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IsabellaG

Tank still cycling, filter padding dirty - to clean or not to clean?

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Ph tank - 7.8

Ph tap - 8.2

Ammonia - 0.25 ppm

Nitrite - 0 ppm

Nitrate - 0 ppm

1 shubunkin 3-4cm, 51 litre tank.

Background : http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/topic/94687-tank-not-yet-cycled-what-am-i-doing-wrong/page__fromsearch__1

We've had Patches since early July. Did lots of things wrong. Have two filters which together have 600 litres per hour.

The aquatopia cannister filter - I took out sponge filter and replaced it with bio noodles and filter padding (advice local fish shop). I changed the gravel, and later on had to replace the tank due to a leak. Anywho, I'm still cylcing the tank. I was also possibly over-cleaning - daily vacuuming and 50-80% water changes to keep all parameters as close to 0. I've now reduced the vacuum cleaning to every other day.

The second filter is an aquaclear HoB filter, it came with a filter pad and on advice of the lfs I put in some more padding and some bio rocks.

The tank hasn't cycled yet but the filter pads are looking pretty filthy (brown/grey). I've very gently swished the filter pads in aquarium water, but the colour stayed the same.

What to do, should I clean those filter paddings, replace them? If yes, then how?

II'm off to do a 70-80% water change,

Many thanks for listening,

Isabella.

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I think you are doing everything correctly. Just give the padding a rinse every once in a while when they get super gross, but don't replace them until they start to fall apart. Also, don't rinse paddings from both filters at the same time. Stagger them out to different weeks.

May I ask how long you've been cycling?

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Hi Dnalex,

Well, we bought the the fish and the bowl on 9 July and the 50 litre tank on 16 July 2011. So I'd say since the 16/07. So, it's been three months, sigh.....

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I guess that between throwing away the first filter's sponge (advice lfs), changing all the gravel in one go from blue to a more natural mix, replacing the tank because of a leak and daily water changes and gravel vac's, those BB are just very slow in appearing.

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Yes, it can seem to take a very long time, and some of the changes which are good in the long term, may have slowed the growth of your cycle. Just keep up with the water changes for the sake of the fish, leave everything else alone and be patient. I myself, would not even swish the filter pad, just leave the filter alone for now. Eventually the bb's will catch up.

Have you considered using one of the "instant cycle" products to give the bb's a boost? There are mixed reviews on this, but some have said it helps with a slowly developing cycle. Another thing is to slightly raise the temperature of the tank a few degrees.

Good luck and hang in there!

mj

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Nutrafin Cycle is thought to be very good, so you might want to try that.

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Thanks Alex! Much appreciate your responses.

Yes, I'd heard of it, and I'm willing to try. I've asked two lfs sofar, but they didn't carry Nutrafin Cycle. I'll broaden the search. Likewise I'm yet to find pure ammonia for the fish-less cycle in the big tank we just bought (see whoohoooo post in tanks and equipment :-). I'll phone around tomorrow and see which of our fish shops has the stuff (keeping fingers crossed).

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The only luck I had finding pure ammonia was at a hardware store, so you might try that if you haven't yet already :)

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Thanks MJ Bubbles and Tithra,

I've tried our trusty big hardware store, but they didn't have it. I'll phone around and see if other stores carrry it. Otherwise I might try it with fish food or I've read about milk or prawns to start up a fishless cycle. Still have to exchange/upgrade my filter for the big tank too and I couldn't go to the lfs this weekend. With the stalling cycle in the smaller tank and not yet able to start up the big tank, which then has to go through the cycle ....aarrrggggh (did manage to find the perfect spot for the big tank. I'll update on my other thread as soon as i have time). Have to get ready for work now.

Have a great day everyone,

isabella.

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Wait. Do you have fish in the tank you're trying to cycle? Don't add ammonia or anything else for that matter! It's just going to be a long road with one small fish, he just doesn't make enough waste to quickly cycle your tank. Hang in there keep up the water changes and it will happen :)

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Wait. Do you have fish in the tank you're trying to cycle? Don't add ammonia or anything else for that matter! It's just going to be a long road with one small fish, he just doesn't make enough waste to quickly cycle your tank. Hang in there keep up the water changes and it will happen :)

Maceo, the OP is doing a fish-less cycle in the big tank that she's upgrading to... :D

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OOOOooook, I was very tired last night and missed that, that makes me feel much better. A lot of times the Dollar Store has pure ammonia that's where I always find it anyway.

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