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Fishless cycle log


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  • Regular Member

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

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  • Regular Member

I've not tried it this way before- I figure if it gets too funky I'll vacuum, but I'm going to leave it alone as much as possible.

I've read a suggestion of putting the food into a mesh bag or nylon stocking to cut down on the mess, but unfortunately that was after I had already sprinkled the food in twice already.

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Jan 11th

Ammonia between 2-4 ppm

Nitrates 0ppm

I started with the tank water and dechlorinator.

Ran for 24 hours and waited for the temperature to get between 70 and 80 degrees- currently holding steady around 78.

Every day after that I ground up a hearty pinch of food and swished in a cup of tank water, then dumped it into the tank. I did this every morning and every night for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th day.

By day five my ammonia was up to 2ppm, so I have stopped adding food, just letting it do it's thing right now. The ammonia is continuing to increase because the food continues to decompose.

If it goes over 4 ppm I will do a water change to bring it down a little I think.

This certainly isn't an exact science by any means, which is why I thought I would record how things were going for anyone else that had trouble finding pure ammonia. It isn't pretty- there is a scattering of fish food particles all over the bottom of the tank, but I thought that was a better option than a rotten shrimp floating around in there! I think if I tried this again I would probably put the fish food into a stocking or mesh of some kind to cut down on the polluted tank look.

Next time I add food I will make a little video or take photos of the food adding process so you can see how much I add each time.

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Ammonia seems to have dropped a little, so I fed the tank again yesterday. Still no nitrates reading though.

Here is a video to show how I have been feeding the tank:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/wonderbrooks/6702462083/

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  • Regular Member

Ammonia between 2-4ppm

Nitrite between 0.25-0.5 ppm

Nitrate between 0-5.0ppm(is this possible? It isn't purely yellow, but isn't quite orange- sort of goldenrod color, I guess trace amounts of nitrate)

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Regular Member

Ammonia 0

Nitrite 5

Nitrates 10- what happened? over the past few days I have continued feeding my tank, watched nitrites stay maxed out at 5ppm, and watched nitrates quickly dwindle down to barely anything.

Considering going the nutrafin cycle route.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Regular Member

Ammonia 0

Nitrite 5

Nitrates 10- what happened? over the past few days I have continued feeding my tank, watched nitrites stay maxed out at 5ppm, and watched nitrates quickly dwindle down to barely anything.

Considering going the nutrafin cycle route.

what does this even mean? does it mean your BB is dying out or is it doing its job? your nitrates seem to be going down... and that last bit of nitrite is probably going to be dropping soon too. then you'll have your tank going?
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Regular Member

i actually didn't expect my nitrates to go down until I started doing water changes.

My nitrite stayed around 5 for a long time until I finally broke down and bought goldfish.

After that, I did meticulous water changes to keep the nitrites down below 1ppm while I waited. Each night I tested the water and if the nitrites were 1ppm or higher, I did a 50% water change with conditioner. If they had spiked, I did two 50% waster changes and hour apart.

Yesterday and Thursday night I did water tests and my tank has finally finished cycling, but I was unable to wait through the entire fish less cycle with fish food!

My params for the past two or three days have been

Ammonia 0ppm

Nitrites 0ppm

Nitrates 5ppm

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