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Old 01-08-2015, 04:10 PM   #1
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Fishless cycling help please

My daughter has bought her own 125l tank and has started fishless cycling, however she is now becoming impatient and I would like to know that we are heading along the right lines.
She is able to dose up to 4ppm ammonia and have that gone by the following day, nitrites however are not dropping and nitrates are very high. We have been at this stage for nearly 2 weeks now, hence my daughter is getting impatient.
Last night for example she dosed up to 4ppm ammonia, on testing tonight (Api master test kit) ammonia was 0, nitrite was 5ppm and nitrates are 80ppm.
If anyone has any tips I would really appreciate it, she knows she has done the right thing by doing this without fish, are we heading in the right direction?

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Old 01-08-2015, 06:05 PM   #2
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If the ammonia is gone within 24 hours then her tank is cycled. You'll need to start doing water changes to reduce the nitrates as they won't go down themselves.
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Old 01-08-2015, 06:29 PM   #3
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She's on the right track

Hi pookie2:

If that much ammonia is vanishing in a day then yes, she is very much going in the right direction! The 'ammonia-eating' bacteria are obviously well established. The amount of nitrate suggests that the nitrite-eaters are also present, just not yet in sufficient quantities.

Assure her that she is doing this the right way (i.e. fishless and careful daily monitoring). As soon as the nitrite also drops to zero, she can do a big water change to bring the nitrates down and then add her first fish!

-Yorg

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Originally Posted by pookie2 View Post
My daughter has bought her own 125l tank and has started fishless cycling, however she is now becoming impatient and I would like to know that we are heading along the right lines.
She is able to dose up to 4ppm ammonia and have that gone by the following day, nitrites however are not dropping and nitrates are very high. We have been at this stage for nearly 2 weeks now, hence my daughter is getting impatient.
Last night for example she dosed up to 4ppm ammonia, on testing tonight (Api master test kit) ammonia was 0, nitrite was 5ppm and nitrates are 80ppm.
If anyone has any tips I would really appreciate it, she knows she has done the right thing by doing this without fish, are we heading in the right direction?

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Old 01-09-2015, 06:35 AM   #4
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Many thanks for this, should she keep dosing with ammonia?
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Old 01-09-2015, 10:08 AM   #5
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Fishless cycling help please

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Originally Posted by pookie2 View Post
Many thanks for this, should she keep dosing with ammonia?

No. There is no need. She has the tank cycled if the ammonia levels are going back to 0 after 24 hours. When fish are added they will be the ammonia source with their wastes. This keeps the nitrate cycle going as long as you have them in your tank. You're going to want to reduce your nitrates before you put them in however. You can do this with a series of water changes.

If your nitrate is at 80ppm and you do a 50% water change they'll go down to 40ppm, another 50% and you'll have 20ppm. And so on and so on. You'll want to get your nitrates as low as possible. I'd wait until around 10ppm to add fish but research beforehand as some fish have different levels of nitrate tolerance.

Keep in mind that after you add the fish they will contribute ammonia, which turns to nitrate, then to nitrates. You'll need to do water changes every couple weeks to keep them low.

Other options to keep nitrates low are skimmers, refugiums, and aquatic plants such as macro algaes but with the size of your aquarium it's really not necessary. Regular water changes will suffice in removing your nitrates and replenishing your nutrients.

After you get your nitrates down, I would do a 5G water change every week to two weeks. Monitor your nitrates and you'll get a feel for how often you should be doing water changes based on your bioload.
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Old 01-09-2015, 12:00 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by alyxandria View Post
No. There is no need. She has the tank cycled if the ammonia levels are going back to 0 after 24 hours. When fish are added they will be the ammonia source with their wastes. This keeps the nitrate cycle going as long as you have them in your tank. You're going to want to reduce your nitrates before you put them in however. You can do this with a series of water changes.

If your nitrate is at 80ppm and you do a 50% water change they'll go down to 40ppm, another 50% and you'll have 20ppm. And so on and so on. You'll want to get your nitrates as low as possible. I'd wait until around 10ppm to add fish but research beforehand as some fish have different levels of nitrate tolerance.

Keep in mind that after you add the fish they will contribute ammonia, which turns to nitrate, then to nitrates. You'll need to do water changes every couple weeks to keep them low.

Other options to keep nitrates low are skimmers, refugiums, and aquatic plants such as macro algaes but with the size of your aquarium it's really not necessary. Regular water changes will suffice in removing your nitrates and replenishing your nutrients.

After you get your nitrates down, I would do a 5G water change every week to two weeks. Monitor your nitrates and you'll get a feel for how often you should be doing water changes based on your bioload.

Tanks not fully cycled until ammonia and NITRITE are gone


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Old 01-09-2015, 02:01 PM   #7
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Yes, it's the nitrIte we can't get to lower at the moment, We will just keep going as we are and hope!

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Old 01-09-2015, 04:34 PM   #8
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Tanks not fully cycled until ammonia and NITRITE are gone


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Oops! I apologize. I just reread that now and saw that I missed that the first time reading it. Thanks red for catching it. Once your NITRITES are gone then my advice would be applicable lol.
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Old 01-09-2015, 07:13 PM   #9
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Thanks we just need to wait for the nitrites to go down then. Is there anything we can do to speed it up? Or is it just a waiting game?

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Old 01-09-2015, 08:21 PM   #10
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No, there isn't really much to do at this point except be patient! Keep adding small amounts of ammonia so you that you keep the ammonia-eating bacteria fed, and keep monitoring the nitrite. Eventually it'll drop down to zero consistently as well, at which point you can do a big water change (to dilute the nitrates) and start adding fish.

-Yorg

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Thanks we just need to wait for the nitrites to go down then. Is there anything we can do to speed it up? Or is it just a waiting game?

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