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Fishless Cycling Problem

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Offline barneyadi

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Fishless cycling problem
« on: January 25, 2017, 09:00:24 PM »
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Hi All

Am new to site but having an issue in my fishless cycle. Got artificial plants and some ornaments in tank with a sand substrate. Started on 7th Jan, used Prime to dechlorinate the water and then on 8th added 3ppm of ammonia. My PH is 7.0. On the 21st ammonia was below 0.75ppm but no nitrites. After speaking to some people they suggested topping up ammonia to 3ppm and put some Tetra Start Up in just to try and give it a kick but as of today ammonia is about 1.10ppm , still no nitrites and nitrates have stayed at 2.5ppm all the way along. My water is soft and Gh is 4.2 or 75ppm and KH is 60ppm according to water board. I understand this is quite low.
Could this be holding up the nitrites appearing? Would some bicarb of soda help? Or anything else I could do?
Any help much appreciated.

Dave

Offline Sue

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2017, 09:43:38 PM »
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Hi Dave,

I'm Sue from the other forum  ;D


I completely forgot to mention using a plant fertiliser as someone on the other forum has suggested. Your water is so soft that it's short of everything, and plant fertiliser contains lots of trace minerals. I use Seachem Flourish, the one without anything else added to the name.

I think maybe see if the advice you've been given 'over there' by the poster called Steven would help, he really knows his stuff.

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2017, 10:08:52 PM »
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Thanks Sue

Will try the Seachem flourish and hold off the bicarb for now.

David

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2017, 03:37:21 PM »
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Just had a quick thought, is there anyway I could of squashed the sponges in the filter which would cause the bacteria not to grow?

Offline Sue

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2017, 04:18:09 PM »
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The only way that would cause a problem is if you squashed them in such a way the water can't flow through them. Is the water is coming out of the filter outlet nice and strong?



Very very silly question. Did any of the media (sponges, cirax etc) come wrapped in plastic - and if they did, did you remove the plastic wrapper? It has been known......

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2017, 04:20:59 PM »
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Water seems ok out the outlet, causing rippling on water surface.

99.9% sure plastic is off. The top layer piece split into 3, so I just used one of them, hopefully that was ok.

Offline Sue

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2017, 04:32:09 PM »
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The white pads do come in packs of three.

The white pads do clog quickly when you have things in there to clog them. They don't wash very well - they fall into holes very easily - and they are not a very good media for bacteria to grow on. There main purpose is to catch bits so they don't get into the other media.
Because they have to be changed often they can work out expensive. Buy a roll of filter wool instead - or a metre cut off a roll - and use the juwel white pads as a template to cut the sheet up. Much cheaper.

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2017, 12:29:38 PM »
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Here is a post of my tests and sponges, Two blue sponges are on bottom and blue and green one on top. I have put carbon one in but not sure I need it. Is that right? And top right one seems a little dirty.

Offline Sue

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2017, 12:42:23 PM »
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That looks right. The fine blue sponges go in the bottom with the coarse blue sponges higher up. Do you have cirax as well?

The top white one will get dirty. It is first in the direction of water flow and Juwel put it there to catch any bits before they can get to the sponges.
Although you don't have fish (their poo and any uneaten food will end up stuck to the white pad) or live plants that could lose bits the white pad is picking up something. The grey looks a bit like the dust that sand contains when you first buy it and no matter how much you wash it, there always seems to be some left.

You could try washing it very gently in a tub of tank water, but be very gentle as filter wool (aka filter floss) goes into holes very easily.

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2017, 01:04:59 PM »
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Hi

No I don't have cirax, it's an option you can purchase separately. Is this something I should have? Also do I need the black carbon filter.

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2017, 03:28:14 PM »
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Now here's a though. The green sponge is called Nitrax and is a nitrate remover. Could this be why my nitrates haven't changed. According to Juwel they have various optional media. Links below:

https://www.juwel-aquarium.co.uk/Products/Filtering/Filter-media/Cirax/
https://www.juwel-aquarium.co.uk/Products/Filtering/Filter-media/Amorax/

Could one or both of them help?

