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Old 08-04-2022, 02:53 PM   #1
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Started cycling new tank with fritz ammonia solution

On day 4 ammonia steady at 4ppm. Have a bottle of fluval cycle. Should I use it or wait for cycle to begin naturally? I read somewhere that the bottled bacteria are somewhat inconsistent and tank can get ammonia spikes. Thanks for any advice

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Old 08-04-2022, 02:59 PM   #2
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If you have bought a bottle of Cycle may as well use it. Dont expect it to have any noticable effects, but it won't do any harm to try it. Its not an ammonia source so cant cause an ammonia spike. Let us know how you get on with it.
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Old 08-04-2022, 03:40 PM   #3
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If you have bought a bottle of Cycle may as well use it. Dont expect it to have any noticable effects, but it won't do any harm to try it. Its not an ammonia source so cant cause an ammonia spike. Let us know how you get on with it.
Thanks Aiken.
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Old 08-07-2022, 07:58 AM   #4
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If you have bought a bottle of Cycle may as well use it. Dont expect it to have any noticable effects, but it won't do any harm to try it. Its not an ammonia source so cant cause an ammonia spike. Let us know how you get on with it.
So put the cycle in Thursday and today is 1 full week after putting in the fritz amonia solution and gotten some odd results. Solution colours appear darker than they are but ammonia appears stable at 4ppm yet I'm getting high nitrite and nitrate readings
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Old 08-07-2022, 08:34 AM   #5
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It doesnt take a lot of ammonia to create a lot of nitrite and nitrate. Its not 1:1:1 more like 1:3:4.

So maybe your ammonia has dropped a little, not enough to really register as a lower ammonia reading but enough to produce a high nitrite reading.

These are home test kits, not laboratory testing, and all sorts of things can throw off the results. In particular its regularly cited that high nitrite can give an inaccurate high nitrate reading.

Maybe your ammonia went from say 4.5ppm down to 3.0ppm. The test isnt really accurate enough to distingush between those levels. That drop would produce about 5ppm nitrite, which is what you are seeing. And its possible nitrite that high could throw off the nitrate reading.

Im not saying thats whats happened, but its an explanation. These tests should be a guide to making decisions and not something you rely on for accuracy. All you can really say is you have high ammonia and high nitrite. Having nitrite is a positive step and shows some ammonia is going to nitrite. Its likely some nitrite is going to nitrate too. All very positive.

You likely have another 6 or 7 weeks to go yet. Just let things sit a while, wait for the ammonia to drop further before redosing.

Do you need any assistance on how to do a fishless cycle?
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Old 08-07-2022, 08:58 AM   #6
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It doesnt take a lot of ammonia to create a lot of nitrite and nitrate. Its 1:1:1 more like 1:3:4.

So maybe your ammonia has dropped a little, not enough to really register as a lower ammonia reading but enough to produce a high nitrite reading.

These are home test kits, not laboratory testing, and all sorts of things can throw off the results. In particular its regularly cited that high nitrite can give an inaccurate high nitrate reading.

Maybe your ammonia went from say 4.5ppm down to 3.0ppm. The test isnt really accurate enough to distingush between those levels. That drop would produce about 5ppm nitrite, which is what you are seeing. And its possible nitrite that high could throw off the nitrate reading.

Im not saying thats whats happened, but its an explanation. These tests should be a guide to making decisions and not something you rely on for accuracy. All you can really say is you have high ammonia and high nitrite. Having nitrite is a positive step and shows some ammonia is going to nitrite. Its likely some nitrite is going to nitrate too. All very positive.

You likely have another 6 or 7 weeks to go yet. Just let things sit a while, wait for the ammonia to drop further before redosing.

