Help Fishless Cycle Dilema

npandav011

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Hi,

I have a 10 gallon tank which has been running for about 2 weeks. I am trying to do the fishless cycle but I am having some problems. When I first set it up, I made sure to dechlorinate the water and let the filter (Top Fin 10) run for a day or so. Then I added Ace hardware ammonia (no surfactants, scents, etc.) and got the level to 4 ppm (I use API Master kit). 2 days ago, I also added seed material from my LFS. I added some to the actual tank and the filter. After 2 weeks + the seed bacteria from 2 days ago, my ammonia still is 4ppm. My nitrites are little darker than 0 but not 0.25. The temp is around 78 to 80 F, but I have no heater since I am in Texas. WHAT is going on? I really want to get some fish!
 

Nick G

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Hi npanda, sometimes a tank can take up to 6 weeks to cycle properly. Congratulations for choosing to cycle fishless, it is just down to patience sometimes I'm afraid!
 

FredBjammin

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Good luck! purposley adding ammonia is a first for me, but I have ammonia in my publec water already. I started with some hardy fish and now use used filter/gravel anytime I start a new tank. Keep us posted on how it goes.
 

Jaysee

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Hi,

I have a 10 gallon tank which has been running for about 2 weeks. I am trying to do the fishless cycle but I am having some problems. When I first set it up, I made sure to dechlorinate the water and let the filter (Top Fin 10) run for a day or so. Then I added Ace hardware ammonia (no surfactants, scents, etc.) and got the level to 4 ppm (I use API Master kit). 2 days ago, I also added seed material from my LFS. I added some to the actual tank and the filter. After 2 weeks + the seed bacteria from 2 days ago, my ammonia still is 4ppm. My nitrites are little darker than 0 but not 0.25. The temp is around 78 to 80 F, but I have no heater since I am in Texas. WHAT is going on? I really want to get some fish!
I would put the media that's in the tank in the filter. I'd do a 75% water change, to bring your ammonia down to under 2 ppm, since you have seeded media. If the media you got is good, you should start seeing nitrites and then nitrates. It should quickly go to 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and X nitrates. At that point, add ammonia till it's 2 ppm again. Once that gets consumed and converted to nitrates within a day, you can kick it up to 3 ppm. When you're bacteria converts 3 ppm of ammonia to nitrates without any remainder within a day, you're ready to add an entire school of fish.
 
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Aquarist

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Good morning,

Some great suggestions above. I would also recommend that you increase the tank temperature to 85. The higher temperature will help to cycle faster too. Once the cycle is complete and before you add fish you can lower it to 74-80 degrees.
If you want to purchase a heater that is

Ken
 
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npandav011

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Thanks for all the suggestions. Will the bacteria be stressed or even die if I do a water change? Also why would 2 ppm be better and quicker? Thanks
 

Jaysee

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No, the bacteria will be fine when you do a waterchange. I suspect that the ammonia level is too high for you to notice any progress. 2 ppm will be quicker because its half as much also, cycles have been known to stall out if the ammonia concentration is too high.
 

Jaysee

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75. you would think a 50% would reduce it by 50%, but when you change that much water youll actually be adding some ammonia to the tank. most water companies use chloramines to treat the water, and water conditioners convert that to ammonium, a form of ammonia. also, some people have ammonia in their source water of up to 1 ppm
 
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npandav011

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Thank you so much! Would you recommend a heater? I live in Texas so the tank is around 78 to 80 degrees. I am planning on getting guppies and maybe tetras. If so, what company?
 

Jaysee

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Since the tank is inside, you have to considder the temperature you keep the house. Some people, like my parents, keep the house at 72 degrees for the summer. In that case you would want a heater. My house is set at 75. So, the upstairs tanks don't have heaters and the tanks that are downstairs still do, as it's usually warmer upstairs and colder downstairs.

If your house is 78-80, then you don't need a heater...at least not for a while
 
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npandav011

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Thanks for all the help. I think I am going to get a heater today and install it when I do a water change since my tank is downstairs and the temp is around 77 F. Would 50 watts work?
 

Kronnn

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50 watts should be fine I think, judging that my 29 gallon came with a 100 watt. But I'm not very experianced so you would be best waiting for someone who has been at this longer than me to confirm
 

chughes737

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Hey there, I'm in Texas also...

My wife keeps the temp in the house at 75 and when I'm gone on business 77...I have a heater in the tank BUT...it is turned all the way down and not necessary in the summer months for the type of fish I keep...winter time she goes opposite and the temp in the house goes to 68-74 so that's when the heater comes in handy

I have a 46 gallon bowfront and the temp stays at 77-78 all summer long with no heater activation...

I was right where you are in the cycle a couple of weeks ago..

I agree with the others...they helped me out with the same questions you had ...do a 50% change and get the ammonia (I used the same from Ace hardware) down to 2-3 ppm and with the seeded material you should see some results soon..

Also if you have a powerhead with bubble aeration or a bubble stone that could help the bacteria also...
 
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npandav011

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Yeah I just got back from PetSmart and got a Stealth 50 watt. I did a 75% water change, put all the filter media in my actual filter, and installed the heater. I turned it on to 84 degrees F, is that good? I am going to test the water for ammonia in about a hour or two to make sure it is at 2 ppm. Thanks for the help
 
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npandav011

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The ammonia is at 2 ppm. When should I add more ammonia and how long do you think it will take to drop to near zero?
 

chughes737

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I would only add ammonia now when the level drops to less than 2...2-3 seemed to be the sweet spot until the tank is consuming the full 3 ppm in a day and it shows up 0 every day after getting fed...

One day I checked and my tank had gone from 3 to 0 in 12 hours...I then cut the ammonia to 1/2 what I was adding, not enough to trigger a reading but enough to feed the bacteria and get them onto the next level of consuming the nitrite

Hard to say on a timeline how long, just keep doing what your doing and it will happen
 

Jaysee

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Add more, to 2 ppm, once it reaches 0. Once it can consume 2 ppm within 24 hours, you're good to add fish. If you want to add more than a few fish with the initial stocking, you can build the colony like I mentioned earlier.

how long it takes to get to 0 depends on the stregth of the bacteria colony you trasferred.

If the tank did not have seeded media in it, I would agree with keeping the concentration between 2 and 3 ppm like chughs said.
 
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npandav011

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Thanks, I will update you guys on my parameters. I'll test later tonight b/c then it will be a full 24 hrs since the water change and installation of the heater.
 
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