Offline Sue

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2017, 06:41:44 PM »
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You don't need cirax, sponges are a very good home for bacetria.

The general consensus is that the nitrate sponge doesn't work, and even Juwel says it doesn't work immediately. From their website with my italics
Quote
The nitrate removal sponge contains bacteria, which will after a while reduce the nitrate level

They say that the green sponge contains anaerobic bacteria that break down nitrate - but anaerobic means in the absence of oxygen, and the filter has lots of oxygenated water flowing through it so anaerobic bacteria won't grow there.


The general opinion is that it doesn't remove nitrate so treat it like a blue sponge and leave it there till it starts to fall apart.
But if you wish to, there's no reason you can't remove it, let it dry and put it in the cupboard until the tank has cycled. There is plenty more media to grow enough bacteria to support a tankful of fish.

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2017, 06:54:28 PM »
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How about the Amorax, have you ever heard anything about it?

Offline Sue

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2017, 07:16:04 PM »
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I'd not come across that till I saw it on Juwel's website looking for that quote. They say it is zeolite. I would never use this in an aquarium of mine.

It removes ammonia, so there is none left to get the bacteria to grow. If you use it you are tied in to changing it before it becomes full for ever. If you don't change it in time, it becomes saturated, stops absorbing ammonia and, because you haven't been able to grow any bacteria, the ammonia level in the tank rockets and harms the fish.

It works out expensive changing it on a regular basis for ever. It is much cheaper to grow some bacteria.

Zeolite also absorbs medication, so you have to remove it if the fish get sick - and then ammonia will rocket as a result.



Zeolite does have a place. If something happens to the filter bacteria when the fish keeper is not there to sort it out, zeolite can be used to save the fish. We once had a member who was away on a business trip. His wife phoned him to say she was testing the water as instructed and found the ammonia reading was high for some reason. because he wasn't there to investigate, we suggested his wife get some zeolite to protect the fish till his return.

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2017, 07:13:14 PM »
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Well with no movement on ammonia or nitrites or nitrates, have done a large water change today. One thing I noticed is the 125 litres my tank quotes seems nearer 105 litres, is that common?

Offline Sue

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2017, 07:19:40 PM »
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It is common. Juwel do tend to give the volume as being the amount of water it will hold when empty. But we put in substrate and decor which displaces a lot of water so the volume of water we end up with is somewhat less than the empty volume.
Other makes give the volume as the amount of space occupied by the whole tank, including the thickness of the glass, the space under the bottom pane with floating bases, and the air space on top of the water.


Offline barneyadi

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2017, 07:32:56 PM »
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but what figure do I use when calculating ammonia, 105 or 125 litres?

Offline Sue

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2017, 07:37:54 PM »
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Use the amount of water the tank holds, 105 litres.

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2017, 02:27:57 PM »
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Well that's me all rest, decided to start with 1ppm ammonia as Tetra Safe Start might have problem with higher ammonia levels supposedly. Hopefully some bacteria is still there to help out as well.

Finally got a GH/KH tester today. GH was 107ppm and KH 53ppm, how often should I check these with those figures?

Offline Sue

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2017, 02:55:59 PM »
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Those figures convert to

GH 107 ppm = 6 German deg
KH 53 ppm = 3 German deg

GH shouldn't vary much. It will only change significantly if you use a substrate or decor that is made of calcium carbonate (eg coral sand, limestone rocks) as these will dissolve and increase GH; or if the tank water evaporates a lot and you top it up with tap water - in this case, the water evaporates but leaves the minerals that comprise GH behind and when you top up you add more minerals so GH gradually increases.

KH can vary. The natural tendency of fish tanks is to become acidic. Nitrate made by the filter bacteria (once the tank is cycled!) and other things excreted by fish are acidic. Carbonate reacts with acids and they get used up. If there's not much there to start with - like yours (and mine) - KH can fall to zero meaning a pH crash is likely. This isn't a problem once the tank is cycled as large regular water changes will keep the KH topped up, but during cycling we don't do water changes, and we make a lot of nitrate so KH can get used up.

