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Help With Fish Tank Cycle Please

Author Topic: Help with fish tank cycle please  (Read 8711 times)

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Offline Paddy60

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #50 on: January 28, 2017, 07:32:38 PM »
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have not redosed as ammonia has not droped from 1.5ppm

Offline Sue

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #51 on: January 28, 2017, 07:37:17 PM »
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Something odd is going on. With mature media from the 23 litre,, something should be happening.

Have you ever at any point done anything to the tank that could kill bacteria? For example, washed anything with  detergent, not used dechlorinator. Kleen Off ammonia is fine  - I used that and it was OK for me.

Offline Paddy60

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #52 on: January 28, 2017, 08:02:38 PM »
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no  pretty sure i have not.i did strip the tank down washed everything in dechlorinated water including gravel ,stripped filter washed impellor etc,removed some decor i thought could be the problem.when i started first cycle attempt i got  some readings ammonia and nitrite and thought this is going to be alot quicker then my other tank.I posted these readings and @Sue thought them ai bit strange.I then put in the tank decor and then ammonia stuck on 3ppm ,nitrite disappeared and then no change for 30days plus.Then did tank strip.I removed some decor that i thought might be the problem.All the remaining decor bought from maidenhead aquatics and fully washed in dechlorinated water.
 everything in my inexperienced opinion points to the decor but why?  other people have said this would not be the problem so l have kept going.
So should i keep being patient or should i do water change and remove decor or just remove decor. Or should i do re stripp again and remove decor and start from fresh

Offline Andy The Minion

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #53 on: January 28, 2017, 08:34:08 PM »
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@Paddy60 This defies logic! There must be something we are missing. Have you tried taking a water sample to your LFS and asking them to confirm your readings, could it just be a test kit problem??

Offline Paddy60

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #54 on: January 28, 2017, 08:37:55 PM »
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have got two different api test kits and colombo kits

Offline Matt

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #55 on: January 28, 2017, 09:00:32 PM »
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What decor have you got left in the tank now @Paddy60 ?

In fact, if you can face it listing everything in the tank might not be a bad idea!!  I'll see if anything jumps out...

Offline Paddy60

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #56 on: January 29, 2017, 09:03:20 AM »
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Moss Covered Thai Warrior (9 x 7 x 21.5cm)
https://fishkeeper.co.uk/product/moss-covered-thai-warrior-9-x-7-x-215cm


Blue Ribbon Cambodian Temple Ruins (19 x 15 x 27cm)
https://fishkeeper.co.uk/product/-cambodian-temple-ruins-19-x-15-x-27cm

Blue Ribbon Ancient Stone Head Ruin (14 x 10 x 17cm)
https://fishkeeper.co.uk/product/-ancient-stone-head-ruin-14-x-10-x-17cm


Majestic Ocean Plant 32cm
https://fishkeeper.co.uk/product/majestic-ocean-plant-32cm

i have a number of plants made by sydeco, the above is an example , all bought from Maidenhead aquatics.
The stone head and temple ruins also bought from Maidenhead aquatics.
The tai Warrior was bought new on ebay and looks identical to the ones sold at Maidenhead aquatics



Offline Paddy60

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #57 on: January 29, 2017, 09:11:44 AM »
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hear is a link to the tai Warrior purchase on ebay
Look at this on eBay  http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/331926429335

looks genuine to me although not a pure aquatics site

Offline Littlefish

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #58 on: January 29, 2017, 10:28:18 AM »
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All looks quite normal, stuff I've seen in various LFS.

The situation that you are in sounds so frustrating. I can't really add anything apart from sympathy as I can't understand why your cycle hasn't completed.

Offline Paddy60

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #59 on: January 29, 2017, 12:04:46 PM »
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so any suggestions what my next step is??

Offline Andy The Minion

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #60 on: January 29, 2017, 12:17:50 PM »
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Sorry it absolutely beats me :-\
Ever thought of moving to bearded dragons as an alternative?  ::)

Offline Paddy60

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #61 on: January 29, 2017, 12:25:12 PM »
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bearded dragons, no thanks. my sister keeps  those lol

Offline Matt

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #62 on: January 29, 2017, 12:29:45 PM »
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Beats me...whats your substrate?

Offline Littlefish

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #63 on: January 29, 2017, 12:30:46 PM »
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Rankins dragons are smaller and very cute.  ;D

Sorry @Paddy60  not being awfully helpful there.

