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2006, 01:09 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Harlingen, Texas
Posts: 1,643
Send a message via MSN to crazyred
yeah, best of luck on getting this thing cycled. IMO, it's the hardest part of aquaria....cycling a new tank and keeping cycled and balanced.
__________________
"My name is Crazy Red and I'm an Aquariumaholic." ~~Melissa~~dedicated Ram breeder~~

55 gal.FW: 4 platies, 3 angelfish, 3 Cochu's blue tetras, 2 Rummynose tetras, 4 A. cacatuoides, 1 A. trifasciata, 2 blue rams, 6 Von Rio tetras, 1 Queen Arabesque pleco

29 Gal. FW: 2 variatus platies, 6 cherry barbs, 10 harlequin rasboras, 1 opaline gourami, 1 hillstream loach, 1 Rio Jari pleco (L-316), 1 GBR

10 Gal. FW: 1 african clawed frog, 1 dwarf flame gourami

10 Gal. FW:tons of blue ram fry

(4) 2 Gal. FW: all four with male bettas
crazyred is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2006, 01:39 PM   #6
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Miami, Florida
Posts: 120
Thank you Zagz and crazyred!
Yeah, its the hardest part and most patience-intense too!
Im ready the link you made reference to CrazyRed, what brand or kind of simple dechlorinator/dechloriminator would you recommend or use???
I have Tetra Aqua-Safe, Bio-Safe and Prime, but all three of them its my believe will block or neutralize ammonia.
__________________
**** it! Give me Full Power,
All ENGINES FULL SPEED AHEAD!!!
BATTLE STATION, RAISE THE MAIN GUNS!
Lets have some fun boys, time to test our metal!
MiamiFishy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2006, 02:46 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
7Enigma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Havertown, PA
Posts: 2,913
MiamiFishy,

I recommend Prime and ONLY Prime. Those other products have varying degrees of success, and IMO are mainly snake oil. Maybe when you get fish you can decide if you want to use them, but the bacteria only want warm dechlorinated water and food. Prime's only purpose is to dechlor the water, there are no other additives that may or may not harm the fish/bacteria. Use 1 ml per 10gallons.

Question for you though. Why do you say your cycle has started again from scratch? Did you remove the filter media from 3/10/06? If you didn't remove it you are certainly not starting from the beginning. Unless the media was dried out or sat with no water flow through it you will still have bacteria present in the tank. Those chemicals will mess up the readings on the test kit, but will NOT kill the bacteria. I hope for your sake you didn't just throw out the old filter media, because the tank would have cycled much quicker with it.

The fact that you are using some media now that was in an already established tank should speed up the cycle regardless.

Goodluck and have patience. Your doing this the right way! Now imagine the people that go out and buy a ton of fish right at the start and have to do 50% PWC's EVERY SINGLE DAY to keep the ammonia and nitrIte below harmful levels. You've got it easy my friend, just sit back and relax!
__________________
Main (20g) - A throng of guppy and platy, Pressurized CO2, Ferts, All Live Plants (Very old pic, new one forthcoming)
https://i902.photobucket.com/albums/a...g?t=1266543023
7Enigma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2006, 03:33 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Harlingen, Texas
Posts: 1,643
Send a message via MSN to crazyred
I use Tetra Aqua Safe and, AFIK, it makes no claim of removing or neutralizing ammonia. I would think that if you are trying to get your ammonia to colonize your bacteria the last thing that you would want to use is Prime or Amquel. I know that the ammonia is still there, but in a different form, but I would think you would want the ammonia to be 100% ammonia. JMO.

and BTW...Prime states very clearly on the bottle that it neutralizes ammonia.
__________________
"My name is Crazy Red and I'm an Aquariumaholic." ~~Melissa~~dedicated Ram breeder~~

55 gal.FW: 4 platies, 3 angelfish, 3 Cochu's blue tetras, 2 Rummynose tetras, 4 A. cacatuoides, 1 A. trifasciata, 2 blue rams, 6 Von Rio tetras, 1 Queen Arabesque pleco

29 Gal. FW: 2 variatus platies, 6 cherry barbs, 10 harlequin rasboras, 1 opaline gourami, 1 hillstream loach, 1 Rio Jari pleco (L-316), 1 GBR

10 Gal. FW: 1 african clawed frog, 1 dwarf flame gourami

10 Gal. FW:tons of blue ram fry

(4) 2 Gal. FW: all four with male bettas
crazyred is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2006, 03:50 PM   #9
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
7Enigma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Havertown, PA
Posts: 2,913
crazyred,

There are no water changes during a fishless cycle so this is a moot point. I would add the Prime with an established filter media so that the chlorine in the tap water doesn't kill the bacteria on the filter. If this was a new tank, I'd add nothing but ammonia as the chlorine will gas out within 24hours.

