In need of some Assistance (cycling aquarium)

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bstewartfish

Registered Member
Original poster
Nov 8, 2019
3
0
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32
Hello everyone,

I made an account to ask some advice from this amazing community. I know this has been covered 1,000 times but I cannot get my tank to cycle.

The log of my tank cycle is below (the snapshot is the current water readings as of today 11/12/2019)

Aquarium Stats:
- 29 Gallon
- 14 fish (bad advice from Petco before i knew any better)
- Filter is HOB Aqua Clear 50
- My tap water has 0ppm Ammonia/Nitrite/Nitrates in it.

My current way of cycling is utilizing Seachem Prime & Stability:
If I have less than 1 ppm ammonia or nitrite - dose Stability and Prime, wait 24 hours and check again
If I have more than 1 ppm ammonia or nitrite- do atleast 50% water change, sometimes 75% is best depending on how high my ammonia and nitrite is. Then dose Stability and Prime.



I just cant get it to cycle. I've asked around my LFS for media and they said they are not allowed to do that. No other friends in the hobby to steal a piece of theirs. If its just a matter of time and waiting another month please let me know. But I have officially ran out of ideas to get this cycle started.


Date
PH
Ammonia (ppm)
Nitrite (ppm)
Nitrate (ppm)
10/19/19​
6.8​
0.25​
0​
0​
Fish added​
10/20/19​
7​
0.25​
0​
0​
10/21/19​
7​
0.25​
0​
0​
Water Change​
10/26/19​
7​
0​
0​
0​
10/30/19​
7.2​
0.25​
0​
0​
11/03/19​
7.2​
0.25​
0​
0​
11/04/19​
7.2​
0.5​
0​
0​
Water Change​
11/05/19​
7.2​
1​
0​
0​
Water Change​
11/06/19​
7.2​
1​
0​
0​
11/07/19​
7.2​
0.5​
0​
0​
Water Change​
11/08/19​
7.2​
0.25​
0​
0​
11/09/19​
7.2​
0.5​
0​
0​
11/10/19​
7.6​
0.5​
0​
0​
Water Change​
11/11/19​
7.6​
1​
0​
0​

API.jpg

Thanks!
 

fishorama

AC Members
Jun 28, 2006
9,513
631
144
SF Bay area, CA
Really, cycling usually takes 4-8 weeks. With fish in the tank, it can be longer because you don't want ammonia to go beyond .25ppm. Even that level can damage fish's gills but any reading of .50 needs a big water change. You can "kind of" short cut that by dosing Prime (for the entire tank volume) every time you see ammonia. I would not let ammonia get to even to .50. Keep on daily testing, WCs & Prime. I have not used Stability, it may help a bit...Good luck!
 
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the loach

AC Members
Aug 6, 2018
501
104
46
There are also bottled nitrifying bacteria that speed up the cycle. Do check the expiration date before buying.
You could also add some fast growing plants. Maybe there are hobbyists in your area that can give you some, those will also have some nitrifying bacteria on them and they will use some ammonia too.
 
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the loach

AC Members
Aug 6, 2018
501
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Also what species are the 14 fish? If you don't know feel free to post pictures so we can identify them... you won't be the first that is sold a bunch of fish that are totally incompatible with each other, or tank size.
 
Apr 2, 2002
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51
New York
Cycling with fish is not easy for folks who are experienced. For a first tank it is almost impossible to succeed without harming and/or killing fish.

I have written several cycling articles for another site. Two of them deal with your exact situation, how to manage a fish in cycle gone wild. Because these articles are on another site, it would be wrong for me to post links to them. However, if you shoot me a site PM, I will send you the URLs. In a nutshell, there are only two ways to solve your problems. One is to get the fish out of the process by returning them to the store. If they failed to tell you about cycling a tank, then they are at fault for your situation. The other solution is to add the proper bacteria to the tank.