I would be tempted to try cycling your filter in a bare tank, no decor. Excuse my random thinking, but I was wondering if the tank could be cycled with just dechlorinated water and the mature media from your smaller tank, plus the source of ammonia, and nothing else. If that was sucessful then perhaps try adding decor slowly (over a few weeks) to the established tank and it wouldn't be a problem, or if there was a problem you'd know when and could pin it down to a particular item.

Apologies for the suggestion of having to start from scratch again, I just don't know what else to suggest.
 :(

Offline Paddy60

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #64 on: January 29, 2017, 12:40:21 PM »
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@Matt small gravel fom Maidenhead aquatics thouraly rinsed before adding to tank.
@Littlefish  thats the way i was thinking, trie and cycle with bare minimum, then re introduce decor, process of elimination. going to use prime to Dechlorinate this time

Offline Littlefish

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #65 on: January 29, 2017, 12:45:11 PM »
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I can't think of any other way to tackle the problem.
On the bright side, you could even cycle without the substrate and not cause much disruption adding it after. I use sand substrates (mainly for the sake of the cories, plecos and axolotls, delicate little things that they are  ;D ), and I've managed to add extra sand without too much dust/cloudiness, so gravel should be do-able.

Offline Paddy60

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #66 on: January 29, 2017, 12:46:59 PM »
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think ill leave the gravel in, good suggestion though

Offline Paddy60

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #67 on: February 11, 2017, 07:30:12 AM »
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@Matt @Sue @Littlefish  update on tank after re start :- dosed ammonia to 4 ppm ,day 9 ammonia dropped to 2ppm,now on day 12 ammonia dropped to 0.5ppm nitrite still 0. althogh ammonia now below 0.75 there is no nitrite ,so do i redose ammonia or sit and wait for nitrite to go above 2ppm risking good bacteria die off ?

Offline Littlefish

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #68 on: February 11, 2017, 08:42:40 AM »
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I don't understand why you're not getting any nitrite  ???
What are your bacteria converting the ammonia into  ???
How frustrating for you.
Personally I would wait for some advice from @Sue
You could dose ammonia at a lower level if you are concerned about your first bacteria, but Sue will give you the correct advice for your situation.

Offline Sue

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #69 on: February 11, 2017, 09:56:22 AM »
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That's what I've been wondering too. The ammonia must be going somewhere.

What's your nitrate doing? Don't forget to subtract the tap water reading from the tank reading to see if is going up.

Have you done a dilution test for nitrite recently? I'd try 1 part tank to 4 part tap (a 1 in 5 dilution) and see if you get a reading anywhere on the scale.


If the dilution test still shows zero nitrite, wait till ammonia has been at zero for 3 days then add another 3 ppm. You go at least 3 days in stage #8 without harm.




I'm beginning the think the way to approach this is wait until the tank can clear ammonia to zero in 24 hours, do the huge water change then get a few fish. Not a full tank load but a few like for fish-in cycling, then test the water twice a day as near to 12 hours apart as you can manage. And watch the fish for signs of nitrite poisoning - hanging just under the surface or near the filter outlet, possibly gasping for air.
If there is no sign of ammonia and particularly no sign of nitrite for a week, get some more fish. I would stock slowly like for a fish-in cycle so that if you see any nitrite at any point at least you won't have a lot of fish making a lot of ammonia to make a lot of nitrite.

Offline Paddy60

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #70 on: February 11, 2017, 03:22:07 PM »
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@Sue  tap water nitrate is at about 40ppm and tank is now at between 80 ppm to 160 ppm ,but quite hard to judge

Offline Sue

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #71 on: February 11, 2017, 03:28:30 PM »
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So there is definitely an increase in nitrate, which must have come from somewhere. Apart from being made from ammonia, the other possible sources are plant fertiliser which contains nitrate or a plant substrate enriched with nitrate containing fertiliser.

I think I would follow the fishless cycling method but ignore nitrite. Add ammonia when the reading for that reaches certain values. But I would still add fish a few at a time as for fishless cycling since you can't be totally certain you will have enough nitrite eaters.

