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  1. Fishless Cycling Below is a quick guide to cycling your aquarium without fish. Cycling without fish has many benefits for both you and your future fish. It is less stressful for you because there is no need to worry about daily water changes and the health of your fish, and less stressful for your fish because they will not be exposed to harmful toxins during the cycling process. You can expect a complete cycle to take anywhere from 1-3 months on average, but every tank is different. If you are not familiar with the nitrogen cycle please read about it here http://www.kokosgoldfish.com/cycle.html What you will need: 1. Ammonia source - Liquid ammonia, used for cleaning, can be found at hardware stores, dollar stores, and some larger chain stores. Ammonia should be free of any dyes or perfumes. Ingredients should read ammonia and water only. - If liquid ammonia cannot be obtained, a frozen prawn or fish food can be used as an ammonia source. Liquid ammonia is preferable though when it is available because it is easier to measure exact amounts. 2. Water test kit - A liquid test kit, such as the API master freshwater kit, is necessary. Test kit should contain pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate tests. - A kh and gh test kit can also be helpful, particularly if you suspect you may have soft water. 3. Heater - A heater is not always necessary, but can help the cycling process along. Starting the Cycle: - It is a good idea to keep a log somewhere regarding your cycling process. You can use a notebook, or start a thread on the forum in the water quality section. 1. Test your tap water to determine if your tap contains ammonia/nitrite/nitrate, make note of this if it does. Also test pH along with gh/kh if you have this test kit. Ultimately, pH should be 7.2 or above and gh/kh should be 100ppm or above for goldfish. During cycling, a pH of less than 7.2 and kh less than 40ppm can inhibit the cycling process. Optimal pH and kh for the purpose of building a colony of nitrifying bacteria are 8.3 and 300ppm respectively. If you find you have a low pH and kh you will need to buffer your water. A commercial buffer, crushed coral, or baking soda can be used for this purpose http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/topic/110296-stabilizing-your-tank-ph-with-sodium-bicarbonate-baking-soda/ 2. Fill your tank as you normally would, adding dechlorinated tap water 3. Raise tank temperature to 80F. This will help the beneficial bacteria to multiply more quickly. 4. Add enough ammonia to bring the ammonia concentration to 4ppm. How much ammonia you need will depend on the concentration of your ammonia. However, approximately 1.5 ml (.3 tsp) should bring 10 gallons close to 4ppm. Add ammonia to tank, wait 5-10 min for it to circulate, then test ammonia. Adjust as necessary. - If you are using fish food, begin by adding about 1/2 tablespoon of food per 10 gallons or frozen prawn to the tank. You can place food in a mesh or pantyhose for easy clean up if you like. Wait a couple days and test ammonia. If ammonia is less than 4ppm, add more food and repeat ammonia test in a couple days. It is a good idea to replace the food with new food every couple weeks 5. Wait..... test your ammonia regularly. At the beginning of your cycle it is not necessary to test daily, however as you begin to see ammonia dropping it is important to begin testing on a daily basis so that you will know when it is time to add more ammonia. There is no need to test nitrite/nitrate until ammonia begins to drop. 6. When ammonia drops near 0ppm, add enough ammonia to bring it back up to 4ppm. Continue testing your water daily, and bring ammonia back up to 4ppm as necessary. It is important to begin testing nitrites at this point. 7. When you first register a nitrite reading, drop the ammonia concentration down to 1ppm. From now on you will dose 1ppm of ammonia. Allow ammonia to drop near 0ppm before raising ammonia back to 1ppm. It is important to begin testing nitrates at this point in the cycle. 9. If nitrites reach a concentration of 2ppm, do a large water change and add ammonia back in. Nitrites higher than 2ppm can sometimes stall the cycle, so water changes are necessary to keep these lower. 