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Old 02-26-2009, 11:25 PM   #1
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ammonia level for fishless cycle

Hi again! So, I just set up my 48 gallon tank tonight and started adding ammonia to the water. The article I was following said to get the ammonia to 5ppm and I was all set to do that when I read the article in this forum and this one says .5ppm So, what should I be shooting for then?
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Old 02-26-2009, 11:53 PM   #2
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you want between 3.0 - 5.0ppm for fishless cycling.
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Old 02-27-2009, 12:04 AM   #3
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I think possibly the .5ppm would me a maximum for cycling with fish. And hopefully you won't find out the hard way like I did, don't let either the ammonia levels or when you get them the nitrite levels get above 5ppm it tends to inhibit the cycle. I have read it can actually kill the good bacteria at a high enough level.
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Old 02-27-2009, 06:35 AM   #4
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I used 3ppm and it worked very well.
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Old 02-27-2009, 11:16 PM   #5
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Thanks....I think I have it between 4 and 5. It's hard to tell with my test kit since it jumps from 4 right to 8. Now my water is all cloudy and I have weird white stuff growing from the few things I put in there from my other tank. This fish stuff can be confusing! lol
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Old 02-28-2009, 07:06 AM   #6
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Do a blackout. Cover the tank with a blanket or something.
If it is a form of algae it will die off in a few days of dark and will not hurt the bacteria.
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Old 02-28-2009, 09:32 AM   #7
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That wierd white stuff I've never been able to figure out what it is. All of my tanks that I've fishless cycled have had it. Noone on here was able to positive ID it either. It will get everywhere, and through PWCs it will eventually all go away never to return.
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Old 02-28-2009, 06:40 PM   #8
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Well, the cloudiness is clearing up. It's so gross looking...I hope it doesn't spread. I'll definitely leave the light off and try the blanket thing. I'm going to have to get one of those pythons. Doing a lot of water changes on this big tank is going to be a pain. I should wait til the cycle is done though right?
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Old 02-28-2009, 06:54 PM   #9
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i don't think there is a need to do water changes unless your levels get over 5.0ppm
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Old 03-01-2009, 07:33 AM   #10
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yeah, unless your ammonia somehow gets extremely high (like an overdose or something) just let the cycle run it's course.

You won't regret getting a python.
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Old 03-01-2009, 09:25 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neilanh View Post
yeah, unless your ammonia somehow gets extremely high (like an overdose or something) just let the cycle run it's course.
UNLESS,
during the amonia part of the cycle, unless you goof and add too much, you shouldn't have to tough it. During the nitrite phase the nitrite will continue to build until enough bacteria form to take care of it.
Do not let it get too high or it will stall your cycle.You may have to do a partial water change if your nitrite gets above 5ppm or so.
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Old 03-01-2009, 10:55 AM   #12
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Thanks guys. I've been doing so many things wrong it's nice to have some good advice! I'm on day four of my fishless cycle. When do nitrites usually show up? It's getting boring just watching those plants wave around at me with no fish. lol
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Old 03-01-2009, 11:06 AM   #13
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My 5 gal also had the white slime stuff during my fishless cycle. It went away after a week or 2.
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Old 03-01-2009, 12:14 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by missgingersnap View Post
Thanks guys. I've been doing so many things wrong it's nice to have some good advice! I'm on day four of my fishless cycle. When do nitrites usually show up? It's getting boring just watching those plants wave around at me with no fish. lol
it varies greatly depending on weither you seeded the tank with a bacteria source or not and what source if you did.
With a good bacteria source, such as media from an established aquarium, you can do the entire cycle in as little as a few days to to a week or so. With no seeding at all it can take up to 4 weeks in some cases before any nitrites at all show up and as much as another 4 weeks or more to get through the nitrite phase.
Most store bought bacteria sources such as Hagen Cycle will fall somewhere in between.
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Old 03-01-2009, 02:28 PM   #15
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I put in a bit of gravel and a couple shells in a nylon, a small silk plant, and the thermometer from my other tank which is almost cycled. I figured at least that stuff has the ammonia eating bacteria on it. I'm working at trying to get some stuff from someone elses tank and if I can't I might go to a fish store nearby and beg them .lol
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Old 03-03-2009, 01:50 PM   #16
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Woohoo! Day 6 and I'm getting nitrites! Really low....between 0 and .25, but they're starting. I need to put more ammonia in if the levels start coming down right?
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Old 03-03-2009, 03:46 PM   #17
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You need to keep adding an ammonia source thru the entire cycle until you add fish
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Old 03-04-2009, 12:25 AM   #18
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I thought you only add ammonia to keep it between 3-5 ppm once the nitrites start to show up?
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Old 03-04-2009, 07:26 AM   #19
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You have to continue to feed the bacteria that eats amonia to keep the cycle going however you do not have to maintain 3-5ppm.
Consider that the amonia is being eaten as you add it. As long as you show some amonia level an hour or so after adding it you are good.
In this phase I like to add small amounts of amonia twice a day so the bacteria gets a more steady diet.
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Old 03-04-2009, 07:35 AM   #20
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Like you, are little bacteria buddies need to eat to live. Until you get fish in there to supply the that food (ammonia source) that responsibility falls on yours shoulders. That could be direct ammonia, flake fish food, etc.
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