Offline Paddy60

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #72 on: February 26, 2017, 08:48:32 AM »
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update. i think i missed the nitrite spike or didnt have one due to seeding with gravel from other tank.
  I have been dosing to 3ppm ammonia.Testing after 12 hours  readings are  Ammonia 1.0 ppm Ninrite 0.25 ppm. Testing after 24 hours  readings are Ammonia 0 ppm Nitrite 0ppm   

Offline Littlefish

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #73 on: February 26, 2017, 08:50:47 AM »
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Great news.  :cheers:

Offline Matt

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #74 on: February 26, 2017, 10:21:23 AM »
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Yey, it sounds to me like your tank is cycled!

  :fishy1:  @Sue is it fish time??  :fishy1:

I'm beginning the think the way to approach this is wait until the tank can clear ammonia to zero in 24 hours, do the huge water change then get a few fish. Not a full tank load but a few like for fish-in cycling, then test the water twice a day as near to 12 hours apart as you can manage. And watch the fish for signs of nitrite poisoning - hanging just under the surface or near the filter outlet, possibly gasping for air.
If there is no sign of ammonia and particularly no sign of nitrite for a week, get some more fish. I would stock slowly like for a fish-in cycle so that if you see any nitrite at any point at least you won't have a lot of fish making a lot of ammonia to make a lot of nitrite.

Offline Paddyc

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #75 on: February 26, 2017, 10:26:20 AM »
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Sounds like someone's ready to get some fish!!  8) 8) 8)

Offline Sue

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #76 on: February 26, 2017, 10:28:47 AM »
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I think it is indeed fish time  :D

I know that in theory you can now get all the fish planned for the tank but I would only stock to three quarters first. Leave any sensitive species for a few weeks. Stocking less than the max initially means you have more wiggle room should ammonia and/or nitrite show up.

And check for ammonia and nitrite daily for a week after getting fish just to be on the safe side.

Offline Matt

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #77 on: February 26, 2017, 10:33:07 AM »
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Or I guess you may want to do Fish-in cycling but with your ornaments... to work out what is tank safe and what isn't...

"ornament-in cycling" so to speak!  :rotfl:

Offline Paddyc

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #78 on: February 26, 2017, 10:33:49 AM »
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I think it is indeed fish time  :D

And check for ammonia and nitrite daily for a week after getting fish just to be on the safe side.

I was just typing the same RE: Daily checks after adding fish for the first time  ;)

Offline fcmf

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #79 on: February 26, 2017, 01:01:26 PM »
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Ooooooooooh, how exciting.
 :fishy1: :fishy1: :fishy1: :fishy1: :fishy1: :fishy1: :fishy1: :fishy1: :fishy1: :fishy1: :fishy1: :fishy1: :fishy1: :fishy1: :fishy1: :fishy1: :fishy1:

Offline Paddy60

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #80 on: February 26, 2017, 01:57:49 PM »
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thanks all for your comments and advice, i am gradually going to add  the decor back just to check all ok after possible  problem last time, so probably stocking after another week .  tank is a 120 ltr with about 106ltrs water volume  ph 8.2 hard water running two filters, i am looking  at stocking with tiger barbs of three different colours  and some boesmani rainbows. so am aiming to add nine tigers at first and maybe two rainbows ,

Offline Sue

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #81 on: February 26, 2017, 02:08:24 PM »
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Add ammonia at the 1 ppm dose every couple of days till you are ready to go fish shopping, then do the big water change the day before or even before you leave on shopping day if there will be time.

Is your tank at least 48 inches (120 cm) long? Boesemanis are big fish and need that swimming length. If the tank is shorter than that I would look for different fish.
I know the profiles on here says min tank size 75 cm but I'm afraid the profiles were written along time ago (there were already in the old forum when I joined in 2006) and some of them are out of date.
Before buying any fish I would advise you to check with Seriously Fish or FishBase. Fishbase doesn't have much info on tank requirements etc but often has more reliable data on water needs.

Offline Paddy60

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #82 on: February 26, 2017, 02:58:29 PM »
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ok, tank is only  80cm

Offline fcmf

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #83 on: February 26, 2017, 03:42:22 PM »
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I wonder if these http://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/melanotaenia-praecox/ might be an alternative option for you, @Paddy60?