Since the cycle process takes much longer than the first batch of ammonia added to complete, you will not slow down the cycle.
__________________
Main (20g) - A throng of guppy and platy, Pressurized CO2, Ferts, All Live Plants (Very old pic, new one forthcoming)
https://i902.photobucket.com/albums/a...g?t=1266543023
7Enigma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2006, 03:58 PM   #10
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Miami, Florida
Posts: 120
Thank you crazyred and 7Enigma for the help and words of support.

And no, I have not throw away the filters media, those are still in place and will remain there then for this 2nd attempt or re-continuation of the cycle.
My 10 gal tank filter is in need of a new filter media, so today the old one is going into the Penguin 350b on the 29 ga tank.
This time it will the water test will be more accurately recorded into a spreadsheet from Microsoft Work I design last night. Tap water will be re-tested and result recorded. For the time been, I will relay on the RED SEA AMMONIA kit, for the NITRATE, NITRITE and PH tests the AP will be used.

Wish me luck guys.... I'm dying here for the day I can move my little friends to their bigger home! I just need a digital camera to get some pictures posted here!

I used Aqua-Safe on the water last night, so lets see how it goes. I'll keep you posted!
__________________
**** it! Give me Full Power,
All ENGINES FULL SPEED AHEAD!!!
BATTLE STATION, RAISE THE MAIN GUNS!
Lets have some fun boys, time to test our metal!
MiamiFishy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2006, 04:20 PM   #11
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Harlingen, Texas
Posts: 1,643
Send a message via MSN to crazyred
Yeah, that's true.....no need for dechlor if there are no fish......dang, why didn't I think of that! LOL I'm a numskull today, it's Monday.

Sounds like you have a plan Miamifishy! Hope all goes well and you can move your fins to their new home soon.
__________________
"My name is Crazy Red and I'm an Aquariumaholic." ~~Melissa~~dedicated Ram breeder~~

55 gal.FW: 4 platies, 3 angelfish, 3 Cochu's blue tetras, 2 Rummynose tetras, 4 A. cacatuoides, 1 A. trifasciata, 2 blue rams, 6 Von Rio tetras, 1 Queen Arabesque pleco

29 Gal. FW: 2 variatus platies, 6 cherry barbs, 10 harlequin rasboras, 1 opaline gourami, 1 hillstream loach, 1 Rio Jari pleco (L-316), 1 GBR

10 Gal. FW: 1 african clawed frog, 1 dwarf flame gourami

10 Gal. FW:tons of blue ram fry

(4) 2 Gal. FW: all four with male bettas
crazyred is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2006, 08:35 PM   #12
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Miami, Florida
Posts: 120
Thank you Crazyred...

When I got home, I run the test, and this are the results.
( Ammonia was tested using the RED SEA KIT. and Alkalinity and Harness with Strips...not very realiable, but just to have an idea of what those two factor are..)
Test result
Ammonia: 2.5 ppm
pH: 7.2
KH: 80
GH: 75 (soft)
Nitrite: 0.25
Nitrate: 80
No extra ammonia has been added. And depending on the result tomorrow, I'll transfer the used media from my 10 gal to the Penguin 350b on the 29 ga.

Lets see what happends tomorrow... wish me luck.... Kinda surprise to find Nitrite...but I take it as a good sign!
__________________
**** it! Give me Full Power,
All ENGINES FULL SPEED AHEAD!!!
BATTLE STATION, RAISE THE MAIN GUNS!
Lets have some fun boys, time to test our metal!
MiamiFishy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2006, 08:46 PM   #13
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Zagz's Avatar



POTM Champion
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada
Posts: 17,108
Send a message via MSN to Zagz
I would see if you can get the ammonia up to 4ppm. If it drops the day after then your cycle is on it's way. Good luck!
__________________
AA Community Rules | AA TOS

-----------
Site Administrator
Zagz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2006, 01:05 AM   #14
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 104
doesnt chlorine kill bacteria!
__________________
28 Gallon
Fluval 204 with Biomax
Ph: 7.1
1 x 18w floraglo
1 x 18w powerglo
1 x 18w Aquaglo
Currently cycling w/o fish - 3 days in
quitters is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2006, 05:03 AM   #15
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 682
you can always try using bio-spire, I hear that helps.

