Tropical Fish Keeping banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I am attempting to set up a 36 gallon tank. The tank has been running for about three weeks. I tried using fish food to get some ammonia in my tank. I also placed a filter, bio filter (in new filter) and two panty hose with aquarium gravel from my old 10 gallon aquarium floating in the 36 gallon. My ammonia levels have read .25 since I started, no change. The nitrites have read 0 since I got the test kit, probably a week ago.

This week, I got Dr.Tim's ammonia fishless tank cycling product and put in yesterday, in addition I added Biozyme to boost the bacteria. It has been about 24 hours, and my ammonia is still .25 after adding the Dr.Tim's and my nitrites are 0 and nitrate is 0. What is going on here? Do I have any bacteria at all? Do I need to add more ammonia and continue to add the biozyme for 7 days as the packaging suggests? Just not sure what if anything is happening in this tank, is the seeding material from the other tank doing anything? I have read not to add too much ammonia, and that the ammonia might now show up on the tests, however I feel the Nitrites should be doing something.

I have a Aqueon 50 filter running, I am using the API Master freshwater test kit to check the water. Any help would be wonderful...just at a loss as to what to do. Thank you in advance.

Kate:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Hi there. When doing a fishLESS cycle on a 36g tank you need to have your ammonia reading 4-5ppm. You can do that with LOTS & LOTS of food, a raw shrimp or pure 100% ammonia. The BB must be fed whether you are starting from scratch or using one of the starters. If you use food or shrimp put it in a cut out foot of a pantyhose or some other fine mesh bag, less mess & easy to remove. I would suggest testing your tap water to see what your starting parameters for ammonia, nitrites & nitrates are. Test your water daily or every other day, if the ammonia drops to 1 bump it back up. If you have sky rocket readings for nitrites or nitrates for more than a week do a water change, if you Ph drops to below 6.5 do a water change. Hope this helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
I'm new to aquaria and was becoming disappointed with my testing readings. I'm using the straight ammonia method, no plants or fish yet. But today I finally got an .25 ppm reading on my nitrates. YEAH! I know I'm going to have to learn patience with this hobby. This is to say and give you encouragement to hang in there, you'll get the results you're looking for
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Your ammonia level is not high enough, IMO, if you are doing a fish LESS cycle. There is no rock solid schedule with cycling a tank. I had one tank show nitrItes in 4 wks, another in 6 wks and yet another in 2 wks.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
9,804 Posts
Yup. Tick... tick... tick.... tick....

Took me almost two months to cycle a smaller tank without pure ammonia. You should be well under that with adding it.

Good luck and keep us posted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Should I be adding ammonia everyday? It only has ever shown .25-.50 ppm. Even after I follow the directions about how much to add. (Directions say 1 drop Per gallon will equal 2.0 ppm) my tests have never shown it. Thanks you again for the replies! It's frustrating when it seems like nothing is happening and then I don't know if I am doing enough to make anything happen to begin with, and wondering if I'm wasting time since I can't seem to get things rolling. Sorry for the vent!
Posted via Mobile Device
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
What % of ammonia are you using? When cycling a tank with pure ammonia it is recommended to get the ammonia to 5ppm, let it sit until it drops to 1 then up it back to 5, once it starts dropping to 1 or less within 24 hrs you should be seeing nitrites and possible nitrates, when the ammonia & nitrites zero out within 24 hrs your tank should be cycled. If what you are doing is not getting the ammonia above .25 then you need more ammonia or a different ammonia source.
Here is an example of an online calculator for the amount you would need to get your tank to 5ppm.
 

Attachments

·
Reference Team
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
Ammonia strength varies by brand (and, somewhat, by age). I found Dr. Tim's ammonia to be about half the strength of Ace Hardware Janitorial Ammonia.

Dose as much as needed based on your ammonia test reading (not every day).....then wait and follow Shellie's excellent suggestions. Also (for fishless):
---Run you filter on high
---Aerate with airstone or lots of splash
---Temperature >82*
---Keep it dark
---Make sure your seeded media is in the flow,
in the filter is best

Patience

By the way, I'm surprised anyone saw your posts over here. I just caught it by accident. Shellie, can you figure how to get Kwatches and Alharvey into the Bettafish top-section or TFK? I'm lost over here (hope I can find my way out).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thank you so very much shellieca and hallyx.(and everyone) Yes, I have no idea what I'm doing when I post threads... So I'm not surprised! I'm feeling better now about how the process is going! Thank you!
Posted via Mobile Device
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Another question, should I dose with the Dr.Tims until I get a 4.0ppm ammonia reading? I haven't wanted to over do it due to the directions that say only one drop a gallon. Should I throw out the directions and add it until I get a 4.0 reading then leave it be and wait for the nitrites to show? Thank you. This is my first time actually trying to cycle a tank without fish.
Posted via Mobile Device
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Hi, I'm pretty new to this myself too - but, I have the experience of trying to cycle a tank with food and shrimp and failing myself. (The readings never went over 0.5ppm). I think you'll have a better time with the pure ammonia, which is what I'm using now.

