First tank.... First cycle..... Not cycling :(

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First tank.... First cycle..... Not cycling :(

Postby Philcramp » Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:23 pm

Hi, I have had my tank for over a month now. We are still on the first cycle and are struggling to get the PH down. I have down water changes, etc but to no joy! I have tested the water for the below and these are my results:
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 5
Nitrate - 5
I have a rio125 and have 20 starter fish in there at the moment. Any help would be great as am getting very frustrated!
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Re: First tank.... First cycle..... Not cycling :(

Postby Carylnz » Thu Mar 20, 2014 12:23 am

That is a lot of fish to start with. What species you using?
A tank that size should have cycled with 6 fish to start. It will take the filter a lot longer to build up the bacteria required to cope with a bioload of 20.
I always suggest a 2ft (60cm) tank start with 4 fish (eg danio size), a 3ft (90cm) with 6 fish, 4ft (1.2m) with 8 fish etc as a guide.
pH is not really part of the cycling process.
What is the pH?
Does it differ from the pH of the water out of the tap?
What else is in the tank? Some substrates alter the pH.
Are there plants? They will help bring a pH down, as will driftwood or bogwood.
Do not use chemicals to try and alter your pH. They cause more problems!
Are you doing any water changes?
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Re: First tank.... First cycle..... Not cycling :(

Postby MaculicaudaGuy » Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:20 am

I've had nothing but good luck with Seachem Stability. It should help you make it over the last little hurdle
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Re: First tank.... First cycle..... Not cycling :(

Postby New_fish_owner » Wed Oct 08, 2014 8:20 pm

my tank cycling doesn't appear to be going in alignment with the books. I've posted this in a thread I started but I'm having a similar problem. Would be great for some advise.

I've not added any fish as I think the ammonia level is too high. I've had the tank coming up to two weeks now. I've got mopani wood and bogwood, Java fern which I put in yesterday and a few other species of plant, and some decor. I've got an air stone and everything else seems set up correctly.

I tested the water on Thursday last week and there was no ammonia reading, now knowing there wasn't likely to be anything to help the filter mature I went and bought some "pure ammonia" and added a small amount to bring it up to a measurable amount, I've then added more filter start every two days to the filter media and had hoped that in 5 days I would see the ammonia levels drop but doesn't appear to be and can't really work out why. Any suggestions?

Also the PH reading is at 8 which is still too high but again not sure how to bring it down. I did do a 10% water change yesterday and treated the water with the solution to rid of chlorine and chloramine. I haven't seen a change in the reading.

Would anyone suggest using an ammonia remover or will that just not get the bacteria in the filter going?? And perhaps should I use more api solution to bring the ph level down or would that be pointless and harmful?

I don't want to buy any fish until the ammonia is lower but I realise that having the hardy ones might help kick start the filters more...I have one or two hitchhiker small snails surviving happily though.

Help as I would love to start seeing the tank more lively.

I have a 125litre fluval tank with the appropriate filter and heating all in place
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Re: First tank.... First cycle..... Not cycling :(

Postby Carylnz » Thu Oct 09, 2014 3:37 am

I replied to this in your other post. Some of my answers above may help in your situation too.
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Re: First tank.... First cycle..... Not cycling :(

Postby kentlilliputian » Sun Oct 19, 2014 9:03 pm

Hi, Im new here. Ive got a 64ltr Love Fish Panoramic, I let it settle for about a week with the filter running (Although I added some plants a few days into that period), yesterday I took a sample of water to a local pond and aquarium shop, they tested it (I also purchased a Tetra Pond test kit which they said works for aquariums too), they said that although the ph and nitrite were slightly high, there was 0 amonia and the nitrite level was not harmful and that I needed a few fish in there, and recommended I carry out a water change.

I bought 6 Black Phantom Tetras and did about 10ltrs water change before releasing them (I did the release as carefully and slowly as possible, it took about an hour), I fed them a couple of pinches of tetramin and they seemed fine all day yesterday and this morning, when I gave them another small pinch.