It is important to keep an eye on your KH during cycling, and I would also keep an eye on it for a while after you have a tankful of fish. And keep an eye on pH.




Back about 10 years ago I was lazy about doing water changes. Sometimes I went 3 or 4 weeks between changes. And I was overstocked as I now realise. Then I discovered that my pH had dropped by a lot so I came on-line looking for a solution, and found Thinkfish. The site had an advisor back then, and he told me it was because of my low KH - at that time my water company used a table which gave both GH and KH. He recommended that I use remineralisation salts of the kind that people who use RO water need, but I found that by changing at least 30% of the water every week without fail stopped the pH dropping.
I did buy GH and KH testers and kept an eye on those for a good while, but once I knew that my water change regime kept the KH high enough, I never bought any more testers once they ran out.

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #20 on: January 30, 2017, 07:21:35 PM »
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Do you think it might help to put some bicarb of soda now? is 25ml (5 teaspoons) be a good figure to use? I only ask as someone has suggested trying to keep my kh over 100ppm

Offline Sue

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #21 on: January 30, 2017, 07:38:00 PM »
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My KH is more or less the same as yours and I added bicarb during fishless cycles. The first one, I didn't add it right at the beginning and I did have a pH crash so added it then. With the second one I added it right at the beginning and had no problems.
I used 1 x 5ml spoonful - level spoonful - in a 25 litre tank. As long as the KH reading is 6 deg/107 ppm or above it should be OK but monitor it to be sure.
Bicarb will also increase the pH so don't be surprised if you test yours and find it higher.

As I have softish water, if I had known at the time that the bacteria also need minerals to grow properly, I would have added some plant fertiliser as well.

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #22 on: January 30, 2017, 07:46:20 PM »
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I have seachem flourish, a plant thing although I don't have plants. Would putting some of that in prove helpful as well?

Offline Andy The Minion

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #23 on: January 30, 2017, 08:01:59 PM »
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@barneyadi I think that would depend on the fish as much as anything, I don't recall if you have shared your stocking plans in the past - and I'm too idle to go look :-[
You may have seen from my witterings I run at below 10ppm but as Sue states you can't drop your guard at this level. It is then down to your personal feelings, I would feel completely comfortable at 54ppm providing I can monitor and maintain regularly (let's be honest we should be doing that anyway)
A dropper checker might be a good investment, they are cheap and normally used to indicate CO2 levels in planted tanks but actually show pH changes. Because it stays in the tank so you can see the water is good at a glance whenever you pass.

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #24 on: January 30, 2017, 08:19:11 PM »
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Hi Andy

I think with one fishless cycle tried and stalled, if I can do anything to help things along I will try anything. Stock wise, hope to have Harlequins, Neon Tetras, Panda Corys, Marble Hatchets and a Bolivian Ram, but is subject to change.

Offline Andy The Minion

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #25 on: January 30, 2017, 08:41:38 PM »
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@barneyadi  Oh I see, I was talking about Alkalinity for the long term in the previous post.
For a cycle them definitely no harm adding, you will do an almost complete water change at the end of a fishless cycles and can adjust your Kh if you need after that.
Use pH as your guide for now, the danger point for microbes is below 6.5pH but if it has significantly dropped since you started then add as Sue suggests. The higher the pH and temperature (within reason) the better the bacteria will colonise but whatever you do .... don't go near @Paddy60 cycling tank, you might catch whatever it has that stops it cycling :(
I presume you have read Sue's excellent guide to fishless cycle https://forums.thinkfish.co.uk/fishtank-filtration-and-cycling/fishless-cycling-how-to-do-it ?

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #26 on: January 30, 2017, 08:46:03 PM »
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I am hoping I haven't caught @Paddy60 problem. Mine seemed to stall after 22 days, no nitrites at all and ammonia seemed to stop dropping.
I have temperature at around 28c, been told that is ideal for bacteria. Have read Sue's guide, I was following it when things went wrong. Trying a slightly different plan with a lower ammonia ppm to start hoping that it will kick things off.

