Cycling Help

Rach05

I'm currently fishless cycling my 30 litre tank and it's been 4 weeks. My readings are
pH-7.4
Ammonia 2.0- 4.0ppm
Nitrite-0ppm
Nitrate- 5.0ppm
What is my next step? Also my tap water has 1ppm ammonia.
 

david1978

They say patience is a vertue but that's getting rediculace. What all has been added the tank chemical wise? Dechorinator? Ammonia source? Any bacteria starter?
 

Rach05

They say patience is a vertue but that's getting rediculace. What all has been added the tank chemical wise? Dechorinator? Ammonia source? Any bacteria starter?
The only chemicals I've added to the tank is ApI tap water conditioner since changed to prime, apI quick start and I use blue planet thrive plant food. For ammonia source I've been adding fish food.
 

david1978

Hmmm with the quick start you should have a cycle by now. The fish food part is the big variable. It takes awhile for it to break down and if it takes too long the bacteria in the quick start could of died off before it broke down.
 

Islandvic

OP stated the tap water has 1ppm of ammonia.

Would that also "feed" the beneficial bacteria?
 

david1978

It would at first but there may have been a lapse time between the initial ammonia and till the fish food broke down. That could also be the reason for the low nitrate reading. The bacteria would of fed on that and could of died off before establishing itself on the filter media.
 

Rach05

So what should I do?
 

david1978

Now that you have a consistent ammonia reading you could try the quick start again or the one I see recommended most is tetra safe start plus. You could wait it out but that could be awhile.
 

david1978

I see that mentioned a lot too. So yes.

This is probably the best thread I can think of that might help you.
Fast Fishless Cycle.
 

Rach05

Thank you

Because my ammonia is so high do I still need to add fish food?
 

Rach05

HI everyone,
I'm doing a fishless cycling on a 30 Litre planted tank, started the process four week ago. Using fish food as the ammonia source. In the tank I have a sponge filter, heater set at 27 degrees celsius, gravel and two swords.
As of today my readings are
pH-7.4
Ammonia 4.0ppm
Nitrite-0.25ppm
Nitrate- 10ppm
The chemicals I've been using are ApI tap water conditioner since changed over to Seachem prime, ApI quick start changed over to Seachem stability and blue planet thrive plant food.
Also my tap water has 1ppm of ammonia in it.

Is my cycle heading in the right direction? as I'm getting ready to throw the towel in and start over.
Thanks in advance


50029805_10157449769804411_123853843065733120_o.jpg
 

Fshloover

I wouldn’t restart but I would be worried about your tap water ammonia being at 1 ppm because it should be kept at 0 in a aquarium.
 

Iboughtmykidfish

The ammonia in your tap isn't dangerous. Its ammonium and is a by product of the treatrment process. Non toxic to fish.

I would consider using pure ammonia in a bottle from now on, instead of adding more fish food. Ammonia is super cheap and fish food can be really inaccurate because of how long it takes to rot and produce ammonia in the tank, so there's really no way to dose it.
 

Rach05

The ammonia in your tap isn't dangerous. Its ammonium and is a by product of the treatrment process. Non toxic to fish.

I would consider using pure ammonia in a bottle from now on, instead of adding more fish food. Ammonia is super cheap and fish food can be really inaccurate because of how long it takes to rot and produce ammonia in the tank, so there's really no way to dose it.

Thank you that a relief to know it isn't toxic to fish and I couldn't find any pure ammonia here in Australia that's why I used fish food.
 

Iboughtmykidfish

Thank you that a relief to know it isn't toxic to fish and I couldn't find any pure ammonia here in Australia that's why I used fish food.
Oh, I see. Well I maybe would hold off on adding food for a while. You have all 3 readings, so you have a fully processing cycle, its just a matter of building up enough bacteria to handle all the ammonia that will be coming in the next couple weeks or so. Bumping up the heat can help speed the cycle as well.
 

Rach05

Oh, I see. Well I maybe would hold off on adding food for a while. You have all 3 readings, so you have a fully processing cycle, its just a matter of building up enough bacteria to handle all the ammonia that will be coming in the next couple weeks or so. Bumping up the heat can help speed the cycle as well.
So stop adding fish food and just wait it out? and my temperature is set at 27 celsius which I think is 80 Fahrenheit is that hot enough? sorry just want to get it correct.
 

