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Finnex 2.5g planted tank (hopfully RCS) wont cycle. Please help


ByrdP777
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Aquascape Project


Finnex 2.5 Gal starter kit


 


http://www.amazon.com/Finnex-Aquarium-StingRAY-Cliplight-2-5-Gallon/dp/B00MHR8YIE


 


StingRAY Light


 


post-2631-0-56287100-1443541419_thumb.jp


 


D1: 8/4/15


Tank filled with fridge water, ADA Amazonia soil, merimo moss ball.


Original water readings:


Fridge: 7.1-0-3-0


Tap: 7.4-4-3-0


Tank: 6.6-4-5-0


 


post-2631-0-93604200-1443541478_thumb.jp


 


 


D6: 8/10/15


Planted Dwarf Hairgrass


 


post-2631-0-77202700-1443541527_thumb.jp


 


D7: 8/11/15


Added Frogbit


Tank: N/A-4-0.5-0


 


post-2631-0-62473900-1443541651_thumb.jp


 


D9: 8/13/15


Purchased RO water and 3/4 water change. No test


 


D11: 8/15/15


Tank: 7.4-3-0-0


 


D19: 8/23/15


35% water change


 


D28: 9/1/15


25-30% water change


 


Okay so now it is Sept 29, 2015. I tested the water last night and my ammonia is still between 1-2. Any ideas as to why this cycle is taking so long? Why it may be stalled? Ideas?


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Also what did you do to add bacteria to this tank? If you have not introduced nitrifying bacteria through purchased bacteria or used filter media from a cycled tank this process takes much longer. Also temperature also helps a cycle to go much faster, I cycle all my tanks at 86F and usually finish a cycle in 2-3 weeks. And what about Nitrites? Are you showing any? 

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Ammazonia leaches ammonia for up to two months. It is just the soil, next time try Controsoil it does not have an ammonia leech or if it does its minimal.

So do you think the bacteria is actually there and that it just cant catch up with the levels in the ADA amazonia? It has been sitting between 1-2 for an entire month.

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Also what did you do to add bacteria to this tank? If you have not introduced nitrifying bacteria through purchased bacteria or used filter media from a cycled tank this process takes much longer. Also temperature also helps a cycle to go much faster, I cycle all my tanks at 86F and usually finish a cycle in 2-3 weeks. And what about Nitrites? Are you showing any? 

No trites or trates since 8/15/15. tanks sits between 76-79F. didn't have any bacteria to introduce but its been nearly two whole months.

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I cycled one tank with no added bacteria at 76 and it took almost three months. I would highly recommend purchasing Seachem Stability or similar bacteria product and cranking your temperature up to at least 80. Also what is your pH? Low pH delays cycles as well and the ammazonia usually starts out buffering very very low.

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I cycled one tank with no added bacteria at 76 and it took almost three months. I would highly recommend purchasing Seachem Stability or similar bacteria product and cranking your temperature up to at least 80. Also what is your pH? Low pH delays cycles as well and the ammazonia usually starts out buffering very very low.

PH is between 6-8 but I havent tested in a bit. I'll do that tonight and follow up. but I don't necessarily think that it is the issue. 

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Your setup is not good for RCS. try CRS instead.

Why is this the case? I've heard constantly that with a 2.5 Gal the parameters are much more difficult to maintain and will have an increased ammount of fluctuation compared to say a 10g tank. I've also heard that RCS can withstand a higher temp range and are much hardier in general?

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Why is this the case? I've heard constantly that with a 2.5 Gal the parameters are much more difficult to maintain and will have an increased ammount of fluctuation compared to say a 10g tank. I've also heard that RCS can withstand a higher temp range and are much hardier in general?

 

Your water is on the acidic range, which is not good for RCS in the long run.

 

2.5G is tough for CRS, but it can be done.

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Your water is on the acidic range, which is not good for RCS in the long run.

 

2.5G is tough for CRS, but it can be done.

