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. 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.
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?
Results for this morning after 12 hours.
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.
06-25-2012, 02:59 AM, (This post was last modified: 06-25-2012, 02:59 AM by Ram.)
Yeah my tests are almost 12 hours apart each time I do them hopefully by tonight its all done
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?
06-25-2012, 06:26 AM, (This post was last modified: 06-25-2012, 06:27 AM by Ram.)
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.
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.
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).
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.
80~160ppm nitrate is insanely high.
The nitrate buildup is too fast to not doing partial water change every day before adding more ammonia.
No problem. Gladly to be able to help a fellow aquarium fish hobbyist.
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.
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%.
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.
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.
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.
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?