Iboughtmykidfish

I think that's a good temp. Its not super important, but it helps. I would stop with the food, just because it does take so long to turn to ammonia. So you prolly have a couple weeks ish (depending on food dosage) worth of ammonia production.. You have nitrites and nitrates so it's processing out, now you need to get the ammonia down and the nitrites will go up a lot before they get to a point where they turn to nitrates..

Hopefully you get a second opinion though, because I'm not great at cycling, especially with the fish food method. I did it once, and have been working off that one to cycle any new tanks. Theres a really good article on here about the nitrogen cycle that's pretty helpful
 

Momgoose56

What water source are the test results from that you posted the picture of? Your tap water or your tank? In any case, Ammonia or ammonium aren't desirable in a tank in either form. what is ammonium NH4 ?
Hardware stores generally carry ammonia. Your temp is fine at 80. Read these, they might help:
Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle
 

logqnty

You are fine, just have patience.
 

Momgoose56

So stop adding fish food and just wait it out? and my temperature is set at 27 celsius which I think is 80 Fahrenheit is that hot enough? sorry just want to get it correct.
No, don't stop adding fish food. The nitrogen cycle needs ammonia to feed the bacteria. If you stop feeding the tank the ammonia oxidizing bacteria will die. Once your tank is oxidizing all the ammonia and nitrites in your tank, meaning you are finding ammonia AND nitrites have dropped to zero AND your tank is producing significant levels of Nitrates-20 or greater, WHILE you are adding fish food, THEN your tank is cycled and ready for fish.
Read the links I provided. They are helpful in informing you of how the nitrogen cycle works and the different methods of cycling your tank (including using fish food to do it) iboughtmykidfish is correct in that using pure (janitorial) ammonia is a faster, more accurate way of controlling ammonia levels in your tank. One additional NOTE: The second link I gave you erroneously states that when you detect Nitrites, your tank is cycled and you can add fish. That IS NOT true. Nitrites are as toxic, if not more toxic to fish than ammonia. At the point that you detect measurable Nitrites, you need to continue to add the ammonia source (in your case, fish food) every day or as often as necessary to raise ammonia to 2ppm, UNTIL your nitrites drop back to 0. This process CAN take several weeks.
So stop adding fish food and just wait it out? and my temperature is set at 27 celsius which I think is 80 Fahrenheit is that hot enough? sorry just want to get it correct.
 

logqnty

Well, The OP already has plenty of ammonia, once it ammonia (and nitrite) is at zero, he/she will either need to add fish, or put more ammonia. The OP does not need more ammonia if they already have plenty, right?
I could be wrong.
 

Momgoose56

If those test results are from your aquarium water, It looks like you are near done. But ammonia And Nitrites need to be able to drop to 0 before you add fish.
 

Iboughtmykidfish

Well, The OP already has plenty of ammonia, once it ammonia (and nitrite) is at zero, he/she will either need to add fish, or put more ammonia. The OP does not need more ammonia if they already have plenty, right?
I could be wrong.
That was my theory.. But I agree, we could be wrong. Everything I've read about cycling with fish food says the food takes possibly weeks to break down and produce ammonia. So I would assume OP has a week or two worth of ammonia producers in their tank..
 

logqnty

My fish food produced ammonia in an hour. If the OP's food takes a longer to break down, then I agree, they should have food in the tank at all times, up until they put in fish, but Momgoose56 said that the cycled needs ammonia currently, which did not sound right. If they already have nitrates and nitrites, I think they are almost done. Just wait for the ammonia to decrease.
 

Momgoose56

Well, The OP already has plenty of ammonia, once it ammonia (and nitrite) is at zero, he/she will either need to add fish, or put more ammonia. The OP does not need more ammonia if they already have plenty, right?
I could be wrong.
You could be Logan lol!
The tank needs to be able to process a continual influx of ammonia just like it would if there were fish in there. Fish don't quit pooping just because there's a little ammonia in the water. Rach05 needs to keep adding fish food as often as necessary to keep the ammonia at 2 ppm (test once a day only, same time every day) until ammonia and nitrites both are testing at zero.

