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Old 04-04-2012, 08:53 PM   #1 
sparkyjoe
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Filter frustration during cycle

OK, so I've been cycling a 5 gallon for my new guy for almost a month and I'm at the nitrIte spike stage, so I've been hopeful that I was at least halfway done.

Well today I woke up to a strange sound coming from my tank. It turns out that the filter was spitting out water in fits and spurts, the only thing that seemed to help was to lift the filter pad slightly, which resulted in water blasting out the front and splashing everywhere.

I took the filter apart and the filter pad is totally covered on one side, which I assume resulted in the problem since the impeller and other internal parts were clean. I tried swishing the filter pad in the tank, but it didn't seem to make a noticeable difference.

So, I went out and got an AquaClear filter and put it together. I didn't add the carbon cartridge, but rather bought a second biological media packet. I plan on keeping two of these, in addition to the mechanical filter sponge, so I never have to remove more than 1/3 of the media at any one time. It will also allow me to have filter media ready to jump start any future cycles on new tanks. I'll keep the carbon in case I ever need it.

I added the "dirty" filter from the old filter to the media section and I hope this will allow BB to transfer and won't set my cycle back to zero???

Pain in the back side!
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Old 04-10-2012, 01:52 AM   #2 
Hallyx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparkyjoe View Post
... I've been cycling a 5 gallon...for almost a month and I'm at the nitrIte spike stage.
I'm trying to understand why it's taking that long. Did you have sufficient "cycled" media/substrate, full of juicy nitrifying bacteria? Do you have an ammonia source that provides 4 to 5ppm NH3? Is your temperature upwards of 85*?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sparkyjoe View Post
I added the "dirty" filter from the old filter to the media section and I hope this will allow BB to transfer and won't set my cycle back to zero???
Makes sense to me. Good luck.

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Originally Posted by sparkyjoe View Post
Pain in the back side!
Indeed. However, two 50% changes a week is even more so.

Edit: Whoops. Did I miss where you said this was a fish-in cycle?

Last edited by Hallyx; 04-10-2012 at 02:05 AM.
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:35 AM   #3 
sparkyjoe
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Nope, nope, it's a fish less cycle. In fact it's the cycle that won't end!

My nitrites are hovering around 1 ppm and are driving me nuts! I've got live plants that I *know* are growing because I've seen new leaves. I actually fertilized yesterday because of all the plants & I saw rapid leaf growth on one of the "baby" plants growing off the rosette sword.

I've done a couple of partial water changes, once when I thought maybe the nitrates were too high causing it to stall, and once when I was sick of the nitrites being off-the-charts high, and was again worried about it stalling.

I've continued to add ammonia every day or two. Temp is around 80F. The filter speed is on "high" with the water level a little low so there's good surface disturbance & bubbles going down into the water column.

I'm at a loss & very frustrated.
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Old 04-10-2012, 06:34 AM   #4 
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Arrrgh...I just pressed the wrong button and blew off my response to you. Hate that.

The best part was when I suggested that you PM Bombarulina. I think I should leave it at that.
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