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 HELP IM HAVING A CYCLING CATASTROPHE

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meghan11



Join date : 2011-10-31
Posts : 7

PostSubject: HELP IM HAVING A CYCLING CATASTROPHE   Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:42 pm

I have enlisted the help of a pet store manager and both him and I are baffled at why my 10-gallon freshwater tank just won't cycle properly.
My problem is Nitrates. WAY TOO MANY. I call it 'Death Water'. Since I started completely fresh this is the exact steps I have taken to try and get my tank fish-ready.

-Tap water in, declorinator
-dry bacteria cultures (Biozene)
Didn't work. Death Water (Nitrites). 50% water change. +Dechlorinator
-I complained to manager, he gave me the brown smelly gunk they use to set up tanks in 24 hours at the store.
Didn't work, death water(Nitrites).
-Add tablespoon of salt (I saw it on the internet)
Now it is the present and I still have off the charts Nitrites and I'm unable to get fish.

This is over the span of weeks. I have a heater, I keep the light off, my filter runs constantly, I don't have any live plants.
I need some fish experts. I'm so eager to get into the hobby but this issue is taking a huge toll on my confidence: how can I keep a fish alive when I can't even make WATER do a nitrogen cycle??
I am up for anything, please any and all credible advice is welcomed.
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Sam_G
Admin


Join date : 2011-01-15
Posts : 2530

PostSubject: Re: HELP IM HAVING A CYCLING CATASTROPHE   Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:55 pm

Hmm...very weird. What are the actual levels of niritates and nitrites? What test kit are you using?

I have no personal experience with Biozene, but the "brown smelly gunk" should have done the trick. Typically, just wait 2-8 weeks and the cycle is done... don\'t know

__________________________________________________________________
~Samantha snorkel

Founder and Former President of the Aquarist Club at USF

100 Gallon Mixed Reef Aquarium

47 Gallon Macroalgae DT
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meghan11



Join date : 2011-10-31
Posts : 7

PostSubject: Re: HELP IM HAVING A CYCLING CATASTROPHE   Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:00 pm

I use an API freshwater master test kit.
Nitrates are usually 5-20 ppm
Nitrites read 5 ppm, which is as far as the scale goes so who knows? It could be 30 ppm for all I can tell.
Ammonia reads 0 to .25 ppm
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Dgolden



Join date : 2012-11-09
Posts : 457

PostSubject: Re: HELP IM HAVING A CYCLING CATASTROPHE   Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:06 pm

Meghan --

Cycling a tank takes one thing more than anything -- TIME and PATIENCE Smile

Typically it takes anywhere from 3-6 weeks for a tank to cycle properly to get a good buffer and cycle going.

Some questions that will help me/us help you Smile

1. Do you have any other tanks or access to any other tanks?
2. Do you have a specific name for the stuff that they gave you?
3. What kind of fish are you planning on keeping in tthe tank? There are some fish and plants that don't handle salt very well.
4. What type of light do you have over the tank
5. What is the temperature of the tank
6. How long have you been working on this tank?
7. How often are you doing that 50% water change ?
8. What brand dechlorinator are you using and what dose?
9. Has the algae bloom happened yet
10. Has the water gotten really cloudy with nothing in there ?


Sorry to answer your question with more questions....my 55 took about 5 weeks to cycle, my 10 gallons about 3 but I used media from my 55 to help speed that process.
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Dgolden



Join date : 2012-11-09
Posts : 457

PostSubject: Re: HELP IM HAVING A CYCLING CATASTROPHE   Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:10 pm

meghan11 wrote:
I use an API freshwater master test kit.
Nitrates are usually 5-20 ppm
Nitrites read 5 ppm, which is as far as the scale goes so who knows? It could be 30 ppm for all I can tell.
Ammonia reads 0 to .25 ppm

Your ammonia is right on track it looks like you're onto step two of the 3 point cycle
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meghan11



Join date : 2011-10-31
Posts : 7

PostSubject: Re: HELP IM HAVING A CYCLING CATASTROPHE   Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:18 pm

1. I originally started my tank with some decorations from a friend's tank that he said still had some bacteria on it. But that was in Pennsylvania and I don't have access to anyone in FL.
2. I have no name for it, he said it was live bacteria, they use it in the store, it was in a plastic baggie.
3. I want a dwarf neon blue gourami, a few rasbora, and a few pigmy cory.
4. I have a normal LED light on the tank, but I never turn it on
5. I have a heater that has an automatic setting to keep the water at 78-80 degrees F.
6. I originally set up the tank in early November, and when this same step wasn't corrected by January I was told (incorrectly, I now know) to completely start over. So I have been cycling it this round since about new years day.
7. I 50% water change it about once a week.
8. I have 2 dechlorinators, one is stress coat, and the other I forget the brand. I was recommended by the manager guy to not use stress coat and to use the other. It it 5 mL per 10 gallons when I first put all new water in. Then I use 2.5 mL every time I do a 50% water change.
9 & 10. What do you mean by algae bloom? I can see specks of algae on my decorations, but my tank isn't cloudy yet if that's what you mean.
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Dgolden



Join date : 2012-11-09
Posts : 457

PostSubject: Re: HELP IM HAVING A CYCLING CATASTROPHE   Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:28 pm

Wow that was quick.

