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Old 10-01-2011, 04:13 PM   #1
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Fishless Cycling Status

This is my first attempt at fishless cycling... started 2 days ago on a 29G. My middle son had two fancy guppies in a 5 gallon tank (fully cycled for some time)... well they both died (of ich, I think). Since we won't be replacing the fish right away, I took about 3 cups of the gravel and put it in pantyhose for use in helping the 29G cycle. I also put the filter media inside my Fluval U3 internal for use in the 29 G. My initial water parameters before dosing ammonia were Ammonia 0.5 (don't quite understand this as my tap water reads 0PPM), N02 0.25, Nitrate 5.0, PH 8.3, Temp 78F. On Thursday I dosed the ammonia to 4PPM. Yesterday results were Ammonia 4PPM, N02 0.25, PH 8.2, Temp 88F. Today I tested, and I am at Ammonia 2PPM, N02 0.50, PH 7.9, Temp 88F. Why are my ammonia levels already dropping and NO2 rising? I thought it would take some time to see this result. If it falls to 1PPM tomorrow, I'll re-dose to 4PPM... I just wasn't expecting to see a drop this quickly. Could the substrate/filter media from the 5G be accelerating things that much? Other notes -- I've raised the temp to 88F because I understand that is beneficial during a fishless cycle (is that correct)... plus I want to leave the temp up to help accelerate the ich life cycle I may have transferred over from the 5G substrate. As a result, I probably won't add fish for over a month even if the cycle completes early to make sure I've killed the ich. Sorry for such a long message.

Scott
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Old 10-01-2011, 11:25 PM   #2
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Hi and welcome to AA! Yes it's certainly possible (probable) that the filter media and substrate from the 5 is helping to seed the larger tank. It didn't cycle it fully of course (or you'd have 0 nitrite and dropping ammonia to 0) but it did kickstart things quite a bit. You're right in not stocking for a good month even if the tank cycles due to the Ich potentially being transferred to the new tank. Ich can't live without a host (fish) so a month should be enough time to kill it all. A temp at 88 is fine for a fishless cycle, the bacteria do like higher temps, just don't let it go above 90. I had mine set to 86 I believe. Anything over 75 and under 90 is fine though, I think. Good luck and if you have any further questions just ask!
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Old 10-02-2011, 11:28 AM   #3
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Thanks... i tested again this morning and I'm at NH3 1.5, N02 0.75, PH 7.8.

Should I dose to 4PPM again or should I wait until the Ammonia comes down to 1PPM.

Thanks!

Scott
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Old 10-02-2011, 11:32 AM   #4
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Thanks... i tested again this morning and I'm at NH3 1.5, N02 0.75, PH 7.8.

Should I dose to 4PPM again or should I wait until the Ammonia comes down to 1PPM.

Thanks!

Scott
Doesn't matter, you could dose now if you wanted. If it's 1 or less you can redose; at 1.5 I'd say that's close enough. Just dose once in 24 hours even if you test it more than once per day.
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Old 10-03-2011, 09:37 PM   #5
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OK, so I didn't re-dose to 4PPM ammonia yesterday, decided to wait. Just got home from work and tested today. Ammonia still about 1.5PPM (maybe slightly lighter shade of green)... but the Nitrites have spiked to 5.0 PPM (or higher) from 0.75 yesterday. I'll re-test just to make sure. PH is up slightly to 8 PPM.

