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can't get cycle to finish


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I need advice on how to get this tank ready. Sbarbee is generously holding the mischlings I got from him but I am so frustrated with this tank and want him to be able to ship them to me

Started tank using mk Pao method 6 weeks ago

tank is 77F

for the last few weeks the ammonia readings after 24 hours are .25

the nitrite was very high also a week ago so I did a water change to get it moving again

after a day or so the nitrites were at 0 again and nitrates were 5

I have never had ammonia to read 0...it's always at .25

nitrates dropped to 0 in a couple of days

everything is zero but ammonia

I am putting 3ppm ammonia in each day.

substrate is brightwell

tank is 10g with AC 70 (all I had)and extra large double sponge filter

I seeded tank with old filter sponge as well as old filter media and driftwood.

Is using stability an option or would that mess up what I've done so far? I can't figure out where the ammonia is coming from. I also have purigen in the filter and mk breed life balls in the tank. The tank right beside it is identical except I used old sea mud and bt 9 in it. It was done in three weeks.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

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When nitrite spikes you are harming your cycle by doing a water change. You should not do any water changes until your cycle is complete then do a 90% water change a day before adding stock. Doing that wc could have seriously slowed down your cycle as nitrite eating bacteria take longer to populate than ammonia eating bacteria. I would up your temp to 80 as well helps the bacteria grow faster.

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Thanks..I will turn up the heater.  I have added Bacter AE also...I just want to build biofilm so I do it about once a week in that tank.

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Just tested water...after putting 3ppm ammonia in yesterday.

ammonia. .25 or just slightly less green than .25 on the card.

ph...6

nitrites. ..0

nitrates...0+...slightly yellower than zero. (I drive myself crazy with these colors because I 'm an artist and if they don't match the card exactly the difference seems huge to me..I annoy myself)

I will put 3ppm ammonia in again . I have the heater turned up and it's almost 80.

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Another thing if you have any nitrifying bacteria they would be creating nitrates. You said nitrates are 0 that means you either have no bacteria breaking down nitrites into nitrates or your not doing the test correctly. If you are using th API kit you have to beat the heck out of bottle #2 before using it, I bang it against a hard object upside down for 30 seconds followed by another 30 seconds of extreme shaking. This test is notorious for giving false readings if not mixed very thoroughly.

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Ok..I will mix even harder and see...I have been banging on a table, etc. I was getting higher reading for nitrates and then that dropped.

Zodiac...I add 3ppm ammonia to the tank when the tank tests at or below .25ppm to keep things moving and to be able to tell if nitrites are "working ". I do always read the test against white. I have never had any ammonia readings at this point in cycling of my other tanks...they were all at 0ppm. That is one reason I am puzzled.

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Yes.purigen is in the hob.just tested the water and again get .25 ammonia after putting in 3ppm. Yesterday. Can't get nitrates to read more than 5. I just don't understand why the ammonia keeps reading .25ppm.

I'm completely stumped.

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What about the ammonia reading...you think it's still do e if the nitrates start showing up? I have always put in pureigen at set up...never even thought about it. Thanks for all the help.

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Oh..and I noticed a funky odor from this tank this morning when I went into the room. The other two tanks (cycled and with shrimp in them) had no odor. I removed the purigen. I have never had this happen with six other tanks. The plants in there are growing like crazy too. My PRL tank is next to it and identical except for me using mk method on the one that's a problem. The PRLS are having a ball in there...haven't lost a one and berried mamas. I REALLY don't want to tear this down and start again!

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The odor is most likely ammonia.

 

Remove Purigen as it slows down the cycle process.

 

After removing Purigen, add 3ppm ammonia again and test water again tomorrow.

 

If it is still at 3ppm ammonia the next day, Purigen was removing most of it and your cycle was being stalled the whole time.

 

If it goes to .25 ppm, you may want to get another test kit.

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Ok so I tested with new kit and still got an ammonia reading. It's not quite at .25 using both the old and new reagents. The nitrates went to 20 after removing purigen. Do I consider it cycled? I have zero nitrites. The weather is not going to let me have shrimp shipped this week anyway. If we get a flake of snow the world stops down here and frigid temps, snow then ice predicted today with highs not out of the twenties the rest of the week. I set up two more tanks this way over the weekend. I just hope we don't loose power if there is ice.

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Ok but if I do Rodi water remineralize then add 3ppm to tank wouldn't the BB get rid of all of it? Also...I didn't have this reading on other tanks when I cycled them. Poopians, I really appreciate all your help. It gives me more ideas to try on future tanks. Always something new to learn!

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Ok but if I do Rodi water remineralize then add 3ppm to tank wouldn't the BB get rid of all of it? Also...I didn't have this reading on other tanks when I cycled them. Poopians, I really appreciate all your help. It gives me more ideas to try on future tanks. Always something new to learn!

NoNo!!

 

Test your RO water for ammonia which would be 0ppm then compare the color to ammonia which u say is less than .25

 

If the colors are the same, your cycle is finished.

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My ro water is testing the same so I am going to pronounce it cycled. Just in case I am changing the cartridges in the ro/di unit. I will just keep cycle going til I know when shrimp can be shipped unless I hear differently from you guys. Thanks so much.

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The other thing to note is that the api kit teads TOTAL ammonia. Both toxic and non toxic. All three of my tanks read as 0.25. The way you can test this is by getting a seachem ammonia alert. Its reads only toxic ammonia. Get one and drop it in to see what happens.

I am willing to bet that if your total ammonia reading with the api kit keeps hitting 0.25 after dosing, that what you have left is non toxic ammonia. If thats the case I would say your tank is ready to rock, as long as nitrites remain 0.

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The other thing to note is that the api kit teads TOTAL ammonia. Both toxic and non toxic. All three of my tanks read as 0.25. The way you can test this is by getting a seachem ammonia alert. Its reads only toxic ammonia. Get one and drop it in to see what happens.

I am willing to bet that if your total ammonia reading with the api kit keeps hitting 0.25 after dosing, that what you have left is non toxic ammonia. If thats the case I would say your tank is ready to rock, as long as nitrites remain 0.

I had a pretty bad experience with ammonia alert. Seachem products are great but the alerts are terrible.

 

Even when the reviews say it's inaccurate, I gave it a shot. Once I received it, I put on drop of ammonia on the circle(detector thingy) and it didn't even turn color.

 

My ammonia solution was 1 drop per 1gallon = .5 ppm

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