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sammies4787 02-17-2009 02:45 PM

Fishless Cycling Questions..
So, I am doing a fishless cycle with the information i got from this article: Fishless Cycling - Article at The Age of Aquariums - Tropical Fish

So during the last part of the fishless cycling, where you add a teaspoon or so of ammonia a day while the nitrite is spiking; when the nitrite spikes, do you then discontinue putting the daily amount of ammonia in the tank? Or, do you keep putting the ammonia in, even after the nitrite level has spiked?

I looked in the article and it doesn't specify that part. Also, I work at a pet store and a friend at work says it may never finish this last part because there is no good bacteria in the tank, is this true? She is not into the whole adding chemicals and stuff, she believes in natural cycling, I just don't know which is better. Is the bacteria in the air good enough, even if I have a lid where the particles in the air aren't going to get in the tank very well? Lol, I hope I am making sense.

Anyways, just curious. Should I do what my friend at work says to do... do a 40% water change and then put in some dechlorinated water and then acclimate 3 new fish there, some hardy fish like danios or something? Or, should I just wait it out. The nitrite has almost spiked, but seems to be stuck at this one level.

Anyways, I would sure appreciate any help I can get or advice! Thanks! :)

Twistersmom 02-17-2009 03:25 PM

I would just stick with the fishless cycle. Sounds like your close to being finished. After my nitrite spike, my cycle was complete in about a week. I tested my ammonia daily. It was the first to hit zerro. I added enough ammonia to bump it back up to 3ppm everyday. Towards the end of the cycle ammonia will drop to zerro quickly. Everytime you add ammonia, you will see a spike in nitrites. You know it is cycled when you see both ammonia and nitrites drop to zerro 12hrs after adding ammonia. Good luck with your cycle!
Having you filter running and you heater set in the mid.80s will quicken the cycle.

sammies4787 02-17-2009 06:09 PM

So, let me see if I have this correct.. you keep testing every day for ammonia and nitrite levels, than your goal is to watch and make sure that they kind of balance out each other.

I kind of understand, but am kind of confused. Lol, I don't know that much about cycling.

So, I just checked my water levels. My nitrite is at about 1.5ppm- 2ppm and my ammonia is at zero. I put the ammonia in every day but the nitrite hasn't yet spiked all the way to 5ppm.

So, right now I should keep adding ammonia and then when the nitrite spikes, than what should I do?

sammies4787 02-17-2009 06:11 PM

It may be this.. See, I never check the ammonia and nitrite levels right after I put the ammonia in or within an hour after. I always check the levels at night and then put in the ammonia right after and then I don't check the levels again until the next night. Could the nitrite have already spiked?

Burninator 02-17-2009 06:12 PM

The way i did mine.

I added ammonia until my ammonia and nitrites were 0. I added ammonia one day, then the next i did water change and i added fish that day. (my nitrates were down after the water change.)

Twistersmom 02-17-2009 06:27 PM

Keep adding ammonia every day. Try to bump the ammonia up to 3 or 4ppm everyday. I added the ammonia sometime later in the day, so when I got up in the morning 12 hrs had passed since I added the ammonia. Retest ammonia and nitrites. When you get a zerro for both two day in a row, your tank is cycled. Your nitrates will be sky high, so you will have to do a big water change to lower the nitrates, then it is ready for fish.
Its not really like you are trying to balance out. Even when you see the big nitrite spike, keep adding the ammonia every day. Shortly after the spike you will see that nitrite will start dropping quickly in a 12hr time period after the introduction of ammonia. When nitrites can drop to zerro in 12hrs, after bumping the ammonia up to 3ppm, your tank is good to go.

Twistersmom 02-17-2009 06:33 PM

It is possible you missed the spike. Bump it up to 4ppm tonight and retest 12hrs later.

sammies4787 02-17-2009 07:05 PM

Thanks, it is starting to make sense. The only thing is I don't know exactly how much ammonia to add to bump it up to 4ppm. Should I check the ammonia level after an hour of putting a little bit in than keep adding until it reaches 4ppm?

Twistersmom 02-17-2009 07:53 PM

Yea, an hour should be enough time to get the ammonia circulated through the tank. Be carefull not to add to much. If you only bump it up to 3ppm, that will work too.

Guber 02-17-2009 11:49 PM

I also have a hard time measuring how much to put in to keep or get the levels to 3-4ppm. I have another question, would it work out fine if you were able to keep it at a steady 1-2 ppm? Cause sometimes i'm not entirely sure what it's at even after a test because the color is somewhat in between 1 or 2 or 2 and 3 :(

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