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Old 03-31-2020, 05:05 PM   #1
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Fishless Cycling help

Hello,

I am new here! I have been trying to fishless cycle for months now and for a reason that I cannot figure out, I have not been able to get it to work.

I originally bought a fish tank in August and followed the "The (almost) Complete Guide and FAQ to Fishless Cycling." I have a 20 gallon fish tank and am using Dr. Timís Aquatics Ammonium Chloride, Seachem Prime Conditioner, and an API test kit. I also have a heater, bubble wand and a filter that came with the tank. I originally bought multiple plants from petco and after months of constantly checking all the conditions (and only seeing 4 ppm ammonia) decided to try to restart my cycle. I suspected that maybe the plants had some bad bacteria that wasn't allowing the cycle to begin.

I threw away the plants, took everything apart, washed it thoroughly, and put it all back together. I restarted my cycle mid February and this time around also purchased API quick start. I again dosed up to 4 ppm and have been checking water conditions every 3 days. In mid March the ammonia levels seemed to have dropped all the way to 1 ppm so I dosed back up to 4 ppm. I have been checking levels since and have seen no signs of nitrates or nitrites since. My pH has also been around 7.6 for the last month or so.

I am at a complete loss of what to do at this point. The only thing I suspect could be causing this is that my filter seems to stop flowing through the foam pad and goes around it on the right side (I have attached an image of this as well).

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 03-31-2020, 05:55 PM   #2
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I have the same filter, and thatís not the problem. The filter works fine. By now I would try to introduce some used filter media if you know anyone around that has a fish tank, just find the dirtiest most disgusting filter pad and dip it in your aquarium. You might think thatís crazy but that pad will have SO MUCH beneficial bacteria and helpful water parameters that if that doesnít work, Iím not real sure what will. Hope this helps and good luck!
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Old 03-31-2020, 06:00 PM   #3
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Hi AquariumExpert,

Thanks for the reply! Good to know that the filter isn't the problem.

Unfortunately, I recently moved to Texas and don't know anyone here who owns a fish tank. I am pretty fed up at this point and was considering purchasing an active sponge filter from Angles plus. I have just sunk so much time and money into this fishtank with nothing to show.

I was planning to wait a couple more weeks and if I'm still seeing nothing, I will move forward with an active filter.
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Old 03-31-2020, 06:11 PM   #4
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Another thing that could possibly help is API stress Zyme, it already has helpful bacteria in it because itís used to consume ďsludge in the gravel bedĒ. Thatís normally what I use to help things along. Otherwise I just fill up the tank with water, and put food in it without fish. That helps to start the process along too because the food acts as a decomposing material and so produces ammonia, which than starts your cycle!
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Old 03-31-2020, 07:04 PM   #5
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What is the tank temp?
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Old 03-31-2020, 07:20 PM   #6
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It's been at 86 degrees since the beginning.
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Old 03-31-2020, 09:20 PM   #7
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This article mentions a lack of phosphate can stall your cycle. Don't know if you have read it yet.

https://www.aquariumadvice.com/tips-...ishless-cycle/

Also make sure there a a lot of O2 /water agitation - lowering the water so the overflow splashes more might help.

Along with the above additives suggestions it might get moving.

It is easy to see how frustrating this could be!
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