Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Freshwater > Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started
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 05-02-2006, 04:23 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 215
cycling...again and again?

I have a 20 gal. tank that has been up since March and it seems like it keeps cycling over and over. I have been keeping the heat up to 88 to kill off ich for a week or so. Can that kill the good bacteria and make it cycle or is it from me vac'ing the gravel everyday to keep the tank clean? I mean, my gravel is so clean nearly nothing comes up out of it. OK, I have OCD when it comes to my fish tank but I have 30-2 week old fry in there also. Are they causing the ammonia problem? The past week I noticed the ammonia rise and do PWC daily (along with gravel vac ) and today when I tested, my nitirites are going up to between 0 and .25. I feed twice daily but the fry 3x's, the ph is 7.2 and I have a aqua-tech 10-20 gal filter and just changed the carbon filter today in hopes of getting a cleaner tank. What can I do to get this to stop? Thanks!
the fish are :
1 platy and 30 fry (25 are 2 weeks old, 5 are 4 weeks old)
1 swordtail
1 red tail shark
1 otto
1 pleco
)let me know if I left out anything. oh, and I'm cycling a 10 gallon fry tank right now.

__________________
cappieBridget is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2006, 04:53 PM   #2
Moderator Emeritus
 
Menagerie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 13,230
Quote:
I have a 20 gal. tank that has been up since March and it seems like it keeps cycling over and over.
That's not a very long time--it's probably still cycling and not recycling.

Quote:
Can that kill the good bacteria and make it cycle or is it from me vac'ing the gravel everyday to keep the tank clean?
Heat is fine, but stop vacuuming the gravel. You are removing waste that will give off ammonia to feed the bacteria which will eventually cycle the tank.

Quote:
OK, I have OCD when it comes to my fish tank but I have 30-2 week old fry in there also.
That's not helping. If the fry survive (and they will since you keep changing water, but the tank will never cycle) count yourself lucky. Keep in mind, you may have many, many fry following since you are keeping livebearers, which store sperm and don’t need a male present. After awhile, you would have to add a male for more fry. Think about that later—give it many months.

Quote:
The past week I noticed the ammonia rise and do PWC daily (along with gravel vac) and today when I tested, my nitirites are going up to between 0 and .25. I feed twice daily but the fry 3x's, the ph is 7.2 and I have a aqua-tech 10-20 gal filter and just changed the carbon filter today in hopes of getting a cleaner tank. What can I do to get this to stop? Thanks!
Give exact numbers on the ammonia and how much water are you removing? Put down that gravel vacuum!! Stop changing the carbon filter—it’s a waste of money. Many members, including myself do not use carbon. It is inactive after 7-14 days and unless you are removing meds or chemicals from the tank, it’s not doing anything.

Here's my suggestion: Put the otto and fry in the 10 gallon tank, don't worry about cycling it and continue to feed, vacuum and do PWC to your heart's content. The other fish are hardier and will survive with a small amount of ammonia in the tank and the 20 gal tank will cycle. Feed daily and only do PWC when the ammonia level is above .5 ppm. Once the water parameters are where they need to be, continue letting waste build up and only vacuum once a week, but only 1/4-1/2 of the tank per week. At this point, the bacteria should be taking out the ammonia and you will not detect it. You need to let the bacteria establish in the filter (you will later use some of that bacteria to instantly cycle the little tank).

Next, you need a plan for what you are going to do with all those fry (unless the shark starts eating them). Then you need a plan for where that shark is going to live. He may be the most docile shark, but he will out grow that tank. And while I’m at in, what kind of pleco do you have? Best to deal with everything and be prepared

Follow this advice and your tank will finish cycling. I bet it’s close, but without ammonia to feed the bacteria, which gets turned into nitrite to feed other bacteria, that tank will continue to give you grief.
__________________

Menagerie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2006, 11:45 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 215
ok, I thought I was vaccuuming to much. I forget how the chart for ammonia testing is but it hasn't gone past the color after 0ppm, so whatever the next reading after 0 is is what mine is. So I don't need the carbon? Should I just keep the fiber floss stuff in there? When I vac and PWC it's about 3 gallons of water. I use a 3 gallon bucket and that's how I measure how much to change each time. The fry are going to be going to a LFS I found already and I would like to give some to family if they want any (only the ones that will take care of them though I would like to keep a few and set a tank up for my kids in their room. Only a single sex group though, I don't want to over populate the livebearers andy more than they are, lol. I do love having the fry though! They are growing great and love being in a new, big tank. My pleco is dark and spotted like a leopard, I'm thinking a leopard pleco? lol. I don't know, it's small though, about the size of my platy. The otto won't eat the fry?
__________________
cappieBridget is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2006, 12:05 AM   #4
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
severum mama's Avatar


 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: GA
Posts: 10,296
Don't those Aqua Tech filters have cartridges that contain both the mechanical filtration (a filter pad) and the carbon in the same cartridge? If so, you are throwing away all the bacteria that have grown on the cartridge every time you change it, and that is a big problem while the tank is cycling. It could really slow things down. That's why I really don't like those proprietary cartridges, although it makes a lot less difference with the Emperor and Penguin filters because of the Biowheel. If you find that your filter is clogged, rinse the cartridge out in tank water (never in tap water). Don't change it until the cycle is complete.

