Cycling question

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ewolfe315

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I am doing the Ammonia Cycle here and just needed to know, When do I stop adding the ammonia into the tank. Is it when I get Nitrate readings. I have read up on the cycling process but now I'm kind of stuck.

Last week in November:
Ammonia - 8.0
Nitrites  - 0

First Nitrite reading on 12/2
12/2
Ammonia - 8.0
Nitrite - .25

12/3
Ammonia - 4.0
Nitrite -  1.0

12/4

Ammonia - 4.0
Nitrite - 2.0

12/5
Ammonia - 2.0
Nitrite - 5.0

12/6
Ammonia - 2.0
Nitrites - 5.0
Nitrates - 10

12/7
Ammonia - 2.0
Nitrites - 2.0
Nitrates - 160

Now on 12/6  was the first time I tested for Nitrates and the 12/7 reading was the 1st time testing the water with the additional canister filter I added to the tank the previous evening.

It's a 120 gallon extra high tank with 2 xp3 canisters, one on each end and a HOB 400 gph filter near the center. Plus I have 3 huge air decorations in the tank.

Like I said above do I stop adding Ammonia now that I got the Nitrate readings even though I still have Ammonia and Nitrite readings. Thanks

John
 

chickadee

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Well according to the description of the process in the Nitrogen Cycle Article you do a 30% water change when the nitrates show up and you are ready for the first one or two fish.  (not a whole load) But when I did it I had AMMONIA 0; NITRITES 0; and the presence of NITRATES before I stopped and did the water change.  There is just something about putting fish into water where I know the cycle is still not just quite done that bothers me.  It doesn't take that much longer and I just felt better.  Then I did a 50% water change for the extra days involved.  (instead of 30%)  You will be glad that you did this cycle I believe.  It leaves the tank clean for one thing.  No messy flakes and food to get rid of and no rotten shrimp or fish smell to deal with, I liked that.  I guess that means that NO you do not quit adding ammonia until you are ready to add the fish because if the ammonia is not coming from the fish to keep the bacteria fed then it has to come from you. For 120 gallons you could be down to 36 drops now though.

If I can help further please let me know.  Otherwise if you want a second opinion, Gwenz also uses this method.  I am sure she would be willing to answer a few questions if you PM her.  I have not seen her here for a few days, but she is about.

Rose
 
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ewolfe315

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Thanks Rose

I've been doing the 36 drops now, ever since I got my 1st Nitrite reading. I do not plan on placeing any fish in the tank til the ammonia and nitrites are 0 and the Nitrates are low.

So I guess I'll add another dose today and check it tomorrow.

John
 

not4you

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You could also wait until your ammonia reading is 0 and then add another dose. As long as there's ammonia available there's food for the bacteria.

When I cycled my 55 without fish, I first added enough ammonia to get a 5 ppm reading and then didn't add anymore ammonia until it reached 0. When ammonia finally hit 0 nitrites were present so I re-dosed the ammonia to about 2-3 ppm. Once my tank was able to "consume" 2 ppm (2ppm ammonia to 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite) in a 24 hr period I did a massive water change and was ready for fish.
 

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I understand that when ammonia is 0, Nitrites are 0 and you have some Nitrates then you add one last dose of ammonia and if it is at 0 the next day you are ready for a few fish. Add fish slowly over the next couple of days. Hope that helps
Carol
 
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ewolfe315

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O.K. I added the 36 drops of ammonia as suggested and within 12 hours here are the readings:
12/07 8 p.m. EST
Ammonia - 1.0
Nitrites - 2.0
Nitrates - 5

How I ever got 160 for the Nitrates earlier this morning got me wondering,lol.. I must have used 2 different types of solutions when I did that or possibly it could have dropped from adding the ammonia...

I'll just keep adding the Ammonia til the levels on the Ammonia and Nitrites are 0.. I'm in no hurry to rush the cycle, just want it done right and thanks goes out to all you wonderful people who have helped me.

John
 
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ewolfe315

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It's finally over. The cycle on the 120 gallon tank took just over 2 weeks,with help from the 400gph HOB filter from an already cycled tank. When the ammonia and nitrite levels hit 0 ,the nitrates were at most 5. Done a 60 gallon water change on Sunday and bingo, Perfect..

Have already moved fish from the overstocked 55 gallon tank into it's new home. Now just waiting for all my silk plants(live plants in January), background,an extra 300 watt heater and 5 foot light to arrive,been useing an extra 4 footer that I have til it comes.

I know your only suppose to add 2 fish per week with a newly cycled tank, however I tend to believe that there was so much good bacteria in the HOB filter that it was possible for me to add which ever fish I needed into the new tank. Been doing water tests every 8 to 12 hours and everything is fine.

The hardest job I had was catching the 2 clown loaches, those buggers are fast. One good thing was the both tanks have the exact same water readings,PH included and water temps were the same(80 degrees). Now I have to adjust the cannister filters some other way as it looks as though theres a hurricane in the tank with some of the plants blowing in the wind. ;D

Now my wife can get me the Discus I want for my birthday. Seen some gorgeous breeder Angels just last night at a local fish store, unreal on how big they were.

It was so much easier doing the cycle this way then when I first started the 55 with fish a couple months ago.

Thanks

John
 
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