From about midday until right now, they seem to be breathing really fast and almost constantly going up to the surface I assume for air, and nitrite is coming up 0.3mg/l the same as when I took the sample in yesterday, Ive subsequently changed another 20 ltrs throughout the day, and have liberally added bioactive tapsafe to get rid of chlorine and add bacteria (I hope), I even removed any iffy looking leaves from my plants. I cant get the nitrite down and they still seem to keep going to the surface, they do go down and dart around the tank but then keep returning to the surface like theyre gasping for air. Nitrite is 0.3mg/l but ammonia is still 0 it seems.

Am I a piece of sh*t thats now condemned these animals to a slow and painful death or can I pull them through? I want to do another water change but I'm scared that will mess them up....

This is so not what I wanted to happen, I wanted it to be as stress free for the fish as possible.

EDIT: OK after reading another post I did another 10ltr water change, so thats been a total of 40ltrs from a 64ltr tank in two days, nitrite doesn't seem to have changed at all, but ammonia still at 0. The fish are no longer at the surface, they're swimming around closer to the bottom but they still seem to be breathing really fast, was going to give them a little food but decided to hold off until tomorrow morning. I've turned all lights off, hopefully to chill them out and also for the plants to give off some oxygen?
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Re: First tank.... First cycle..... Not cycling :(

Postby Rockfish » Sun Oct 19, 2014 11:50 pm

Hi,

It's never good to add fish to an aquarium with any detectable level of nitrite. If there's already a reading, then adding any fish can only increase it, and even low levels can be harmful and are probably causing the gasping and erratic behaviour you've seen.

Leave the lights on a normal cycle (i.e. on for about 10-12 hours per day) as plants only give off oxygen in the daytime when they have sufficient light to photosynthesise.

Feed the fish a small amount every other day while the nitrite reading persists, and change about 20-30% of the water if the nitrite level climbs or you see the fish gasping.

If you keep the feeding minimal and do water changes as necessary you just might avoid any losses or permanent damage to the fish. Some of the biological starters (such as Cycle) may help a bit, even better would be some mature filter media (or 'dirt' from some) from a mature tank. Some shops might help with this.
Sean


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Re: First tank.... First cycle..... Not cycling :(

Postby kentlilliputian » Mon Oct 20, 2014 4:02 am

Thanks sean, its now about 3am and I just checked them. Theyre back up at the surface again... Not continuously, they swim around a bit, then back to the surface.

Im starting to wonder if the guy at the fish shop knows what hes doing? I mean he actually recommended getting a few fish in there.

Ive been thinking as well, have they screwed me over with the test kit? Its for ponds but they assured me its fine for aquariums, and that they use it for their freshwater tropical all the time, but now Im wondering.

The filter media sounds like a good idea.

EDIT- I just put a tiny bit of food in there and theyre completely ignoring it. theyre just darting around then back to the surface.
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Re: First tank.... First cycle..... Not cycling :(

Postby Rockfish » Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:06 pm

Hi,

They do sound somewhat agitated, especially if they are ignoring the food that's being added. I would make sure any uneaten food is removed and leave them at least a couple of days before trying again. This won't do them any harm - an otherwise healthy fish will take weeks to show any effects of not eating - whereas higher waste levels definitely will do harm.

With the test kit it's mostly just packaging, and some of the advice on the leaflet inside will be pond-orientated, but they should work fine for the aquarium. If Tetra is the main test kit brand they do they may have sold you that one because Tetra don't do the equivalent kit for aquariums - strangely the aquarium one includes hardness rather than the more important ammonia.

However, as I said, it's never good to add more fish where there is already a reading of ammonia or nitrite, so they shouldn't really have sold you fish at that stage. Now you're in that situation the best you can do is monitor the levels, water change as necessary, minimal feeding, and try and get some filter bacteria in there by any means available.
Sean


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Re: First tank.... First cycle..... Not cycling :(

Postby kentlilliputian » Wed Oct 22, 2014 8:30 pm

Thanks again for the advice. I've been to the aquatics shop, a proper one this time who actually seem to know what they are talking about, unlike the spotty teen muppet at the other shop. The bloke actually hand drew a big table and detailed strict instructions on what to do to get through this. Needless to say I will ONLY be using them from now on. His advice was pretty similar to yours except Im to stop using Cycle as its making the situation worse.

Man this is a learning curve! I went into this fully expecting it to be challenging but I never thought I'd f*** up this bad!

Anyway I'll keep you updated, hopefully no more disasters.

Thanks again.
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