09-04-2008, 08:26 AM
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Great size tank. I just finished fishless cycled my 210g freshwater tank a few months ago (took 10 days). Here is what I did:
I took some gravel out of my healthy 90 gallon tank (The LFS could give you a few cups out of one of their healthy tanks, and also ask for their old yucky filter cartridge, full of good bacteria)- put it right into the water in the tank and let it stay there for awhile). I put in all my decorations, rocks, live plants, etc. Then I put in 4-5 drops (eyedropper) of ammonia per ten (10) gallons of water the first day. Make sure you use only the 100% clear ammonia (no additives or fragrances, can get this at a hardware store).
Each day after that I just added half that amount, 2 drops per ten (10)gallons. After the fifth day or so, I added one package (for 90 gallons) of Marineland Bio Spira (it really helped).
I didn't use any bubble walls because I have a wet/dry trickle like you. Each day just keep checking for a good nitrite reading (which will spike), your ammonia will start to decline, and your nitrates will start to climb which means you are almost there The ultimate goal is to have your readings:
The biggest challenge for me was patience. I am SO proud that you want to spare the lives of fish and not put them through a cycle with fish because the ammonia can burn them. In my opinion it the more humane way to cycle a tank.