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Old 04-30-2022, 04:07 PM   #1
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Question Tank was cycled now no nitrates! Frustrated

Hi it saddens me to say that I lost my first fish- betta Marven. Now it seems I have bigger problems.

I believe my tank was cycled now Iím showing no ammonia, nitrites or nitrates after water change and filter media changed. I changed 30% water twice as I worried about my 3 ottos getting sick. There was filter white stringy stuff spilling into my 10 g tank making it cloudy so I replaced 2 of the 3 filters.

I am feeling discouraged at this point and this feels more like stress and sadness than relaxation and fun! I wonít bail at this point as I like my little Otto friends.

What does this mean? Am I starting cycling from square 1 now? What should I do? Thanks 🙏 again, k

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Old 04-30-2022, 04:40 PM   #2
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Unhappy Clarification

Hi I meant to say that I changed 2 of 3 of the filter cartridges- not filter housing. I also vacuumed gravel.

Does my cycle start from the beginning now? Thanks 😊
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Old 04-30-2022, 04:42 PM   #3
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Its a really bad idea to replace filter media. Thats where the bacteria that are responsible for your cycle live. Replace the media, you lose that bacteria. Unless your media is literally falling apart just rinse it off in water taken from your tank or dechlorinated tap water. If you have to replace your filter media, dont replace it all at once. If you have 3 cartridges, only replace one of them at a time.

Your zero water nitrate is probably down to the water changes. Your zero ammonia + nitrite is either down to the water changes or you retained your cycle. You may have crashed your cycle by replacing your filter media, you may not have done. Continue with your water testing, if ammonia and/or nitrite gets elevated, water change, same as you have been doing.

Things will get better.
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Old 04-30-2022, 04:52 PM   #4
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Thanks for your help again. Will it help that I kept one cartridge in and left the filter housing alone?
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Old 04-30-2022, 05:18 PM   #5
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Yes. Keeping 1 cartridge will help. And some beneficial bacteria will be living on your filter housing, some will be living on your substrate, any decorations etc. So you wont be starting over from scratch.

Going forward, getting rid of cartridges altogether would benefit you. A filter is just a box that contains media, and using proper biomedia and sponges that dont need replacing so often as cartridges would be the way to go everytime IMO.

I dont think you have said what filter you have, but this video will show you in principal what im talking about.

https://youtu.be/Yiv_HNghkn0

Obviously, throwing the cartridges and replacing with proper biomedia will mean starting your cycle again, but short term pain for long term gain. If you dont want to go down this route though, in future 1 replacement cartridge at a time.
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