Fishless Cycle Advice!

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by Steveybee, Jul 15, 2017.

  1. Steveybee

    SteveybeeValued MemberMember

    Hi everyone!

    I'm steve I'm new to the forum and the hobby in general. Recently got myself a 45g tank at petsmart for pretty cheap and I'm not making the mistake of cycling with fish again like I did with my 10g. My only problem is it's been about two weeks and I haven't seen any change in my ammonia level :(

    Here's what I've done:
    -conditioned water with tetra aquasafe
    -raised ammonia to 4ppm
    -ammonia has no other ingredients than water
    -I have an aquaclear 50 and a fluval 206
    -raised temperature to 86° F
    -I've been adding a combo of fluval cycle and seachem stability daily
    -I leave the light on for about 8hours a day for the two plants that I have

    I've been measuring the ammonia every day with my api master kit and nothing has changed. Have I missed a step? Do I need more time? I wanna do this the right way so I don't end up with a tank of dead neons like last time! Any advice for a newbie or anything else you need to know to help me out?

    Sorry for the long post I just want to be thorough. Thanks!
  2. abheeshsValued MemberMember

    This looks good from my limited knowledge. This is what I did for my 10g with fish and now I am cycled.
  3. OP

    SteveybeeValued MemberMember

    How long would you say it took for you? It’s been about two weeks and nothing is happening. I know it can take while but I feel like I should have seen something by now?

  4. abheeshsValued MemberMember

    For me, my ammonia was very high when I started Stability, got it under control in 3 weeks, but there was definitely change within a week.

    You have to really really really shake Stability before use.

  5. SFFishSticksValued MemberMember

    Are you checking nitrites and nitrates too?

    It's possible your ammonia is much higher than 4ppm which could stall your cycle if you didn't use a syringe to measure it. Since it's been 2 weeks, you could try a 50% water change and make sure your ammonia goes down to 2ppm, if not, change more water until you get to 2ppm and let that clear before adding more. Don't dose more than 2ppm until that clears in under a day.
  6. Kellye8498

    Kellye8498Well Known MemberMember

    You should be cycling with 2ppm ammonia. Higher will just kill the bacteria. After you think the tank is cycled then you dose 3ppm once and see if the tank can reduce it to 0 in 24 hours. If it does the cycle is complete and you can add fish. 4ppm ammonia is too high to cycle with.
  7. OP

    SteveybeeValued MemberMember

    Alrighty this was helpful!

    I was using this thread as a guide so that’s why I put the ammonia so high Ammonia instructions for a fishless cycle

    I’ll do a water change tonight and test the levels for everything and see how I make out. Thanks for all your help everyone I really appreciate it :)
  8. delusionalpanda

    delusionalpandaNew MemberMember

    I've been cycling with 3ppm ammonia. It took me 12 days at the start to see it drop at all. I'm now at day 31 and 24 hours after a 3ppm dose of ammonia, what's left is 1ppm of nitrite. Nearly there! I've also seen people's stories who have successfully cycled at 4ppm (and higher, too) but I guess it's more difficult for the bacteria at higher levels so it probably depends on how heavily you're planning on stocking once your cycle is over. Unless you're planning on going heavy right away, a lower dose of ammonia will probably cycle faster. Hang in there! ;)
  9. OP

    SteveybeeValued MemberMember

    Did a 50% water change as instructed and it seems to be in the ballpark of 2ppm instead of the 4ppm range like it was. I'm gunna let it sit for 24hrs before I start adding bacteria products because I heard the dechlorinators will kill the bacteria


    It's hard to tell but it's definitely much lighter than it was :)
  10. SFFishSticksValued MemberMember

    That's better. Sometimes if you're at the max range you could be way over and not know it.

    Tetra Safe Start does need you to wait at least a day after using Prime, etc. but you should start getting some beneficial bacteria in your filter before then anyway since you have reasonable ammonia levels present.
  11. abheeshsValued MemberMember

    I don't think Aquasafe would kill your bacteria.

