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Cycling - what am I doing wrong?
I am 2 weeks into cycling my 5 gallon filtered, heated tank. Ph is 7.6, ammonia is .75, nitrite & nitrate are both zero. Substrate is eco-complete and I have two plants and I'm doing the fishless cycling method with pure ammonia(trying, anyway!) I started out putting 4ppm ammonia, then was told that's way too much so I did a water change to get it done to 1 ppm. It has gone down slightly from the 1 ppm, but nitrites never got above zero yet. I am also using Stability beneficial bacteria and I have the bio wheel filter. How long do you think it will be until I get a nitite or nitrate reading??
Well, I dont think 4ppm was too high. 4ppm and anything under will work. I think you should see nitrites and nitrates any day now. It took about 2 1/2 weeks for me to get a nitrite reading on my last fishless cycle.
+one for 4ppm which is what most recommend.Less ammonia for bacteria to feed on,, less bacteria that develops.
4ppm is fine, if you're monitoring daily and maintaining it at that level. You shouldn't be adding that much ammonia daily. You have to get up into the 7ppm+ range before the excess of ammonia starts to slow down the bacteria you're trying to nurture.
slow down. hmmm that explains why it took mine so long then. mine was at 8+ sometimes. but since there were no fish, i didn't really care. took my tank almost 2 months but after my toxins consistently dropped to 0 within 2-4 days, i reduced it to 4ppm before i added plants and later the fish after 5 1/2 months of letting it cycle.
4ppm is perfect, that's where you want it. It took me 2 weeks to get a trite reading. Best of luck, seems like it's going alright to me...
Yes, 4ppm is good. I recommend the method of fishless cycling in which you put an initial 4ppm dosage in the tank, then measure once/day to see where the concentration is and if it's going down. Tip: record how many drops of ammonia it took to reach 4ppm. Then, when the ammonia starts to drop wait for it to drop to nearly 0 ppm before adding the second dosage. The second dosage will be the same amount as the initial dose. Then wait for it to drop to nearly 0ppm again. All the while test for nitrites when you test ammonia. When nitrites appear, once per day add half the amount of NH3 you did initially. Only when your bacteria can consume 3-4 ppm of NH3 and NO2(-) in 10-12 hours should you consider your tank cycled.
My testimonial for the fishless cycling method: in my dorm I have a 5 gallon tank with minimal filtration for a coming betta fish. By minimal I mean I'm only establishing a biological filter using gravel. I crank the heater to 86F and have an air pump to provide circulation. It's been almost 6 weeks now and the tank is almost cycled. If I end up cycling this tank again however, I will add more air pumps and probably set up a sponge filter to accelerate the process. I forgot to mention that I don't have the tank completely filled with water. By having a greater surface to volume ratio, oxygenation of the water is increased.
Thanks so much! So since the ammonia is now about.5 PPM, should I crank up the ammonia to about 4??? Then wait to see when I get a nitrite reading?
Yes,I would bump it back up to 4ppm. Test ammonia again the next day, if it has lowered, I would bump it back up to 4ppm again and keep bumping it up to 4ppm daily. That is if you are at the stage where ammonia is lowering.
Your tank is cycled, after the nitrite spike and when you get a zero reading for both ammonia and nitrites 12hrs after the introduction of ammmonia. So, bump the ammonia up to 4ppm, test 12hrs latter. I would wait till I got the zero reading three days in a row, before adding fish, to make sure it is truly cycled.
And dont forget about the large water change to lower nitrates before you add your fish.
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