So if those completely dried out the bacteria is more than likely going to be no dice and like starting from scratch.

As for the plastic baggie bacteria, I have never seen that and most of the products that claim to contain live bacteria from my experience really haven't sped up the cycling process (using old filter media does as long as it's good and fresh from what I've seen)

Gouramis really aren't a brackish fish so they don't benefit from aquarium salt, rasboras and cories are up in the air with many sites saying yes, many saying no.

The LED would promote very minimal plant growth, however if you decide to go with live plants it will support moss, however the growth won't be vigorous, if you have the tank next to a window with ambient (NOT DIRECT) sunlight you could utilize other plants (again if you go this route)

The heater is good

As for your start date you're about mid cycle so you're right about on schedule

Water change once a week is good

I use the stress coat rarely (about once a month) in my tanks with fish, my shrimp tanks don't really get it. I prefer to use a drop dechlorinator so that way it's more controlled. so you're doing well here as well.

As for the algae bloom, youll know it when it happens, trust me and it's a natural part of the tank life.

As for the cloudy water the water will look milky when your bacteria is establishing itself, don't freak out and let this go it's natural and a part of the cycle.
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meghan11



Join date : 2011-10-31
Posts : 7

PostSubject: Re: HELP IM HAVING A CYCLING CATASTROPHE   Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:32 pm

Thanks I'll stick it out. I'm worried I won't have fish before summer break at this rate. :p
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Dgolden



Join date : 2012-11-09
Posts : 457

PostSubject: Re: HELP IM HAVING A CYCLING CATASTROPHE   Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:35 pm

meghan11 wrote:
Thanks I'll stick it out. I'm worried I won't have fish before summer break at this rate. :p

I don't have any doubt in that, it sounds like you're well on your way mr. green

Feel free to set up a tank showcase it's a really cool way to record progression of your tank thumbs up
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Sam_G
Admin


Join date : 2011-01-15
Posts : 2530

PostSubject: Re: HELP IM HAVING A CYCLING CATASTROPHE   Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:57 am

+1 to what Drew said. Hang in there! thumbs up

__________________________________________________________________
~Samantha snorkel

Founder and Former President of the Aquarist Club at USF

100 Gallon Mixed Reef Aquarium

47 Gallon Macroalgae DT
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xwesx1978



Join date : 2012-09-21
Posts : 50

PostSubject: Re: HELP IM HAVING A CYCLING CATASTROPHE   Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:42 pm

those insta cycle products are just snake oil they never work in the long run , there is no substitute for good ole nature
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meghan11



Join date : 2011-10-31
Posts : 7

PostSubject: Re: HELP IM HAVING A CYCLING CATASTROPHE   Sun Feb 10, 2013 2:34 pm

does it do more harm than good to do more frequent water changes in this point of cycling? (like 50% every few days?)
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Sam_G
Admin


Join date : 2011-01-15
Posts : 2530

PostSubject: Re: HELP IM HAVING A CYCLING CATASTROPHE   Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:17 pm

I think there are varying opinions on that. However, I never did water changes on any of my tanks while they were cycling. My first water changes were once the cycle finished.

__________________________________________________________________
~Samantha snorkel

Founder and Former President of the Aquarist Club at USF

100 Gallon Mixed Reef Aquarium

47 Gallon Macroalgae DT
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Dgolden



Join date : 2012-11-09
Posts : 457

PostSubject: Re: HELP IM HAVING A CYCLING CATASTROPHE   Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:55 pm

I do them once a week with the cycle like I do with regular tanks. You DO NOT want to do more than 75% a week unless there's a major issue in the tank
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loganjonathan



Join date : 2012-12-18
Posts : 396

PostSubject: Re: HELP IM HAVING A CYCLING CATASTROPHE   Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:45 pm

one answer drain all that water and toss it and get some RODI water it has no nitrates or anything in it and it will make your tank cycle quicker
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Dgolden



Join date : 2012-11-09
Posts : 457

PostSubject: Re: HELP IM HAVING A CYCLING CATASTROPHE   Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:03 pm

How are things coming? It's been a while since an update
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loganjonathan



Join date : 2012-12-18
Posts : 396

PostSubject: Re: HELP IM HAVING A CYCLING CATASTROPHE   Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:38 am

yeah man did your tank ever cycle
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