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Author Topic: Fishless cycle! Is it cycled?  (Read 1971 times)
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Tanks: 29g: 8 Black Neon Tetras, 7 Kuhli Loaches, 1 Dwarf Gourami, 1 Bolivian Ram, 1 amano shrimp, and a nerite snail
Posts: 119

« on: December 05, 2016, 10:14:23 PM »

Hi everyone!

I'm a few weeks into a fishless cycle (with some seeded material from my smaller tank) and need some help. Late last week I had a nitrite reading of 0.25 and 0.5 ppm and 0.25 ammonia. A couple days later the ammonia reading was the same but the nitrite was not giving  clear results on the test. It was a color somewhere between blue and purple but more of a dark blue.  On Saturday I added another dose of ammonia and yesterday my ammonia was reading at zero and my nitrite was reading at zero.  I dosed again last night and now 24 hours later my ammonia is at zero and my nitrites are at zero. I checked for nitrates and tested between 10 and 20 ppm.

Do you think my  tank has cycled? I think I will add another dose of ammonia tonight to verify the results tomorrow.

Thanks for any help advice you can give.
Whoa. Where did I put all my stuff?
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I know where rasaqua's stuff is.....

« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2016, 08:37:57 AM »

From the readings you provided, it sounds like your aquarium is getting broken in. Aquariums don't get cycled. They maintain a cycle (with maintenance help from the hobbyist). There are many 'cycles' occurring at the same time in your aquarium. The one we tend to pay the most attention is the nitrogen cycle.

To keep the nitrogen cycle going until you actually start introducing fish, you will need to supply an ammonia source at about the same rate you have been now since discovering your readings over the past two days.


"For every difficult question, there is an answer that is clear and simple and wrong."
(George Bernard Shaw)
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Tanks: 20- from 5.5 to 150 gals.
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« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2016, 03:23:00 PM »

Ammonia kills fish. So if a tank cannot deal with that, the rest doesn't matter. Most fish do fine in a tank that is able to handle the ammonia. More mircoorganisms will establish over time in a tan no matter what one does. Some of this happens due to the presence of the fish and other critters.. They do all sorts of things we never see. But very few species need this degree of establishment at the outset.

The bacteria will not die off from no ammonia. They are able to sense when the essential things they need are absent= think ammonia. oxygen, inorganic carbon (there are some other but these are the majors). When these things are missung the bacteria will go into a state of dormancy and wait for better conditions. They are able to last this way for some time. How long depends on their condition when they go dormant. Consider that bottle the right starter bacteria is good in a bottle for 66 months, 12 if chilled, before it starts to degrade to where it matters.

If you have your tank cycled and are waiting a bit to get the fish, you do need to feed ammonia. But you can do so every 2 or 3 days and in a lesser amount that for cycling. This will keep the bacteria doing OK. I would suggest you add about 1 ppm of ammonia every few days. Unless you have live plants. monitor nitrates. These will build up. Yo may need to do a water change. No matter what, before you add fish, do a huge water change. As much as you can. Then make sure the new water is up to temp and you are good to go.

“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.” Daniel Patrick Moynihan
"The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it." Neil DeGrasse Tyson
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