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 05-27-2022, 02:35 AM   #1
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2022
Posts: 5
Tank Not Fully Cycled After 3 Months

This will be a bit of a dozy to explain, so here goes.

I am doing a fishless freshwater cycle. I originally had a 5 gallon tank that I started back on March 1st. I set it up, added water and added some fish food. I never saw ammonia come from the fish food, so I have since then used Fritz Ammonia. I try to dose it each time to 1-2ppm, though I have accidently overdosed on occasion due to measuring the exact amount needed being rather difficult.

March 7th was when I started adding Fritz ammonia, and here is where I run into my main issue: I have never seen nitrites. I tested a lot in the early days but it was always zero. I feel the absence of nitrites is what has caused this cycle to run so slowly. Couldn't even get nitrates because of it.

April 17th I used Tetra Safestart and that was when I finally saw nitrates. Now I have not kept track of the numbers, a mistake on my end, but ammonia finally starting going down. It took until April 20th to get to 0.50ppm, and by May 5th it had gone down to .25 every three days.

This week I was suggested to upgrade to a 10 gallon tank, which I did. I am unsure if moving everything from a 5 gallon to a 10 gallon may have messed with anything, but I was told a bigger tank cycled better. As of this week too, my ammonia goes down .25ppm everyday.

Currently, I have live java fern plants, crushed coral, and some driftwood in my tank. My tank currently has 0.75 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and 5 nitrates as of writing this. My Ph is 7.5 and my temperature reaches up to 82 degrees. My tap water does not have any signs of ammonia or nitrates. I live in New York just for reference.

With all of that out of the way, does my tank seem fine? How much longer must I wait? Should I try to get filter media from my LFS? Are there any ways to fix some of the problems above, and is there anything else I should look out for?

__________________
NoNitrites is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2022, 03:17 AM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 3,720
A major problem with fishless cycling is people expecting it to run to a timetable. Cycling a tank takes as long as it takes. It could take 3 weeks, 3 months or longer.

When you are able to dose 2ppm ammonia and see zero ammonia and nitrite 24 hours later you are cycled.

Products like safestart "might" speed things up a little. More often they do very little. Getting some filter media from an established filter is the best thing you can do. Raising the the temperature up to 87f will speed things up as this is optimum temperature for bacteria growth.

We get a lot of traffic on this site with people having trouble cycling tanks. By far more people have trouble doing fishless cycles. Everytime someone cant get their tank to cycle without fish, going fish in sorts it.

Is there a reason you are doing a fishless cycle? Personally after 3 months of no fish and little progress i would want to see something swimming around.
__________________
Aiken Drum
Community Moderator
Aiken Drum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2022, 03:28 AM   #3
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2022
Posts: 5
I figured. Guess I'm just impatient.

I would love to raise the temperature, though I am worried that 87 degrees may be too warm for my java ferns. I definitely am considering asking around for leftover media.

I have thought about a fish-in cycle but I am not sure I want to risk making a fish sick.
__________________
NoNitrites is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2022, 03:59 AM   #4
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 3,720
The only time ive ever seen an issue with a fish in cycle causing harm to fish is when its not done properly. There are right ways and wrong ways to go about things.

What used to happen with fish in cycling was put some fish in a tank, change some water occasionally, if fish die replace them, when they stop dying you are cycled. This is where "fish in cycles make fish sick" comes from. A lot more is understood now about the nitrogen cycle and ammonia toxicity, and fish in cycles are safe if water parameters are monitored and water is changed when needed to ensure safe amounts of waste while leaving enough in to cycle the tank.

Back to your fishless cycle though, ive just cycled a tank in 3 weeks using a little established media from another tank. Thats a better result than you typically get with bottled bacteria products like safe start.

To give you a typical timeline for a fishless cycle. 2 to 3 weeks to see ammonia drop from 2ppm to zero in 24 hours. Another 5 or 6 weeks to see the same for nitrite. You are 3 months and still not seeing ammonia drop sufficiently.
__________________
Aiken Drum
Community Moderator
Aiken Drum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2022, 04:17 AM   #5
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2022
Posts: 5
Still iffy about fish-in cycling, but I'll consider it as a last resort.

Right now I'll see if I can use established media. Gonna try to ask my LFS later since I have to pick up new ammonia tests anyway. Not sure how set it up since I have the cartridge from my 5 gallon, a new cartridge that came with my filter, and potentially the media from the LFS. I have an Aqueon QuietFlow 10 filter for reference, and I have some mesh bags to put in everything.
__________________
NoNitrites is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2022, 04:22 AM   #6
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 3,720
If its a cartridge type filter that has no space to drop in filter media ask them for some sponge that can be rinsed out in the tank. Make sure you keep the sponge wet with water from a tank.

With regards to test kit. Are you using strips? A liquid test kit is much more accurate, and much more cost effective than strips.

If you are getting a new tests, look to get the API freshwater master test kit. It covers what you need (pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate), is accurate enough for what you are using it for, and as you get 100s of tests from it, much more cost effective long run than buying strips.
__________________
Aiken Drum
Community Moderator
Aiken Drum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2022, 04:29 AM   #7
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2022
Posts: 5
I already use API Freshwater Masterkit actually.

It is a cartridge type but the inside is big enough to add some media I believe.

So if I got a sponge filter, would I just leave it in the tank? Or do I keep it separate somewhere?
__________________
NoNitrites is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2022, 04:47 AM   #8
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 3,720
Not necessarily a sponge filter. A sponge from a filter will do. It will be full of beneficial bacteria. Just squeeze it out in your water, all the gunk will get drawn into your filtration and the beneficial bacteria with it.
__________________
Aiken Drum
Community Moderator
Aiken Drum is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
cycle, cycled, led, tan, tank

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
Aquarium not cycled after 2 months AKLB Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 31 10-22-2018 04:54 PM
Fully decorated, fully stocked 45g Tigerbarb12 Members Freshwater Tanks Showcase 1 04-07-2015 02:07 PM
My 15G tank first tank fully cycled oklahomaNew621 Members Freshwater Tanks Showcase 12 06-07-2012 06:20 PM
Ich in a not yet fully cycled tank?! Help! superjudi89 Freshwater & Brackish - Unhealthy Fish 2 11-03-2011 08:23 AM
20 Gallon fully cycled after only 4 days? Sarah E Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started 7 10-22-2011 09:18 AM







» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:40 AM.


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