That was my theory.. But I agree, we could be wrong. Everything I've read about cycling with fish food says the food takes possibly weeks to break down and produce ammonia. So I would assume OP has a week or two worth of ammonia producers in their tank..
Fish poop does too. As I said, fish will keep pooping, it will continually be covering to ammonia and the bacteria needs to be numerous enough to handle that.
 

logqnty

You could be Logan lol!
The tank needs to be able to process a continual influx of ammonia just like it would if there were fish in there. Fish don't quit pooping just because there's a little ammonia in the water. Rach05 needs to keep adding fish food as often as necessary to keep the ammonia at 2 ppm (test once a day only, same time every day) until ammonia and nitrites both are testing at zero.
Ok. You are right. Animals don't stop pooping. Especially the new baby in my house.
 

Iboughtmykidfish

I love fishlore. Always something nee to learn

I know the fish are constant ammonia producers, I just thought fish food took much longer to break down, so there would be a constant ammonia source for a lot longer.. I guess, was my thinking. Very good information to know, that's why I said I hope someone who knows more than I do comes along. Thanks!
 

Momgoose56

My fish food produced ammonia in an hour. If the OP's food takes a longer to break down, then I agree, they should have food in the tank at all times, up until they put in fish, but Momgoose56 said that the cycled needs ammonia currently, which did not sound right. If they already have nitrates and nitrites, I think they are almost done. Just wait for the ammonia to decrease.
Not correct. Ammonia is oxidized to nitrites. If you quit adding an ammonia source, of course your ammonia levels will drop. All of the ammonia will be oxidized by what few ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB) are there. Then, without ammonia those bacteria will die. In the mean time, nitrite oxidizing bacteria (NOB) will oxidize all the nitrites and when those are zero without nitrites being produced, thos bacteria would die. You HAVE to keep feeding the tank to complete the cycle.
 

Rach05

Thanks everyone for your input. The picture of the test results is from my aquarium and I will continue adding the fish food.
 

Rach05

These are my readings from today
pH-7.8
Ammonia 8.0ppm
Nitrite-0.25ppm
Nitrate- 20ppm
Should I do a water change? and if so how much? Also after searching far and wide was finally able to source some pure ammonia here in Australia I bought Dr Tims Ammonia Chloride off eBay so that should be here in a couple of days.
 

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Rach05

HI guys,
So after asking on here for help with fishless cycling my tank while using fish food it was suggested I try get my hands on some pure ammonia as it's a faster, more accurate way of controlling ammonia levels in the tank. So after searching far and wide here in Australia I was able to finally get some off eBay (Dr Tims Ammonia Chloride) should be here tomorrow. So my questions are how do I go about adding it to the tank? and I already have ammonia, nitrites and nitrates presents so do I have to keep adding the ammonia everyday like I do with the fish food?
Thanks in advance

Tank
30 Litre planted tank, started the process four week ago. Using fish food as the ammonia source. In the tank I have a sponge filter, heater set at 27 celsius, gravel and two swords.

The chemicals I've been using are Api tap water conditioner since changed over to Seachem prime, ApI quick start changed over to Seachem stability and blue planet thrive plant food.
 

Coptapia

You don’t need to add it every day, just keep it topped up to anywhere between 1 and 2ppm (you can go to 5 but that’s just wasting ammonia and growing far more bacteria than you need. 1 or 2 will do). Don’t worry if it goes to zero, just add a bit more within a day or two.

There’s an ammonia calculator somewhere that will tell you how much to add to get the desired ppm...

Check the KH (carbonate hardness) doesn’t run out if the water is very soft...
 

Rach05

Thanks!
 

Rach05

I've been doing a fishless cycle for 5 weeks now these are my results from today. Should I do a water change?



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Charlie’s Dad

I would do a 33% water change. Also, during this, I would add a half a bottle of tetra safe start bacteria.

Continue feeding your tank daily and check your water values daily as well. As you get closer to being cycled, you will see ammonia and nitrites go down and nitrates rise.

When ammonia and nitrites are 0 you are officially cycled.

Also, when measuring out for water testing, be sure to only use 5 ml or to the line on the test vial.

Hope this helps!!
 

Coptapia

There’s never any harm in doing a water change, and it will lower the nitrates which slow the cycle.
How high are the nitrites? And what’s the difference between tank nitrates and tap nitrates?

Those nitrites will go quite suddenly, over a few days. It looks nearly done so You don’t need more bacteria. The bacteria you’ve got are doubling every day...
 

Rach05

The nitrites are 1.0ppm. Tank nitrates are 80ppm tap ones are 0ppm.
 