Aquarium Pharmaceuticals makes a Master Test Kit that comes with everything you need. A lot of folks here use it. The test strips are inaccurate, as Menagerie pointed out, and more expensive to use in the long run.
severum mama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2006, 12:48 AM   #5
Moderator Emeritus
 
Menagerie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 13,230
Quote:
I forget how the chart for ammonia testing is but it hasn't gone past the color after 0ppm, so whatever the next reading after 0 is is what mine is.
It sounds like the cycle is almost done, but with the excess vacuuming, the bacteria are small in number (not much food).

Quote:
The fry are going to be going to a LFS I found already
Fantastic! (Not all LFSs will take those fry.)

The reason I suggested moving the oto is because they are not very hardy and best suited for an established tank. Depending on how big the fry are and how big the oto is, there could be trouble, as all fish are opportunistic. It’s your call, I was just worried about a tank that may have large ammonia and nitrite spikes. I think your tank may be past the large spiking stage.
__________________

Menagerie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2006, 10:39 AM   #6
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 215
The filter has 2 cartridges, the carbon filter and a floss filter that is suppoed to eliminated ammonia. Don't think it's doing it's job. Alright well, the most I can do is test, follow your advice and wait. Thanks alot!
__________________
cappieBridget is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2006, 02:06 PM   #7
Moderator Emeritus
 
Menagerie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 13,230
Quote:
floss filter that is suppoed to eliminated ammonia
If it is eliminating ammonia, then the bacteria will never establish.
__________________

Menagerie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2006, 02:37 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 215
the box says "new bio-filter to eliminate toxic ammonia and nitrite". I am so clueless now, what should I do? I'M on a limited budget, but when I was starting out, I had a old whisper 10-20 gal. filter and it sucked! No literally, it sucked up my bumblebee catfish, my rainbow shark and my african frog The intake tube was missing the cover so I made a net covering and they somehow got in there...anyway, this new filter looked good so my hubby grabbed it while shopping. It made and immediate change in my tank! Thena week later at a lfs, I saw those qua clear ones for the same price, WTH? So to late. The I bought a whisper internal filter the one that's like a cylinder all one piece thing for my 10 gal and decided to use a corner filter for the 10 gal and put the new filter inside my 20 gal also. I feel like witht the 10-20 gal aqua tech filter that it should be used for a 10 gal not 20 gal that's why I added the new one also. I'd rather over filter than underfilter. Whta was I talking about?...oh, so what should I do now? The levels are still the same as yesterday what I tested; ammonia at .25-.5 and nitrite at .25.
__________________
cappieBridget is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2006, 03:02 PM   #9
AA Team Emeritus
 
Devilishturtles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Frederick, Maryland
Posts: 8,543
Send a message via Yahoo to Devilishturtles
Quote:
the box says "new bio-filter to eliminate toxic ammonia and nitrite".
An advertising scam, that's all. It will allow beneficial bacteria to grow on it, that's as much eliminating as it will do. Don't rinse your filter cartridges at all for now. Keep doing water changes and do not clean any surfaces in your tank(wall, decos, plants, etc.). Vaccum your gravel still, but not as often, and half of the tank at a time. This will help you keep a good population of good bacteria.
__________________
-Lindsay

Live in the Western MD/West Virginia/DC Metro Area?
Join our very active regional forum Here

Like the advice someone just gave you? Add to their reputation! Click on the balance icon underneath their username and let them know.
Devilishturtles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2006, 03:10 PM   #10
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 215
Thanks! It's all about balance I guess! Oh, speaking of balance, should I not use easy bablnce with nitraban in it until the cycle is done or just never? I don't know what the stuff is for but I'm not liking that it says to "clean your fishtank at least once every six months" 8O 8O 8O I would die!!! Probably my fish too
__________________
cappieBridget is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2006, 03:13 PM   #11
AA Team Emeritus
 
Devilishturtles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Frederick, Maryland
Posts: 8,543
Send a message via Yahoo to Devilishturtles
Quote:
Originally Posted by cappieBridget
Thanks! It's all about balance I guess! Oh, speaking of balance, should I not use easy bablnce with nitraban in it until the cycle is done or just never? I don't know what the stuff is for but I'm not liking that it says to "clean your fishtank at least once every six months" 8O 8O 8O I would die!!! Probably my fish too
Wow, 6 months. They've scaled that down from their previous quote of 1 year.

