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Old 11-05-2011, 07:03 AM   #1
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fishless cycle.

Hi ive just finished my first fishless cycle with pure ammonia. Im gettin readings at 0 after 24 hours and nitrates are pretty high. I kept cycling for 3 days now. Do u think i can do a big water change and add fish today? My perch was paid for a week ago and im quite eager to get it asap
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Old 11-05-2011, 10:01 AM   #2
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Hi! Just so im clear, you are getting 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites 24 hours after dosing your tank to 4ppm with ammonia? If this is correct, and your tank is zeroing out the ammonia & nitrite in 24hrs, then you are cycled!!!! When you are ready for fish, skip the ammonia & do a large (down to the gravel) wc with water conditioner & temperature match the water. Aim for less than 20ppm (lower, the better) nitrates. This may take more than one pwc to get the nitrate level down! Good luck & congrats on your tank!!!
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Old 11-05-2011, 11:02 AM   #3
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I agree with Jilk. If you're ammonia and nitrite have been 0 consistently for a few days then you should be good to go. Assuming you already went through the nitrite phase where nitrites rose high and then came down? Sometimes when just starting a cycle the ammonia will fall to 0 but it may take a bit of time before nitrites start rising, I just want to make sure you already had nitrites rise and fall before adding fish.

If so, then yes you're good to go! Do a 100% water change with dechlorinator, don't add ammonia, turn down the heat if you had it raised for the cycle (temp of 77-78 fahrenheit is good for most tropical fish), test nitrate again about 30 minutes after the water change to make sure they are well below 20 (as close to 0 as you can get them would be ideal). If nitrates are very high it may take more than one water change to get them lowered. Then get your fish!

Do a YouTube search on drip acclimation; it'll show you the best way to acclimate your fish to your tank. Good luck and have fun with your new fish!
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Old 11-05-2011, 01:43 PM   #4
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Yeah i had both spikes return to 0 i was only redosing to 3ppm ammonia during my nitrite spike. All parameters are now 0,0,20ppm i did a 90%change the another 30% and all is ok my ph is 7.6. I heated it all up and now added 1x leopard climbing perch and a few guppy fry for good measure which will no doubt become food for my lcp. I also planted it up now and here is the almost finished product

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Only put the light on for the picture. Ill test everything again in a few hours just incase and ive got a bucket of water on standby incase it all goes wrong. I hope not cause i had to order my lcp in advance but its been in the lfs for almost 2 weeks now i think
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Old 11-05-2011, 02:07 PM   #5
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Oh my temp is at 82 on my heater but only 79 on the thermometer. Should i lower it to 78?
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Old 11-05-2011, 02:25 PM   #6
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no put ur fish in but float them first so tjey dont get stressed and die
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Old 11-05-2011, 02:51 PM   #7
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I've found the heater indicators to be approximations at best. Is the ambient air warmer than 79? 82 seems warmer than necessary (and costs more energy), unless something you have has a specific need for it. I'd bump it down a degree on the heater, and where it settles, probably before adding the fish.
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Old 11-05-2011, 03:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amanda23
no put ur fish in but float them first so tjey dont get stressed and die
If you're talking about first adding them to the tank (acclimating), I wanted to mention that you need to do more than just float them to match temp. Make sure you're either slowly adding a small portion of tank water into the bag every 15 minutes for a while, or better yet, research drip acclimation like Librarygirl mentioned.

They need to be acclimated to more than just temperature.
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Old 11-05-2011, 05:03 PM   #9
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Oh sorry thanks for the advice but i kno about floating the bags and adding water ever 15 mins or so. I have one tank i bought 2nd hand so was virtually cycled already it just took a week or 2 to settle. This is my first new tank with a fishless cycle. I acclimated my lcp but i just put the 5x 2 month old fry straight in out of my main tank they are ok at the minute and i just fed them a little flake and they ate it. Just done some tests again and my nitrates have crept up to 30 ppm but all else is 0 ill do a 50%pwc and test again. Ph is a little uncertain i really cant tell the browns on the high rang ph test ill buy some strips tomorrow to double check
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Old 11-05-2011, 05:09 PM   #10
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Don't waste your money on the strips!
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Old 11-05-2011, 05:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davePM
Don't waste your money on the strips!
Agreed!
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Old 11-05-2011, 05:18 PM   #12
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I cant tell where it is between 7.4 - 8 tho. Oh i also dropped temps to 26c or 78f(?) my fish all seem happy. My lcp has come out a few times from behind my filter he is eyeing up my guppys i think hes a bit small for them though. Ill get him some worms tomorrow.
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Old 11-06-2011, 05:25 AM   #13
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Tested again this mornin trites were up to 0.25ppm ill do another big change in a minute probably a 50% now and another later and keep testing through out.
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Old 11-06-2011, 10:04 AM   #14
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What size tank is this again? ANd sorry what's an LCP? Do you have any other fish in there besides the LCP and fry? If so what and how many? Given that nitrites spiked I'm wondering if it's overstocked.
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Old 11-06-2011, 04:10 PM   #15
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hi its a 30x12x15 25gal i think, ive only a juvenile leopard climing perch (african bush fish he is about 4cm) and 5 x 2 month old fry less than 10cm each i thought you could fully stock a tank that is cycled with ammonia. it shouldnt be fully stocked, i worked out i enough room for 2 lcp and a leopard frog pleco im not getting 2 perch tho but am tempted to get the pleco if i can. i used an online calculator to work it out. i did a 50% change and tested my ammonia was 0 trites between 0.1 and 0.25 and nitrates 20ppm. im just warming up some more water as we speak.

do you think i didnt let my nitrite consuming bacteria establish enough before i did the big change (before i put the fish in) am i ok to do so many water changes.
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Old 11-06-2011, 05:15 PM   #16
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1cm* sorry
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Old 11-06-2011, 05:17 PM   #17
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I just retested and ammonia and nitrites are both 0?? Ill set my alarm and retest before i go work tomorrow.
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