Finally There!!!

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by Ferretlady, Apr 25, 2017.

  1. FerretladyValued MemberMember

    I never thought I'd be so excited to see bacteria! :)

    I started with my cycle 2 weeks ago & my ammonia is finally dropping!! I had bought some of Dr Tim's Ammonia, and had dosed the tank w/ 29 drops, as instructed on the bottle. It brought my ammonia level to 2.0, as it stated it would. (Oops - it was only after that, that I read the one guide here that said to dose to 1.o!)

    I dosed Seachem Stability at the amount the bottle said to use.

    First four days, the ammonia stayed at 2.0 no question. I dosed the recommended amount of Stability each day. I DID make one bad mistake & had forgotten to remove the purigen packet from my filter until Day 2.

    Days 5-10: it looked like the ammonia was somewhere between 1 and 2 - although much closer to 2. It was a bit hard for me to tell. It looked maybe a *tiny* bit lighter than 2, but definitely not at 1, was the best I could tell. I dosed the normal amount of Stability. Perhaps due to a momentary spurt of impatience (BAD, I know... :( ), late that evening I dosed more Stability.

    Day 11: Ammonia was definitely 1.0 !!! I double-dosed Stability that morning.

    Day 12: Ammonia 1.0. I double-dosed the Stability again.

    Today is Day 13: I just checked my ammonia & it is almost certainly 0.5 !!!!! I went ahead & double-dosed Stability once more.

    I don't know if the additional Stability helped, or if it was sheer coincidence that my ammonia started dropping more after I started the double-dose. One way or another, I'm so happy to see the ammonia dropping - YAY for bacteria!!! LOL!

    One factor could have been my temperature. When I bought my tank (used), it came with a brand-new heater that is "pre-set" for 78 degrees. Without a heater at all, my tank water stays at about 76, so I hadn't bothered to replace the preset heater yet. So the water temp now, using that heater, is simply 78, rather than the higher temp recommend in the cycling guide. I did go ahead & order an adjustable heater a few days ago, before the ammonia levels started dropping for sure. I'll put it in & raise the temperature once it arrives.

    Should I continue to dose Stability every day? At normal dosage or continue the double-dose? I know the bottle says to use it for just 7 days - but I'd barely had any results at that point.

    Once my ammonia hits 0.25, that's when I start checking my nitrites & nitrates, correct?

    I can almost always be patient, and I truly don't mind if it takes a little while for my tank to fully cycle - I was a bit concerned though when I was seeing NO change at all, as it seemed that most folks saw some drop in ammonia fairly soon.

    Anyway -- one tiny step further towards the day I can get my fishies!!! YAY!!!

  2. Summer22Valued MemberMember

    What were your nitrites? You should see those appear before your ammonia goes all the way down. They should overlap each other.


  3. FerretladyValued MemberMember

  4. FerretladyValued MemberMember

    OK --- wow, my nitrite reading is somewhere between 2.0 and 5.0. Those two purples on the chart are really hard to distinguish between, but looking under several different lightings, it seems as if it's a little bit deeper than 2.0 but not quite as deep as 5.0? Anyway, that was my best guess at it - definitely purple, no blue-ish tint at all!

    My nitrates were at 5.0 I did beat & shake the daylights out of bottle #2 before using it.

    So - according to that guide, I should wait before dosing more ammonia? It states that if nitrites are over 2.0, to wait 24 hours?

    Would the fact that I had just dosed the Stability about 2 hours ago have any effect on these readings?

    Thanks for your help!
  5. FerretladyValued MemberMember

    I just tested this morning -- my ammonia looks to be almost 0 now! But the nitrites are still at the top of the chart. I just cannot tell whether it's the 2.0 or 5.0 -- it's just very purple! Nitrates are up too --- looks like 20!

    Should I dose ammonia today? And what about the Stability - should I continue adding that every day?

