Cycling Questions: Using Dr.Tim's aquatic ammonia, biozyme and seeding etc. - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 24 Old 06-21-2014, 06:31 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you so very much shellieca and hallyx.(and everyone) Yes, I have no idea what I'm doing when I post threads... So I'm not surprised! I'm feeling better now about how the process is going! Thank you!
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post #12 of 24 Old 06-21-2014, 06:51 AM Thread Starter
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Another question, should I dose with the Dr.Tims until I get a 4.0ppm ammonia reading? I haven't wanted to over do it due to the directions that say only one drop a gallon. Should I throw out the directions and add it until I get a 4.0 reading then leave it be and wait for the nitrites to show? Thank you. This is my first time actually trying to cycle a tank without fish.
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post #13 of 24 Old 06-21-2014, 11:04 AM
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Hi, I'm pretty new to this myself too - but, I have the experience of trying to cycle a tank with food and shrimp and failing myself. (The readings never went over 0.5ppm). I think you'll have a better time with the pure ammonia, which is what I'm using now.

My understanding is, yes you can ignore the instructions on the bottle and just add the ammonia until you get a 4ppm reading with the API kit. I got lucky, added a 1ml pipet of the ammonia solution I bought, and got a 1ppm reading. So then I added 3 more pipets and hey-presto 4ppm green
My understanding is also that you need to keep it topped up to 4ppm by testing the water and adding more ammonia as required until the nitrites start to show up.


I was wondering if you have plants in the new setup? Because I am under the impression that having plants in my tank when I tried the shrimp-method was the reason my ammonia reading never went above 0.5ppm. Plants can directly use the ammonia as fertiliser, so my cycle never started. Plants is not a problem, I am in the process of trying to cycle a new planted tank with pure ammonia solution, and this time it is working! It's just worth knowing plants act as a buffer for ammonia.
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post #14 of 24 Old 06-21-2014, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your response tezi. Makes me feel better I'm not the only one who couldn't get the first part of the cycle going. I do not have plants in yet. I bought two to try out first, they are in my ten gallon for now.

So interesting discovery this morning... My filter has a "bio holster" that claims to remove ammonia and nitrites...I didn't really think it would do that, so I left it in the filter. Maybe the thing was actually removing the ammonia have been dosing right along? Who knows I will take the stupid thing out if it makes a difference. I will see what happens in the next 24 hours...
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post #15 of 24 Old 06-21-2014, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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Just tasted for nirate out of curiosity. And I got a 5.0 ppm reading. Does this mean the cycle is actually going? How can my nitrites still be 0 if I have nirates now?
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post #16 of 24 Old 06-21-2014, 04:07 PM
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I had nitrates from the start, my tap water has about 20ppm nitrate! I guess you've tested your tap water? And my Nitrates seemed to go up from the outset too, very slowly.

My thoughts are, to know you've got the proper cycle going you need to see that Nitrite rise and fall happen. At the same time, you really do see the ammonia zero.
Maybe, since you've had some ammonia for a while you've got a bit of a cycle happening (my unscientific, uneducated opinion) but regardless of that you need to wait for that tell-tale Nitrite patten.
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post #17 of 24 Old 06-21-2014, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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I tested nitrates right at the beginning and got a zero reading. I hadn't bothered to check it again since there hasn't been a change in nitrites. From what I have been reading that sometimes happens when you use bacteria boosters. I have finally gotten the ammonia up to 2.0ppm though. So I figure that is at least where it should be
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post #18 of 24 Old 06-22-2014, 04:16 AM
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Good observations by tezi about plants in the tank. Also about using food or shrimp as an ammonia source. Besides being hard to judge the dose, they can set up a real stink in the tank.

Sometimes when using seeded media (or bottled bacteria) the nitrite phase can go by so quickly that you might miss it. Lucky if true. Persistent nitrite can be a real headache.
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post #19 of 24 Old 06-25-2014, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
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I took a day of from testing the water and also Monday was the last day of dosing with biozyme. Tonight I got the following measurements:
Ammonia:.25ppm
Nitrites: .25 ppm
Nirates: 20 ppm

I dosed ammonia back up to what should be 2-3ppm. I didn't measure it again yet. So if nitrites and ammonia measure zero in 24hrs I have cycled? If not what do I do? Just keep measuring and keeping the ammonia up? Until it gets to 0 after 24 hours? Thank you all who have been following this and helping me out!
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post #20 of 24 Old 06-26-2014, 02:23 PM
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Like I said, I'm new to this too, but that's what I'm doing and it seems to be going ok.

For me.....
17th - I dosed to 4ppm for the 1st time, I got the same reading each day until suddenly
23rd - reading of 0.75ish Ammonia and 5 for Nitrite! I dosed back to 4ppm. Reading of 4ppm each day until
26th - (ie today) I'm back to 0.5 Ammonia, still 5 for Nitrite.

So I'm going to dose back up to 4ppm again this evening, and see what happens.
And yes, I'm reconing on it being safe to add fish once the ammonia drops with 24hrs, assuming the nirtrite is also 0 at that point.
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