Offline Andy The Minion

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #27 on: January 30, 2017, 08:58:55 PM »
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Yes it is so you can bake Sue a cake if it works :)

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #28 on: January 30, 2017, 09:02:08 PM »
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If fact they are different in some way. Fortunately got both in the cupboard so just mixed up some and put in tank. Although just read Baking powder and Bicarbonate of Soda are same thing. Now i'm confused but use Bicarb just in case.

Offline Sue

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #29 on: January 30, 2017, 09:35:50 PM »
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Barneyadi is still at the stage of sorting out his fishless cycle - his ammonia drops but no sign of nitrite or nitrate. He has all fake plants.

I first met him on another forum where this problem first became apparent. Another member on there has suggested that in addition to artificially boosting KH during cycling - because the bacteria need inorganic carbon to grow and low KH often leads to pH crashes - adding a trace mineral plants fertiliser helps as well because the bacteria also need trace minerals which are lacking in soft water. The chap on the other forum recommends Seachem Flourish as being the one that has the most complete range of trace minerals.



Dave - baking powder and bicarbonate of soda are not the same thing. Baking powder contains bicarb plus a weak acid such as tartaric acid. You don't want this acid in the tank.

Offline Andy The Minion

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #30 on: January 30, 2017, 10:08:47 PM »
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Oooer which did you originally say? I read Baking soda but I think but you edited it afterwards and I'm not sure now.... what Sue says is correct as always.

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #31 on: January 30, 2017, 10:13:51 PM »
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Luckily I went with the bicarb of soda. Haven't added the Seachem Flourish just yet, think putting the ammonia and Tetra Safe Start and bicarb today might be enough. Will check to see how ammonia is doing tomorrow, a little early but you never know.

Offline Sue

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #32 on: January 31, 2017, 09:05:23 AM »
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Re baking powder and bicarbonate of soda it is easy for me to remember. In cookery lessons in the mid 1960s we were told that using self raising flour was lazy so we had to use plain flour and add baking powder to make cakes rise. I thought this was mean, self raising flour existed so why not use it?
My mother told me I was lucky being allowed to use baking powder. She had her cookery lessons in the late 1930s and they were told that using baking powder was lazy, they had to mix their own from bicarbonate of soda and cream of tartar (tartaric acid).

How times change.



And chemistry lessons told me how they all worked.

Offline Andy The Minion

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #33 on: January 31, 2017, 12:57:54 PM »
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The neighboring kids taking whateve the call cookery classes now use CAKE MIXES !
Truly the times they are achangin but give it 10 years and they will be ordering the cake from the supermarket and having it delivered. They will asking which type of flour to add to the tank
Have I just turned into a grumpy old codger?  :isay:

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #34 on: January 31, 2017, 01:31:58 PM »
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Well just checked ammonia, has dropped from 1ppm to somewhere between .50 and .75ppm so hopefully that is a good sign. Also checked the KH and is around 133ppm, up from 53ppm. So hopefully both are good signs. Someone told me to keep KH above 100ppm, how often should I check the KH?

Offline Sue

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #35 on: January 31, 2017, 01:47:19 PM »
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I would check it every few days once you have nitrite and nitrate building up. Those are the acidic things made by filter bacteria. You don't have any fish yet to add to the acidity.

My tap water has KH 3 deg/55 ppm, pH 7.5 and between the 0 and 5 colours for nitrate.
I did a fishless cycle 4 years ago and didn't test the pH regularly. When it occurred to me I should be testing the pH, I discovered it was off the bottom of the scale (ie below 6) and the nitrate was 40 ppm.

With a KH of 133 after adding bicarb, you should be OK up to 40 ppm nitrate. But I would get into the habit of testing the pH every time you test for ammonia etc. It is a very quick test and you'll know if it starts to fall that you need to test for KH.

