Cycling on Vacation Question

  1. UMCheez Initiate Member

    I started my cycle about 2 weeks ago using pure ammonia from ACE and I never saw a drop in the ammonia. I was thinking my ammonia was too high since I think it was about 8ppm+ according to my API test kit (I have a hard time reading the high end of the scale since all the greens look so similar, but my wife insisted it was 8 :)). I never saw a single nitrite the entire time, my tank PH is about 7.4 - 7.6 . It is on the cusp of the high and low PH test kits so I don't think PH is an issue.

    My tap water has a fairly high PH about 8.4 with 0.5 ammonia 0 nitrites and 10 nitrates :(. I think getting my nitrates down using water changes is going to be fun. I am using Prime as my water conditioner. Will that help remove the nitrates from my tap water? With these readings so high should I test the chlorine in my tap water to make sure I am using enough Prime?

    Anyway I did a 75% water change on Thursday night to drop the ammonia back down around 2ppm. I got some strips as well just to make sure my test kit wasn't screwing with me and it read at the 3ppm so all seems right. I haven't added anymore ammonia, but I still have not seen the slightest change in the ammonia reading.

    On to the more pressing matter. I am planning on going on vacation in mid-December and won't be back until the 30th. I had planned on having my neighbors feed the fish since they are taking care of the dogs, but it appears I will not be cycled in time to get fish. So my question is what to do?

    I was thinking about adding a frozen shrimp tonight and hoping that would keep the cycle fed until the end of December while I am away. Or would it better to toss in a shrimp now, wait a few days before I leave toss in a new shrimp, then pull out the old one right before I leave?
     
  2. Shawnie Fishlore Legend Member

    at this point, if it were me, id put a small piece of raw shrimp in there and leave it be until after vaca....check it when you get home from vaca ...the raw is better as it will decompose better..the cooked shrimp takes a bit longer....
     

  3. UMCheez Initiate Member

    ok thanks for the input