Fishless Cycle Problem
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Old 10-15-2012, 12:27 PM   #1
Jim_PA
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Fishless Cycle Problem


I am in the process of fishless cycle on my new tank, it been 6 weeks, and still not cycled, I thought was almost done 2 weeks ago, and now it seems like it not. When things started to go down hill, I also started to see this string type alage? Any ideas? I have removed most of it so far, but it keeps showing back up. On drift wood, and on plants. It looks brown in the water, but if I pull it out, turns green after it is dry.

ammonia - .50
nitrites - 3
nitrates - 5
pH - 6.5

125 Gallon
55 Sump

High Pressure CO2


Ferts that I dose
Monday - Wednesday - Friday
KNO3 - 1.5 tsp 3x a week
K2SO4 - 1.5 tsp 3 x a week
Fe/Iron Chelate 11% - 1/2 tsp 3 x a week
Plantex CSM+B - 1 tsp 3 x a week
Tuesday - Thursday - Saturday
KH2PO4 - 1/4 tsp 3 x a week
50% water change on Sundays
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Old 10-15-2012, 03:27 PM   #2
Imi Statue
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The fact that you have ammonia says it all. The cycle is not starting. Best bet would be to get some filter material that's already been working for another tank for your filter.

Why fish-less? If you don't want any fish later at all then go for some hardy/cheap fish from LFS and take them back later when cycling is done.(or give to a friend)

Pics? What plant load?
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Old 10-15-2012, 03:41 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imi Statue View Post
The fact that you have ammonia says it all. The cycle is not starting. Best bet would be to get some filter material that's already been working for another tank for your filter.

Why fish-less? If you don't want any fish later at all then go for some hardy/cheap fish from LFS and take them back later when cycling is done.(or give to a friend)

Pics? What plant load?
Because that is stressful and dangerous to the fish.


OP, I would stop with the ferts and water changes for a week or two. Let the tank balance itself out for awhile. I agree with adding media from another tank if you can.

I forgot to mention, I used this stuff to seed my tank. It was cycled in 3 days and has remained stable ever since. No joke, it works.
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...7&pcatid=19607

Last edited by CatSoup; 10-15-2012 at 04:00 PM.. Reason: forgot to mention SafeStart
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Old 10-15-2012, 03:46 PM   #4
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Because that is stressful and dangerous to the fish.
Interesting that I, and millions of others have bean adding fish to cycle bodies of water since aquaria have been kept, and those fish have all survived and have never shown stress.

Just depends on what species/water changes/feeding regimen and so on.

But to each their own I guess...
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Old 10-15-2012, 03:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imi Statue View Post
Interesting that I, and millions of others have bean adding fish to cycle bodies of water since aquaria have been kept, and those fish have all survived and have never shown stress.

Just depends on what species/water changes/feeding regimen and so on.

But to each their own I guess...

Those fish have not *all survived. In fact it is very common to lose fish in a cycle. When we know better, we do better.

Here's just one article of information on the subject. A google search will give you hundreds more encouraging fishless over fish in cycling for the health of our finned friends. http://www.bluecrayfish.com/cycle.htm
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imi Statue View Post
Interesting that I, and millions of others have bean adding fish to cycle bodies of water since aquaria have been kept, and those fish have all survived and have never shown stress.

Just depends on what species/water changes/feeding regimen and so on.

But to each their own I guess...
the ammonia burns their gills. they may survive but how would you like to be breathing in ammonia at those levels?
yes, aquarists have been running fish-in cycles for years and years but now that we have more knowledge and technology it is no longer necessary and I believe will soon be deemed archaic.
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Old 10-15-2012, 11:01 PM   #7
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the ammonia burns their gills. they may survive but how would you like to be breathing in ammonia at those levels?
yes, aquarists have been running fish-in cycles for years and years but now that we have more knowledge and technology it is no longer necessary and I believe will soon be deemed archaic.

Yes, I am guilty of doing my first tropical fish cycle (years ago) with danios. Truth be told I didn't even know about cycling. I lost half of them to fin rot because of the high amount of stress the cycle put them under. One poor guy spent the rest of his days with one gill burned off completely. It never healed, and looked so painful. I finally just euthanized the few left in my freezer. Never again! Every tank since has been strictly fishless cycles with plants and SafeStart. After a couple of weeks when I can see that I'm not going to have a surprise ammonia spike, I add a few fish.
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Old 10-15-2012, 11:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imi Statue View Post
Interesting that I, and millions of others have bean adding fish to cycle bodies of water since aquaria have been kept, and those fish have all survived and have never shown stress.

Just depends on what species/water changes/feeding regimen and so on.

But to each their own I guess...
Please stop spreading lies. Ammonia burns their gills whether you can see it or not they're in pain. Let's toss you in a room with mustard gas before we actually start replacing the gas with fresh air. I don't think you'd like that.
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:29 AM   #9
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Can you post a pic of the algae that you're having trouble with?

They cycle itself seems to be coming along - I've had it take up to 8 weeks to finish. What are you using as a source of ammonia?

I just want to say "Good for you!" for doing a fishless cycle instead of using live fish to cycle the tank. Not only are you doing the humane thing, but you are also learning how the cycle actually works by monitoring your parameters. It's a good habit to get into.

Last edited by wendyjo; 10-16-2012 at 01:08 AM.. Reason: typo
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imi Statue View Post
The fact that you have ammonia says it all. The cycle is not starting. Best bet would be to get some filter material that's already been working for another tank for your filter.
False.

You have nitrites which means you are growing bacteria and converting ammonia to nitrites.

Hang in there. Keep the ammonia around 3. Make sure you are using ammonia without detergents or scents.
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:44 AM   #11
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He also has nitrates so it's definatley nearing the end.
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Old 10-16-2012, 01:00 AM   #12
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False.

You have nitrites which means you are growing bacteria and converting ammonia to nitrites.

Hang in there. Keep the ammonia around 3. Make sure you are using ammonia without detergents or scents.
I was always too afraid to use strait ammonia, but I know it's been done for a long time.
I still think all ferts and chemicals should be put on hold for a few days.
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Old 10-16-2012, 01:01 AM   #13
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He also has nitrates so it's definatley nearing the end.
I think so too.
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Old 10-16-2012, 01:10 AM   #14
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I don't ever use ferts so I can't really comment on that. Altho they may be adding nitrates so it could be throwing the nitrate reading off. Not sure on that tho.
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Old 10-16-2012, 01:51 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wendyjo View Post
He also has nitrates so it's definatley nearing the end.

Not necessarily, he's been fertilizing.
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