Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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artgalnj 07-28-2009 10:04 AM

Questions regarding fishless cycle
I'm doing a fishless cycle on my 75g and I have a couple of questions:

I test my ammonia levels each morning. Since Saturday I've noticed that my ammonia levels drop to 0 ppm within 24 hours. Nitrites are present @1 ppm, no nitrates yet. I've been giving the tank a dose of ammonia each morning which brings the levels back up to 3 ppm. Am I correct in doing it this way? Am I supposed to check ammonia during the evening as well?

When I am done w/ the fishless cycle, I've read that my filter will be able to convert 3 - 4 ppm of ammonia and nitrite within 12 - 14 hours and Nitrate will be present. When that happens I'm supposed to do a huge water change. What happens after the water change? How long am I supposed to wait before I add fish? If I have to wait 24 hours before adding fish, do I still add some ammonia to the "new" water to keep the bacteria alive? I'm not sure what the protocol is after I do the large water change.

Thank you in advance for your help with these questions.

Unrulyevil 07-28-2009 12:38 PM

artgalnj 07-28-2009 12:56 PM

Hi Unrulyevil, thank you for the link! It does give better info than some of the other links I've read.

Another ? I forgot to post before. Even though I'm already in the middle of cycling can I still add established filter media from another tank? I have a 20g with an established filter cartridge. I didn't add it at first because my 20g has snails and I didn't want to transfer the snails into my new tank. Seems as though I already have some snails in the new tank anyway so I may as well throw in the old media. I just don't know if I can do that or if I'm too late.

Thanks again for the info!

Twistersmom 07-28-2009 02:04 PM

It would be fine to use the established media, it should help speed up the cycling process.

Sounds like you are doing it right. On my ammonia fishless cycles, I would bump the ammonia up to 3 ppm daily. Your tank is cycled, when you can bump it up to 3 ppm and test zero for both ammonia and nitrites 12 hrs latter.

The big water change, before adding the fish, is to lower nitrates. At the end of the cycle, nitrates should be pretty high. My last tank, I changed out about 75% of the water and that lowered my nitrates to 20 ppm. Anything under 40 ppm, should be fine.

After the water change, you are ready to add your fish. No need to add any more ammonia. The fish will supply that for you.

artgalnj 07-29-2009 05:53 AM

I guess the concern I had (and perhaps it happened now) is that if the ammonia and nitrite drop in 12 hours back to 0, am I supposed to add more ammonia as soon as I see it hit 0 (even if I added ammonia only 12 hours ago)?

Yesterday morning I bumped the ammonia up to 3 ppm. Last night I tested the ammonia and nitrite at (it was 12 hours after bumping it up). The ammonia tested at 0 and nitrite was present but not very high (it seemed to be dropping). This morning I tested the ammmonia, nitrite and nitrate and I got this: 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and 0 nitrate. Did my bacteria die off because I didn't add enough ammonia? I'm so confused.

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