Why isn't this tank cycling? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-25-2014, 12:20 AM Thread Starter
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Why isn't this tank cycling?

It's a 20g Long with a Zoomed 501 canister filter.

It's been almost two months. I had the ammonia detoxifying bacteria, then SOMEHOW it died off? No idea. I never got the nitrite decomposing bacteria.

I've tried products. Currently not responding to seachem stability. Didn't respond to tetra safe start.

What's wrong?

The aquarium also has a slight smell to it. Is that something? It does not smell like ammonia.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-25-2014, 12:37 AM
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What are your current ammonia and nitrate readings.

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-25-2014, 12:58 AM Thread Starter
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I tested ammonia today at about 3, hasn't changed. I haven't tested the others and will get back to you.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-25-2014, 01:01 AM
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What type of substrate are you using? Possibly something in there is killing off/preventing the nitrifying bacteria
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-25-2014, 03:01 AM Thread Starter
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Caribsea super naturals. My other tanks with it are maintaining bacteria.

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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-25-2014, 02:20 PM
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Do you have bio media in your filter? If so, you can still add little more to house more bacteria. I wouldn't put anymore additives in a cycling tank, although two months is way over the cycling process already. Sometimes the problem when cycling is rushing by adding additives, changing water thus prevent the natural cycling process. I think what you're smelling is ammonia, just don't add anymore additives and let the tank be for a few days. I would add more bio media( bio balls) and that will definitely cycle your tank quicker.
If the additives is to detoxify ammonia, it could mean that are no nitrite bacteria because the ammonia is being eliminated before it can process to the next step. You can't stop a cycling tank, you can only stall it by not leaving it alone.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-25-2014, 02:22 PM
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what is the ph in the tank and temp?

75 Gallon Low Tech w/ Green Terror Pair
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-25-2014, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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The additives are either "bacterial" additives or ammonia.

Test Results-
Ammonia - 2
Nitrite - 0 (what... off the charts went somewhere)
Nitrate -
pH - 6.0 (what the f**k)
temp - 72

well that's why the cycling stalled. i'm not even gunna test nitrates. Originally I had to bring the pH up so I'll do it again.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-25-2014, 04:15 PM
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During cycling you don't adjust anything, ph etc. until cycling is done, then you know what needs to adjust, using chemicals to adjust ph is not advisable, because it's not stable. Raising the temp will speed up the colonization of bilogical bacteria, if there's no livestock, above 80 degrees is better.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-25-2014, 06:04 PM
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Do a big water change to get the ammonia level down to almost zero. Take out anything in the filter except biomedia. Get 2-3 feeder goldfish. Feed twice a day and tank should cycle normally. Don't do any changes to water chemistry. And have a little patience. I don't like sacrificing fish but in your case it seems to be the only way. After it's cycled, do a 30% water change, throw the feeders in the pond, add tons of plants, and fish. Do not try to adjust your water to what the fish books say is best for your fish, let your fish acclimate to your water. Most farm raised fish have never seen thier native waters.


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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-25-2014, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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I want the bacteria to grow in the condition in which I will maintain the tank. I dose all tanks with sodium bicarbonate and GH booster since my tap is practically RO. Not a fish tank; axolotl. I won't be sacrificing fish. I believe the pH drop killed what bacteria I had.

It cycled initially this way before, but never made it through the second stage. I will probably just have to monitor better.

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Last edited by kcoscia; 05-26-2014 at 01:04 AM. Reason: .
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-26-2014, 03:17 AM
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I've followed #7 from this link
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...ng-148283.html
to cycle my 25 gallon planted and my 5.5 gallon shrimp tank and it hasn't failed me yet. It took 3 weeks to cycle the 25 and 2 weeks to cycle the 5.5 (I used the filter media from the 25) by following that link. I'm also volunteering to setup an aquarium at a seniors care home and I will be using these instructions as well. Its the most straightforward way to cycle a tank and you don't need to use any cycling chemicals or bottled bacteria.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-26-2014, 11:15 PM Thread Starter
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Great link! I'll probably add some food to the tank.

Question is: If I up the temp. will the bacteria be okay once I drop the temp way way down?
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-26-2014, 11:36 PM
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You say this is not a fish tank. If so, why bother cycling it at all. Just plant it, and enjoy it. Cycling will occur naturally. Ammonia in tiny quantities does no harm to the plants - they just use it as food.

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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-28-2014, 06:59 AM
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The bacteria will work faster in higher temperatures. When you turn the temp down after the cycling is finished, they will adjust accordingly.
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