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tallTabby 07-22-2014 12:34 PM

cycling question
I have a 30 gallon tank with plants that I started cycling on July 11th. I have been using pure ammonia to do a fishless cycle. I think I am being impation, but I am not sure. I stated out dosing with ammonia once a day, but I found that it was going down to 0ppm by the afternoon, so I upped it to twice a day. Here are the reading I have been getting everyday. All testing is done before I add anything to the tank. Do yall think I am on the right track?

ammonia -4ppm
nitrite- I did not record
nitrate- I did not record

ammonia- 4ppm

ammonia am - 2.5ppm
ammonia pm- 0ppm
nitirite- 5ppm
nitrate- 0

ammonia am- 0
nitrite am - 5ppm
ammonia pm- 2ppm
nitrite pm - off the chart

ammonia am 0
nitrite am - 5+ppm
nitrate am - 0
ammonia pm- 1ppm
nitrite pm-5+ppm
nitrate 10ppm

ammonia am- 0
nitrite am - 5+ppm
nitrate am- 20ppm

ammonia pm- 0
nitrite pm-5ppm
nitrate- 5ppm

I could not do testing my son had surgery. But I added ammonia once.

ammonia- 0ppm
nitrite - 0ppm
nitrate - 0ppm

Flint 07-22-2014 02:50 PM

Did you do a water change on 7/22? I find it odd you have no nitrates. Once you get this reading three days in a row (only dosing ammonia once daily) you are fish-safe to stock the entire tank at once.

Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - ## (could be anything but needs to be something other than 0!)

Thank you for fishless cycling!

tallTabby 07-22-2014 03:08 PM

No I have done no water changes. I am worried I messed things up yesterday (7/21) when I was not able to does the tank with ammonia. Should I keep dosing twice a day? My levels are dropping so quick I worry about messing up my cycle.

Flint 07-22-2014 03:13 PM

4ppm of ammonia a day is all you need. Dosing twice that could mess up your cycle. If you're worried, throw a pinch of fish food in there.

tallTabby 07-22-2014 03:16 PM

Great, I will cut out the 2nd dosing. :) I hope I have not already done damage to my cycle. I guess the good news is I have not been doing it for long.

tallTabby 07-22-2014 04:04 PM

If a fishless cycle replicates a fish cycle then why would keeping my ammonia level above 0? If I don't dose twice a day my ammonia levels go to 0, which I though would kill the bacteria I am trying to grow.
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Flint 07-22-2014 05:36 PM

Because in a fish-in cycle, the ammonia is being produced by the fish. You shouldn't have a tank stocked so high that you a producing 4ppm of ammonia a day, but we do it this way to be safe simply because it's hard to predict how much ammonia a fish will produce, even though we know that they have high or low bioloads. In a fish-in cycle, the ammonia is still being processed the same way and once the tank is cycled, you don't want to see any ammonia at all ever. Once your levels begin dropping to 0, it dosen't mean you are harming your cycle, the nitrifying bacteria is just processing the ammonia. Starving a cycle would take a couple days so when your ammonia hits 0, you shouldn't worry. You have already fed the bacteria for the day. You don't eat all day long, do you? Same concept with the nitrogen cycle. The bacteria need to eat every day but don't need to eat all day long. :-)

tallTabby 07-22-2014 06:14 PM

Thanks for the explanation. :)
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