Coptapia

The nitrites are 1.0ppm. Tank nitrates are 80ppm tap ones are 0ppm.

So all of that nitrate has come from the ammonia you’ve added.
It takes 22ppm of ammonia to make 80ppm of nitrate, so by now your ammonia->nitrite is up to speed and you’re just waiting for the nitrite->nitrate to catch up. But they’re nearly there. They’ve already converted 59ppm of nitrite...
I would do a 50% water change, and re-dose with a ppm or three of ammonia, and take it from there. It should only be a few days now. Also the water change will remineralise, which will help that final kick.

(don’t forget to dechlorinate.. )
 

Rach05

Thanks so much for your help
So all of that nitrate has come from the ammonia you’ve added.
It takes 22ppm of ammonia to make 80ppm of nitrate, so by now your ammonia->nitrite is up to speed and you’re just waiting for the nitrite->nitrate to catch up. But they’re nearly there. They’ve already converted 59ppm of nitrite...
I would do a 50% water change, and re-dose with a ppm or three of ammonia, and take it from there. It should only be a few days now. Also the water change will remineralise, which will help that final kick.

(don’t forget to dechlorinate.. )

So after doing back to back water changes adding dechlorinate every time I can't get my nitrate and nitrite levels to drop they just keep going up.
 

Bellatrix88

I would say check your Tap water for nitrates as I had that problem a couple weeks ago. My Nitrates were up at 80ppm+ from the tap.
 

Coptapia

So after doing back to back water changes adding dechlorinate every time I can't get my nitrate and nitrite levels to drop they just keep going up.

How do you mean?
 

Rach05

26/1/19 Tap readings are
Ph: 8.2
Ammonia- 1.0ppm
Nitrite- 0ppm
Nitrate- 0ppm

26/1/19 Aquarium readings are
Ph- 7.4
Ammonia- 0
Nitrite- 2.0ppm
Nitrate- 80ppm

I have done two water changes since Thursday and the nitrite and nitrate levels are still that high and I can't work out why.
 

Coptapia

The nitrite has been converted from that 1ppm ammonia in the tapwater. The nitrates... usually means they were higher than 80 to start with? That NO3 test kit is hard to read...

If you do another nitrate test and dilute the sample with tap water so you get a lower reading, it’ll be more accurate. Or just change all the water...

Going forward, that 1ppm ammonia in the tap water will kill fish. You’ll need to (check it every time and) add Prime, which will detoxify it (it’s nearly all free ammonia in alkaline water, Prime converts it to ammonium ions which are far less toxic).
 

Rach05

The nitrite has been converted from that 1ppm ammonia in the tapwater. The nitrates... usually means they were higher than 80 to start with? That NO3 test kit is hard to read...

If you do another nitrate test and dilute the sample with tap water so you get a lower reading, it’ll be more accurate. Or just change all the water...

Going forward, that 1ppm ammonia in the tap water will kill fish. You’ll need to (check it every time and) add Prime, which will detoxify it (it’s nearly all free ammonia in alkaline water, Prime converts it to ammonium ions which are far less toxic).
Oh, that makes sense about the nitrite being converted from the ammonia in the tap water didn't think of that.
Do you mean to change all the water in the aquarium? (100% water change)
Thanks already know about the ammonia in the tap water and how it will kill fish being using prime and will use it religiously when I get fish.
 

Coptapia

Do you know how much ammonia you’ve added over the whole cycle? 1ppm makes 3.6ppm nitrates. That’s how much nitrates you had. I should have thought of that before
Yes, change as much as you want as long as temperature and pH are the same. You might not need to, but it’s still saying 80 which is the upper limit of the test, so they could still be much higher? They won’t stop the cycle but they’ll be slowing it down if they’re much higher. If you do one more water change to bring it down low, then you can add a ppm of ammonia, and see how long it takes to get to zero ammonia and zero nitrite again. If you get them really low it might serve as the ‘end of cycle’ water change...
 

Rach05

I did a 100% water change that bought the levels to 1.0ppm ammonia, 0 nitrite and 0 nitrate. I added in 1.0ppm of ammonia to bring it up to 2.0ppm now 24 hours later my readings are 0.50ppm ammonia, 1ppm nitrite and nitrate at 20ppm.
 

Nappers

Nearly there then!
 

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