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Old 01-17-2022, 11:26 AM   #1
gls
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Fishless Cycle - Day 10 - beginner advice needed

Hi

A beginner here, new to the forum and new to fish keeping. Weíve been thinking about it for a while now and took the plunge early January buying a cabinet and tank as part of a bundle deal. This may be a bit of a long post but Iím now 10 days or so into a fishless cycle (based on some online research) and was looking for some advice with regards to the readings we are getting - I think everything is working as it should but I do seem to be reading high (80) on the Nitrates which I wasnít expecting so soon. Iím trying to keep track of this in a spreadsheet so will attempt to post a screenshot below for a complete view.

I originally filled the tank, added tap water conditioner and left the filter running for 48 hours and then dosed it to 2 ppm Ammonia and also added ĎBioBoostí bacteria per instructions for the first 3 days. I turned the temp up to 28.5c / 83.3f (I read that might help the bacteria grow?). So far Iíve seen the Ammonia drop as low as 1 ppm a few times and so have upped the ammonia levels to 2 ppm at those points. Iíve seen Nitrites creep from 0.5 to 4 but they seem to have plateaued at 4 and not changed for a few days. Nitrates have risen from 5 to 80.


Does everything seem normal with the readings and should I just continue to monitor and add ammonia when it drops below 2 ppm?

As you can see, I havenít tested everyday and when I have tested Iíve sometimes only focused on a few areas:



For info
Equipment:
Tank: Fluval Shaker 168L (44G)
Filter: Fluval 207
UV Filter: Fluval UVC in line Clarifier - TURNED OFF
Light: Fluval Aquasky - TURNED OFF
Substrate: 3mm Gravel
Plants: None (only fake ones)
Dr Timís Ammonium Chloride solution
AquaCare BioBoost
AquaCare Tap Water Conditioner
NT Labs Liquid Test kit

Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.
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Old 01-17-2022, 11:44 AM   #2
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That looks spot on, if anything progressing better than normal. Continue with what you are doing.

If ammonia drops below 1ppm dose it back to 2ppm. When you are able to dose 2ppm ammonia and 24 hours later you see 0ppm ammonia and 0ppm nitrite you are cycled. Big water change to get nitrate down. Get your fish.

I wouldnt worry about nitrate being high. High nitrite can cause high nitrate readings, but even if it is an accurate measure of nitrate thats fine.

What are your plans for the tank?

Im particularly interested in that inline UV. Didnt know fluval made an inline UV that fitted their ribbed hoses. Do you know how you avoid syphoning out all the water if you need to disconnect it? Is there a valve on it? I might need to research it, it looks just what im looking for.
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Old 01-17-2022, 12:27 PM   #3
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That looks spot on, if anything progressing better than normal. Continue with what you are doing.

If ammonia drops below 1ppm dose it back to 2ppm. When you are able to dose 2ppm ammonia and 24 hours later you see 0ppm ammonia and 0ppm nitrite you are cycled. Big water change to get nitrate down. Get your fish.

I wouldnt worry about nitrate being high. High nitrite can cause high nitrate readings, but even if it is an accurate measure of nitrate thats fine.

What are your plans for the tank?

Im particularly interested in that inline UV. Didnt know fluval made an inline UV that fitted their ribbed hoses. Do you know how you avoid syphoning out all the water if you need to disconnect it? Is there a valve on it? I might need to research it, it looks just what im looking for.
Thanks so much for your reply. Good to know it looks on track. No firm plans for the tank other than stocking it with some Freshwater Tropical. Probs need to create a new thread for stocking ideas, especially given the tank dimensions, it isn't overly long for the overall capacity.

I don't think there is a valve on the UVC but you do raise a good point, I didn't think that far ahead! I doubt I really need it but it came cheap as part of the tank so thought I might as well.....
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Old 01-17-2022, 12:29 PM   #4
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I think you probably need to pull out the intake from the water before disconnecting it. Bit of a pain, but you shouldnt need to disconnect it often.
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Old 01-17-2022, 01:03 PM   #5
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Worked it out. It goes on the return, so no risk of it syphoning the tank dry.

