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Fishless Cycle And Testing


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Howdy

I just got my ammonia today to add to my fishless cycle since the death of comet and mr fishy. So the new 20 gallon tank has been set up with a new filter and air pump which has been running for one week. I decided to do a full drop test before adding drops of ammonia and the results shocked me.

Results:

Amm 0

Nitrite 0.8

Nitrate 50

Has my tank began to cycle itself? If so, how? I aint adding ammonia as I don't know what to do at this stage. What do you guys think?

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You could try testing your water straight out of the tap. When I test my tap water, I get about .25 ammonia (due to chloramines), up to 2.0 nitrite, and 5 nitrate.

If your tap results are all 0, try replacing the water in the tank, and go from there. If they are similar to what is in the tank now, you know that those readings are your base line. Either way, I would add some ammonia and see what happens next. You may be one of the lucky ones who manages to cycle their tank very quickly! :)

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It would probably be best to still add the ammonia. If your tank isn't cycling on its own, you should obviously add ammonia to get it under way. If it is cycling on it's own, but the ammonia in now zero, then you certainly need to add some more ammonia to feed the bacteria that rely on it as a food source. So either way, adding ammonia would be the thing to do.

I really hope that you're one of those lucky few who got to skip a cycle step and finish cycling really quickly. Otherwise that might mean (as cometgirl noted) that the readings might be the result of concentration in your tap water, and 0.8 and 50 are not desirable tap water levels.

I'll keep my fingers crossed :) .

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Did another water test of the tank and got the same results, I checked the PH level as well which I actually hadn't done and that is at 7.0! Before I was struggling to get the PH to 6.0.

Amm- o

Nit- 0.8

NitA- 50

Also did a test of tap water and got the following results:

Amm- 0

Nit- 0

NitA- 0

Still haven't added ammonia, oh the ammonia concentration is 9.75% on the bottle.

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There is a really useful Koko's Goldfish World page on fishless cycling that might be of some help to you :) . In case you would ever need it, there is also a page on cycling with fish in your tank, a link to which can be found in my signature below.

Edited by Erinaceus
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The fishless cycle guide is what I'm following and I don't wish to do a fish cycle after what happened last time. Still not sure what to do about having nitA at this stage :P

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I did another test today,

NitI is up to 3.0 and NitA is over 110!

I examined the water for the first time, the water looks a bit greasy on the top and the tank walls are slimey (clear). I'm thinking, could this be algae from the high nitrite levels?

I'm not 100% what to do now, a 90% waterchange or add some ammonia to see what happens?

The ammonia is a 9% solution, any idea how much i'd add to a 20 gallon tank anyway?

Cheers.

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I did another test today,

NitI is up to 3.0 and NitA is over 110!

I examined the water for the first time, the water looks a bit greasy on the top and the tank walls are slimey (clear). I'm thinking, could this be algae from the high nitrite levels?

I'm not 100% what to do now, a 90% waterchange or add some ammonia to see what happens?

The ammonia is a 9% solution, any idea how much i'd add to a 20 gallon tank anyway?

I don't know about the other stuff, but algae use nitrAte, and as far as I know not (or far less) nitrIte.

Edited by Erinaceus
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I'll add a 1 drop of ammonia and test the water, repeating this process till iget 5pmm. Hopefully, the amm will be eaten up by the NitIand NitA.. Then i'll do a waterchange either tonight or tomorow.

That sounds good, yah?

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Hey Fortunefaded...

gr88 to see you again... :) ..you must be so exited with the big tank..I just read the entire thread...

yeah..you might wanna add the ammonia and bring it upto 5ppm..after 24 hours test the water...see if the ammonia goes down..and to what level..see how much time it takes for it to go down to zero, approx time :) ..again bring the ammonia up to 4ppm..and see if it goes down to zero in 24 hrs..if so..then the bacteria for ammonia is established...then it would be nitrite bacteria...and later nitrates..however to bring down the nitrates which is 110 (and is very high :P )...you need to do a massive water change, but this will be the very last step of the process..dont change the water or anything until nitrites start going down to zero.. :)

gr888 going...have fun.. :)

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Got the ammonia up to 5pmm.

Warning to everyone else, don't ever sniff ammonia.

