Louis Louis
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  • Posted on: 23/4 12:22
Can a tank itself affect a cycle and it’s water parameters? #1
Hello,

My subject may sound like a bizarre question, but I am starting to lose hope with my tank and attempting the nitrogen cycle. I am coming up to a year now and am yet to have my tank fully cycled.

In the year that I have been attempting to cycle, I have tried 3 different methods of cycling. I began with the usual fish-less cycle but the cycle would not kick start. After pressure from my family to get a fish as they were bored just seeing an empty tank, I attempted a Fish-in cycle which I was reluctant to and I sadly lost my fish 3 months down the line. I then thought well I’ll set up a QT tank whilst my display tank cycles and that way I can have some fish still. Now my QT tank cycled in 3 weeks!! Which will lead me onto my later question. My third method of cycle was to cycle a sponge filter along with biological media and some lava rock. I set that up in a tub and that cycled in just over a week! I then placed all the media, filter and content from my tub into the display tank, and it hasn’t cycled it. Admittedly I have only tested it once and so it may take some time, however with how much time has passed and these similar signs with my display tank, I hope you can understand why I am under the impression that this method has also failed. It seems every tank and tub I have attempted to cycle has been successful apart from my display tank.

Secondly, I posted this question on this forum a while back and it confused someone trying to help so I am hoping that maybe someone else can see this and resolve my issue. The PH and KH in my display tank do not move. Whenever I measure KH it reads 0-1 (the liquid on the API test kit instantly turns yellow) and no matter how much crushed coral I place, it will not rise past 6.6-6.8. Even when I added API PH+, I had to constantly add 1ml every day or else 24hrs later the PH would drop back to 6.6. My GH rises to the degree you would expect per the amount of coral and as a result I end up with super hard water with a low PH.

Now that I have given you a rough background to my issue I will explain my question further. I wondered if it was the equipment in my tank, the filter being faulty etc. However I changed it to the sponge filter (that I had cycled) and still the PH was at 6.6-6.8 and KH at 0-1 and my tank isn’t cycled. I changed every aspect of that tank; filter, heater, stocking (from plastic decoration to live plants and substrate) and yet the results are the same, the only ever constant factor is the tank itself. So is it the tank that’s the issue? If so, what do I do? It was an expensive tank that was bought for me as a gift, I don’t want to tell my family I can’t keep fish in it.

Can anyone tell me why my tank hasn’t cycled and why the water parameters in my tank are stagnant?

I appreciate that this is a longwinded post and I would greatly appreciate any help I receive, be it an explanation or details of an expert or helpful website/guide that can help me with my issue. I am a beginner who is desperate to enjoy and flourish in this hobby but all I have received so far is failure and set backs.

I hope there is someone out there who sees this can help me!

I look forward to hearing from you,
Louis
Fishlady Fishlady
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  • Posted on: 23/4 13:34
Re: Can a tank itself affect a cycle and it’s water parameters? #2
The problem is not with the tank, it's your lack of kH in the water. kH is essential to the cycling process and the bacteria you're trying to grow cannot function without it. Crushed coral is not an effective method of raising kH. It can help keep it stable, but where there is no kH it dissolves too slowly to have an effect.

You said you cycled the QT in a week. That's really very unlikely so can you run through what you did and what made you think it had cycled?

Check the kH of your tap water. If that is at 1 or under then you need to be adding minerals to your water to get the cycle going and to maintain it long term. JBL Aquadur is a good product that raises kH and gH, which is also likely to be low.
Louis Louis
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  • Posted on: 23/4 14:11
Re: Can a tank itself affect a cycle and it’s water parameters? #3
Hello,

Thank you for your reply!!

The issue with my crushed coral is that my PH was increased in both my QT tank and also the tub I set up in order to cycle my filter media. It is only in the main tank where the coral has no effect, which has lead me to question the tank as there is nothing to my knowledge in the tank that is lowering the PH.

My reasoning for believing my tub was cycled in a week is because I used beneficial bacteria products to kickstart the cycling process. And I followed the steps off a website I found online on how to cycle, I placed the full measure of liquid ammonia recommended for the volume of water in the tub and that slowly converted into nitrate over a few days. Once it hit 0ppm of ammonia, I reapplied half the original dose of ammonia, and 24hrs it read 0ppm and so I then gave it the full original dose and then 24 hrs later it read 0ppm once again. Following the website, it said this meant the filter was cycled. Which took just over a week. Hence my belief in the cycling process duration.

Using the API test kit, the GH in my tank reads at quite high because I am already mineralising my water as I use an RODI unit to remove the nitrates from my tap water as they are too high. Testing my tap water, the KH measures at 5kh which would ultimately suggest something in my tank is reducing right? But as I said, the only ever present factor is my tank, so if it isn’t the tank, what could it be?

Once again, thank you for your response
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  • Posted on: 23/4 14:20
Re: Can a tank itself affect a cycle and it’s water parameters? #4
The RODI takes all minerals out of the water so kH/gH depends on what you are putting back in. What minerals are you using?
Louis Louis
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Re: Can a tank itself affect a cycle and it’s water parameters? #5
Hi,

I use seachem equilibrium.

However I must also add that I have had this kh issue before I began using an RODI unit.
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  • Posted on: 23/4 16:43
Re: Can a tank itself affect a cycle and it’s water parameters? #6
Equilibrium only raises gH, it does not raise kH so you need to be adding kH to the water either by changing to an all-in-one product like Aquadur or by also using Seachem Alkaline Buffer. You'll need to use it in every water change, and during cycling when you're not changing water will need to monitor the kH and add more buffer when kH drops due to the activity of the bacteria.
Louis Louis
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  • Posted on: 23/4 17:20
Re: Can a tank itself affect a cycle and it’s water parameters? #7
Thank you so much!

I will look to buy some alkaline buffer, and hope that helps me out.

I really am grateful for your help!