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Fishless Cycling - Need Some Support

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  • Fishless Cycling - Need Some Support

    Alright guys, this is my first time doing fishless cycling. In the past I've used TSS and Fish In (before I knew, I swear!), so I need some help with this and will likely be pestering you all for help as I go.

    55g tank
    1 canister filter, 1 sponge
    Temp: 84 F (to help speed it up)
    Planted
    Tap Water Reading: 0/0/0
    PH: 7.4-7.6

    I added on Sunday night 3 teaspoons of ammonia. This brought it up around 2-4 ppm.

    Tonight I tested and it's definitely down to 1-2 ppm. Tested for nitrites, no sign yet.

    Should I bump the ammonia back up?
    ~Erin
    10g, 20g, 29g, 55g

  • #2
    Congratulations on cycling fishless this time!

    When using pure ammonia, I will raise the ammonia into the 3-4 PPM range. Then wait for it to drop under 1 PPM before I add enough to again push it back up into the 3-4 PPM range. I also crank the heat as a warmer tank will help the bacteria to grow faster.

    I wouldn't worry about nitrites for at least a week. It takes time for them to build up enough to be measurable.

    Good luck!
    - Dena

    All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.
    Walt Disney

    The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.
    Socrates

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    • #3
      Good luck Rae it can be a long road but very rewarding at the end and will give your plants a chance to get grown in and well rooted
      Never underestimate the power of a smile

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      • #4
        Alright, thanks folks, that's the info I was looking for Dena, if I should let it drop under before redosing. I'll keep you guys updated if I have any more questions on this. So excited to have a good method this time, yet so anxious to get things set up!
        ~Erin
        10g, 20g, 29g, 55g

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        • #5
          *flails*

          Click image for larger version

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          There's definitely purple in my nitrite test!
          Ammonia level is the same.
          Last edited by Raerianna; 03-13-2013, 08:22 PM.
          ~Erin
          10g, 20g, 29g, 55g

          Comment


          • #6
            That is great news! You may soon find you will have to add ammonia daily or every other day to maintain a measurable level. Keep doing exactly what you've been doing and your tank will be cycled soon.
            - Dena

            All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.
            Walt Disney

            The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.
            Socrates

            Comment


            • #7
              Ammonia has dropped to .5 ppm. Nitrites are too high to measure. Nitrates have started to appear. I re-dosed the ammonia. Now that the nitrites are becoming unreadable, should I do a water change to bring them back into readable levels?
              ~Erin
              10g, 20g, 29g, 55g

              Comment


              • #8
                no there is no need for a water change. your nitrites will not be measurable for awhile, this is the longest part.

                i will lower the amount of ammonia i add at this point but i dont think thats normally recommended. i usually try to keep it around 3ppm only adding more every other day. i dont feel that you need a lot of ammonia at this point. you have all the nitrite you need your just waiting for the nitrate to come. at the same time you dont want to starve the BB that create the nitrite.

                does anyone else slow down ammonia dosing at this point?
                other tanks not in my info...
                33g long 1M CT Betta, 1M HM Betta, 1M DT Betta, 1F HM Betta
                15g 3 celestial pearl danios, cherry shrimp, 8 pygmy corys, 5 ottos
                10g QT 1 Green Severum, 1 Red Tailed Shark
                You can see my tanks on my YouTube page HERE

                Comment


                • #9
                  At this point I would aim for 2 or 3 PPM ammonia. Never go over 4 PPM as this is the point to maintain a healthy bacterial colony. Watch your nitrates. If nothing seems to be happening, check the KH. If depleted, then add baking soda
                  - Dena

                  All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.
                  Walt Disney

                  The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.
                  Socrates

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I dosed back up to about 2-3 ppm on Friday night. I tested earlier today to be able to change the testing schedule a bit (kept getting later and later). Much to my surprise, ammonia was down to .5 again. Nitrites haven't moved down yet, still up in the unreadable scale. Did not test for nitrates today. Redosed the ammonia. My water level was getting fairly low, so I added the normal dose of prime to de-chlorinate and then put some more in. I know, no testing till after 24 hours due to prime throwing off testing for ammonia.

                    I also removed the seeder material in the plastic food bag with holes as that won't be a permanent fixture. My hope is that it was enough to get it generated along with the plants that had been in cycled tanks, to at least get some of it to stick to the lace rock and a little in the filters. Removed it also at this stage as I didn't want to give myself a false "finished" reading when it's all said and done.
                    ~Erin
                    10g, 20g, 29g, 55g

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                    • #11
                      Woot, ammonia was at just a little over 0 ppm on tonight's test..(just a hint of green). Re-dosed. Nitrite still not dropping yet. Nitrates up to 5-10 ppm.
                      ~Erin
                      10g, 20g, 29g, 55g

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The nitrite drop happens very fast. One day you will wake up and you will have a cycled tank.

                        People say stock slow but I always add about 50% of my full bio load with no problem's. Remember to add algae eating fish last as your tank prob won't have a lot.
                        other tanks not in my info...
                        33g long 1M CT Betta, 1M HM Betta, 1M DT Betta, 1F HM Betta
                        15g 3 celestial pearl danios, cherry shrimp, 8 pygmy corys, 5 ottos
                        10g QT 1 Green Severum, 1 Red Tailed Shark
                        You can see my tanks on my YouTube page HERE

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I agree, just watch your pH as well in these final days as it can swing all over the place, and if it swings to low and sticks there you can have problems.

                          As for the stocking I usually put in my large school first as a whole and let them figure themselves out before I put in other fish. This gets you alot of movement to the tank and some of the early aggresion out before you add other potentially more delicate fish.
                          -Jim-

                          Originally posted by Albert Einstein
                          If the facts dont fit the theory, change the facts
                          Originally posted by Theodore Geisel
                          Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind donít matter and those who matter donít mind.

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                          • #14
                            Yep, ammonia completely gone again this evening. Nitrites still no drop. Tested PH, no drop from my tap which is 7.4-7.6. I'll keep an eye on that as well now that it's getting later in the cycle.
                            ~Erin
                            10g, 20g, 29g, 55g

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              If the nitrites don't drop soon or if the nitrates don't continue to rise you can do a small water change, no more than 20%. Many times this helps to get the cycle moving again. But I wouldn't take this action unless nothing changes for over a week.
                              - Dena

                              All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.
                              Walt Disney

                              The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.
                              Socrates

                              Comment

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