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #36 on: January 31, 2017, 03:10:01 PM »
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Thanks Sue

I am going to check ammonia everyday as hopefully things might progress slightly quicker than a new tank. Will check PH every other day and see how things go.

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #37 on: February 01, 2017, 01:29:11 PM »
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Ok test results today

PH 7.0ish
ammonia 0.50ppm
nitrite 0
nitrate 2.5ppm (same as tap)

Seems ammonia going in right direction for now, so fingers crossed.

Offline Sue

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #38 on: February 01, 2017, 01:34:44 PM »
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I'm just confused as to where it is going since you don't have live plants  ???

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #39 on: February 01, 2017, 02:01:38 PM »
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Hi Sue

What figure is confusing? Don't for get I did a water change on Sunday, 95% roughly. So take it I wouldn't get nitrite or nitrates just yet. Ammonia went in Monday, only 1ppm so has dropped .50 in 2 days.

Offline Sue

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #40 on: February 01, 2017, 02:20:53 PM »
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If some ammonia has gone, it must have gone somewhere. In fish tanks there are two possibilities.

When a tank has live plants, they use ammonia as fertiliser so as they take it up the reading drops.

When a tank has no plants, there must be another reason. Something is eating the ammonia, usually the ammonia eating bacteria. They turn the ammonia into nitrite.
1 ppm ammonia -> 2.7 ppm nitrite so if you've lost 0.5 ppm ammonia that would have made 1.35 ppm nitrite. But your nitrite is zero.
Just supposing you had enough nitrite eaters to turn that 1.35 ppm nitrite into nitrate. 1 ppm ammonia -> 2.7 ppm nitrite -> 3.6 ppm nitrate. So your missing 0.5 ppm ammonia would have been turned into 1.8 ppm nitrate.
This is a bit trickier because our nitrate testers aren't good enough to pick up a rise of just 1.8 ppm.

Are you using API liquid testers, and does your nitrite tester goes a nice sky blue after the 5 minutes with not even a hint of purple?



I think the way to go is to add 3 ppm ammonia and see what happens. If that drops to zero, it should make 8.1 ppm nitrite, which is off the top of the scale. That nitrite would be turned into 10.8 ppm nitrate, and a rise of nitrate that size should show up when testing. Just make sure to shake the one nitrate reagent bottle and test tube as per the instruction or you'll get a false reading.








Offline barneyadi

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #41 on: February 01, 2017, 02:29:17 PM »
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If some ammonia has gone, it must have gone somewhere. In fish tanks there are two possibilities.

When a tank has live plants, they use ammonia as fertiliser so as they take it up the reading drops.

When a tank has no plants, there must be another reason. Something is eating the ammonia, usually the ammonia eating bacteria. They turn the ammonia into nitrite.
1 ppm ammonia -> 2.7 ppm nitrite so if you've lost 0.5 ppm ammonia that would have made 1.35 ppm nitrite. But your nitrite is zero.
Just supposing you had enough nitrite eaters to turn that 1.35 ppm nitrite into nitrate. 1 ppm ammonia -> 2.7 ppm nitrite -> 3.6 ppm nitrate. So your missing 0.5 ppm ammonia would have been turned into 1.8 ppm nitrate.
This is a bit trickier because our nitrate testers aren't good enough to pick up a rise of just 1.8 ppm.

Are you using API liquid testers, and does your nitrite tester goes a nice sky blue after the 5 minutes with not even a hint of purple?



I think the way to go is to add 3 ppm ammonia and see what happens. If that drops to zero, it should make 8.1 ppm nitrite, which is off the top of the scale. That nitrite would be turned into 10.8 ppm nitrate, and a rise of nitrate that size should show up when testing. Just make sure to shake the one nitrate reagent bottle and test tube as per the instruction or you'll get a false reading.

I must say the Nitrate seemed slightly darker today, so might be nearer 5ppm than the 2.5ppm I quoted. And yes, bottle and tube shaken as recommended. Using API testers, Nitrite is blue, no hint of purple at all. Should I try shaking the Nitrite bottle just in case?

