strange fishless cycle - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-30-2019, 09:57 AM Thread Starter
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strange fishless cycle

The tank is a 55 gallon and there is an Ehiem 2215 (little filter) with a bit of seeded biological media out of a mature tank for now.
I plan on adding an Ehiem 2217 (waiting on parts) with more seeded biological media, and adding a heater in a few days.
No heater at the moment.

I started the fishless cycle 14 days ago with 2 ppm ammonia (ace janitorial grade).

Within about a week the ammonia dropped down to 1 ppm and some Nitrite showed up, no Nitrate yet.
So I added ammonia to bring ammonia to 1.5 ppm.

I checked this morning, so two weeks from starting the cycle, and the ammonia went up to 2 ppm, Nitrite is 0 ppm, and Nitrate is at 10 ppm.

I do have an extremely big piece of driftwood in the tank, it is about 3 feet long and 8 inches wide, and 18 inches tall at one end.
Could the driftwood be the source of the ammonia going up instead of down?

I am thinking of doing a water change today, any thoughts?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-30-2019, 02:10 PM
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Did you buy the driftwood from a store or found it outside? What substrate are you using?


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-30-2019, 02:14 PM
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From what your parameters look like now, I would not change out any water. Just monitor your ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. See how long it will take to get rid of that ammonia.


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-30-2019, 07:06 PM Thread Starter
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The Driftwood is Malaysian from a fish store.
Caribsea super naturals is the coarse sand substrate.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-30-2019, 07:28 PM
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@Jbubba001 Nice I just noticed you're from Illinois too!


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 08:35 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Econde View Post
@Jbubba001 Nice I just noticed you're from Illinois too!
Up north from you, near Great America roller coaster park.

************** Update**************

Nothing changed in the last day. 2ppm ammonia.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 12:17 PM
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Up north from you, near Great America roller coaster park.

************** Update**************

Nothing changed in the last day. 2ppm ammonia.
Nice, I have family up there.

Yea I would definitely wait til the ammonia drops again. Are your Nitrites and Nitrates through the roof? If not, just wait it out.

Just for reference, I'm using organic soil with a BDBS cap. It took me about 7 weeks til it finally "cycled".


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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-02-2019, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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I hooked up the Ehiem 2217 yesterday with quite a bit of seeded mechanical and bio media from my main tank.
The 2217 holds about as much bio media as a bigger Ehiem Pro. Almost two full baskets, with plenty of room for filter floss.
I forgot how much water that 2217 pumps, the 2215 pumps way less.
Might need to tee the 2217 output into two, this is going to be a shrimp tank.

I figured a water change was due, I added ammonia to raise the ppm to 2.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-11-2019, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
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The cycle is complete, I picked up a bottle of the refrigerated BB last week, that might have helped.
The bio filter chews up 1 ppm ammonia in about a day with no nitrite.

I hooked up a spray bar from an Ehiem pro that I had laying around to the 2217, I had to get a 1/2 to 5/8 adapter but still lots of current in there.
I think the shrimp are going to be flying around.
Thinking about drilling the holes a bit bigger.

I am going to hook a spray bar to the 2215 also.

really don't want to start closing ball valves.
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