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Old 10-24-2012, 09:25 AM   #1
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A little ammonia advice

I've read quite a bit on the subject and think I can control it but I'm just looking for maybe a little extra advice or assurance I'm on the right track.

On sunday I drained my 55G and replaces the gravel with sand, took out all the cheesy fake decorations and replaced them with natural rocks, etc... pretty much redid the whole tank. Anyway, I left all of the filter intact, filled a piece of panty hose with the old gravel to help get the bacteria going again and left it in the for a few days and squeezed it here and there etc... Now I know it will take a bit to cycle the tank back up to where it needs to be. I tested the water last night, Ammonia is about .25 and nitrite and nitrate were about where they are suppose to be. After testing last night I drained about 40G of water and replaced it. This brought down the ammonia a little.

So, should I just keep changing some water daily and keep taking readings? How much should I be changing, 10,20,30 percent and replace with fresh conditioned tap water? I would like to avoid using chemicals if at all possible. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:00 AM   #2
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You need some ammonia to cycle the tank. What I would do if you are cycling with fish, is to let the ammonia get to 0.5 ppm. Once it get's there, do a 50% water change, leaving 0.25 ppm for the bacteria. I would also use Seachem Prime since it neutralizes ammonia for up to 48 hours, making it safe for fish. I would test for ammonia and nitrites everyday until you get a full cycle. This could take anywhere from 4-8 weeks.
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:02 AM   #3
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Thanks, so let it go until it get's to .5, change 50% and test again until it reaches .5 then change again etc... until it's fully cycled. that makes sense.
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Old 10-24-2012, 02:58 PM   #4
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I forgot to mention that the same applies to nitrites. Let it get to 0.5ppm, then 50% water change. Test everyday.
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Old 10-24-2012, 03:10 PM   #5
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got it, will do, thanks!
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