Stability is useless. The nitrifying bacteria do not form spores. Stability contains no live bacteria, only spores. There are two potential supplements which you can use with good success. Dr. Tim's One and Only and Tetra Safe Start. They are essentially the same thing. The probes needed to detect the Nitrospira (the nitrite oxidizers) are patented and controlled equally by Dr. Hovanec and Tetra. This happened when Dr. H., was the lead biologist at Marineland. Down the road Marineland was bought by a conglomerate which owns Tetra among other companies in the pet field. Dr. H. and The new company went their own ways but they shared the patent rights. These two products must not be allowed to freeze or to be much over 100F for any amount of time as these things will kill the bacteria. The result of the above is that in the USA the only "proper" bacteria for jump starting a cycle is one of the above two products.
http://www.drtimsaquatics.com/treat-aquarium-nitrite-ammonia-levels

One last observation- ammonia in water exists in two forms, ammonia, NH3, which is highly toxic and ammonium, NH4, which is way way less harmful. How much of any total ammonia reading is in the toxic form depends on the pH and water temp. in the tank, The higher these are, the more toxic the ammonia is. Your pH is rising which means the ammonia is becoming more toxic.
 
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bstewartfish

Registered Member
Original poster
Nov 8, 2019
3
0
1
32
Thank you everyone for your responses. I know I was led incorrectly from Petco and I feel like a fool but thank you for understanding that i'm trying to fix it.

also what species are the 14 fish? If you don't know feel free to post pictures so we can identify them... you won't be the first that is sold a bunch of fish that are totally incompatible with each other, or tank size.
Fish in my tank currently are:
4 x Neon Tetra
4 x Cardinal Tetra
6 x Silver Tipped Tetras

I haven't noticed any sign of fish with ammonia stress. They swim at the bottom of the tank and only go to the surface when they eat. ( not saying that is 100% guarantee they are not affected). I will work hard to keep the Ammonia levels low.
 

bstewartfish

Registered Member
Original poster
Nov 8, 2019
3
0
1
32
Cycling with fish is not easy for folks who are experienced. For a first tank it is almost impossible to succeed without harming and/or killing fish.

I have written several cycling articles for another site. Two of them deal with your exact situation, how to manage a fish in cycle gone wild. Because these articles are on another site, it would be wrong for me to post links to them. However, if you shoot me a site PM, I will send you the URLs. In a nutshell, there are only two ways to solve your problems. One is to get the fish out of the process by returning them to the store. If they failed to tell you about cycling a tank, then they are at fault for your situation. The other solution is to add the proper bacteria to the tank.

Stability is useless. The nitrifying bacteria do not form spores. Stability contains no live bacteria, only spores. There are two potential supplements which you can use with good success. Dr. Tim's One and Only and Tetra Safe Start. They are essentially the same thing. The probes needed to detect the Nitrospira (the nitrite oxidizers) are patented and controlled equally by Dr. Hovanec and Tetra. This happened when Dr. H., was the lead biologist at Marineland. Down the road Marineland was bought by a conglomerate which owns Tetra among other companies in the pet field. Dr. H. and The new company went their own ways but they shared the patent rights. These two products must not be allowed to freeze or to be much over 100F for any amount of time as these things will kill the bacteria. The result of the above is that in the USA the only "proper" bacteria for jump starting a cycle is one of the above two products.
http://www.drtimsaquatics.com/treat-aquarium-nitrite-ammonia-levels

One last observation- ammonia in water exists in two forms, ammonia, NH3, which is highly toxic and ammonium, NH4, which is way way less harmful. How much of any total ammonia reading is in the toxic form depends on the pH and water temp. in the tank, The higher these are, the more toxic the ammonia is. Your pH is rising which means the ammonia is becoming more toxic.

Thank you for this!
 

the loach

AC Members
Aug 6, 2018
501
104
46
It's better to stick with either cardinals or neons (as now you have a school of neither) but luckily they didn't sell you any aggressive fish or tank busters.
 
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platytetrafan

AC Members
Jan 20, 2007
1,538
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NY
Since I don’t know how to do a fishless cycle I use danios to cycle they are the hardiest & I do water changes daily until the cycle is done & it can take weeks for it to happen I test daily but I don’t use prime. I tried it once when I had a random ammonia spike on an established tank & it screwed me up.I had no idea what readings I was truly getting since prime changes ammonia to ammonium I did get the ammonia under control with water changes daily. You have to be patient during cycling it will happen I used stress zyme too & it worked for me.
 
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FreshyFresh

Global Moderator
Staff member
Jan 11, 2013
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West Falls NY
Real Name
Joel
If you are starting from scratch by doing a fish-in cycle properly, you should never see ammonia or nitrite with your liquid test kit.

You keep doing your frequent water changes and a month or three down the road you should see some measurable nitrates.
 
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