Do you need any assistance on how to do a fishless cycle?
Thanks Aiken. Fishlab do a pretty comprehensive guide to it so should be fine. Last question and ill leave you alone �� I'm in the eu and had to import the ammonia solution from the US as couldn't source it locally. Initial dose for the 200l tank to bring it to 4ppm used 1/4 of the bottle would the remaining amount be enough to see the cycle through or do you think I'll need more? I'd be a bit concerned as it took about 4 weeks to get here.
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Old 08-07-2022, 09:13 AM   #7
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Touch and go. If your tank cycles in 28 days as the instructions on the site you mention indicates, you should be good. If it takes longer you will run out. The quickest ive seen someone on this site cycle a tank without using established filter media is 3 weeks. Ive recently cycled a tank in 3 weeks using established filter media. Typically 6 to 8 weeks is needed. Often it takes longer and 12 weeks isnt uncommon.
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Old 08-07-2022, 09:17 AM   #8
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On another note. Im not in the EU anymore, but we was when i last bought ammonium chloride. I didnt have to resort to importing from US. Im still seeing plenty of UK stockists online selling Dr Tims Ammonium Chloride. Are you sure you need to import this from US?

Edit. I can only find fritz pro ammonium chloride imported, but Dr Tims is available to me at 10% of the cost of Fritz. Thats a big price difference. For info ive cycled a 200 litre tank with 1 bottle of Dr Tims.
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Old 08-07-2022, 10:05 AM   #9
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Touch and go. If your tank cycles in 28 days as the instructions on the site you mention indicates, you should be good. If it takes longer you will run out. The quickest ive seen someone on this site cycle a tank without using established filter media is 3 weeks. Ive recently cycled a tank in 3 weeks using established filter media. Typically 6 to 8 weeks is needed. Often it takes longer and 12 weeks isnt uncommon.
Thanks for the advice Aiken. Ordered 2 more bottles from the UK. When i ordered initially the uk stores i looked at weren't exporting to eu. No idea it could take that long thought when I seen nitrates I was on the home straight ��
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Old 08-07-2022, 10:40 AM   #10
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Typically it takes 2 to 3 weeks before your ammonia is being completely cycled to nitrite. The nitrite to nitrate stage usually takes a lot longer, say 4 to 6 weeks, to cycle out all the nitrite to nitrate. You may see some nitrate straight away, but it seems to take a lot longer to build up to cycling everything out. Hopefully yours will be on the quicker side of things. Let us know how you get on.
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Old 08-07-2022, 11:19 AM   #11
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Typically it takes 2 to 3 weeks before your ammonia is being completely cycled to nitrite. The nitrite to nitrate stage usually takes a lot longer, say 4 to 6 weeks, to cycle out all the nitrite to nitrate. You may see some nitrate straight away, but it seems to take a lot longer to build up to cycling everything out. Hopefully yours will be on the quicker side of things. Let us know how you get on.
Will do and thanks again. Truth be told its been bothering me I mightnt have enough ammonia so happy enough now. It'll be done when it's done and will give the plants a bit more time to establish themselves
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Old 08-09-2022, 01:32 PM   #12
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Typically it takes 2 to 3 weeks before your ammonia is being completely cycled to nitrite. The nitrite to nitrate stage usually takes a lot longer, say 4 to 6 weeks, to cycle out all the nitrite to nitrate. You may see some nitrate straight away, but it seems to take a lot longer to build up to cycling everything out. Hopefully yours will be on the quicker side of things. Let us know how you get on.
Sorry to bother you again. But ready conflicting things about nitrites during the cycle. Is it necessary or do you recommend to do water changes to keep nitrites down during the process? Thanks again
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Old 08-09-2022, 02:46 PM   #13
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Personally i prefer to keep things readable on the tests, so i usually do water changes if nitrite gets too high to test. But IMO its not necessary, ive cycled tanks with high nitrite. Other people will say that too high nitrite can cause your cycle to crash. There isnt a definite answer.

One thing i will say is that as a lot of nitrite comes out of ammonia, it does have a way of getting very, very high if the ammonia to nitrite phase is going well but the nitrite to nitrate phase isnt established yet. From that PoV I think its a good idea to keep nitrite from just going up and up and up by periodically bringing it back down with a water change.
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Old 08-09-2022, 02:54 PM   #14
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Personally i prefer to keep things readable on the tests, so i usually do water changes if nitrite gets too high to test. But IMO its not necessary, ive cycled tanks with high nitrite. Other people will say that too high nitrite can cause your cycle to crash. There isnt a definite answer.

