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Old 02-21-2020, 02:14 PM   #1
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No change in cycle + pH help

Hi guys! I have a 10g tank and started my fishless cycle on Feb. 10 (it is Feb. 21 as of this post), and nothing has changed.

I am using Dr. Timís ammonia drops, API Quick Start, and the API test kit (the one with the drops) to test everything.

My ammonia levels have been a consistent 4.0 with no changes to nitrates or nitrites. The tank is kept at 78~80F. Am I just being impatient? I feel as though 10 days is a bit too long for nothing to happen.

Also, my tap water is typically around 7.6 so I bought some cattappa leaves to lower it down a bit. A few days ago, my readings read 7.2, but then the next day it went up to 7.4... Not sure what could have caused it but I guess itís still lower than before.
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Old 02-21-2020, 02:31 PM   #2
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Silly question but I am assuming you used a dechlorinator right?

Sometimes it does take a while to start up. You can see if your local fish store is willing to donate some old filter media to give it a boost.

As to the pH is there any particular reason you want it lowered? I find changing pH to be more hassle than it's worth, to be honest.
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Old 02-21-2020, 02:53 PM   #3
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Yes, I am using API Stress Coat as my dechlorinator. I wanted to adjust my pH since I want to get into the ideal range for a betta and some pygmy corydoras.
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Old 02-21-2020, 03:03 PM   #4
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Hello Leaf...

You don't need to worry about the water being acidic or basic. There are no fish in the water. Once the tank is established, fish you get at the local pet store will adapt to a pH of between 6.5 and 8.5. Messing around with the water chemistry never works out well for the fish.

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Old 02-21-2020, 03:03 PM   #5
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Firstly having a larger tank tends to help as you can get and external filter (external filter has saved my tank with using a biological filter.) if it’s a small filter and tank like yours,then ur better off using zeolite and carbon media
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Old 02-21-2020, 03:05 PM   #6
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The problem with adjusting pH is that you have to then make sure you maintain it and it doesn't swing dramatically. If introduced to slightly less ideal pH gradually most fish can adjust and be just fine with what you have naturally. Although, if you are going to mess with pH using the leaves is probably one of the better methods since its no chemicals.
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Old 02-21-2020, 04:21 PM   #7
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Nearly two weeks does seem a long time to go without seeing nitrites though. Are you using a liquid kit to test the nitrites as well? Any live plants or chemical media that might be using up nitrogenous compounds?

(Agreed re: ph; it’s generally way more trouble/risk than it’s worth to mess with your ph with chemicals. Even using natural methods you need to be careful because then your tap won’t match the tank, making water changes potentially stressful.)
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Old 02-21-2020, 04:48 PM   #8
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You're on your way. Only takes about 3-8 weeks to cycle your tank.
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Old 02-21-2020, 09:33 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by libertybelle View Post
Nearly two weeks does seem a long time to go without seeing nitrites though. Are you using a liquid kit to test the nitrites as well? Any live plants or chemical media that might be using up nitrogenous compounds?

(Agreed re: ph; itís generally way more trouble/risk than itís worth to mess with your ph with chemicals. Even using natural methods you need to be careful because then your tap wonít match the tank, making water changes potentially stressful.)
IĎm using the liquid test kit. I do have two plants in my tank, but I canít think of anything else.
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Old 02-22-2020, 12:12 AM   #10
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Well I canít see any red flags in your post. If you have a lfs maybe have them double check the water in case you have a bad test kit which has been known to happen.

Otherwise your options are keep waiting and it will happen eventually (it may just be taking on the longer side for you for some reason) or find a source of bacteria, either commercial or from an already running tank to give things a boost.
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Old 02-22-2020, 02:21 PM   #11
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My 20 gallon took 8 weeks to cycle using boosters. I have a Betta in 7.8 PH and he does just fine. as others have said, PH swing is worse than trying to lower your 7.6
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