    Let me rephrase that. Dechlorinator WONT kill bacteria. If it would, then partial water changes would wipe your bacteria colonies.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 17, 2017
  12. chrish828Valued MemberMember

    Don't worry. I was in the same boat as you when using seachem stability. It took about 2 weeks with ammonia at 2 ppm to go down to zero.
  13. filtered_light

    filtered_lightValued MemberMember

    I've been having a similar frustration with my fishless cycle of my future betta tank, and the ammonia being much too high. I suspect a few issues for mine, but one part of it might be, which I just discovered this week... my tap water, which always tested well in the past, has suddenly started registering 0.5ppm ammonia. I had a bit of a panic trying to figure out what had gone wrong with his current (cycled) tank, until I retested the tap water. Probably not a common issue, but it certainly caught me off guard so figured I'd mention it.
  14. Kellye8498

    Kellye8498Well Known MemberMember

    Clearly you know better than the direction on the bottle xD Prime isn't a basic dechlorinator. It locks up ammonia and nitrites which the bacteria need to survive with starves them. Then they die. Either way, better safe than sorry when the bottles cost so much, no?

    Anyway, OP, don't add TSS+ until Ammonia levels are down to .25 or .50. Definitely not over 1ppm. The bacteria won't survive it and it's a lot of money to waste. Add the TSS+ directly to your filter where the water enters from the intake and add a fish or two. Then leave the tank completely alone for 7 days. No testing and no messing with water changes. Usually around day 6-7 the tank will be cycled but there are always tanks that don't meet the norm so just let it happen.
  15. tommywantfishy

    tommywantfishyWell Known MemberMember

    Thanks for the long post. The more info the better. I am a Seachem FANATIC! I am not, however, with regards to cycling. I use Tetra products to cycle. Aquasafe (which you already use), and Tetra Safe Start Plus. Add it (the whole bottle-bigger=better). Add hardy fish (black neons, guppys, any livebearer)....stop dosing ammonia, and enjoy! I call it the safe start challenge. If you lose fish I will reimburse you....and anyone that knows me on here will attest to the fact that I am an alleged Seachem rep ha! I WILL not use it for cycling, however.
  16. abheeshsValued MemberMember

    I didn't say Prime, I said dechlorinator.
  17. Kellye8498

    Kellye8498Well Known MemberMember

    Uh huh. It still recommends that you wait 24 hours after adding dechlorinator before adding TSS+ to the tank. Forgive me but I'm going to follow the directions on the bottle that has been tested scientifically before just blindly doing what someone else says. I use TSS+ every time I cycle a tank and the only time I wasn't finished cycling in 6 days was the time I added it to freshly dechlorinated water so, as I said, I will follow the directions given to me.
  18. abheeshsValued MemberMember

  19. JesseMoreira06

    JesseMoreira06Well Known MemberMember

    why not just do a fish-less cycle and be patient?? I've cycled plenty of tanks using seachem stability and fish food not even dosing pure ammonia within 3-4 weeks tank was cycled. PATIENTS is key when cycling your tank. I have 7 aquariums about to purchase an 8th one. It never failed me.

    I also swear by all seachem products , fantastic products even for cycling IMO. I use their media in all tanks (matrix) , I use purigen in my large main tanks , I use their meds (paraguard , kanaplex, metroplex) , I use their cycling starter (stability), de-clhorinator (Prime) ect.. I just don't use their food as I only feed omega one brand to all my fish.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
  20. tommywantfishy

    tommywantfishyWell Known MemberMember

    Agreed...however too much ammonia can kill off tetra safe can heat over 80 degrees....

    That is why I dumped an entire bottle intended to treat 500 gallons in my 29g. Cycled in less than a week with ZERO fish casualties. Still have my 6 black neons I started off with.

    Just aquasafe....and tetra safe start PLUS. The plus is very important. You will be good to go. I also recommend seachem matrix for bio filtration and purigen for chemical filtration.

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