One thing i will say is that as a lot of nitrite comes out of ammonia, it does have a way of getting very, very high if the ammonia to nitrite phase is going well but the nitrite to nitrate phase isnt established yet. From that PoV I think its a good idea to keep nitrite from just going up and up and up by periodically bringing it back down with a water change.
Thanks again. Appreciate it
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Old 08-12-2022, 02:01 PM   #15
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Personally i prefer to keep things readable on the tests, so i usually do water changes if nitrite gets too high to test. But IMO its not necessary, ive cycled tanks with high nitrite. Other people will say that too high nitrite can cause your cycle to crash. There isnt a definite answer.

One thing i will say is that as a lot of nitrite comes out of ammonia, it does have a way of getting very, very high if the ammonia to nitrite phase is going well but the nitrite to nitrate phase isnt established yet. From that PoV I think its a good idea to keep nitrite from just going up and up and up by periodically bringing it back down with a water change.
Me again Aiken. How long could I expect the ammonia consuming bacteria to live while waiting on the delivery of the solution? An itial dose of 15m took the tank to 4ppm am which is now being converted to nitrite in 24hr. As of today before dose I had 30ml left so decided to drop dose to 5ml with a view that the delivery would arrive next week (UK to Ireland). I would assume I could ramp back up the dosage as that bacteria is quicker to grow than the nitrite to nitrate. Is it possible even if ammonia bacteria were to perish because the water is relatively nitrite rich the cycle can pick back up?
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Old 08-12-2022, 02:35 PM   #16
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I would cut back to dosing to 2ppm, and skipping a day or 2 here and there wont hurt anything and will give you chance to see if nitrite is dropping without you topping it up every time you redose ammonia. If you are really worried about how long it takes to receive your delivery, cutting back to 1ppm or even 0.5ppm will keep the bacteria fed, still produce nitrite so that stage is progressing, and you can increase again to 2ppm when you get your new solution.
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Old 08-12-2022, 02:39 PM   #17
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I would cut back to dosing to 2ppm, and skipping a day or 2 here and there wont hurt anything and will give you chance to see if nitrite is dropping without you topping it up every time you redose ammonia. If you are really worried about how long it takes to receive your delivery, cutting back to 1ppm or even 0.5ppm will keep the bacteria fed, still produce nitrite so that stage is progressing, and you can increase again to 2ppm when you get your new solution.
Thanks again
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Old Yesterday, 01:31 PM   #18
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I would cut back to dosing to 2ppm, and skipping a day or 2 here and there wont hurt anything and will give you chance to see if nitrite is dropping without you topping it up every time you redose ammonia. If you are really worried about how long it takes to receive your delivery, cutting back to 1ppm or even 0.5ppm will keep the bacteria fed, still produce nitrite so that stage is progressing, and you can increase again to 2ppm when you get your new solution.
Hi Aiken. My tap water has a pH of 7.2. I'm dosing to 2ppm ammonia until the rest arrives due tomorrow. Ammonia is clear in the morning and nitrites are building. Ph had dropped 2 days ago 6.8 so I did a 50 % change. Tonight it's dropped back down to 6.8 so I'm going to do the same. Would you follow this approach or would you take a different one? Thanks again
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Old Yesterday, 01:36 PM   #19
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If your nitrite is higher than your test can read i would change some water to keep it readable and then redose ammonia. I wouldnt change water because of the pH dropping. Thats just what the pH wants to be at and probably not worth trying to fight that.
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Old Yesterday, 01:55 PM   #20
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If your nitrite is higher than your test can read i would change some water to keep it readable and then redose ammonia. I wouldnt change water because of the pH dropping. Thats just what the pH wants to be at and probably not worth trying to fight that.
Ah I had read beneath a 7 reading would slow and possibly stop the cycle
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