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Fishless Cycle Help
06-23-2012, 05:20 PM,
#26
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RE: Fishless Cycle Help
Just curious. Are you using some kind of precise measurement for the ammonia dosing?
It doesn't have to be accurate. Anywhere between 2~6ppm should be fine. Below 2ppm might risk the "food" is run out early for bacteria before the next dose, above 6ppm might risk the bacteria themselves being poisoned by too high too toxic level of ammonia.

It also seems when you increase the ammonia concentration to 4ppm, you get 1ppm in the morning. I would suggest to increase the concentration to at least 5ppm at night. So the bacteria will not run out of food before you dose again at night. Smile This can cut down the fishless cycling time. Yes, to speed up the cycle there are just too many factors. This is just one of the many you can do to make it slightly faster.

Don't forget to check nitrate and PH to determine if you need more partial water change to restore the water buffer.
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06-23-2012, 11:57 PM, (This post was last modified: 06-23-2012, 11:59 PM by golfwang.)
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RE: Fishless Cycle Help
I'm using a pipette to measure how much ammonia I'm dosing with a ammonia calculator.
Results for this mornings test.
pH: 6.6
Ammonia: 2ppm
Nitrite: 5ppm
Nitrate: 80ppm

Looks like I might have to do another water change today after work.
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06-24-2012, 01:07 AM,
#28
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RE: Fishless Cycle Help
Another water change is definitely needed right before your next dose of ammonia. Your nitrate is increasing at such fast rate, and the PH drops so quickly.

I suggest you do another test on at least the ammonia before the next dose. In case if you still have a lot of ammonia in the water, you don't want to overdose it. Smile

If you can further increase your water temperature to middle to high 80F, and add an air stone or two, you can future speed up your fishless cycle.

Keep up the good work.
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06-24-2012, 10:07 AM,
#29
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RE: Fishless Cycle Help
My results after a 50% water change.
pH: 7.2
Ammonia: .25ppm
Nitrite: .25ppm
Nitrate: 20ppm

Time to dose 4ppm of ammonia into my tank check back with you guys tomorrow.
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06-25-2012, 01:50 AM, (This post was last modified: 06-25-2012, 01:51 AM by Ram.)
#30
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RE: Fishless Cycle Help
Your water seems to be quite soft. There isn't much buffer to begin with. The PH drops when nitrate is at 40ppm. In the future after the tank is cycled you might want to do 50% water change every week if you have a full stock of fish in order to avoid PH fluctuation. Fish will need to have stable PH.

Do you plan to stick with 4ppm ammonia and end the fishless cycle with 4ppm ammonia converted daily? Or do you plan to increase the dosage eventually to have your tank be able to handle heavier load?
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06-25-2012, 02:07 AM,
#31
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RE: Fishless Cycle Help
Results for this morning after 12 hours.
pH: 7.0-6.8
Ammonia: 1ppm
Nitrite: 1ppm
Nitrate: 80ppm

Yes, I'm planning to stick with 4ppm til it gets converted daily. I believe my 20 gallon long should be handle the load for 5-6 oto's, one nerite and assassin snail, and 15 crystal red shrimp just to start.
Since my new tank will be algae free I'll just feed the oto's organic zucchini until I start building algae.
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06-25-2012, 02:59 AM, (This post was last modified: 06-25-2012, 02:59 AM by Ram.)
#32
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RE: Fishless Cycle Help
What time do you do the tests in the morning and at night? Are they 12 hours apart?

If you do the night test before the water change and it shows 0ppm for both ammonia and nitrite, then it is already done. Since we use 24 hours as base for how much ammonia it can convert (daily).

You might have trouble to convert Otocinclus Catfish to eat zucchini. I have had luck feeding them Hikari Algae Wafer.
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06-25-2012, 03:53 AM, (This post was last modified: 06-25-2012, 04:07 AM by golfwang.)
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RE: Fishless Cycle Help
Yeah my tests are almost 12 hours apart each time I do them hopefully by tonight its all done Smile

My buddy has algae wafers maybe I'll use some if zucchini doesn't work.

Quick question once my tank is cycled its safe to fill my tank with RO/DI water correct? Obviously I won't be able to get fish til the next day and wondered if the tank will be safe with plenty of bacteria or do I keep dosing ammonia?
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06-25-2012, 06:26 AM, (This post was last modified: 06-25-2012, 06:27 AM by Ram.)
#34
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RE: Fishless Cycle Help
I wouldn't recommend to use RO water. Since all minerals are removed, it has 0 buffer. Your PH will crash completely in an instant as soon as there is something acidic. Just stick with tap water with tap water conditioner. If you absolutely must use RO water, then you also must use a special RO water conditioner to re-buffer the water. In this case, the regular tap water conditioner is not needed.

You should keep dosing ammonia until you are sure that you will add fish into the tank within 24 hours. Right before adding the fish, ammonia and nitrite must be 0ppm but it shouldn't be long, or the bacteria will start to starve to death. You also must do large water change to lower the nitrate as much as possible. Ideally it should be less than 20ppm in a stocked aquarium at any given time. Aim for 5ppm or less before you add the fish. You can do several 50% water change. Two of 50% partial water change will equal to a single 75% large water change.
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06-25-2012, 07:41 AM, (This post was last modified: 06-25-2012, 07:44 AM by golfwang.)
#35
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RE: Fishless Cycle Help
I have supplements to restore my gH to a 5 Shirakura Ca+ is what I'll be using for my shrimp tank. My shrimp tank parameters are going to be:
Ammonia:0
Nitrite:0
Nitrate:0
pH: 7 or lower
gH: 5
kH: 0

I'm aiming for around 150-180 TDS after I reconstitute my RO water. I have to use RO water for soft water shrimp Tongue
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06-25-2012, 08:32 AM,
#36
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RE: Fishless Cycle Help
Your water sounds pretty soft to me as the PH drop so fast every day.