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #42 on: February 01, 2017, 02:40:48 PM »
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Just checked Nitrite and definitely light blue.

Offline Sue

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #43 on: February 01, 2017, 02:47:32 PM »
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I usually shake all the bottles a bit, but shake nitrate #2 very hard and long.


Since it is known that Tetra Safe Start contains the right species of nitrite eaters, there is the possibility that you might not see any nitrite. The proof is going to be if your nitrate increases as ammonia drops. But to see any increase in nitrate you'll need to add more than 1 ppm ammonia as that won't make enough nitrate to be certain of an increase.
I'd go with adding a 3ppm dose of ammonia next, then when that drops another 3 ppm unless nitrite does start to rise. If the ammonia is going straight to nitrate, that should make enough to show up on the nitrate test.

But if you do start to see nitrite, go with instructions as too much nitrite will stall the cycle.

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #44 on: February 01, 2017, 02:59:08 PM »
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I was thinking of increasing ammonia maybe 2ppm and then 3ppm. I have read on another forum that someone has low alkalinity (40ppm) which is KH I guess and their cycle has stalled. Wondering if keeping KH over 100ppm is a good thing to do. Once I have fish, can I keep using bicarb or is there something else that would help.

Offline Sue

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #45 on: February 01, 2017, 03:11:27 PM »
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Alkalinity is what water companies call KH. At over 100 ppm yours should be OK, you can always add a bit more bicarb if it does start to fall.

The chemical name of bicarb is sodium hydrogen carbonate, and the sodium bit is the problem when there are fish in the tank. Natural water sources don't have much sodium in them so fish have not evolved to cope with it, certainly not fish from soft water areas. We need another way to stop KH falling.

I have KH 3 german deg/54 ppm and I keep things stable by weekly water changes of at least 30% to top up the KH. I find this works fine for me.
Alternatives would be to use crushed aragonite in a bag in the filter - this contains both calcium and magnesium rather than crushed coral or limestone which only contain calcium. But if your pH is 7.0 or over, not much will dissolve. And it is possible to use too much.
Another option would be to use remineralisation salts designed for use with RO water. You wouldn't need much, just enough to boost your KH slightly. The downside to this is that you would have to add exactly the same amount per litre of new water at every water change as swinging GH would not be good for the fish. Doing emergency water changes if you were near the end of the pack of remin salts would be impossible;you'd have to keep an unopened pack in the cupboard at all times. And it would work out expensive long term.

I'd stick with water changes once you have fish and see if that is enough. You can always try one of the other options if water changes alone aren't enough.

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #46 on: February 01, 2017, 03:29:27 PM »
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Thanks Sue

Will post figures daily, as might help someone in the future. More I read on other forum I think KH is very important, seems to be a main reason that cycles stall so will watch mine every few days. If I hit another stumbling block, will have to look at plan C, D and E.

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #47 on: February 03, 2017, 01:52:45 PM »
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Test done today. Ammonia seems around .25 to .50ppm, nitrites are o ( but could be down to using Tetra start Safe) and Nitrate seems to be about 5ppm, which is slightly up. Picture attached.


Offline Sue

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #48 on: February 03, 2017, 02:21:43 PM »
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How much ammonia did you add in total?

I would wait until ammonia drops to zero then add enough to give 3 ppm. When that falls, see what your nitrate reading is.


One question - when you compare the colour of the water to the chart, what kind of light is it? Daylight or electric light - and if it's electric light, what kind of light bulb? Fluorescent lights, both tubes and compact fluorescent energy saving bulbs, are known to distort the shade of the ammonia test. Daylight is best, or halogen bulbs or LED bulbs, and even old fashioned bulbs if you still have any.

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Fishless cycling problem
« Reply #49 on: February 03, 2017, 02:32:13 PM »
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Hi Sue, just 1ppm to start. Light wise is either daylight or halogen. The Ammonia green is always hard to read as there seems to be subtle changes in the colour and always hard to discern.

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