Cycling and cloudy water

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johnwduncan

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I have gone through a bottle of stability trying to cycle my tank and all I can show for it is nearly two months of cloudy water. During the cycle I read to turn the heat up to around 85 degrees. If it is crashed, should I drain and start over? Or should I do small water changes? The water changes are something else I read to do. There is so much info and a lot of it seems to be contradictory.
 

Sprinkle

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Stop putting stability in, its nothing but unnatural chemicals and is clearly stalling the cycle. Nitrifying bacteria will adapt to low acidic pH and softer water. Do a 75% water change, wipe tank walls down and clean your substrate, test for ammonia and nitrite and change 75% of tank water when ammonia or nitrite levels are above 0 ppm until these are 0 ppm for 7 continuous days.
Trying to wake up here controversy, but that's how I'd do the cycle.
 
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johnwduncan

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Stop putting stability in, its nothing but unnatural chemicals and is clearly stalling the cycle. Nitrifying bacteria will adapt to low acidic pH and softer water. Do a 75% water change, wipe tank walls down and clean your substrate, test for ammonia and nitrite and change 75% of tank water when ammonia or nitrite levels are above 0 ppm until these are 0 ppm for 7 continuous days.
Trying to wake up here controversy, but that's how I'd do the cycle.
I have harder water and a high ph from the tap. Around 8.4 ph actually. The API GH and KH kit just gives me a range of fish for the amount of drops I needed to check the water. It doesnt give me an actual number range for each GH and KH. So as far as bacteria in a bottle, should I go with API quickstart or Fluval Biological Enhancer?
 
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Sprinkle

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I have harder water and a high ph from the tap. Around 8.4 ph actually. The API GH and KH kit just gives me a range of fish for the amount of drops I needed to check the water. It doesnt give me an actual number range for each GH and KH. So as far as bacteria in a bottle, should I go with API quickstart or Fluval Biological Enhancer?
Nice start! Bacteria actually like hard alkaline water.
I would go with Tetra Safe Start as it promotes quick cycle, make sure you put the liquid as near the filter as possible to let most of the bacteria go inside and multiply in the filter media. You will need to check water for ammonia and nitrite every 2 days now, rest is in post #2 to help you :)
 

the loach

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John with the information you gave it is impossible to state a product doesn't work or recommend another.
Are you adding ammonia, or do you have any fish in there? Nitrifying bacteria need that to become active.
The GH/KH/pH is saying nothing, you need to be monitoring ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.
 
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johnwduncan

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John with the information you gave it is impossible to state a product doesn't work or recommend another.
Are you adding ammonia, or do you have any fish in there? Nitrifying bacteria need that to become active.
The GH/KH/pH is saying nothing, you need to be monitoring ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.
Sorry I didnt mention that. Yes I have been checking water parameters with an API Master Kit. To no avail. The water turned cloudy and that was it. Since July or early August the water has been cloudy.
 

fishorama

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API KH & GH tests use 1 drop = 1 GDH (German degrees of hardness) = ~17.?ppm. For pH let the tap water sit out in an open container for ~24 hours. Many water companies raise the pH temporarily to protect their pipes but it out gases.

If you don't have fish yet (& I think you don't, right?) dose ammonia as needed to keep it at 2ppm. You can skip Stability, if after 2 months it hasn't helped, it won't now. Check ammonia, nitrite & after you see nitrite check nitrate too. You should be quite close to being cycled by now if you've been dosing ammonia to 2 or 3 ppm all along.

Don't worry about the cloudy water right now. After the nitrite goes to 0 the nitrate will be very high & you will do a very large water change. Re dose ammonia to 1ppm & make sure it goes to 0 in less than 24 hours & nitrite is still 0. At that point you'll be ready for a "tankful" of fish (or well, almost, don't get carried away, lol).

The 85F temp is too high for almost all fish. Work on adjusting it to ~76F, heaters can be difficult to reset so allow several days to get it stable. Your fish choices will determine what temp you'll want...& to some extent your pH & GH will help you make good fish choices. Run your numbers for those by us before getting fish. Some fish are more fussy, but many are not, & many are farmed these days so don't believe the old "wild caught" native water parameters.

You're almost to the fun part of getting fish!!
 

johnwduncan

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Aug 6, 2020
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API KH & GH tests use 1 drop = 1 GDH (German degrees of hardness) = ~17.?ppm. For pH let the tap water sit out in an open container for ~24 hours. Many water companies raise the pH temporarily to protect their pipes but it out gases.

If you don't have fish yet (& I think you don't, right?) dose ammonia as needed to keep it at 2ppm. You can skip Stability, if after 2 months it hasn't helped, it won't now. Check ammonia, nitrite & after you see nitrite check nitrate too. You should be quite close to being cycled by now if you've been dosing ammonia to 2 or 3 ppm all along.

Don't worry about the cloudy water right now. After the nitrite goes to 0 the nitrate will be very high & you will do a very large water change. Re dose ammonia to 1ppm & make sure it goes to 0 in less than 24 hours & nitrite is still 0. At that point you'll be ready for a "tankful" of fish (or well, almost, don't get carried away, lol).

The 85F temp is too high for almost all fish. Work on adjusting it to ~76F, heaters can be difficult to reset so allow several days to get it stable. Your fish choices will determine what temp you'll want...& to some extent your pH & GH will help you make good fish choices. Run your numbers for those by us before getting fish. Some fish are more fussy, but many are not, & many are farmed these days so don't believe the old "wild caught" native water parameters.

You're almost to the fun part of getting fish!!
Well I decided to drain it. I will probably get new flooring for the tank/computer room so to make things easier I will set back up later. As far as fish choices, according to the API test kit, they are Rift Lake Cichlids, Goldfish and Brackish fish. I am a fan of Puffers and some Cichlids. But my tank is a 20 gallon long and most of the fish I like are 30 gallon + fish.
 

fishorama

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But there are smaller fish that may work for you too. I'll think about it for a few days, I've never kept brackish...but I've always loved mudskippers...let's all think about it...shell dweller cichlids?

Good luck with your new floors & your tank recycling...skip the Stability, I don't think it helped. Just do 2ppm ammonia...maybe in a spare room or garage you can keep the cycle going...you're so very close...it would be a shame to start all over if you don't have to.

I have a tank next to my computer & have for almost 20 years. Different houses on different coasts, different fish, but it's great!!
 

the loach

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Sorry a cycle can only be determined by testing ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. At which point did it become established a cycle has failed cause of cloudy water?
 
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