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Old 08-06-2004, 03:16 PM   #1
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Fishless Cycle

I'm getting ready to try my first fishless cycle. I found some ammonia that doesn't appear to have surfactants at Wal-Mart called "Sea Mist". It says "Clear ammonia" and when I shake it it does not foam. However, the ingredients say "Ammonium Hydroxide Solution and Quality Control Agents". What the heck are quality control agents? Aren't those the people that stand next to the conveyor belt making sure no bad ones get by? Is this OK to use? I'm getting ready to put enough in until it reads 5ppm like on the tomgiffin.com Fishless Cycle info page.
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Old 08-06-2004, 03:29 PM   #2
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I think as long as it says clear ammonia and it doesn't suds up when you shake it, it should be okay... but I'm not 100% sure. I got mine at Wal-Mart but it's not Sea Mist, it's just ammonia with chelating agents which is okay. Maybe that's the same as quality control agents.

Hopefully somebody else will answer you who knows for sure.

Good luck with the cycle.
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Old 08-06-2004, 04:35 PM   #3
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Any idea how much per gallon to put in to get it to 5ppm? Im up to 12mL so far and i'm only at about 2ppm in my 65gallon tank
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Old 08-06-2004, 04:39 PM   #4
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About 1 drop per 2 gallons
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Old 08-06-2004, 04:49 PM   #5
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That's only 32.5 drops for my 65 gallon. I've put in 435 drops and i'm almost at 4ppm. How soon should I be testing after I put the drops in? I'm giving it a few minutes to cycle around... I'm following the 'alternative' directions that say to get the PPM up to 5 on the first day and add the same amount each day after that until the nitrite spikes.
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Old 08-06-2004, 06:13 PM   #6
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I'm cycling a 75 gallon right now and I started with about 4 teaspoons a day. It depends on the ammonia, though, some are stronger than others.

I usually waited about an hour after I added the ammonia before I tested (on the first day) just to give it plenty of time to circulate through the whole tank.

Just keep plugging along, you're almost there. Good luck! 8)
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Old 08-06-2004, 06:40 PM   #7
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Well I finally stopped at 6 teaspoons as it was getting close to 5ppm finally, but I was only giving it about 10-15 minutes after adding before I tested.

How many days will I have to add 5-6 teaspoons before I should see a nitrite spike? Do I have to test nitrites once a day starting tomorrow or wait a few more days?
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Old 08-06-2004, 08:11 PM   #8
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You need to add ammonia to the tank every day until the very end of the cycle, in order to keep the bacteria alive. You will go maybe 4-7 days before you start seeing some nitrite, assuming you have the right ammonia dose (not too low, not too high).

Once you start seeing nitrite that is going to be the part that will try your patience - denitrifying bacteria take longer to grow - so we are talking weeks. Just keep on dumping in the ammonia. I personally don't test every single day, it makes me crazy, so I just test every 4 days or so, and then one day you'll see nitrate, but probably still some nitrite, and you are still not there yet. Wait until the nitrite and ammonia are both zero, and you are showing measurable nitrate, even though you put ammonia in the tank earlier that day, and that is when you are done
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Old 08-07-2004, 11:04 AM   #9
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Does 6 teaspoons per day sound like too much for a 65 gal tank?

The one thing I dont understand - if you add 6 teaspoons to get it to 5ppm on day one, and you're supposed to add the same amount each day after until the nitrite spikes, won't you be getting the PPM reaaaally high? Cuz by day 2 you're starting at 5ppm and adding another 6 teaspoons.
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3 Zebra Danios
2 Pearl Danios
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1 Opaline Gourami
1 Pearl Gourami
1 Clown Loach
3 Serpae Tetras
1 Pleco

65 Gal
1 Upside-Down Catfish
1 Blue Botia
1 Yellow Lab Cichlid
1 Peacock Cichlid
1 Zebra Cichlid
1 Nimbochromis Livingstonii Cichlid
1 Maylandia Cichlid
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Old 08-07-2004, 11:54 AM   #10
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6 teaspoons does not sound high to me.

The bacteria consumes the ammonia - it has to have it to live - so once you get nitrite showing up that ammonia is going to be gone by the end of the 24 hours. In the very beginning the levels do build, but it is necessary. Ammonia is the key to a healthy tank, believe it or not!
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Old 08-11-2004, 11:58 AM   #11
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In regards to a fishless cycle....I would have the substrate, plants, heater and filter going along with stress coat and testing....anything else??

Also, should plants be planted from the start or wait til i have the right water levels?

TIA,
Dan
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Old 08-11-2004, 01:55 PM   #12
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Sorry to post a link instead of explaining, but this is an excellent article: http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_newtank.htm

If you have plants from the outset you will not be "cycling" in the traditional sense, but it is a great way to go.
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