IMHO, you don't need it anyways. It's just got junk in it that doesn't work. Are you using it as a dechlor? Of using it for the nitraban? Regardless, there are better dechlorinators on the market. If you are using it for the nitraban...stop.
__________________
-Lindsay

Live in the Western MD/West Virginia/DC Metro Area?
Join our very active regional forum Here

Like the advice someone just gave you? Add to their reputation! Click on the balance icon underneath their username and let them know.
Devilishturtles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2006, 03:39 PM   #12
Moderator Emeritus
 
Menagerie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 13,230
Quote:
the box says "new bio-filter to eliminate toxic ammonia and nitrite". I am so clueless now, what should I do?
Sorry, I haven't had a HOB filter in ages that I couldn't put in ceramic media or sponges.
Quote:
I had a old whisper 10-20 gal
Can you turn the flow rate down on it? If not, that still may be the filter to use--you can get AC sponges (cheap) and cut an "X" through half of one and put it over the intake of that filter. It should not come off and the fish will not be able to swim through it. I used to keep sponges on the filter intakes of sand tanks, as shown in the lower left hand side of this pic.


Quote:
I'd rather over filter than underfilter.
Absolutely
Quote:
The levels are still the same as yesterday what I tested; ammonia at .25-.5 and nitrite at .25.
Do a 1/4 PWC (no vacuuming). Do you have results for nitrate? If there are nitrates present, then we would know if the cycle is done. After that, it would be a matter of establishing the bacteria that are present.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dt
An advertising scam, that's all. It will allow beneficial bacteria to grow on it, that's as much eliminating as it will do.
I was wondering if that's all it did, but a search on google was unhelpful.
__________________

Menagerie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2006, 06:14 PM   #13
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 215
you are all so helpfull!! I threw away the old filter (it was that bad!) and I'll figure something out. I'll have to put up pics later.
__________________
cappieBridget is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2006, 03:44 AM   #14
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 57
so.....it is really possible cycling the tank with fish presence???
__________________
arrow1234 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2006, 11:02 AM   #15
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 215
yeah, but it's not good for the fish. It really can damage or kill them. If you do fish cycling, they recommend using a very hardy fish that can withstand the chemical shifts. I think a few danios is what they say to use. I didn't know this when I started and just put in 3 skirt tetras and 2 platys at first but I'v been having these cycle problems and surprisingly I haven't lost any fish because of the cycling probably because I've been doing PWC 5-7 days a week keeping the water safe for them and adding a bit of aquarium salt also.
__________________
cappieBridget is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2006, 03:00 PM   #16
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 57
ye that was good...
but i have something to tell the author of this thread,
i m having almost the same situation as "cappieBridget", tank is still in cycle with fish, a fishfull cycle lol.
last night i checked the ammonia level and it showed 0ppm, that was good
HOWEVER, nitrite level go up to 2 ppm already.....so i think i should pwc 10% daily and no vacuuming the gravel, correct?

now i m having 1 starter fish(a feeder fish lol), 2 neon tetra
are they hardy fish?
__________________
arrow1234 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2006, 03:26 PM   #17
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 215
I don't know how hardy those fish are , but from what I'vce just learned, yes, pwc, no to vaccumming. The good bacteria need to feed off of the dirty stuff right now. They told me vac. 1/2 the aquarium weekly, instead of the whole aquarium daily
__________________
cappieBridget is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2006, 10:36 PM   #18
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Western WA
Posts: 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by arrow1234
now i m having 1 starter fish(a feeder fish lol), 2 neon tetra are they hardy fish?
The feeder fish will probably be pretty hardy, but neon tetras are very sensitive fish - so the neons are not good for cycling.

You could try some guppies (get all males if you don't want to end up with hundreds), some zebra danios, or some white cloud mountain minnows. Those are hardy fish...but the zebras and white clouds are schooling fish - so buy at least 5.

Good luck!
__________________
25g Marineland Eclipse (30w T-8 ):
- java ferns, anacharis, corkscrew vals, giant hygros, marimo balls, java moss
- zebra danios (5), otos (2), others TBD

6g Marineland Eclipse (8w T-5):
- anacharis, asian ambulia, java moss
- white cloud mountain minnows (10 = 6-7 inches total)
noncentric is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
cycling

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
cycling? shanklyred Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started 22 01-29-2009 06:50 PM
Cycling?? FishLover14 Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started 11 12-05-2004 10:55 AM
do water changes delay cycling? will it make cycling LONGER? Bubble_Boy Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started 3 10-09-2004 01:17 PM
Confused About Cycling--Am I re-cycling? Why? hummingbird114 Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started 9 08-13-2004 06:09 PM
More about cycling.... ClamKnuckle Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 1 05-19-2004 04:39 PM







» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:27 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.