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Old 08-09-2003, 11:05 AM   #1
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Maybe I'm just crazy...........

I am a newbie to the hobby, and maybe my impatience is getting the best of me. But I have been on a fishless cycle for 3 weeks now, and I was thinking by now that a I should start to see my amonia drop. However it is at an all time high, like above what the test kit can even measure. My Nitrates are beginning to spike also. I did do a partial water change about three days ago, and that didn't even help. Any advice? Or am I just not waitning long enough to see results?
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Old 08-09-2003, 11:11 AM   #2
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what else is in the tank? how much LR? how much LS? how much other substrate? I wouldn't do any water changes, especially while the ammonia is high. Tell us more detail about how you are cycling, please.

Fishless cycle as in raw shrimp?
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Old 08-09-2003, 11:52 AM   #3
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Well I have about 25 lbs of base rock, 25 lbs of lr that had been at the LFS for about 6 weeks before I bought it. I alos have about 40 lbs of ls. I am running a skilter 400 for filtration (I know it is not a good skimmer!) as well as anoother HOB for up to a 45 gallon tank. That help?
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Old 08-09-2003, 12:05 PM   #4
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let it be. it could take as much as 6 to 8 weeks, also water changes slow the proscess. don't do any till the cycle is over. removing amonia only slows the growth of your benificial bacteria.
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Old 08-09-2003, 04:53 PM   #5
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What size tank?
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Old 08-09-2003, 06:59 PM   #6
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55 gallon

sorry.
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Old 08-10-2003, 02:13 PM   #7
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Re: Maybe I'm just crazy...........

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Originally Posted by MACATUA
I have been on a fishless cycle for 3 weeks now, and I was thinking by now that a I should start to see my amonia drop. However it is at an all time high
What is the actual reading from the test kit? When did the ammonia start to rise versus the reading you have now? What is the brand of test kit?

Could easily be that the pre-cured LR and LS have not yet had time to grow the proper nitrosomonas to convert the ammonia as yet. It is rather odd that the levels are still high with no rotting matter to continually feed the NH3 levels.

Are you sure the rock was pre-cured and have you verified the readings against plain RO water?

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Old 08-10-2003, 03:40 PM   #8
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have you been using any additives- is your salt nitrate free? do you have any algal blooms? if you have algae covering everything it sort of chokes all the bacteria off from the wastes.
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Old 08-10-2003, 07:27 PM   #9
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Don't run the skimmer the skimmer takes out nitrates via debris, right now you want nitrites and trates to finish off your cycle. JC
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Old 08-10-2003, 10:24 PM   #10
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So tell me if I am right. If my nitrates and nitrites are on the rise, then am I closing in on the end of my cycle. I tested today, and my ammonia is still high. But my nitrates and nitrites are very high also. Is that good? By the way, I test with an aquarium pharmacuticals test kit (the liquid) and I don't have algae except a little film on the glass. I held of on the water change because u said and the water is crystal clear. Also, thanks for all the advice and sorry for the length of the post.
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Old 08-10-2003, 10:28 PM   #11
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You are not nearing the end of the cycle until the NH3 is zero and the NO2 levels are falling. The fact that you have NO3 readings is a good sign but don't be in a hurry. Cycles can take as long as 8 weeks or more depending on how they are fueled.

Is the NH3 still rising, falling or no change? What is the exact NH3 level?

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Old 08-11-2003, 11:54 AM   #12
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The ammonia readings are still as high as the test kit will go. Also I have been using some bacteria add-ins. I started with cycle and when I ran out of that I am now using Bio-zyme. This was at the advice of the LFS.
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Old 08-11-2003, 05:10 PM   #13
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I did read on an earlier post that maybe my high ammonia levels were smothering some of my beneficial bacteria. Could this be true? Maybe I should change the water. Please advise.
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Old 08-11-2003, 05:21 PM   #14
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Personally, I'm wondering if you have enough biological surface area for nitrification. In your instance with oly a few lbs of LR...I would not necessarily do any water changes.
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Old 08-11-2003, 07:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
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The ammonia readings are still as high as the test kit will go. Also I have been using some bacteria add-ins. I started with cycle and when I ran out of that I am now using Bio-zyme. This was at the advice of the LFS.
I would really recommend you stop using these "bacteria" in the bottle products they are a complete waste of money and I suspect could be part of the problem.

In a 45 gal tank with 40 lb of LS, 25 lb of base rock and 25 lb of LR, I would think that would be sufficient surface area for nitrifying bacteria. At least in the beginning anyway. I have asked this a couple of times but have not gotten an answer as yet....
What are you using other than the LR/LS to fuel the ammonia?

You stated it's a "fishless" cycle so I am assuming there are no animals in the tank?

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Old 08-11-2003, 08:14 PM   #16
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I would really recommend you stop using these "bacteria" in the bottle products they are a complete waste of money and I suspect could be part of the problem.
I just cycled a tank using the "bacteria in the bottle" and the tank completely cycled in just 10 days. I do admit that I had a lot of live rock and used sand, but I have never had a tank cycle over that quick. Some of the rock was uncured also, which made the ammonia jump almost immediatly. The tank after a few weeks has all zeros (well the nitrates are <10 which is as low as my test kit will go).
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Old 08-11-2003, 08:20 PM   #17
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The last tank I cycled with fresh uncured LR, cycled in about two weeks, without the use of bacteria in a bottle (which I totally agree with steve-s on), I would say your experience is not uncommon. Keep in mind however all tanks are not the same and some take longer to cycle than others.
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Old 08-11-2003, 08:32 PM   #18
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So it was the uncured LR, thanks. Anyone want to buy an almost full bottle of bacteria?
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Old 08-12-2003, 12:25 AM   #19
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That is all I am using is the lr/ls. Why could Bio-Zyme be a problem? I really have no problem waiting, I just would like to help it out if I can. But oh well, if it takes 8 weeks it will. Also, if there is already ammonia introduced, then adding shrimp now would do not do any good, right?

I just don't like the idea of losing a fish because I am in to big a hurry by the wqy, so that is why I havn't put anything in the tank yet.

By the way, thanks for all the responses.
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Old 08-12-2003, 01:25 AM   #20
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That is all I am using is the lr/ls. Why could Bio-Zyme be a problem?
It may or may not be, I think that's open for debate. With the LR/LS that really should be sufficient. The added bio-zyme will not really change the outcome.

Quote:
I really have no problem waiting, I just would like to help it out if I can. But oh well, if it takes 8 weeks it will. Also, if there is already ammonia introduced, then adding shrimp now would do not do any good, right?
Good to hear your in no hurry, that will go along way to your future successes. If you have ammonia now, adding a shrimp will be counter productive. I am wondering if the LR you purchased had indeed been at the LFS for the 6 weeks you where told prior to purchasing it.
Was there much in the way of outward animals on the LR? Corals, sponges, algaes and such?
Did the LS or LR have a strong oder?

Quote:
I just don't like the idea of losing a fish because I am in to big a hurry by the wqy, so that is why I havn't put anything in the tank yet.


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