Originally Posted by samtehbam
My worry stems from other threads where people mention that too much ammonia actually kills and inhibits the growth of nitrifying Bacteria, is that true?
and if you read those threads further you will see that often they have a prolonged cycling period and often subsequent issues adding livestock.
The philosophy I have adopted for decades and has always worked is to purposely drive the ammonia up and force a huge BB colony to get established. Then when nutrient levels drop to normal for the tank, the BB don't die off, they go into "slo-mode" and as livestock is added the BB "wake-up" and can adjust much faster.
If a person does wc
's throughout the cycle it is counter productive and ends up producing a mediocre population of BB and it can take an excruciatingly long time to get it completely balanced as they add livestock.
I read threads like that all the time here.
you should see about getting some seed materiel; a couple pounds of sand/gravel from an established tank or if possible purchase a couple pounds of "live rock" from the lfs
It will speed things up considerably.
I want to point out one thing that I think has caused some confusion for folks from time to time.
The normal progression if no seeding media is used is that you see ammonia then nitrite and finally nitrate. In a "virgin" tank the tests will often follow that order with some overlap.
When using seeded media you are introducing all the types of BB at once and the result will be you will begin to get readings for all three right away.
I think that has caused some folks to think that the cycle is messed up, panic and do water changes when it is actually a good thing to see all three parameters rise early in the cycle.
if doing a fish-in cycle using seeded material it's even more imperative that you religiously test the water and keep the levels from getting too high because the fish will be dealing with the stress of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate simultaneously.