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Cycle will NOT finish!!! Help.


Bigdog99
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So,my tank has no live plants but they are coming tomorrow from AC. At least the Java fern. The anubius nana is coming day after tomorrow and some easy green as well. Anyways I just tested ammonia and nitrite after dosing 2 ppm ammonia (40 drops of the dr Tim’s ammonia). This is theSECOND time dosing as btw on the final stages of the cycle with nitrates present btw. Ammonia is 1 ppm with nitrite like..3 or 4 ppm!!!😫I was wondering if possibly the ammonia dr Tim’s ammonia I am using I am overdosing even though..it says 4 drops per gallon I know but should I do 1 drop and see what happens??? I am doing 40 drops because it is a 10 gal…..PLEASE HELP..I WILL ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT ANYTHING!!!!😔

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I don't think there's any risk putting your plants in that.  Assuming there are no fish?  

The plants will likely have a little bacteria on them which will help jumpstart.  I don't have any great suggestions, I know a lot of people do fishless cycles, but I find it a little silly as simply changing water is pretty easy.  

I'd expect once the plants get in there your levels will start going down.  I think I'd quit pounding ammonia into the tank, though.  

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This is MY OPINION:
 

In my opinion the instructions are too much. *I* Use the dosage 1 drop per gallon. I go to measure the amount of ammonia then I check 24 hours.  I once tried 4 drops per gallon but I could not ever get a tank to cycle with that dosage. Think about it, Is your fish really going to mess the tank soooo much over night to equate to 4 drops per gallon? NOPE. More realistic is 1 drop per gallon.

Unless you plan on WAY overstocking your tank, I believe the instructions are wrong. If you do manage to get the tank to cycle with 4 drops per gallon, and you stock your tank with fish that don't give out equiv of 4 drops of ammonia per gal, you will have a BB crash because they will not be getting enough food.

When I do 1 drop per gallon and if I can dose that each day and 24 hours later, I get 0's on all tests except nitrate, I'm good to go. I then SLOWLY add fish to my tank. (As in, add 3-4 fish, let it sit for a week, then add 3-4 more, etc..) just to make sure bioload isn't exceeded.

*** Thats my experience and opinion ***

 

PS : I've fishless cycled a tank with plants in it, plants love the Ammonia & Nitrite. Plants are good to go.

 

Edited by Dacotua
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The plants won’t care about the ammonia at one point in the tank I just cycled I had more than 4ppm and the plants didn’t seem to care 

as for the tank not cycling it just needed time it took a month and a half for me the beauty of a fish less cycle is you don’t have to do anything just wait for it to go but it does require a certain amount of patience 

that said 4ppm is a bit high for the bacteria imo

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On 1/28/2024 at 10:12 PM, face said:

The plants won’t care about the ammonia at one point in the tank I just cycled I had more than 4ppm and the plants didn’t seem to care 

as for the tank not cycling it just needed time it took a month and a half for me the beauty of a fish less cycle is you don’t have to do anything just wait for it to go but it does require a certain amount of patience 

that said 4ppm is a bit high for the bacteria imo

Actually the plants do care. They LOVE the ammonia, it’s their preferred source of nitrogen. Farmers inject anhydrous ammonia directly in it the soil for fertilizer. It quickly is absorbed by the soil’s moisture so it doesn’t release into the air. Then breaks down into nitrites and  nitrates. 

You’re still good, it’s just going to take a bit. No harm to the plants from the ammonia. Or to the bacteria colony. But next time you’re back to 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites, trust the process. You’re cycled enough for a small amount of fish

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You need to have an end point.  The next time you see 0s, add some fish.  Plants will love the ammonia.

On a side note, for a "sterile" tank, it can take 40 days to cycle.  That can be decreased by adding filter media from other tanks as well as using bottled bacteria.  However, that 40 days is going to be 40 days unless you've done some of those other things...

Edited by Galabar
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On 1/28/2024 at 9:58 PM, jwcarlson said:

I don't think there's any risk putting your plants in that.  Assuming there are no fish?  

The plants will likely have a little bacteria on them which will help jumpstart.  I don't have any great suggestions, I know a lot of people do fishless cycles, but I find it a little silly as simply changing water is pretty easy.  

I'd expect once the plants get in there your levels will start going down.  I think I'd quit pounding ammonia into the tank, though.  

No fish. Yeah I thought I was overloading the tank with ammonia!😆but can I add 6 fish in the tank first thing?

