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Old 08-07-2020, 08:32 PM   #1
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Cycle starting - now what?

I've had my tank set up a month. I went through a bacterial bloom that went away, and have been feeding it with ACE Hardware ammonia every day....


My current readings are:


Ammonia (the day after it was "fed" to get it to 4 ppm): 0 ppm
Nitrite - 2 ppm
Nitrate - 20 ppm


Seems like the cycle is underway. So my next question is ... now what?


Water change? Do another few days to make sure the ammonia goes away? Buy a few fish to start and see if they survive? Panic and run screaming?? (kidding!)
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Old 08-08-2020, 03:47 AM   #2
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You cycle has started remarkably well. 4ppm of ammonia gone in a day? What did you add to seed the cycle?

Next step should be to redose ammonia back upto 2ppm. Test 24h later. If you have 0ppm ammonia and nitrite then your cycle is done. If you aren't at that stage yet, but your ammonia drops below 1ppm then redose back upto 2ppm. Rinse and repeat until you are getting 0ppm ammonia and nitrite after 24h and your nitrate should be rising.

While your cycle is ongoing you should avoid water changes. The only time i would do this is if you accidentally dose too much ammonia or if your nitrite goes above readable level.

When your cycle is done, big water change to get your nitrate down below 20ppm, (prefably below 10ppm). You can then start stocking.

Typical fishless cycle takes 4 to 6 weeks.
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Old 08-08-2020, 12:07 PM   #3
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You cycle has started remarkably well. 4ppm of ammonia gone in a day? What did you add to seed the cycle?

I didn't do anything in particular. Before the bacteria bloom thing, I put in some live plants and about half didn't make it through. Because I couldn't see in the tank, they partially rotted away. Any chance that (or maybe the bacteria stuff) helped?
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