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Fishless Cycle...


Incandisco

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Ok, second time lucky...

I've ordered another 75g tank and it should be here on friday. I've already decided that because the tank is sooooo big, I'm going to cycle it fully without fish, and so I will need a source of ammonia to give things a kick.

My main question, is can I obtain pure ammonia from anywhere in the UK without some form of licence? I probably only need a few ml of it, but it's obviously not easily obtainable because of it's poisinous nature. Would I be better to try and get that, or just sprinkle a liberal amount of fish-food into a bucket of water now, and allow it to break-down and rot until the weekend, then pour it into the tank when I fill it with water?

I'm also going to use a new product (can't remember the name) sold by one of our fish suppliers, which is available in short supply - which is an actual pot of the real bacterial colonies ready to invade the filters and set-up home.

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Most people over here in the US that I talk to buy it from grocery stores or big nooppee type stores... they sell pure (but fairly dilute) ammonia for cleaning purposes. Just get a kind with no added fragrances or anything like that, and it should be fine. I have read that you should shake the bottle, and if it forms foamy bubbles, it has other chemicals, but if it only forms a few bubbles and they disappear almost immediately, it's probably fine.

The rotting fish food idea is good, but wish fishless cycling you'd have to keep adding it until you were ready to add fish.

Honestly, I think that if you have a bacteria supplement that most people have success with, fishless cycling isn't really necessary, just don't add ALL the fish at once if you're worried. I know people who have added a full load of fish along with bio-spira (a bottled bacteria with great success rates... don't know if they sell it over there) and had no problems.

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Hmm. Ok, well my 2 fish will be very happy in a 75g until it cycles I suppose!

I'm going to be using an Eheim cannister, that will cover a tank twice the size I've got, so I don't think it would hurt to get the fish in there sooner rather than later. But still, I'm waiting for my custom-made lid to arrive, so I have no lighting in the tank for a week.. I'll start fishless and see if the claims of 36-48 hours to set up the bacteria colony is correct (this is what the company blurb states, not me).

Here's the plan - See if you think this will work..

Day 1 - Fill tank, set cannister running, add bacteria colony as mentioned above, add strained water from rotted food bucket.

Day 2-4 Check ammonia & nitrite (which I think will spike very quickly at about 30 degrees - which apparently is a great temperature to cycle a tank without fish)

Day 5-6 Lower tank temperature slowly over the 2 days, and do a final set of water parameter checks (including pH).

Day 7: If all is ok, add the fish

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The fact that you can get a hold of the bacteria colony is a huge coup.

Ammonia can be ANY clear ammonia - cleaning supplies are the best place to look. Shake it hard and see if it bubbles. If it does, do NOT buy it. Since cleaning ammonias differ so very much in strength I do a dilution test. I add 10 cc to a gallon of water and test the result. Then figure the dilution to use to create the 3-4ppm of ammonia that I want. Both times I have done a fishless cycle this was very valuable, for the first time my ammonia was very powerful, but the second time it was less than half the strength.

A 75. How great. I am glad you could get a new one. I am so sorry about the other, but at least it did not shut you down completely. That would have been tragic!

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Cheers Daryl,

I think it must be your signature that sums it up! Never, never, never quit! That's great. Besides, what would I do with a 4' cabinet if there was no tank to fit on it! :P

I've got the bug now, we started with 3 fish in a 6 gallon tank (LFS told us this would be fine) - and we learned the hard way that this was wrong. Well, now we have 2 fish in a 10g, which is OK, to the point that my nitrates only get up as far as about 15-20 between water changes, and everything else is 0 - but I want more. My fiance loves the fish, and I love the "water-keeping" side of the hobby too. I often get home at night, and think "I spent how much... :thud " - and then add the new plants/decorations/whatever else to the tank.

So we thought, let's go for it - a 75g tank, with 7-10 fish, and a cannister filter capable of dealing with 150g of water, so plenty of room to have the extra fish without making them uncomfortable.

In the UK, ammonia is not the easiest thing to get hold of - but I'll have a look at the cleaning counter and see what I can lay my hands on.

This time at least, the tank is new, and actually being built to MY spec, so it will have the exact holes and cutouts that I order for the tubes and airlines! I won't need to re-furbish the tank in any way - just fill, set and run!

I CAN'T WAIT UNTIL THE WEEKEND!

Cheers.

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