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Old 06-26-2013, 07:04 PM   #1
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Fishless cycle

How do I do a fish less cycle? Is it safe to do while I have plants and driftwood in it? Where can I get pure ammonia? What are the step by step ways to do this?
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:50 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by KPhilly25 View Post
How do I do a fish less cycle? Is it safe to do while I have plants and driftwood in it? Where can I get pure ammonia? What are the step by step ways to do this?
To do a fishless cycle, you add an ammonia source instead of adding fish to create ammonia for the cycle. So, in a nutshell, you dose the tank to about 4 PPM of pure ammonia (I know the Ace Hardware brand is 100% pure) and wait until it is converted to nitrite, and then from nitrite to nitrate. The whole process can take anywhere from 3-6 weeks IME, but usually 3-4. When your system takes 4 PPM of ammonia and converts it to nitrate in 24 hours, then you're cycled.

You can have plants and driftwood in during the cycle. live plants might actually speed the cycle a bit.

This thread has everything you would ever need to know about fishless cycling. The (almost) Complete Guide and FAQ to Fishless Cycling
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:55 PM   #3
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I added my nutrafin cycle earlier today with out any ammonia. Has that bacteria died out by now?
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:01 PM   #4
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I added my nutrafin cycle earlier today with out any ammonia. Has that bacteria died out by now?
It probably hasn't died by now, but those bacteria in a bottle products almost never work. Especially Cycle. I've heard good things about Dr Tims One and Only and Tetra Safestart.
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:05 PM   #5
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I've read good reviews on it. Does it remove chlorine or do I need a separate chemical?
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:06 PM   #6
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I've read good reviews on it. Does it remove chlorine or do I need a separate chemical?
It won't remove chlorine, you'll need a dechlorinator like Prime for that. Did you add the Cycle to a tank that has chlorine in it? If so, the bacteria in the bottle was probably killed by the chlorine.
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:09 PM   #7
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I did. I'm sure it's dead. How long will I have to wait for the chlorine? Or how will I know when the chlorine or chlormines are gone?
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:15 PM   #8
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I did. I'm sure it's dead. How long will I have to wait for the chlorine? Or how will I know when the chlorine or chlormines are gone?
They will be there until you add a dechlorinator.

I use prime - Amazon.com: Seachem Prime 500ml: Pet Supplies

But there are many others.
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:19 PM   #9
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Is this why my water is so alkaline? Can I still use this water or do I have to take it all out?
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:36 PM   #10
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Is this why my water is so alkaline? Can I still use this water or do I have to take it all out?
You could probably still use it after you add dechlorinator. But you can't start the cycle with straight tap water.
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:27 PM   #11
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Also, I suggest you acquire an API master freshwater test kit to test water parameters daily or hourly to know when or is your tank on track with cycling. I suggest you start over by refilling with new water, dechlorinate it, then add ammonia(100% pure), and test till nitrites are low and nitrates are around 1-3.
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:29 AM   #12
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My API kit only allows me to put water in a tube and then it only tells me PH.
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Old 06-27-2013, 03:32 AM   #13
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Then I suggest the API master kit
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:49 AM   #14
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Then I suggest the API master kit

+1

You're going to need the API MASTER kit to properly test all parameters.

I also recommend Dr. Tims pure Ammonia for this cysling.

A word of caution from one who learned the hard way on my recent fishless cycle: when you being to get Nitrites, do not let this level get above about 2-3 PPM (which is hard to determine on the API Nitrite scale - it sucks). If your Nitrites get up into or above the 4 PPM level, the cycle will stall. My whole cycle took 6 weeks due to this. Once I understood what was happening, and kept my Nitrites around 2-3 PPM, the cycle was done in a week.

Good luck. I like the fishless cycle method, a lot.

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Old 06-27-2013, 01:40 PM   #15
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If you have another tank that is already cycled, you can put some filter media from the established tank in your new tank and it will speed the process up. When I know I'm going to be getting a new tank, I put a sponge filter in my established tank and leave it in there for about a month and when I set up the new tank, I stick that same sponge filter in there. It will drastically shorten the cycle time.
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:43 PM   #16
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How big, and when should I do PWC
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Old 06-27-2013, 03:13 PM   #17
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So, if I don't use cycle, how does the bacteria get in the tank? Through air?
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:02 PM   #18
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So, if I don't use cycle, how does the bacteria get in the tank? Through air?
It's everywhere and it's already in the water. It just needs to multiply to get to the levels we need it to and for it to multiply, you need to add an ammonia source. Without ammonia, the bacteria won't multiply. If you just fill a tank with water, the bacteria won't multiply because there isn't a source of ammonia.
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Old 06-28-2013, 06:25 AM   #19
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Pee in it a little.. The pwcs before fish go in make it harmless and it works just fine.
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:18 AM   #20
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Pee in it a little.. The pwcs before fish go in make it harmless and it works just fine.
I would never advise anyone to pee in their tank, cycling or not.
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