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Old 07-30-2006, 08:01 PM   #1
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How long for ammonia to drop?

This isn't the first time I've cycled a tank obviously, but this is the first time I've used pure ammonia to do it. I dosed the tank with between 4 and 5 ppm ammonia on Tuesday. I also added some substrate (in an unused stocking) and an ornament from my already established tank to speed things a long. The ammonia level has not changed at all since I first added it and I am not getting nitrite levels yet either. I thought the seeded substrate would help but it hasn't done much. I just took a few small stones from the other tank and put it inside the new tank's filter to see if that does anything. I know old media is the best choice, but the filters don't match and I also just changed the filter pad before setting up the new tank.

When should I see some progress?
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Old 07-30-2006, 08:13 PM   #2
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Interesting I would have expected some activity by now as well. It will be soon, almost certainly in a day or two. You may want to take a piece of the media from the old filter and just stuff it in somehow. Good Luck.
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Old 07-30-2006, 11:52 PM   #3
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Well maybe the stones I put in the filter will help. If not, I can try to fit the filter pad from the other tank in there, but since I just put that pad in last week I don't know if I should take it out yet.

I really hope it does something soon. I can't figure out why it would be taking so long..
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Old 07-30-2006, 11:56 PM   #4
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My guess it that there just wasn't enough seeded material for whatever reason. The last time that I performed a fishless cycle it took 2 weeks for the Ammonia to drop. However that was also with the temp cranked. If you haven't already, boost your tank into the lower 80's to speed things up. Once the tank is cycled you can turn it back down to more appropriate levels for your fish.
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Old 07-31-2006, 12:04 AM   #5
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Ok well that would kind of make sense because the substrate from the other tank was fairly new since I recently changed it out so maybe there wasn't enough bacteria in it yet (although I didn't see a mini cycle in the other one or anything). Right now my temp is at 78 so I guess I will bump it up to like 81 or 82.
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Old 07-31-2006, 03:13 AM   #6
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Mine took little less than a month did the same as you up to 5PPM

jul 2
Added gravel from established tank
Ammonia: 2.00
Nitrite: 0.00

jul 3
Ammonia: 2.00
Nitrite: 0.00

jul 4
Ammonia: 2.00
Nitrite: 0.00

jul 5
Ammonia: 3.00
Nitrite: 0.00

jul 6
Ammonia: 3.00
Nitrite: 0.00

jul 7
Stocked tank full of plants
Ammonia: 3.00
Nitrite: 0.00

jul 8
Ammonia: 2.75
Nitrite: 0.25

jul 9
Ammonia: 2.75
Nitrite: 0.50

jul 10
ammonia: 1.00
Nitrite: 2.00

jul 11
ammonia: 0.50
Nitrite: 3.00

jul 12
ammonia: 0.00
Nitrite: 3.00

ADDED
jul 12
ammonia: 1.00
Nitrite: 3.00

jul 13
ammonia: 0.00
Nitrite: 4.00

ADDED
jul 13
ammonia: 2.00
Nitrite: 4.00

jul 14
ammonia: 0.00
Nitrite: 5.00

ADDED
jul 14
ammonia: 2.00
Nitrite: 5.00

Id say about the 23 is when the Nitrite took a nose dive basicly went from
over 5.00PPM to about 1.00 over night i dosed a little more then stopped
the next day the ammonia and nitrite where 0 so i added fish same day
doing good ever since
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Old 08-01-2006, 12:06 AM   #7
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Finally!

Well I saw a change in the ammonia level today. It dropped about 1 ppm from around 4 ppm to around 3 ppm. This was after adding the stones from the other tank to my filter and turning up the heat as Purrbox suggested.
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Old 08-01-2006, 02:07 PM   #8
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Have patience. With a new filter crammed full of colonized biomedia, it can take 2 to 10 days for completion. Usually closer to 3 or 4 days. With just a few rocks for seeding, I would think that you are in for at least 2 or 3 weeks till you are fish ready, and it would not be unheard of to take longer. Hopefully, you will be on the shorter side.

Remember that next time, you can buy your new tanks filter in advance, and run it on the established tank for 2 weeks or so to colonize it. In fact, you could still do this, since you don't have fish in your tank, and colonizing the new filter and fishless ammonia will take about the same amount of time. Or you can set it up when you have a whole bunch of colonized material from the established tank's filter to put in it. If you run it on an established tank, or cram it full of colonized material, you can skip the whole ammonia bottle thing and just go right to a few fish, since the ammonia or nitrite spikes will be low and short lived. Last time I did this with the new filter crammed full of biomedia from another tank, I had 2 or three days of 0.25 ammonia, never saw any nitrite. I have heard of others not seeing ammonia, and having two or three days of 0.25 nitrite. In theory you could go right to full stock, but it is safer to start with just a few and build up gradually.
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Old 08-02-2006, 12:04 AM   #9
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Well the cycle is finally progressing. Ammonia dropped another ppm today to about 2 ppm and I am starting to get a small reading of nitrite (somewhere between 0 and .25 ppm).
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