Fishless Cycle Issue?

Tokie Wartooth
  • #1
After doing some math, I figured out that 1ml of 10% ace hardware ammonia in one gallon of water equals 26ppm. I also decided to use tetra safe start plus. According to tetra higher than 2ppm ammonia can actually kill the BB(bottled bacteria lol). So I started a 20 gallon high yesterday morning with prime. This afternoon I added 1ml of ammonia to the 20 gallons giving me at least 1.3 ppm but I'm no more than 2ppm with substrate/decorations. Sometimes it's hard to judge colors on the apI ammonia drop test. Also I added half the 40 gallon new tank bottle of tss+ and am going to continue dosing. Just looking for some reassurance here Haha. Did I miss anything?
 
Jeffsglo
  • #2
I was just thinking. Did you add seachum prime to de chlorinate water when filling?
 
Tokie Wartooth
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Yes I did 24 hours plus before adding tss+
 
Jeffsglo
  • #4
Tokie Wartooth
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Ammonia hasn't moved and it's been a week... getting a little upset lol

Ok so it's been over a week after adding the ammonia and tss+ to my 20 gallon tank and the ammonia level still hasn't budged.. this is my first aquarium and I'm getting a little anxious... how long does it normally take for the ammonia to start dropping?
 
Cander
  • #6
Ok so it's been over a week after adding the ammonia and tss+ to my 20 gallon tank and the ammonia level still hasn't budged.. this is my first aquarium and I'm getting a little anxious... how long does it normally take for the ammonia to start dropping?
It takes time...a full cycle can take over month

You could be also adding to much ammonia if you test your ammonia how high is it
 
Tokie Wartooth
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
It's been around 3ppm since I first added it.

Should I do a small water change or anything?

Ok so it's been over a week after adding the and + to my 20 gallon tank and the ammonia level still hasn't budged.. this is my first aquarium and I'm getting a little anxious... how long does it normally take for the ammonia to start dropping?
 
AquaticJ
  • #8
What kind of ammonia? Pure ammonia, and from where? What kind of filter do you have (brand), what's the temperature, and did you add water conditioner? It can take more than a week for ammonia to drop, so don't panic.
 
Hunter1
  • #9
No
Wait for it to get under 1 and dose back to 3.

Be patient, you are on the right track. Are you using pure ammonia with no additives?
 
Coradee
  • #10
Several threads have been merged so all if the information is in one place, please only create one thread per topic
 
Tokie Wartooth
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Yes I'm using the ace hardware stuff. I did use the walmart brand originally, but I emptied the tank and rinsed everything pretty well after that

Do you think there might still be surfactants slowing it down?
 
Algonquin
  • #12
My fishless cycle (using pure Ammonia) took 12 days for the ammonia to start dropping. It's hard, but be patient - you're almost at that first milestone!
My understanding is that you need to use pure ammonia because the surfectants in 'cleaner' type ammonia products can harm the fish you eventually put in, (it's not about slowing your cycle.)
 
Tokie Wartooth
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Ok cool. Yeah I only dosed it once with the walmart ammonia. Drained it filled it back up twice and drained it and rinsed everything else off pretty well too. And ran clean water through the filter for a bit. I'm using the ace hardware janitorial ammonia now. So I guess it's just a waiting now lol
 
Algonquin
  • #14
Yup, grab a really big book and get comfy... it's gonna be a while yet Waiting for the nitrate drop is the next painful step lol
 
Ulu
  • #15
Frankly, I think that advice about "2 PPM max" is misleading except in the most ideal circumstances. 3x too high for safety IMO when you're first starting out.

How it works is that the ammonia needs to stay at a fairly constant LOW level until the beneficial bacteria blooms and can suddenly consume much more. The PH of the water needs to be 7.2~7.4.

I can cycle tanks quickly with some seed bacteria from other tanks and a few small fish.

I always keep my water temperature 82F during the cycle. 78F is normally okay afterwards, depending on your livestock.

And I never let my ammonia get over 1 PPM and try to keep it under 0.5 at all times.

People say that fish-in cycling is cruel to the fish, and it can be if you let the ammonia get high. The thing is that what's cruel to the fish is also cruel to the bacteria!

Too much ammonia will chemically burn them.
 
TexasGuppy
  • #16
I think the bigger problem with fish-in cycle is once you get to the second stage.. the nitrites can jump quickly... You can control ammonia with frequent water changes, but once it starts cycling, it generates nitrites at 3 times the rate it was producing ammonia.. so going up to 1ppm ammonia before water changes would be the same as getting 3ppm nitrites in the same time frame. It also takes longer for those to grow.
 
AquaticJ
  • #17
Frankly, I think that advice about "2 PPM max" is misleading except in the most ideal circumstances. 3x too high for safety IMO when you're first starting out.

How it works is that the ammonia needs to stay at a fairly constant LOW level until the beneficial bacteria blooms and can suddenly consume much more. The PH of the water needs to be 7.2~7.4.

I can cycle tanks quickly with some seed bacteria from other tanks and a few small fish.

I always keep my water temperature 82F during the cycle. 78F is normally okay afterwards, depending on your livestock.

And I never let my ammonia get over 1 PPM and try to keep it under 0.5 at all times.

People say that fish-in cycling is cruel to the fish, and it can be if you let the ammonia get high. The thing is that what's cruel to the fish is also cruel to the bacteria!

Too much ammonia will chemically burn them.

The ammonia would have to get very very high to burn them. The problem is to me, if you cycle a tank with .5 ammonia, you’re gunna add fish and see a giant spike because the bioload difference.
 
Ulu
  • #18
I guess it depends on what you are trying to do.

Once I see nitrites, that's the most critical time. You don't want to produce too many nitrites until the nitrates are going. There's a lag right there, where if you have been feeding a lot of ammonia you're going to suddenly generate a lot of nitrites, and you don't want that. You just can't get them converting over fast enough.

So ease into the nitrites gently, & then only when you start seeing nitrates can you bring up the ammonia dosage ~25% or add another (appropriate) fish.

But all these numbers are relative to what you doing.
Tank size and contents can make a big difference.

A small tank is like a small statistical sample: it is not as reliable. It's much easier to generalize when you're talking about 50 or a hundred gallons.
 
Tokie Wartooth
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
Ok... so my ammonia has dropped from 2 to .5ppm and my nitrAtes are up to about 50 I'd say.. the odd thing is I still haven't seen any nitrItes.. is this common? Btw I test for all 3 using the apI test kit everyday
 
TexasGuppy
  • #20
It happens. Nitrates going up is proof it's passing through nitrites. Congrats, looks like you are about there.
 
Ulu
  • #21
Congratulations! . . . you are cycled.

If your bacteria blooms happened in quick succession you will not get in there fast enough to test for nitrites.

For me it always seems to happen at night.
 
Hunter1
  • #22
If you aren’t testing daily, you can miss nitrites, especially if you used TetraSafeStart at the beginning.

Seems that bacteria is more prevalent than the ammonia to nitrites bacteria so your cycle can jump from ammonia to nitrates quickly.

Just my experience.
 

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