I use seachems de-chlorinator. it claims to help start a cycle as well on a new tank, and honestly..I am pretty sure it does. I have had good luck using it an adding fish the next day.

You may have better luck if you simply start with doinga very light stocking of the tank...i.e. adding a couple guppies a week or something.
__________________
Jarred Darque is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2006, 07:49 AM   #16
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
7Enigma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Havertown, PA
Posts: 2,913
quitters,

Chlorine will indeed kill bacteria. That is why dechlor is added to tap water when a water change is done. What I was talking about was when setting up the tank for the first time there is no bacteria in the tank. It will not hurt anything (and will actually make sure no residual bacteria that might not be good for the tank is left). This should be done BEFORE adding in any type of seed material or cycling product (such as Biospira).

Those nitrAtes seem a bit high, unless your tap water has REALLLLLY high levels. You mention that ammonia uses the drip kit, how are you measuring nitrIte and nitrAte? With strips? Even if its with the strips you are getting a positive reading on the nitrIte which is excellent! This means that the nitrIte to nitrAte bacteria have a food source and will start multiplying. Depending on how accurate your nitrIte test was, you might only have 2 weeks left with your cycle (which is about dead on the 4-6 weeks that most of us have seen with our newly setup tanks).

But I have a very important question for you. When you change out the filter media on the 10gallon to go into your bigger tank, what are you doing with the 10 gallon? If the 10gallon filter only has 1 insert I would not take it out and replace it with a new one unless your tank is really well established. You might speed up the cycle in the large tank with the media, but you might cause a small cycle in the 10gallon. If you do decide to replace completely, I would very sparingly feed the fish in the 10gallon for a couple days so there is the least amount of waste being created.
__________________
Main (20g) - A throng of guppy and platy, Pressurized CO2, Ferts, All Live Plants (Very old pic, new one forthcoming)
https://i902.photobucket.com/albums/a...g?t=1266543023
7Enigma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2006, 10:30 AM   #17
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Miami, Florida
Posts: 120
Thank you all again for all the input and support.

7Enigma

For the Nitrite, Nitrate and pH test I used AP Master Kit - (all these use liquid re-agents); for the Ammonia results I used the test kit that came in RED SEA Master Kit - (this test has a dry part, crystals-like re-agent, and a liquid 2nd part re-agent. Wait 15 min to read result). The KH and GH test results came from Jungle Labs 5-1 Test Strips, ( which I also use as comparison for the pH and Nitrate / Nitrite results) The result for the Nitrate its as close as my eyes could perceive the difference between the red shades on the AP Nitrate result card. I was debating between 40 or 80. The card chart goes from 0 to 160? ppm. But the strip was on target with the results which I was surprised...but glad.

As for the 10 gal tank, yes, you are right, it only has one insert and that could be a mini-cycle problem, but I think the substrate has develope enought beneficial bacteria as well as on the ornaments and filter intake/ media compartment to avoid cycling. Another thing I could do is rinse it ( the used media ) in some tank water and add that "dirty" water to the Penguin 350b media compartment??? Would that do any good?????

I'll keep you all posted on todays results when I get home and run the tests.

Zagz,
I was thinking on leaving the ammonia drop to like 1 ppm before adding any extra ...and perhaps then bring it to 4ppm. Its this a good idea?
If today I get a reading of less than the 2.5 of yesterday, that could mean that the cycle is going ok and the bacteria is active, right???
__________________
**** it! Give me Full Power,
All ENGINES FULL SPEED AHEAD!!!
BATTLE STATION, RAISE THE MAIN GUNS!
Lets have some fun boys, time to test our metal!
MiamiFishy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2006, 11:07 AM   #18
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
7Enigma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Havertown, PA
Posts: 2,913
The liquid nitrAte AP test is VERY difficult to tell how much nitrAte you have unless you are close to 10ppm. It is also very easy to make a mistake during testing (shaking the bottles and such). One thing you can do is do dilutions to find out how much is there accurately. Take a small measuring spoon (say a teaspoon) and measure 4 parts tap water to 1 part tank water. This will give you a 1:5 dilution. Then do your nitrAte test using that water (put the 5ml in the tube for the AP kit). Your results will b 1/5th of what they actually are. So if you get a value of 5ppm, you multiply by 5, so your tank water has 25ppm of nitrAte. This is MUCH more accurate than trying to figure out shades of red. I really hate the AP nitrAte test (its the one I use as well though), anything over 20ppm IMO is impossible to read (I've seen it change shades depending on the lighting in the room from 20ppm to over 100ppm).