Offline Paddy60

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #84 on: February 26, 2017, 04:22:55 PM »
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@fcmf  ill look into those thanks

Offline Littlefish

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #85 on: February 26, 2017, 05:22:36 PM »
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Keep us posted, this is a very exciting time.  :fishy1:  :fishy1:  :fishy1:  :fishy1:  :fishy1:  :fishy1:  ;D

Offline Paddy60

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #86 on: February 26, 2017, 05:23:23 PM »
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will do

Offline Andy The Minion

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #87 on: February 26, 2017, 07:36:23 PM »
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CONGRATULATIONS !!
@Paddy60 A truly epic cycle, started in mid to early November I think?
Lesser fish keepers would have given up and started collecting stamps !
I hope it goes well from here on, you deserve it :)

Offline Paddyc

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #88 on: February 26, 2017, 09:35:12 PM »
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CONGRATULATIONS !!
@Paddy60 A truly an epic cycle, started in mid to early November I think?
Lesser fish keepers would have given up and started collecting stamps !
I hope it goes well from here on, you deserve it :)

What he said  8)

Offline Paddy60

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #89 on: February 28, 2017, 07:07:48 PM »
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tested sunday morning still at ammonia 0  and nitrite now at 0 ,added decor ,larege ancient ruin and tai warrior. dosed to 3ppm ammonia.Tested monday morning reading some ammonia .added three of the original plants bought from maidenhead aquatics and redosed to 3 ppm ammonia.Tested 12 hours later ammonia is still at 3ppm or possibly 2ppm ,this was dropping to about .75 ppm in 12 hours so any suggestions please

Offline Matt

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #90 on: February 28, 2017, 07:25:43 PM »
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Take out the two bits of decor and do a large water change, then try again redoing with ammonia and testing 24 hours later would be my suggestion, we should see the tank recover with a couple of days.  Then we should do each piece of decor separately and wait 48 hours next time round.

Offline Paddy60

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #91 on: February 28, 2017, 07:28:23 PM »
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can remove decor tonight but water change  only possible tomorrow night

Offline Paddy60

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #92 on: February 28, 2017, 09:12:08 PM »
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change of plans,decor removed ,90% water change now complete redosed to 3ppm ammonia .
did notice a lot of white flakey material floating about,it came from the air pipe for the airstone think its from the hard water build up ,any thoughts please

Offline Matt

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #93 on: February 28, 2017, 09:57:12 PM »
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When did you install the air stone?

Offline Andy The Minion

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Re: help with cycle please
« Reply #94 on: February 28, 2017, 10:03:27 PM »
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God's Teeth @Paddy60 were these ornaments carved out of solid chlorine or from the MA HMS Disinfectant sunken ship range  :yikes:
I'm guessing the white material is another form of the white growth seen during fish less cycles, calcium deposit is unlikely to float.

Offline Paddy60

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Re: Help with fish tank cycle please
« Reply #95 on: March 01, 2017, 05:55:44 PM »
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@Matt  installed the air stone at the begining, its not a stone just remembered its just the pipe with a conecter buried in the  gravel.
@Andy the minion  starting to suspect a tai Warrior could  be the problem  it looks exactly  the same as in the fish shops, but bought this online from a gift site

Offline Paddy60

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Re: Help with fish tank cycle please
« Reply #96 on: March 04, 2017, 09:00:02 AM »
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tank has recovered now, cycling from 3ppm ammonia to 1ppm ,and nitrite to .25 ppm in 12 hours and ammonia and nitrite to 0 in 24 hours.
 tai warrior getting bined and will add decor one at a time every 48 hours .
question -  should i keep dosing to 3ppm ammonia while adding this decor slowly as will take a week or so ,or drop to 1 ppm ?

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Help with fish tank cycle please
« Reply #97 on: March 04, 2017, 09:47:35 AM »
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@Paddy60 great to hear that you have found the cause of your problem. I hope that everything runs smoothly for you now.
You can drop down to 1ppm ammonia, and do a large water change before adding your fish. Check on Sue's fishless cycle sticky for details.
Best wishes for zeros on your tests for the following week as you add decor, and fish shopping very soon.  ;D

Offline Paddy60

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Re: Help with fish tank cycle please
« Reply #98 on: May 16, 2017, 08:46:40 PM »
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havent posted for a while as still had problems.after adding the decor one by one,every time it crashed the cycle. So decided to bin all the artificial plants bought from the aquatics shop and start again with a different make of plants and some drift wood.This time cycle whent as expected,now cycling from 3 to zero in 24 hours,hooray,lucky im patient.should be stocking at weekend.

Offline Sue

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Re: Help with fish tank cycle please
« Reply #99 on: May 16, 2017, 08:50:04 PM »
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Good to hear you have finally cracked it. i don't think I'd have been so patient  :-\

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