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Scott
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Old 10-06-2011, 09:43 PM   #6
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Daily Log Updated

Day 1 9/29 - NH3 1.5, N02 0.25, N03 3.0, PH 8.3, Temp 78
Day 2 9/30 - NH3 4.0, N02 0.25, N03 3.0, PH 8.3, Temp 87
Day 3 10/1 - NH3 2.0, N02 0.50, N03 3.0, PH 7.9, Temp 88
Day 4 10/2 - NH3 2.0, N02 0.75, PH 7.8, Temp 88
Day 5 10/3 - NH3 1.5, N02 5.0+, PH 8.0, Temp 88
Day 6 10/4 - NH3 1.5, N02 5.0+, PH 8.1, Temp 88
Day 7 10/5 - NH3 0.25, N02 5.0+, PH 8.0, Temp 88 (Dosed NH3 to 4 PPM)
Day 8 10/6 - NH3 0, N02 5.0+, N03 7.0 PH 7.8, Temp 88

So based on these results, should I continue to re-dose to 4PPM Ammonia? It is now dropping to 0 overnight, but the Nitrites are still sky-high... however I tested N03 today for the first time since Saturday and it is up to 7.0 from 3.0. I don't really want to do a PWC, as I know eventually the Nitrites will drop overnight... seems like with re-dosing NH3 everyday I will be making it harder for this to occur. What should I do?

Thanks,
Scott
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Old 10-07-2011, 05:06 AM   #7
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I would do a pwc to get your nitrites down to readable level my to tanks are doing the same thing and I was advised by some very wise individuals on here to do a water change to get the levels down. I am gonna test mine when I get home hopefully everything will be moving along now.
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Old 10-07-2011, 10:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Daily Log Updated

Day 1 9/29 - NH3 1.5, N02 0.25, N03 3.0, PH 8.3, Temp 78
Day 2 9/30 - NH3 4.0, N02 0.25, N03 3.0, PH 8.3, Temp 87
Day 3 10/1 - NH3 2.0, N02 0.50, N03 3.0, PH 7.9, Temp 88
Day 4 10/2 - NH3 2.0, N02 0.75, PH 7.8, Temp 88
Day 5 10/3 - NH3 1.5, N02 5.0+, PH 8.0, Temp 88
Day 6 10/4 - NH3 1.5, N02 5.0+, PH 8.1, Temp 88
Day 7 10/5 - NH3 0.25, N02 5.0+, PH 8.0, Temp 88 (Dosed NH3 to 4 PPM)
Day 8 10/6 - NH3 0, N02 5.0+, N03 7.0 PH 7.8, Temp 88

So based on these results, should I continue to re-dose to 4PPM Ammonia? It is now dropping to 0 overnight, but the Nitrites are still sky-high... however I tested N03 today for the first time since Saturday and it is up to 7.0 from 3.0. I don't really want to do a PWC, as I know eventually the Nitrites will drop overnight... seems like with re-dosing NH3 everyday I will be making it harder for this to occur. What should I do?

Thanks,
Scott
Yes continue dosing. You're looking very good for a week into the cycle! YOu dont' have to do a pwc if you don't want to, it isn't needed. No2 has only been off-chart for a few days; mine was off-chart for almost 3 weeks before it came down. The nitrite spike phase is the longer of the phases so just keep redosing and be patient. What test kit are you using? Is it strips?
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Old 10-07-2011, 12:12 PM   #9
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I'm using the API master test kit (liquid). Before doing a PWC, ill monitor the NO3 the next day or so and see if it continues to spike. I'm definitely further along a week in then I thought I would be. Thanks to all for your help... what a great forum. Ill continue to post updates.
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Old 10-08-2011, 10:30 PM   #10
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Day 9 10/7 - NH3 0, N02 5.0+, PH 7.9, Temp 88 (Dosed NH3 to 4PPM)
Day 10 10/8 - NH3 0, N02 5.0+, PH 7.2, Temp 88 (Dosed NH3 to 4PPM)

So I've had 4 days in a row of Ammonia dosing to 4PPM and then falling to 0 by morning. Today however... my PH crashed (mini-crash) from 7.9 to 7.2. The PH from my tap water (after sitting for 24 hours) is around 8.3. Is it time to give in and do a big water change or am I OK to wait and see if the PH continues to drop. Is this normal during a fishless cycle to see the PH drop substantially? I don't have any driftwood in the water. Thanks.
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