For the 10gallon filter thing: I'd take your 10gallon filter out and look at it. If there is a lot of gunk on it you might want to scrape some of it off and throw out first, but what I'd honestly do is take the filter right out of the 10, put it in the big tank, and squeeze squeeze SQUEEZE away for a couple of minutes. All of that junk is probably uneaten fish food, fish poop, etc, and ALL of it has bacteria on it that you want. It WILL make the tank very cloudy and disgusting looking, and thats what you want. Bacteria will coat all the surfaces of the tank and the water will clear up within a day or two as it gets sucked into your new filter and gets trapped. This will definately throw off your ammonia numbers, so I wouldn't add any more ammonia right now but should help you get cycled faster.

Then put the filter back in the 10gallon and you shouldn't see any minicycle.

As for the ammonia amount: We use 5ppm as the normal amount because you can easily monitor it, never accidentally let it go to zero if you forget to check the tank, and it gives ALL the bacteria ample amount of food at all times. The fact is though that ANY DETECTABLE ammonia or nitrIte in a tank is excess, and doesn't do anything except wait to get "eaten" at a later time. That's why cycled tanks with full fish stocks never see an ammonia or nitrIte spike (unless there is a problem). Bacteria feed on undetectable (by our tests) levels of these chemicals.

So if you started a tank with 0.1ppm ammonia and sat at your tank day and night and constantly did ammonia tests and any time that number got close to zero added in ammonia to get back to the 0.1ppm reading, your tank would cycle in the EXACT same amount of time as someone who used 5ppm. It's just much easier to dose once and wait.

HTH
__________________
Main (20g) - A throng of guppy and platy, Pressurized CO2, Ferts, All Live Plants (Very old pic, new one forthcoming)
https://i902.photobucket.com/albums/a...g?t=1266543023
7Enigma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2006, 11:09 AM   #19
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Lonewolfblue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Wenatchee, WA
Posts: 8,435
Send a message via ICQ to Lonewolfblue Send a message via Yahoo to Lonewolfblue
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyred
Yeah, that's true.....no need for dechlor if there are no fish......dang, why didn't I think of that! LOL I'm a numskull today, it's Monday.

Sounds like you have a plan Miamifishy! Hope all goes well and you can move your fins to their new home soon.
Chloramine and Chlorine will kill off the bacteria. So yes, you do need to use Dechlor like Prime.
__________________
55G Filstar XP3 - 16" Fire Eel
75G Medium Planted - Filstar XP3 Low Light - Established Feb 2006
Lonewolfblue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2006, 11:13 AM   #20
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Lonewolfblue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Wenatchee, WA
Posts: 8,435
Send a message via ICQ to Lonewolfblue Send a message via Yahoo to Lonewolfblue
Quote:
Originally Posted by 7Enigma
Chlorine will indeed kill bacteria. That is why dechlor is added to tap water when a water change is done. What I was talking about was when setting up the tank for the first time there is no bacteria in the tank.
Even in a new tank, there is bacteria. That is what you are wanting to multiply. There is very little in the new tank, and adding undechlored water will kill off some of what is in the tank, possibly prolonging the original cycle, since you will be starting with even less bacteria.
__________________

__________________
55G Filstar XP3 - 16" Fire Eel
75G Medium Planted - Filstar XP3 Low Light - Established Feb 2006
Lonewolfblue is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Total Newbie here... Catastrophic81 Member Introductions 10 09-07-2008 10:37 PM
Complete, total, heart breaking disaster. undbulsu Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 8 02-09-2006 12:27 PM
Total Newbie newbieb Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started 34 02-06-2005 01:16 PM
Total CHAOS ploughking Freshwater & Brackish - Unhealthy Fish 2 07-25-2004 06:46 PM
Please help.. Tank setup was a total Disaster.... Doan Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 7 12-02-2003 12:17 PM







» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:29 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.