Question Can I Leave My Cycled Tank Without Fish?

ViciousFishes

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This may be a silly question, but I didn't see it answered or even asked anywhere.

I'm going to be starting a fishless cycle soon on my 5.5gal tank and I want to get everything ready before I start. Since the time frame for a cycle varies, I was wondering how to treat a cycled tank if I'm unable to stock it right away.

Would it still need ammonia added daily? Would I need to do weekly water changes, if so what percentage would you suggest? I don't see it taking more than a week for me to get to the LFS, but I'm curious anyway. At most I'd be without fish in a cycled tank for four days. Is that too long to just let it do its thing?
 

JenC

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1 ppm of ammonia a day will keep the cycle strong until you're ready to stock so you don't have to worry. I've kept tanks going for weeks that way.

I wouldn't worry about water changes if you're maintaining it for such a short time. Just remember the huge water change right before stocking.
 

Señor Pescado

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During my fish-less cycle, I dosed ammonia up to 2ppm each day to keep the cycle going. With a 5.5 gallon tank, I'd bet 1ppm is fine. Once your ready to add fish, I recommend doing 50% water changes until your nitrate level is 20ppm or less.
 

Gnor194

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Señor Pescado said:
During my fish-less cycle, I dosed ammonia up to 2ppm each day to keep the cycle going. With a 5.5 gallon tank, I'd bet 1ppm is fine. Once your ready to add fish, I recommend doing 50% water changes until your nitrate level is 20ppm or less.
Thank. I also looked for information about this.
 

e_watson09

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You will have to continue to "feed" your tank until there are fish in it that will be doing that for you! As others have mentioned 1ppm of ammonia should be fine to keep it going.
 

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