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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-12-2012, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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Cycling Tank Problems

I just started a new 20L thanks to petcos 1$/gallon sale. The tank has been cycling for about 2 weeks and shows no difference in ammonia. I've done 2 50% water changes and the ammonia just goes right back up a few hours later. Substrate is ada amazonia new, I heard it was supposed to leach ammonia but for how long? Plants wood and water came from established tanks, filter is new and so is substrate. Am I doing something wrong or just impatient?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-12-2012, 08:11 PM
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Tank Cycling

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Originally Posted by chew View Post
I just started a new 20L thanks to petcos 1$/gallon sale. The tank has been cycling for about 2 weeks and shows no difference in ammonia. I've done 2 50% water changes and the ammonia just goes right back up a few hours later. Substrate is ada amazonia new, I heard it was supposed to leach ammonia but for how long? Plants wood and water came from established tanks, filter is new and so is substrate. Am I doing something wrong or just impatient?
Hello chew...

Are you cycling your tank with fish or no?

B

"Fear not my child, just change the tank water."
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-12-2012, 08:12 PM
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What are you adding to the tank as an ammonia source, beyond what leaches out of the substrate?

Two weeks is not enough time, usually. Do you have a nitrite reading yet? Ammonia is only part of the equation.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-12-2012, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
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The ammonia im using is the ammonia that leaches out of the ada aquasoil. It is a fishless cycle and there is small nitrite readings but still around 4ppm ammonia.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-12-2012, 08:50 PM
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I'm in the same position, been cycling my tank for about two weeks. I just registered some nitrites yesterday. Try adding a pinch of fish food every day or two so you'll get some extra ammonia.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-12-2012, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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I'm in the same position, been cycling my tank for about two weeks. I just registered some nitrites yesterday. Try adding a pinch of fish food every day or two so you'll get some extra ammonia.
I don't think extra ammonia is the problem, api tester reads at least 4 ppm
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-12-2012, 09:31 PM
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The ammonia im using is the ammonia that leaches out of the ada aquasoil. It is a fishless cycle and there is small nitrite readings but still around 4ppm ammonia.
If there is nitrite in the tank then you are on your way. The ammonia leaching out of the aquasoil is normal. It requires large water changes.

No worries.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-12-2012, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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If there is nitrite in the tank then you are on your way. The ammonia leaching out of the aquasoil is normal. It requires large water changes.

No worries.
Should I put old tank water from established tanks in there for wc to speed things up, or just new water?
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-12-2012, 09:37 PM
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I don't think extra ammonia is the problem, api tester reads at least 4 ppm
4ppm isn't a dealbreaker, just keep the water changes coming. If it gets off the scale that high a concentration of ammonia can actually inhibit the growth of Nitrosomonas bacteria.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-12-2012, 09:40 PM
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Should I put old tank water from established tanks in there for wc to speed things up, or just new water?
If you've got established tanks, great. Maybe you can toss some established filter media into the new tank. Its just a matter of how much you care about cross contamination between tanks.

Water might help a bit, but its not going to compare with squeezing out a filter sponge into the new tank.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-12-2012, 09:40 PM
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Squeeze some filter pads into the new tank- that should contain much more N-bacteria and therefore be much more effective than just water.

Keep watching the ammonia levels, sometimes they skyrocket with the ADA and you need to do some water changes to keep them at reasonable levels (I personally wouldn't go much over 4ppm).

Took about a month to cycle ADA the only time I used it, though that was a long time ago and the formula has changed since then.





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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-12-2012, 10:44 PM
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It has always taken about a month when I use ADA soil.

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-12-2012, 11:14 PM
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if its a fishless cycle why are you doing water changes and when you change the water are you dechlorinating it? If not you are repeatedly killing your bacteria
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-13-2012, 03:28 AM
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Fishless cycle will work with ADA products supplying the ammonia.
The basic fishless cycle, starting with no bacteria takes pretty close to 3 weeks.
Old tank water has almost no bacteria, and solid surface decor like large rocks also have little bacteria populations. Driftwood might have a pretty good amount of bacteria because of the holes in the wood, most wood is quite porous.

Keep up the water changes to keep the ammonia and nitrite under 5 ppm.
neither group of bacteria do well when these values get too high.

Make sure the GH and KH are over 3 German degrees of hardness. These bacteria need some minerals, they use the carbonates as a source of carbon.

The first group of bacteria, that remove ammonia and produce nitrite are fairly fast growing, and I would expect the nitrite to start showing up by the end of the first week, and doing a pretty strong attempt at spiking in the second week. Watch it. Do water changes to keep it under 5 ppm.

The second group of bacteria, that remove nitrite and produce nitrate are slower growing. However, they will get going, and by about the end of the third week the nitrite will be under better control, but still watch it. While the fishless cycle generally takes 3 weeks, sometimes the bacteria need a little more time to stabilize their population.

Using the aquasoil as a source of ammonia is fine, but it has a natural cycle of its own.
When newly submerged it can produce a lot of ammonia (too much for the nitrifying bacteria), and this production stays pretty high for several weeks.
However, just about the time the nitritfying bacteria really need the soil to stay in production, the levels of ammonia start to drop. You may have to add another source of ammonia to keep the bacteria fed. If you need to do this add enough ammonia once a day to test at 3 ppm.
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