10. You should begin seeing nitrates soon. If nitrates register as high as your test kit is able to detect, do a large water change and bring ammonia back up. Completing the Cycle: You will know your cycle is complete when, within 24 hours of adding 1ppm of ammonia, ammonia and nitrite test 0ppm and your test kit registers some nitrate reading. Nitrite readings typically take longer to bottom out as compared to the time it took for ammonia readings to drop to 0ppm. Remember that cycling can take time, keeping temperatures warm, kh high, and pH at an optimal level will help things along. However, if you feel as though your cycle is taking longer than typical to complete, please begin a thread in the water quality section of the forum and we would be happy to help you problem solve. Adding Fish and Cycle 'Bumps': When you feel certain your tank has finished cycling, do a 100% water change before adding any fish. When you add your fish, check water parameters daily for at least 1 week to make sure there are no cycle bumps. If you do see ammonia or nitrite readings, indicating a bump in your cycle, follow the instructions below: - Test water daily. If ammonia plus nitrite are less than 1ppm, add a double dose of Seachem Prime water conditioner for the day (repeat the next day if necessary). If ammonia plus nitrite are equal to 1ppm or higher do a large water change to bring ammonia/nitrite down. Please remember to match temp and tap pH when doing water changes. Tank and tap pH should match within .5ppm and temp within about 3 degrees. If there is a large difference between tap and tank pH you may need to do multiple smaller water changes to bring ammonia/nitrite down. Other Notes: - If you have a tank that is already cycled or have a friend with a cycled tank that you trust is free from pathogens, you can seed your filter with cycled media to speed up the cycling process significantly. Depending on how much cycled media you add to your filter, you can almost instantly cycle your tank. - Do not clean the tank/filter or wipe down walls during the cycling process. Your beneficial bacteria are just beginning to establish and cleaning can disrupt this process. - Do not use cartridges in your filters. Please check out this link on how to set up your filter without cartridges http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/page/index.html/_/aquatic-equipment/simple-media-setup-for-hob-filters-r248 - Bacterial additives that claim to cycle a tank instantly are making false claims. Nothing will cycle your tank instantly, except perhaps the addition of already cycled media from another tank. These products get very mixed reviews. Some people have reported faster cycling time using these products, others have seen no effect. At best these products will increase cycling time, at worst they are a waste of money. They are not necessary for the cycling process, but will not hurt if you want to try them. Written by Koko's mod/helper team! This post has been promoted to an article
  2. Tap parameters pH: 7,8 GH: 9,0 KH: 6,5 Ammonia: < 0,01 mg/L Nitrit: < 0,008 Nitrat: 4,9 I have these informations from the official website. Getting a proper drop test-kit is in the works. At the moment I only own drop tests for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. I followed tithra's instruction of a fishless cycle and got stuck at #4 due to conversion issues : 4. Add enough ammonia to bring the ammonia concentration to 4ppm. How much ammonia you need will depend on the concentration of your ammonia. However, approximately 1.5 ml (.3 tsp) should bring 10 gallons close to 4ppm. Add ammonia to tank, wait 5-10 min for it to circulate, then test ammonia. Adjust as necessary I bought an ammonia-water solution of 20-24% (no bubbles or anything). If I did my maths right, then I should put 0,72 ml of ammonia-solution into 180L water. Is this okay? Can someone give instructions with ml and liters? This is probably a no-brainer to the most of you but google search results have been confusing me beyond frustration and I've been annoying my family as well.
  3. When I finally received my bottle yesterday of ammonium chloride from DrTim's Aquatics, I was really excited to start the fishless cycle in my 30-gallon tank. So I dropped in the suggested 30 drops into my tank, waited two hours, then tested for ammonia with my API test kit. The test indicated .25 ppm, (our tap water level.) So I waited two more hours, added another 10 drops into the tank, waited another hour, then tested the water again. Still .25 ppm. I added 20 more drops, until the test showed 1.0 ppm. Then I waited overnight just in case it took longer for the ammonia level to rise. That was yesterday. This morning I tested, and it still read 1.0 ppm ammonia. I added another 30 drops, and the ammonia level went up to 2.0. I've waited several more hours, added another 10 drops, and the ammonia is still at 2.0 ppm. My tank reeks of ammonia by now. I can't understand why the ammonia level isn't rising like it's supposed to! Am I not waiting long enough to test? Should I just keep adding drops until the level reaches 4.0 ppm, even if that means pouring half the bottle into my tank? Also, the temperature is 82 degrees F, and the pH is 8.0. I'm using a Fluval 306 cannister filter, and I have a air disk bubbling away in the tank. I just bought two anubias plants to add to my tank, but I'm holding off until I figure out what's going on with the ammonia.