On 1/28/2024 at 10:00 PM, Dacotua said:

This is MY OPINION:
 

In my opinion the instructions are too much. *I* Use the dosage 1 drop per gallon. I go to measure the amount of ammonia then I check 24 hours.  I once tried 4 drops per gallon but I could not ever get a tank to cycle with that dosage. Think about it, Is your fish really going to mess the tank soooo much over night to equate to 4 drops per gallon? NOPE. More realistic is 1 drop per gallon.

Unless you plan on WAY overstocking your tank, I believe the instructions are wrong. If you do manage to get the tank to cycle with 4 drops per gallon, and you stock your tank with fish that don't give out equiv of 4 drops of ammonia per gal, you will have a BB crash because they will not be getting enough food.

When I do 1 drop per gallon and if I can dose that each day and 24 hours later, I get 0's on all tests except nitrate, I'm good to go. I then SLOWLY add fish to my tank. (As in, add 3-4 fish, let it sit for a week, then add 3-4 more, etc..) just to make sure bioload isn't exceeded.

*** Thats my experience and opinion ***

 

PS : I've fishless cycled a tank with plants in it, plants love the Ammonia & Nitrite. Plants are good to go.

 

Thanks because plants are out for delivery!

 

On 1/28/2024 at 10:12 PM, face said:

The plants won’t care about the ammonia at one point in the tank I just cycled I had more than 4ppm and the plants didn’t seem to care 

as for the tank not cycling it just needed time it took a month and a half for me the beauty of a fish less cycle is you don’t have to do anything just wait for it to go but it does require a certain amount of patience 

that said 4ppm is a bit high for the bacteria imo

Is nitrates fine with the plants btw @face and @Dacotuaand @Tony sand @Galabar? Somebody????😅

 

On 1/28/2024 at 11:53 PM, Galabar said:

You need to have an end point.  The next time you see 0s, add some fish.  Plants will love the ammonia.

On a side note, for a "sterile" tank, it can take 40 days to cycle.  That can be decreased by adding filter media from other tanks as well as using bottled bacteria.  However, that 40 days is going to be 40 days unless you've done some of those other things...

Ok thanks for the info.

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Nitrates are fine for the plants.  But you want low ammonia and nitrite before you put fish in.  So I would suggest a big water change before you put fish in OR let the plants work at bringing the levels down and then add the fish.  And I would still probably do a water change before the fish go in either way.

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On 1/29/2024 at 8:09 AM, jwcarlson said:

Nitrates are fine for the plants.  But you want low ammonia and nitrite before you put fish in.  So I would suggest a big water change before you put fish in OR let the plants work at bringing the levels down and then add the fish.  And I would still probably do a water change before the fish go in either way.

Yeah still waiting for ammonia +nitrite go down then I will redo se a SMALL amount of ammonia. 5fishes is fine right? @jwcarlson?

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Nitrates are not an issue. It’s still plant food. Not their favorite form , but it works. And water changes will lower it immediately. Even for fish, nitrates are really not an issue short term. Keeping nitrates under 50 is for their long term health. It’s not uncommon for nitrates in a large, unplanted cichlid tank to reach 300ppm. Nitrates are more like being in a room full of smoke. 50ppm is manageable, 300ppm becomes hard to breathe. So watch the nitrates, keep them under 50 for plants. Don’t stress about nitrates. 

That being said, there are fish that can’t handle even less than 20 ppm. Thinking rams, discus, hillstream loaches. 

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Uhhhhhh…. @Tony s…..I think they are more than 50….HELP!!! I already added them like 30 mins ago!!!!

On 1/29/2024 at 9:58 AM, Tony s said:

Nitrates are not an issue. It’s still plant food. Not their favorite form , but it works. And water changes will lower it immediately. Even for fish, nitrates are really not an issue short term. Keeping nitrates under 50 is for their long term health. It’s not uncommon for nitrates in a large, unplanted cichlid tank to reach 300ppm. Nitrates are more like being in a room full of smoke. 50ppm is manageable, 300ppm becomes hard to breathe. So watch the nitrates, keep them under 50 for plants. Don’t stress about nitrates. 

That being said, there are fish that can’t handle even less than 20 ppm. Thinking rams, discus, hillstream loaches. 