I shaked the bottle to make sure it hadn't foamed up or fizzled, I was like... "It is just water?" So I had a sniff and my god, the smell went up my nose and now it burns. Holy camoley!

Yikes!

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I caught a wiff of ammonia by mistake once and I thought I was going to pass out!

When I was doing my fishless cycle, I took to holding the bottle out at arms length when I put some in the tank. That way it wouldn't go up my nose. I bet I looked pretty ridiculous! :lol1

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I caught a wiff of ammonia by mistake once and I thought I was going to pass out!

When I was doing my fishless cycle, I took to holding the bottle out at arms length when I put some in the tank. That way it wouldn't go up my nose. I bet I looked pretty ridiculous! :lol1

I did the same thing, after I got a whiff by accident, disgusting :ill . I couldn't smell a thing for the rest of the evening :blink:

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yup..totally did that in junior high while in the chemistry lab...it was disgusting..although everyone else had a good laugh over it..one my friends actually wanted to experience it and sniffed it despite a warning..she almost fainted...tht was hilarious... :D ..

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Hi

Dont overdo the ammonia . I think it creates a slowdown in the bacteria converting nitrite-->nitrate.

The ability of bacteria to convert the ammonia ---> nitrite is very dependant on surface area in your tank & media.

Too much ammonia & less available surface area for the bacteria will lead to algae & cyanobacteria problems.

(trust me i ended up with a 2 month fishless cycle on a 300l tank and tons of algae & cynobacteria)

Its weird that you have a high reading of nitrate before you started the fishless cycling.

Almost as if something started the cycle before you did.

Could something have died in the tank? Perhaps an insect flew or crawled into the tank.

All the time make sure the oxygen levels are high in the tank . (airstone etc)

The bacteria need oxygen to complete the chemical processes from ammonia to nitrite to nitrate

Edited by BigFish
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I wanted to start back at the beginning to find out why the tank started cycling itself. That tells me that you didn't do a complete cleaning and disinfecting of everything, which would be okay as long as you were sure that there was no bad bacteria in the water and/or whatever killed your fish from before. Parasites will die without a host, so that's not a problem, but if there were bad bacteria in there, they could live and, again, be dangerous. If you did disinfect everything, then, yeah, something got in the water and started decomposing and started the cycle. A complete drying out is the same, in essence, as a cleaning/disinfection.

Too much ammonia will slow down the cycle immensely, but, water changes will reduce too much ammonia and get it back on track. Also adding a nitrifying bacteria product will help.

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Been speaking to my girlfriend and she said she caught the cat sniffing about the tank, perhaps it had a wee drink on the first day it was set up and that has started things? Other than that, the tank lid is off to get more air in there so flies could of gotten in there. Bubbler is also running :)

Ammonia is down to 1.3 from 7 within 24hrs. NitI and NitA are reading very high, both drip tests are dark purple, so high readings there!

I'll see what the readings are in the morning; reckon i'll ahae to do a bit water change to get the nitI and NitA Dsown. I have also not added anymore ammonia.

5 drops at 9% got it up to 7ppm.

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Couldnt resist

Maybe the cat had a "wee" instead of a wee drink :rofl You are right , perhaps the cat ate or drank something then drank the water.

Maybe you found a faster way to cycle a tank. Let the cat act as starter

Looks like the ammonia --> nitrite part of the cycle is going well.

Strong ammonia it seems . About 3 drops should bring it to about 4ppm

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Amm is still 1.3 :/

Gunna do a waterchange tonight and bring the amm up to 5 again and see how it goes during the week.

Doing the w/c at 80% to get the nitI and NitA down.

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Amm is still 1.3 :/

Gunna do a waterchange tonight and bring the amm up to 5 again and see how it goes during the week.

Doing the w/c at 80% to get the nitI and NitA down.

I would suggest you to bring it upto 3 ppm only..see how that goes..5 would be too much I guess.. :) ..u doing gr8888...

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Unless your nitrites are totally a zero I'm guessing you are not fully cycled yet. If you haven't already (and you may have mentioned this) test your tapwater for nitrates and compare that to how many you have in your tank. It sounds like you are getting there and maybe all ready (we'll see if someone who knows more than me jumps on).

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It's great that your ammonia disappeared right after you added more. That's definitely a good sign, but until you get a reading of 0 on your nitrites, you're not completely cycled.

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