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Old 02-22-2021, 02:17 PM   #1
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Help with fishless cycle, ammonia not dropping at all

Hello everyone I am brand new to the fishkeeping hobby and I have learned a lot on this forum. However I am still unable to figure why my tank is not cycling . I started my cycle on 1/18, I received awful advice from a friend that worked at petsmart. He told me not to use dechlorinator since I was doing a fishless cycle. After reading through this forum I realized that advice not only set my cycle back but also ruined any bacteria I had developing. Since then I have tried everything outside of starting completely anew to get my cycle going and I still haven't seen any drop in ammonia. After receiving the bad advice from my friend I did order a chlorine test kit just to make sure there was no chlorine present in the tank. I used Seachem Prime to treat the water.

I have a 75 gallon tank with a Tidal 110 HOB filter, I am using pool filter sand as my substrate and I do not have any live plants in the tank but I do want to add some eventually.

I am using Dr. Tim's ammonium chloride solution to add ammonia and I am dosing to 4ppm. I was under the impression that I may have over dosed the ammonia because I never saw any signs of it dropping after weeks. I did a PWC last night and it brought my ammonia to 2ppm. I dosed it back to 4ppm for now.

I have gravel from a friends tank, and its been there for a little over a week and I still have yet to see any nitrites or nitrates. I am using the API kit.

My PH appears to be at a 7.6 and I have the heater at 83 degrees fahrenheit. I am also using Seachem Stability but it doesnt appear to be working.

Im honestly just at a complete loss at this point, I know fishless cycling requires patience but I just feel like something has to be wrong if Im still not seeing even the slightest drop in ammonia.


Any help would be greatly appreciated, I can post a picture of my test results this morning if needed.
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Old 02-22-2021, 05:00 PM   #2
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Cycling your tank/filter will take 3-8 weeks to complete. Here is information on Aquarium Cycling that will help you out. You are correct that Stability will do nothing. Prime is just fine for your de chlorinator. Fishless Cycling information is here too.
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Old 02-22-2021, 06:02 PM   #3
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Is it not strange to have no drop in ammonia in that time frame though?
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Old 02-22-2021, 06:13 PM   #4
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Not really. Just don't do any water changes and don't clean any filters which remove your bacteria. You do a water change and now you remove the ammonia that is needed to get your bacteria going. Patience...
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Old 02-22-2021, 06:53 PM   #5
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Oh, I see you have a Tidal 110 on your tank. Great filter. Would you like to know how to pimp that out to make it better?
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Old 02-22-2021, 09:57 PM   #6
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Definitely I bought an extra foam piece for the bottom because I saw someone fill it up on youtube and I have filter floss in there as well.

I have a question about the tidal 110 as well, this is probably gonna sound dumb but I have no one to run this stuff by. When I added the filter floss I took the basket out and let the water drain, when I put the basket back in a bunch of dusty water went into my tank. Am I suppose to drain the water in the filter before I put the basket back in? Hope this makes sense.

Also I did do a water change last night about 50%, I read on here if the ammonia is not dropping after weeks sometimes doing a PWC will get the cycle going, something about replacing the buffers in the water not exactly sure which thread it was on.
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Old 02-22-2021, 10:29 PM   #7
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There will always be stuff left at the bottom when you remove the basket. Siphon it out if you want. Here is how to major pimp the Tidal series filters. I have done this to both my Tidal 75 and 55.

1. Drill out the bottom of the basket. This is my Tidal 75 drilled out with 5/16" holes for more water flow through my sponges.
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2. If you use the foam that came with the Tidal, then remove everything else (get rid of the Matrix) but keep that sponge and now just put in as many plastic pot scrubbies as you can fit inside as this is superior media. Reference: https://aquariumscience.org/index.php/7-filter-media/

3. However what I did was just use all Poret foam. 10 ppi on the bottom half, 20 ppi on the top half. Make sure the foam is extended at least 1/4" above the white basket so any over flow water is filtered back to front with at least 3.5 inches of foam. You will have to cut the foam carefully as the size increases as you move up the inside of the basket.
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4. I don't like the blue flow dial at the bottom of the pump housing. I always want this full on and it moved too easy. Simple fix, remove the pump housing and remove the blue dial with a flat blade screwdriver as it will just pop out. Remove the internal flapper. Silicone this hole up with aquarium silicone.

5. Sometimes the top skimmer may suck up your food. Simple fix here is just use a small mesh plastic and slide it in between the slots.
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6. Don't forget a prefilter sponge on the intake.


This is all biological media. I use no mechanical media at all any more since switching to pot scrubbies and 10/20 ppi foam. Water is crystal clear all the time.
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Old 02-22-2021, 10:37 PM   #8
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Thats awesome so you took out the Matrix completely thats really interesting. When would be the best time to make these modifications if im in the middle of cycling. When I finish im assuming?
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Old 02-22-2021, 10:46 PM   #9
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Also where did you get the Poret foam?
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Old 02-22-2021, 10:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emills1027 View Post
Thats awesome so you took out the Matrix completely thats really interesting. When would be the best time to make these modifications if im in the middle of cycling. When I finish im assuming?
Actually now is a good time and no fish. Just make your changes to the filter but save your old media and foam. Once you fire up your pimped Tidal now squeeze and shake that old media into the water directly because this has all your good bacteria on it. This will now get sucked up and deposited on the new media and your water will clear in hours. Granted it's not a lot of good bacteria since you are cycling but after this you can take the Matrix bag and just lay it on the top of the foam and just wait it out. You can remove the Matrix later.
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Old 02-22-2021, 10:54 PM   #11
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Also where did you get the Poret foam?
Swiss Tropicals. Welcome to SwissTropicals - SWISSTROPICALS
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