My understanding is, yes you can ignore the instructions on the bottle and just add the ammonia until you get a 4ppm reading with the API kit. I got lucky, added a 1ml pipet of the ammonia solution I bought, and got a 1ppm reading. So then I added 3 more pipets and hey-presto 4ppm green :-D
My understanding is also that you need to keep it topped up to 4ppm by testing the water and adding more ammonia as required until the nitrites start to show up.


I was wondering if you have plants in the new setup? Because I am under the impression that having plants in my tank when I tried the shrimp-method was the reason my ammonia reading never went above 0.5ppm. Plants can directly use the ammonia as fertiliser, so my cycle never started. Plants is not a problem, I am in the process of trying to cycle a new planted tank with pure ammonia solution, and this time it is working! It's just worth knowing plants act as a buffer for ammonia.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for your response tezi. Makes me feel better I'm not the only one who couldn't get the first part of the cycle going. I do not have plants in yet. I bought two to try out first, they are in my ten gallon for now.

So interesting discovery this morning... My filter has a "bio holster" that claims to remove ammonia and nitrites...I didn't really think it would do that, so I left it in the filter. Maybe the thing was actually removing the ammonia have been dosing right along? Who knows I will take the stupid thing out if it makes a difference. I will see what happens in the next 24 hours...
Posted via Mobile Device
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Just tasted for nirate out of curiosity. And I got a 5.0 ppm reading. Does this mean the cycle is actually going? How can my nitrites still be 0 if I have nirates now?
Posted via Mobile Device
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
I had nitrates from the start, my tap water has about 20ppm nitrate! I guess you've tested your tap water? And my Nitrates seemed to go up from the outset too, very slowly.

My thoughts are, to know you've got the proper cycle going you need to see that Nitrite rise and fall happen. At the same time, you really do see the ammonia zero.
Maybe, since you've had some ammonia for a while you've got a bit of a cycle happening (my unscientific, uneducated opinion) but regardless of that you need to wait for that tell-tale Nitrite patten.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I tested nitrates right at the beginning and got a zero reading. I hadn't bothered to check it again since there hasn't been a change in nitrites. From what I have been reading that sometimes happens when you use bacteria boosters. I have finally gotten the ammonia up to 2.0ppm though. So I figure that is at least where it should be
Posted via Mobile Device
 

·
Reference Team
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
Good observations by tezi about plants in the tank. Also about using food or shrimp as an ammonia source. Besides being hard to judge the dose, they can set up a real stink in the tank.

Sometimes when using seeded media (or bottled bacteria) the nitrite phase can go by so quickly that you might miss it. Lucky if true. Persistent nitrite can be a real headache.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
I took a day of from testing the water and also Monday was the last day of dosing with biozyme. Tonight I got the following measurements:
Ammonia:.25ppm
Nitrites: .25 ppm
Nirates: 20 ppm

I dosed ammonia back up to what should be 2-3ppm. I didn't measure it again yet. So if nitrites and ammonia measure zero in 24hrs I have cycled? If not what do I do? Just keep measuring and keeping the ammonia up? Until it gets to 0 after 24 hours? Thank you all who have been following this and helping me out!
Posted via Mobile Device
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Like I said, I'm new to this too, but that's what I'm doing and it seems to be going ok.

For me.....
17th - I dosed to 4ppm for the 1st time, I got the same reading each day until suddenly
23rd - reading of 0.75ish Ammonia and 5 for Nitrite! I dosed back to 4ppm. Reading of 4ppm each day until
26th - (ie today) I'm back to 0.5 Ammonia, still 5 for Nitrite.

So I'm going to dose back up to 4ppm again this evening, and see what happens.
And yes, I'm reconing on it being safe to add fish once the ammonia drops with 24hrs, assuming the nirtrite is also 0 at that point.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top