Well that is TBD I'll post when I can test it later this evening. Also Im using DI water from an aquarium shop so I'm not using the tap or fridge water that you are reading about in the journal. My best speculation is that my PH is somewhere between 7-8. My last reading came out to 7.4. Wouldn't this make my water more basic?

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I'm not an expert by any means but I've read when you set up a tank with Aquasoil you must do a lot of water changes in the begining. Otherwise ammonia will leech for a long time. At least it's what I did with 5.5g and the tank cycled in 4 weeks (I changed 1/2 of the water every other day for the first 2 weeks). Also I didn't add any bacteria because it''s already has ammonia in the tank and bacteria should grow naturally (but again, you need to change water or it'll have too much ammonia).

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Ok lots of problems here that are making your tank not cycle.    and is it even possible to have a PH of 6.8 with  Amazonia and RO water?

 

 

Anyway, first.  Low ph will make your tank cycle verrrrrrrryyyyy slow.     If you want RCS  just use an inert substrate.  Sand or regular aquarium gravel.  Neos  (which is what RCS are , like their PH above 7.   Amazonia.. will buffer your PH very low.  it is for keeping  aquarium life that like low PH0

 

Lucky for you,  2.5 gallon tank is easy to change. I would start over.  

 

Get regular sand or gravel.     Fill the tank. 

crank the temp up to 86 and add some kind of bacteria  product.  Stability is one.  Safe start is another.  

then you want to add some source of ammonia for the bacteria to eat   so   look up fishless cycle and do that if you don't already know how to do it.  

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you typed your post about not changing over as I was typing mine.  If you are dead set on not changing over, you could always raise your PH with baking soda to cycle the tank then do a large water change when you are done cycling.  

 

I would strongly recommend changing the type of shrimp you want in that case though. Your RCS wont like the water you get from Amazonia

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And just to be clear Amazonia will buffer very strongly, unless you are cylcling with extremely hard water it will make your water acidic. If you are cycling with DI water it will absolutely be acidic. Depending on what pH test you are using (im assuming you are not using a digital meter) it will not register the actual pH. Your pH is most likely below 6 and I can speculate with the couple of small water changes and DI water you are probably near pH of 5 and possibly below. That will stop a cycle dead in its tracks.

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I'm not an expert by any means but I've read when you set up a tank with Aquasoil you must do a lot of water changes in the begining. Otherwise ammonia will leech for a long time. At least it's what I did with 5.5g and the tank cycled in 4 weeks (I changed 1/2 of the water every other day for the first 2 weeks). Also I didn't add any bacteria because it''s already has ammonia in the tank and bacteria should grow naturally (but again, you need to change water or it'll have too much ammonia).

Thank you for the advice! I feel like I have done probably 6 water changes total. which is about 1 per week and a half at this rate. After I do my PH test tonight I'll do a 30% change and see if that helps to lower the ammonia tomorrow. but it has been at an incredibly consistent 1-2 for the last 3 weeks. Why is this so stable? its not moving up or down.

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Ok lots of problems here that are making your tank not cycle.    and is it even possible to have a PH of 6.8 with  Amazonia and RO water?

 

 

Anyway, first.  Low ph will make your tank cycle verrrrrrrryyyyy slow.     If you want RCS  just use an inert substrate.  Sand or regular aquarium gravel.  Neos  (which is what RCS are , like their PH above 7.   Amazonia.. will buffer your PH very low.  it is for keeping  aquarium life that like low PH0

 

Lucky for you,  2.5 gallon tank is easy to change. I would start over.  

 

Get regular sand or gravel.     Fill the tank. 

crank the temp up to 86 and add some kind of bacteria  product.  Stability is one.  Safe start is another.  

then you want to add some source of ammonia for the bacteria to eat   so   look up fishless cycle and do that if you don't already know how to do it.  

 

 

And just to be clear Amazonia will buffer very strongly, unless you are cylcling with extremely hard water it will make your water acidic. If you are cycling with DI water it will absolutely be acidic. Depending on what pH test you are using (im assuming you are not using a digital meter) it will not register the actual pH. Your pH is most likely below 6 and I can speculate with the couple of small water changes and DI water you are probably near pH of 5 and possibly below. That will stop a cycle dead in its tracks.