I have both red cherry shrimps and Yellow shrimps. My tap water has PH of 8.0 but it is soft. They have no problem at all. The Yellow Shrimps have been breeding like crazy since there is no fish in that tank.
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06-25-2012, 11:13 AM, (This post was last modified: 06-25-2012, 11:14 AM by golfwang.)
#37
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RE: Fishless Cycle Help
Results after 24 hours today.
pH: 6.6-6.4
Ammonia: .50ppm
Nitrite: .50ppm
Nitrate: 80ppm

so close! Going to dose it back up to 4ppm again.
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06-25-2012, 06:12 PM,
#38
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RE: Fishless Cycle Help
Yes, it is getting close, but it can still take a few days before you will get a 0ppm reading on both ammonia and nitrite during your night test. Do not forget to do the partial water change before dosing ammonia again. The nitrate buildup is enormous and quick. I would also like to recommend you to do the night test before the water change instead of after. You will know the exactly reading after the water change if you know exactly percentage water you have changed. The reason is being that at very low concentration, the reading might not be as accurate at higher concentration (but not too high, which will also become hard to read).
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06-26-2012, 12:15 AM,
#39
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RE: Fishless Cycle Help
Not much changed since last night.
pH: 6.6-6.4
Ammonia: .50ppm
Nitrite: .50ppm
Nitrate: 80-160ppm

I didn't do a water change last night, but I probably will today after work unless my numbers end up to being 0 Tongue
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06-26-2012, 01:03 AM,
#40
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RE: Fishless Cycle Help
When the water buffer is completely gone, the PH can suddenly crash to 5 or 4 or even lower. I have been there. It dropped all the way from 8.0 overnight. If the water becomes too acidic, it will no longer be an ideal environment for the bacteria to grow. The cycle can stall or even go backwards if you know what I mean. Smile

80~160ppm nitrate is insanely high.
The nitrate buildup is too fast to not doing partial water change every day before adding more ammonia.
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06-26-2012, 09:25 AM,
#41
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RE: Fishless Cycle Help
Well just got off work and tested my Ammonia and Nitrite both are at 0 woot! I guess my tank is officially cycled thanks for the help guys.
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06-26-2012, 09:31 AM,
#42
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RE: Fishless Cycle Help
No problem. Gladly to be able to help a fellow aquarium fish hobbyist. Smile

However we can't be sure your tank is truly cycled. I would highly recommend you continue the fishless cycling for at least another day or two to make sure your tank is able to take care of 4ppm ammonia on a daily basis.

You also need a water change to restore the water buffer and PH before the too acidic water start to affect the beneficial bacteria. Dose another 4ppm ammonia after the partial water change.
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06-26-2012, 09:40 AM,
#43
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RE: Fishless Cycle Help
It is definitely not official yet. You need a few days in a row to get the same reading of 0ppm on both ammonia and nitrite in order to be sure the cycle is really completed. Keep it up, man. Don't stop now. I am behind you 100%. Big Grin

When your cycle is really completed, you must add fish within 24 hours or you have to keep adding ammonia to sustain the nitrogen cycle bacteria.
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06-26-2012, 10:40 AM,
#44
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RE: Fishless Cycle Help
Alright just did a 50/60% water change.
pH: 7.6
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 20/40 ppm

Time to dose 4ppm of ammonia
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06-27-2012, 12:26 AM,
#45
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RE: Fishless Cycle Help
6/26 Result
pH: 6.8-6.6
Ammonia: .50ppm
Nitrite: .50ppm
Nitrate: 80ppm

Looks like the same results from yesterday morning I have hope it will be all converted by the end of the day.
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06-27-2012, 01:55 AM,
#46
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RE: Fishless Cycle Help
When will you add fish?
You need to continue dosing ammonia to feed the bacteria until you will be adding fish within 24 hours. Timing your plan well. Smile
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06-27-2012, 02:01 AM,
#47
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RE: Fishless Cycle Help
I'm just waiting for my tank to be completely cycled so its safe to add fish. My LFS is only 7 minutes away so it will be no problem getting fish asap. I have the day off today so I'm going to keep a close eye on my test results and hopefully get my oto's and nerite snail today. Big Grin
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06-27-2012, 06:29 AM,
#48
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RE: Fishless Cycle Help
If I were you, I will continue for another day not only for making sure it is cycled, but also give the bacteria more time to establish themselves better. If you absolutely have to get fish today after you get 0ppm reading on ammonia and nitrite early, then go for it.

Just do do not forget to do a few large water changes in a row to get the nitrate down to less than 10ppm. Aim for less than 5ppm, because Otocinclus catfish can be very sensitive to nitrate.

Do not forget to accumulate any new fish and shrimp slowly into your new fish tank when you add them. Give them time to adopt to the new water in your tank to avoid shock. Once everything is done, don't forget to start a new thread to show it off. Big Grin
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06-27-2012, 09:59 AM,
#49
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RE: Fishless Cycle Help
Well my readings are at 0 again, which is a good sign right now I'm currently filling up my 5 gallon buckets for RO, but that's going to be a few hours so after I do a 100% water change is it safe to have reconstituted water just for the night until I can purchase fish tomorrow?
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06-27-2012, 10:59 AM,
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RE: Fishless Cycle Help
Never mind change of plans going to do another 50% water change and dose ammonia.
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