Please weigh in on my fishless cycling
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Please weigh in on my fishless cycling

This is a discussion on Please weigh in on my fishless cycling within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Here's the run down on what seems to be super speed cycling. I put water in my 43 gal tank on Wed March 30th. ...

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Please weigh in on my fishless cycling
Old 04-02-2011, 11:21 AM   #1
 
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Please weigh in on my fishless cycling


Here's the run down on what seems to be super speed cycling.

I put water in my 43 gal tank on Wed March 30th. I put in 5 gal of water from my established tank, some rock in the filter in a mesh bag from established tank, and product that claims to jump start cycling - oh, and 2 jumbo frozen shrimp in a mesh bag (anchored to rock).

On Thursday 3/31, tested using API liquid test kit the ammonia and got a reading of 2.0. Never have seen ammonia that high when I cycled with fish (obvious reasons). Plants arrived yesterday and I planted the tank.

Tested nitrate this morning (don't have a kit for nitrites) and got a reading of 10ppm. So, I pulled the shrimp out (figuring the tank has cycled) and did about a 50% WC. Tested just now for ammonia, and still got a reading of 2.0 after the WC.

Obviously I can't put fish in yet. What are good next steps?

I have a playsand subtrate and like I said, pretty well planted.

Thanks for suggestions.

Gwen
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Old 04-02-2011, 12:28 PM   #2
 
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Just tested nitrates, and they are above the 5.0, but not quite 10ppm. I'm guessing I just keep doing wc until both ammonia and nitrates are as close to zero as possible, or at least ammonia is zero?

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Old 04-03-2011, 02:29 PM   #3
zof
 
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I doubt your tank has come close to cycling, even with the product to jump start it, lets go over a few things here and see if we can get you on the right track.

What is this product you are using to help jump start the cycle?

You did the right thing by moving over some rocks as they should have some beneficial bacteria on them that will help seed the cycle, but the water you move over wont do much.

I think 2 jumbo shrimp is overkill for anything under 55 gallon, lets stick with one, and second why were they removed? You should keep the shrimp in the tank until your cycle is done as the bacteria you are looking for will need a constant supply of food.

Your cycle will be complete once you reach an ammonia level of 0 and a nitrite level of 0 and showing some nitrates, you should not try to achieve this with water changes as you are only taking food away from the bacteria you are trying to grow. I would only do a water change in a fish-less cycle if the water started smelling really bad.


So just to recap, throw that shrimp back in the water then continue testing the water until you get a ammonia level of 0 and a nitrite level of 0, nitrates are less important but they will show us the end result of the cycle, anything below 20-40ppm is safe for most fish and can be reduced by water changes. Also the plants are a step in the right direction just make sure you are caring for them properly. There is no good short cut to a proper cycle of a tank, but if you wish to help speed it along your best method is to add more seed material from your other established tank (hard items not water).
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Old 04-03-2011, 03:01 PM   #4
 
Sorry, not much help. I was also giving the fishless shrimp cycle method a try (1 shrimp/60g new tank). 24hrs later, the water is very cloudy and foul smelling, so I took the shrimp out. I think I'll add more established tank gravel and slowly introduce fish in a few days or a week.
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Old 04-03-2011, 03:18 PM   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zof View Post
I doubt your tank has come close to cycling, even with the product to jump start it, lets go over a few things here and see if we can get you on the right track.

What is this product you are using to help jump start the cycle?

You did the right thing by moving over some rocks as they should have some beneficial bacteria on them that will help seed the cycle, but the water you move over wont do much.

I think 2 jumbo shrimp is overkill for anything under 55 gallon, lets stick with one, and second why were they removed? You should keep the shrimp in the tank until your cycle is done as the bacteria you are looking for will need a constant supply of food.

Your cycle will be complete once you reach an ammonia level of 0 and a nitrite level of 0 and showing some nitrates, you should not try to achieve this with water changes as you are only taking food away from the bacteria you are trying to grow. I would only do a water change in a fish-less cycle if the water started smelling really bad.


So just to recap, throw that shrimp back in the water then continue testing the water until you get a ammonia level of 0 and a nitrite level of 0, nitrates are less important but they will show us the end result of the cycle, anything below 20-40ppm is safe for most fish and can be reduced by water changes. Also the plants are a step in the right direction just make sure you are caring for them properly. There is no good short cut to a proper cycle of a tank, but if you wish to help speed it along your best method is to add more seed material from your other established tank (hard items not water).

Thanks for helping, but I'm confused because I do have nitrates and that should tell me I've reached the end of the cycle. I've long tossed the shrimp, and this point I'm going to let the tank run itself, and I'm not worried there is nothing for nitrites to "eat" because I do have ammonia readings in the tank. To be sure, I'll begin throwing in bits of fish food. From here, I won't do any WC, and I'll let the tank get rid of the ammonia on its own, and when that is 0, if nitrates are too high, I'll do a wc before I add fish. Sound good?

Oh, the product I used to jump start is called microb-lift Special blend, doesn't need to be refrigerated, so probably not that great.
Gwen
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