  4. I made a video of my "fishless" tank (black tahitian sand, river rocks, 2 anubias, 4 plastic plants, and an air disc) to help me pass the time while waiting for my tank to cycle. I also played some peaceful music on my keyboard to go with the video. Enjoy. :-)
  5. Hello everyone! I just finished moving and filling my 55 gallon into my new residence! My old filer decided to die on me, so I sadly (well, not too sadly since the new one is better ) I had to buy a HOB Marineland Bio-wheel 350 model... I'm pretty much starting from scratch with this new tank, other than my old air pump and thermometer. My thermometer has been sitting in my inhabited 20 gallon for some time. I'm starting the ammonia cycle today and I was just wondering if there was any way I could speed up the cycling at all? Should I go ahead and add my old thermometer? Are there any supplies I can use to help jump start it? Also, I have some Nutrifin Cycle start that has never been opened. I don't remember where I inherited it, but do you think it would help at all? Thank you everyone!
  6. i started my fishless cycle today and somehow managed to screw it up! typical me. I tested my water and it was at least 8+ ppm!!! I tried! lol What should I do now? should I just leave it or do a pwc? please let me know. This is the first night I started!
  7. * Ammonia Level 2.0ppm * Nitrite Level 5.0ppm * Nitrate level 5.0ppm- 10ppm(not sure) * Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 8.2 * Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)8.0-8.1 My cycle is moving at a good pace I think but I just wanted to make sure that everything is going smooth. I have had the 40gallon tank in the fishless cycle now for about maybe 2 and a half weeks. I was just wondering if this seems right because my Nitrites jumped from 1.0ppm to like 5.ppm in one night 0.o I have tested everything 3 times today just to make sure everything is accurate. I also noticed with that spike of Nitrite so did the signs of Nitrates to 5.0ppm and the night before nothing nada. I just wanted to make sure everything is going the way it should. THANK YOU
  8. Hi everyone! I hope someone can help me with this... It is my first experience with cycling and I'm starting to wonder if I'm doing it wrong... Fishtank- 26 gallon barebottom Planted- Lightly Heater- No (room temperature) Aeration- Yes (big bubble wall) So, on day 1, I dosed to 3 ppm of ammonia. It dropped to 0.50 ppm on day 11. I added ammonia to reach 3 ppm again every time it dropped lower. I started seeing nitrites on day 13 and it never dropped (5 ppm). I now add half the ammonia I used to. My ammonia breaks down in about 24 hours every time. I did a 40% to 45% water change two days ago, as my Ph was about 5...but no changes were observed. I know this was long to read, thanks ALOT! Am I doing this the wrong way? Should I keep adding ammonia or just leave it alone? Should I try adding a heater? I need help, please.
  9. This isn't really a concern about water, but I thought it might be helpful to others who might not have been able to start a fishless cycle with ammonia. Here are the current specs on my tank: 29 gallon bow front TopFin 30- 150 gph (will add an additional Aquaclear 70 before adding fish) TopFin Air 4000 with one bubble curtain White river stones CaribSea Black sand Day 1 added water and dechlorinator Day 2 added big crushed pinch of flake fish food Readings: ammonia- 0.25ppm Day 3 added another big pinch of flake food in the morning and one in the evening Readings: Ammonia- 1 ppm Nitrite: 0 ppm Nitrate: 0 ppm
  10. Here's a video of my aquarium. Be easy on me, it's my first video with my phone and there are already some errors in it. Enjoy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRCh2mDiN90&feature=youtu.be
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