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Slow cycle -- and mysterious slime

This is a discussion on Slow cycle -- and mysterious slime within the Axolotl tank set-ups, filters, substrate forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; We're attempting to set up a bigger, better tank for our 1-year-old axie -- but we're having problems starting our ...

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Old 25th December 2015   #1 (permalink)
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Default Slow cycle -- and mysterious slime

We're attempting to set up a bigger, better tank for our 1-year-old axie -- but we're having problems starting our cycle. Here's what we're working with and have done so far:

SPECS:
-It's a 22gal tank kept at 18șC. (I've heard cycles start better at higher temperatures, but I'm scared of starting one at a temperature it won't actually be expected to work it. I'd hate for it to crash)

-The tank has both a double sponge filter and an airstone running at all times.

-The tap water here is not chlorinated

-We use Tetra liquid tests for ammonia

-The ammonia we used is pure 10% ammonia solution from the pharmacy

PROCESS:
-We added 30 drops of ammonia on the first day (Oct. 12th) until the water tested at 3.0mg/l

-After 5 weeks (Nov. 16th) of no change in the ammonia levels, we did a 10% water change to see if that would help move it along and the tests read 2.5mg/l

-On Dec. 4th we added some starter bacteria we bought from an aquarium store to try to jump-start the cycle, but that doesn't seem to be doing anything either.

-Since then (today is Dec. 25th) the ammonia level hasn't changed at all. (still 2.5mg/l) However, mysterious little balls of white-ish slime have started appearing on the bottom of the tank, and I have zero idea what they are or what it means for the cycle.

I'm attaching pictures of the slime balls and a picture of the bottle of bacteria we used. (sorry it's in Japanese. Hopefully someone might still recognize it, though?)
For some reason the pictures of the slimes are upside-down. Sorry about that. They look pretty much the same right-side-up though...

For almost 11 weeks we've been trying to start this cycle and have made no progress. Please help!
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Slow cycle -- and mysterious slime-img_0862.jpg   Slow cycle -- and mysterious slime-img_0863.jpg   Slow cycle -- and mysterious slime-img_0864.jpg  



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Old 8th January 2016   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slow cycle -- and mysterious slime

Felt the need to answer since you're one of the first I saw on this site who's in japan!

Anyway, the only information I could find about the white slime balls at the bottom is moldy waste, like old food in the tanks and such. So I would suspect that it could be from your tap, the ammonia? OR from the bottle of bacteria you put in. Maybe double-check the information on the bottle or check their website? It's only my guess on that.

For the slow cycling, do you clean the sponge filter at all? If you do then you're most likely destroying any good bacteria that's on there, it needs a porous material to colonize in.

Can you buy a testing kit for nitrites and nitrates? If so I think it would do good to test for nitrites during this process as well.

(I have only found liquid nitrite testing kits here so far, and only nitrate testing strips, in one small mom and pop shop. Can't seem to be able to buy a full kit online either, I have to do more hard looking.)


I'm no expert, just did some looking and shared tips on what I already know. Hope things do well or already went well since this is kinda old...



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