Jan 05 2011

Fish Tank Bacteria Starter

Fish Tank Bacteria Starter
Why Won’t My New Aquarium Cycle?

I recently decided to re-start an aquarium I shut down during a move. I set everything up, added a couple of hardy fish, and waited for the cycle to begin. It began, but it won’t finish! After the ammonia spiked, my starter fish started showing signs of ich (likely a result of the stress of the ammonia spike). In order to treat it, I removed the fish from the aquarium, and used Quick Cure on the fish (I didn’t add any Quick Cure to the aquarium, as the chemicals in it kill beneficial bacteria). I then upped the temperature in the aquarium, and let it sit for a couple of weeks so the ich would run through the life cycle without hosts and die out.

After a couple of weeks, I lowered the temp, and hoped to reintroduce the fish to the aquarium. The problem is, the ammonia levels won’t drop. The ammonia has been at a peak for over a month now, and there is no sign of the development of Nitrite/Nitrate, leading me to assume the tank is “stuck” in the ammonia spike.

Anyone have advice?

I would have to assume that there isn’t enough ammonia in the tank to get a reasonable amount of nitrite build up. Also, obviously removing the fish for 2 weeks basically started the process over as any bacteria there would have starved. but….
From what you are describing it didn’t even get to that stage. Adequate bacteria should have been introduced with the fish the first time to get the ball rolling, but I would have to assume you never got any decent level of nitrosomas or nitrobacters in your tank. I would suggest a “kick start” of cycle or a similar product or a bit of gravel or filter material from a known clean source.

BTW, Quick Cure should have no significant impact on the cylce bacteria when used at the rates suggested.

Also, stress didn’t cause the ick, ick came in with the fish.

The pH of a tank can also significantly affect the time it takes to cycle, the higher, the longer basically. Warmer temperatures usually speed to process.


Rainbowfish and Tetra Display Tank

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