    Thanks for your help!!
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2017
  6. NanologistWell Known MemberMember

    You'll want to lower the nitrite first by doing a water change. If the nitrites get higher than 4 it can actually stall the cycle as it's too toxic for even the BB(beneficial bacteria). Changing at least 75% should bring it to a manageable level. Then, after the water change dose ammonia up to 1ppm.
  7. Summer22Valued MemberMember

    I'm going to take a stab in the dark (never done fishless cycle before) but I think you should keep dosing ammonia until you get your fish???? Reason for my thinking is that you want to keep feeding your established beneficial bacteria to keep the cycle going. I would think if you stopped they would slowly die off because there's nothing to convert? Again stab in the dark but I think you can go either way with dosing stability??? You already have a colony going so I don't know if you need to keep adding?? I would follow whatever directions say. CONGRATS!!! Your almost cycled! When you see 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and some Nitrates your cycled!!!
  8. NanologistWell Known MemberMember

    As far as the Stability goes. Keep dosing that daily. If you have to do a water change then always wait till after or you'll just be pouring it out and wasting it.

    You can dose double the amount that is on the instructions, daily until cycled.
  9. NanologistWell Known MemberMember

    Wouldn't quite say the OP is almost cycled since it tends to take much longer for the nitrite bacteria to grow and catch up. Usually weeks, even with Stability or another similar product.
  10. FerretladyValued MemberMember

    Thanks so much! You totally cleared up the points that I was confused about!! And hey - I get to try my python draining water from the tank, for the first time! LOL! (That thing is incredible - I remember the chore of buckets/buckets/buckets way back when... )
  11. NanologistWell Known MemberMember

    Glad to hear that! Yeah, pretty much every one that gets a Python sings praises at how much easier it makes cleanings and tank refills. Even in my little 3.5g it saves so much time and energy, as well as doing a much better job at cleaning the gravel.
  12. Summer22Valued MemberMember

    Green bonsai... I wasn't referring to the OP or very first post. I was referring to today's post that said almost no ammonia, 5 nitrites and 20 nitrates. If they already have nitrates to me the battle is nearing an end.
  13. NanologistWell Known MemberMember

    I understand, but on average(not always), the nitrite bacteria takes 2 times longer to establish than the ammonia bacteria. The fact that this is day 14 of their cycle and they are just now getting 1ppm of ammonia to be processed in 24 hours leads me to believe that even if their is nitrite bacteria it will still take 4 weeks total for it to catch up. Not saying 4 weeks from today, although most tanks I've seen in fishless cycle take 6 weeks on average, but they could only be in week one of those 4 weeks.

    This is also theoretical and sometimes it takes less time and sometimes more, but since this is only 2 weeks into their fishless cycle I'd venture to say they have 4 more weeks to go.
  14. Summer22Valued MemberMember

    They have 20 nitrates. The nitrites have already begun converting. I'm going to have to agree to disagree. Sorry.
  15. FerretladyValued MemberMember

    oh my - maybe my nitrites were even higher than I thought! I changed roughly 65-75% of the water -- I just tested again -- nitrites still look to be about 2 !! Nitrates seem to be 10! Should I do one more water change, or wait til tomorrow? Sorry to be a pain - I'm just surprised it didn't go down further. (And I'm totally in love with whoever invented the python!!! LOL!)
  16. NanologistWell Known MemberMember

    That's fine! You're entitled to your opinion. I never said you were wrong either. You could very well be right!

    I'm just stating what I experienced, as well as others, using Stability in a fishless cycle. I also had nitrates after about 2 weeks, but it still took 4 more weeks to go from 1ppm ammonia and have 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites in 24 hours.
  17. NanologistWell Known MemberMember

    No, you're fine. I'd add a double dose of Stability and leave it as is. I would just wait another day or two before adding more ammonia. See what your nitrite levels are tomorrow. If they go down from 2ppm to .5 or less than I'd add ammonia back up to 1ppm and see how long it takes for the nitrites to get back to .5 or less.

    The ammonia BB can live for quite awhile without another ammonia dose. They will just go dormant if needed.
  18. Bizarro252Well Known MemberMember

    Agree with the advice you have received and good job on all your work getting this thing cycled :) What temp are you running at? You can boost it to the low-mid 80s since there are no fish to worry about and it will help the BB reproduce faster :)
  19. FerretladyValued MemberMember

    It has been at 78, because the heater that came with my tank (I bought it used) was one of those "pre-set" heaters. I just received an adjustable heater I'd ordered, and will put it in & boost the temperature - thanks!
  20. FerretladyValued MemberMember

    Oh no..... I'm such a dummy!!!!! After the water change was done, I first filled my test tubes, then went ahead & added ammonia - then ran my tests on the collected water. Argh!!! I had been sure that the big water change would make the nitrites/nitrates much much lower! Yikes - did I just screw everything up, or will it be ok?? *argh*!!!!!

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