 

Actually…I will test..just did a google search and it said 60-70 ppm is fine. I panicked for a sec there😅

On 1/29/2024 at 9:58 AM, Tony s said:

Nitrates are not an issue. It’s still plant food. Not their favorite form , but it works. And water changes will lower it immediately. Even for fish, nitrates are really not an issue short term. Keeping nitrates under 50 is for their long term health. It’s not uncommon for nitrates in a large, unplanted cichlid tank to reach 300ppm. Nitrates are more like being in a room full of smoke. 50ppm is manageable, 300ppm becomes hard to breathe. So watch the nitrates, keep them under 50 for plants. Don’t stress about nitrates. 

That being said, there are fish that can’t handle even less than 20 ppm. Thinking rams, discus, hillstream loaches

So btw @Tony s do I add fertilizer or no? Just adding them

On 1/29/2024 at 9:58 AM, Tony s said:

Nitrates are not an issue. It’s still plant food. Not their favorite form , but it works. And water changes will lower it immediately. Even for fish, nitrates are really not an issue short term. Keeping nitrates under 50 is for their long term health. It’s not uncommon for nitrates in a large, unplanted cichlid tank to reach 300ppm. Nitrates are more like being in a room full of smoke. 50ppm is manageable, 300ppm becomes hard to breathe. So watch the nitrates, keep them under 50 for plants. Don’t stress about nitrates. 

That being said, there are fish that can’t handle even less than 20 ppm. Thinking rams, discus, hillstream loaches

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On 1/29/2024 at 12:38 PM, Tony s said:

If you’re under 50,add. For plants, they’re not really an upper limit. Within reason 

Ok sooo should I add more? I just tested and nitrates and they are 40 ppm. Add fertilizer?

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On 1/29/2024 at 12:47 PM, Bigdog99 said:

Ok sooo should I add more? I just tested and nitrates and they are 40 ppm. Add fertilizer?

Dont have to be that precise. this is not rocket science. 40 is close enough

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On 1/29/2024 at 2:17 PM, Tony s said:

Dont have to be that precise. this is not rocket science. 40 is close enough

Uh yeah I knew that.😂 ok Thx man. You are super helpful always!

I just am starting to learn how to take care of plants btw so do NOT WANT to mess this up!😄 here is the plant or plants! I got 2 in 1!

image.jpg

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On 1/29/2024 at 11:18 AM, Bigdog99 said:

just am starting to learn how to take care of plants btw so do NOT WANT to mess this up!😄 here is the plant or plants! I got 2 in 1!

Just so you don't freak out, your plants will likely look like they are dieing. Most plants are grown out of water and their leaves need to convert for underwater. So they will melt back. Just leave them alone. As long as the roots are healthy, they will dig in, and after a few weeks you'll see new growth 

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On 1/29/2024 at 5:23 PM, Lonkley said:

Just so you don't freak out, your plants will likely look like they are dieing. Most plants are grown out of water and their leaves need to convert for underwater. So they will melt back. Just leave them alone. As long as the roots are healthy, they will dig in, and after a few weeks you'll see new growth 

I am not freaking out as I just read this before I noticed this so thx. This happens to Java fern plants?

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It looks like you have kept your Java fern out of the substrate, which means you did your homework. 🙂

I think crypts are more likely to have been grown emersed.  I'm not sure about Java fern...

 

On 1/29/2024 at 4:17 PM, Bigdog99 said:

@Lonkley, it says nitrates should be under 10 ppm nitrates……??? Uhhhh help.

Where are you reading that?  I think most would say below 50 ppm...

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Oh I was reading some thing on google and it said it with mg/kg so I think I miss read it.😅thanks

On 1/29/2024 at 7:18 PM, Galabar said:

It looks like you have kept your Java fern out of the substrate, which means you did your homework. 🙂

I think crypts are more likely to have been grown emersed.  I'm not sure about Java fern...

 

Where are you reading that?  I think most would say below 50 ppm...

 

Yes I did my homework!😀

Do Java fern smelt back @Galabar?

Melt back. Not smelt 

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On 2/1/2024 at 5:45 PM, Galabar said:

How is the tank coming along?

 

Hey thanks for coming back and I got good news! It is DONE!!!! I did 10 drops of the ammonia, tested 10 mins ago which exactly at 24 hours and BAM! Sooooo happy for the fish! Thanks for EVERYTHING @Galabar

 

@Galabar, should I unplug the heater now because getting some WCMMs and i could let it just go down right?

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