Okay okay... So first of all. Let me thank you all for this tremendous help and advice. Its nice to see so many willing to help in such short notice. Hopefully I can make some new friends here. From what I'm gathering the PH of my tank is my biggest issue and without being able to confirm what that is at this point in time (currently in the office). I am using the API test kit so I understand I'm not getting a super accurate reading. I will test tonight and gather the results. It must be obvious to everyone that I'm new so please don't hesitate to critique. I know i'm up for a challenge with a 2.5g but I have a good friend in the area that knows his way around shrimp tanks. He didn't however consider that the PH would be a major factor in my cycle. Hopefully I can find a way to host some happy shrimp without having to start the project over. I'm very pleased with the look of my planted tank. 

 

I guess also in the worst case scenario that I wouldn't be exactly at square 1 with with a restart as I already have the sponge that has been working for a bit. 

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Well that is TBD I'll post when I can test it later this evening. Also Im using DI water from an aquarium shop so I'm not using the tap or fridge water that you are reading about in the journal. My best speculation is that my PH is somewhere between 7-8. My last reading came out to 7.4. Wouldn't this make my water more basic?

 

Normal pH range with GOOD ADA Aquasoil would be around 6.

 

unless you get bad batch which won't buffer the pH to that range.

 

but in this case, it's good for you.

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PH is between 6-8 but I havent tested in a bit. I'll do that tonight and follow up. but I don't necessarily think that it is the issue.

  

Ok lots of problems here that are making your tank not cycle.    and is it even possible to have a PH of 6.8 with  Amazonia and RO water?

 

 

Anyway, first.  Low ph will make your tank cycle verrrrrrrryyyyy slow.     If you want RCS  just use an inert substrate.  Sand or regular aquarium gravel.  Neos  (which is what RCS are , like their PH above 7.   Amazonia.. will buffer your PH very low.  it is for keeping  aquarium life that like low PH0

 

Lucky for you,  2.5 gallon tank is easy to change. I would start over.  

 

Get regular sand or gravel.     Fill the tank. 

crank the temp up to 86 and add some kind of bacteria  product.  Stability is one.  Safe start is another.  

then you want to add some source of ammonia for the bacteria to eat   so   look up fishless cycle and do that if you don't already know how to do it.

  

And just to be clear Amazonia will buffer very strongly, unless you are cylcling with extremely hard water it will make your water acidic. If you are cycling with DI water it will absolutely be acidic. Depending on what pH test you are using (im assuming you are not using a digital meter) it will not register the actual pH. Your pH is most likely below 6 and I can speculate with the couple of small water changes and DI water you are probably near pH of 5 and possibly below. That will stop a cycle dead in its tracks.

Okay so I just got home and tested both the low ph and the high ph ranges. The low reads 6 flat (yellow) and the high reads 7.8. (Orange)

My friend advises me to negate the high test because based on your feed back there is no way the water is that basic. What advice can you offer based on said info? Thanks again everyone for the help

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Only use the High PH kit if your regular PH test  reads the highest reading.     

 

Amazonia is made to buffer water to ph of 6 and below so that would be your accurate reading.

 

You can either raise your PH  with baking soda and buy a bacteria product that I mentioned in my first post and start cycling as if its a new tank  or you can get rid of the substrate and start over 

 

Or James says you can cycle at low PH but it takes a long time  (as Rye said, it took him 3 months)    

 

I am actually cycling a low ph tank right now. I am doing it by raising my PH with Baking soda.  

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The API test also does not go below 6 even if your pH is below you will not be able to tell. I had a tank show pH of 6.4 (API test) then bought a digital meter and it was 5.8. pH is logarithmic so the difference is acidity from 6.4-5.8 is massive. But it does sound like your tank is on the low end of pH so I would recommend adding baking soda or using tap water to cycle then switch the water to remineralized RO water once the cycle is complete about a day or two before adding shrimp.

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