When the bulb needs replacing on my in tank UV ill get this.
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Old 01-17-2022, 03:00 PM   #6
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Worked it out. It goes on the return, so no risk of it syphoning the tank dry.

When the bulb needs replacing on my in tank UV ill get this.
Yeah that is correct, I had to double check.
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Old 02-07-2022, 03:02 PM   #7
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That looks spot on, if anything progressing better than normal. Continue with what you are doing.

If ammonia drops below 1ppm dose it back to 2ppm. When you are able to dose 2ppm ammonia and 24 hours later you see 0ppm ammonia and 0ppm nitrite you are cycled. Big water change to get nitrate down. Get your fish.

I wouldnt worry about nitrate being high. High nitrite can cause high nitrate readings, but even if it is an accurate measure of nitrate thats fine.

What are your plans for the tank?

Im particularly interested in that inline UV. Didnt know fluval made an inline UV that fitted their ribbed hoses. Do you know how you avoid syphoning out all the water if you need to disconnect it? Is there a valve on it? I might need to research it, it looks just what im looking for.
Update:

Iím now on day 32 of fishless cycle and have ammonia dropping to 0ppm from 2ppm within 24 hours. That has been the case for the last 10 days. Nitrites though have been stuck at the testing kit maximum (8ppm) for about 18 days. I did a diluted water test tonight (1ml tank with 4 ml tap) which also read 8ppm and so in reality will be much higher (min 40ppm?).

Do you think I need to do a water change or continue to do what Iím doing and have more patience? Iím not sure if somethings stalled on the nitrite side of things or if this is normal?

Any advice would be welcome.
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Old 02-07-2022, 03:06 PM   #8
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Personally, i would change water so that the nitrite is readable. Then top up ammonia and see where you are 24h later.

What you are seeing is normal. 1ppm ammonia converts to 2.7ppm nitrite so all the ammonia goes to even higher nitrite. And after its built up it can take a while for it to cycle out. You may already be cycled, but because you are trying to bring down nitrite from such a high level it could take a while to get down to zero. Whats you nitrate at? That would give you an idea of whether nitrite is cycling out too.
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Old 02-07-2022, 03:10 PM   #9
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Personally, i would change water so that the nitrite is readable. Then top up ammonia and see where you are 24h later.

What you are seeing is normal. 1ppm ammonia converts to 2.7ppm nitrite so all the ammonia goes to even higher nitrite. And after its built up it can take a while for it to cycle out. You may already be cycled, but because you are trying to bring down nitrite from such a high level it could take a while to get down to zero. Whats you nitrate at? That would give you an idea of whether nitrite is cycling out too.
Perfect thanks. I’ll give that a try.

Nitrates are at maximum 80ppm
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Old 02-07-2022, 05:48 PM   #10
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Personally, i would change water so that the nitrite is readable. Then top up ammonia and see where you are 24h later.

What you are seeing is normal. 1ppm ammonia converts to 2.7ppm nitrite so all the ammonia goes to even higher nitrite. And after its built up it can take a while for it to cycle out. You may already be cycled, but because you are trying to bring down nitrite from such a high level it could take a while to get down to zero. Whats you nitrate at? That would give you an idea of whether nitrite is cycling out too.
Iíve done a large water change, probably about 80% and Iím still reading 8ppm nitrite and 80ppm nitrate, both of which are max on the testing charts. I can do another water change tomorrow but should I still feed ammonia to bring up to 2ppm tonight or wait until I can get the nitrites down?
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Old 02-07-2022, 05:49 PM   #11
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I would add some ammonia to keep things ticking along. Maybe enough to bring it to 0.5ppm.
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Old 02-09-2022, 09:26 AM   #12
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I would add some ammonia to keep things ticking along. Maybe enough to bring it to 0.5ppm.
Thanks for your help.

I did another big water change and got nitrite and nitrate readings down to 0. Topped up ammonia to 2ppm and 24 hours later have the following readings.
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 2 - 4 hard to tell with the test kit
Nitrate: 40ish

So doesnít look like Iím quite there yet. Assume I just keep going with the ammonia to 2ppm?
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Old 02-09-2022, 09:53 AM   #13
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Yup. Keep dosing ammonia.
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