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JohnnyD44 05-04-2009 09:17 AM

Fishless Cycle Questions
Hey Everyone,

I am finallllllly ready to set-up my 55G which I salvaged from Craigslist, clean and is now ready for some fish. I have decided to go with a fishless cycle. I'm not a newb when it comes to keeping fish, I've learned alot through here..... I am with the fishless cycle however. I have always done fish-in cycles and have decided to this one the safe way. I will be picking up all my gravel, and some fake plants for right now. I may make a post about the progress of my tank, I'm not sure though

I know that I need to fill the tank, add the gravel, plants, rocks, set up the filters and air stones ( i know not necessary, but my fiance likes them)....then set the heater to the mid 80's....

it says to add 3-5 drops of pure ammonia per gallon(enough to bring it to 4 or 5 ppm), so it would be about 165 drops for my 55G. Is says to do this everyday until the ammonia test is zero, should take about two weeks they say.

it then says the nitrItes will be very high( I know that this) says to continue to add ammonia each day to bring the ammonia to 1 or i add half as many drops as i did before the ammonia dropped to zero?

do I continue to add ammonia until the nitrites test zero for about 2 or 3 days?

I then know to do a 90% water change to clear out the nitrAtes.....

Sorry if these are stupid basic questions, but I learned alot and want to do this tank to the best of my ability....any advice? is their something I'm missing?

Any and all advice is welcome!!!

here is the link I read from: Fishless Cycling Made Easy


Johnny D

1077 05-04-2009 10:04 AM

Why not use some filter material and a stocking full of substrate from your twenty gal. To jumpstart the maturing(cycling process)? You could safely add a few small fish this way.

JohnnyD44 05-04-2009 11:18 AM

I really debated that, but I have a sick molly(black spot disease??) I've treated him for almost 3 weeks now and nothing seems to be getting better. I didn't know the other fish and more importantly the filter media would be infected.....I would love to just throw my whole 20G filter on and go at it.....boy would I. haha

1077 05-04-2009 12:27 PM

Ahh, I see. I think I remember you posting about this. Can't blame a guy for tryin! Prolly better safe,than sorry.

JohnnyD44 05-04-2009 01:12 PM

yeah, 3 weeks and not a blip of any sign of a cure...I dunno what do to......I guess i'm cycling from scratch....does that advice above look right?

does anybody have a more specific article on this?

thanks 1077

Twistersmom 05-04-2009 04:11 PM

The above cycle guide is basically correct.
Ammonia comes in different strengths and dropper drop different size drops.
To determine how much to use, I use a 5 gal bucket full of water and kept adding drops till I got the 4ppm reading. This will help determine how many drops for the whole tank. Better to be under than too much. Too much ammonia and the tank will not cycle.
DO NOT add any more ammonia till you see a notable drop in your ammonia level. That was where I messed up and added to much ammonia. When the ammonia drops to somewhere around 1 ppm, that is when you start adding ammonia daily.
Everyday you add ammonia, later that same day, there will be a spike in ammonia and nitrites. The tank is cycled when you can bump the ammonia up to 3ppm, test 12 hrs later and get a zero reading for ammonia and nitrites.
I waited till I got these zero results a few days in a row before the big water change and adding fish.
The big water change is to lower nitrates, that may be off the chart when the cycle is finished.
My 55gal, I changed out 80% and that dropped my nitrates to 20 ppm.
They say to add 1/2 the amount of ammonia after the nitrite spike, I still bumped my ammonia up to 3-4 ppm daily.

MBilyeu 05-04-2009 05:06 PM

Do not add a certain amount of drops per day. Only add what it takes to get the ammonia to 5ppm max. Some members on here have overdosed before by adding a certain amount per day and stalled their cycled, which added who knows how many days. I would keep adding ammonia to 4-5ppm until you see nitrAtes. Then I would lower it to 2ppm or so.

JohnnyD44 05-05-2009 06:18 AM

So.....I set up the tank, heat it up and add enough to the tank to get it to 4ppm in a 5 gallon bucket??? Then multiple that amount by 11 (for a 55 Gallon Tank) (i'm assuming it's a decent amount) then add that amount of ammonia to the tank and let it sit....
Do not do anything until I test daily and the ammonia is down to about 1ppm....then add about half of the original amount daily until the ammonia and nitrite test zero for a few days????

then do a 80% water change and i should be good right???

Thanks for all the help, you all have taught me alot and this is one of the few things i am learning!!

Twistersmom 05-05-2009 07:00 AM

Sounds good, but your gravel and decor take up space, so the tank no longer holds 55 gal of water.
Be very careful not to add to much, if you don't bring it up to 4 ppm the first day, that is fine, the tank will still cycle.

JohnnyD44 05-05-2009 07:44 AM

ok, sounds good!!

Thanks for all your help! I'll see how it goes, if my grocery store has pure ammonia back in stock....who takes all the pure ammonia out of a store....seriously.....??

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