Fishless Cycle - not starting

age

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Hi! I have been trying to start a fishless cycle with fish food, adding a pinch everyday and letting it rot. However, ammonia has been at 0ppm for a week now. I have clay substrate and don't have anything else in the except bio media.

Does anyone know approximately how long it takes to see the rise in ammonia levels? Thanks!!
 

betobeto

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From what I remember when I first got my tank ready for my betta, I let the filter run for about three weeks on my 5 gal tank before I saw any ammonia levels rise. I did not add fish food in every day though, I'd say just be patient for another couple of weeks! I would think it takes longer if it's a bigger tank than mine.

Hope this helps!
 

mrjohn

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age said:
Hi! I have been trying to start a fishless cycle with fish food, adding a pinch everyday and letting it rot. However, ammonia has been at 0ppm for a week now. I have clay substrate and don't have anything else in the except bio media.

Does anyone know approximately how long it takes to see the rise in ammonia levels? Thanks!!
I tried the fish food method for a week. I gave up. I had the same issue. Try to find household Ammonia with no perfumes or additives and dose it accordingly. It may be tough because of covid but you could also try Dr. Tim's ammonia. I believe you can get it off of Amazon
 

fanutd100

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age said:
Hi! I have been trying to start a fishless cycle with fish food, adding a pinch everyday and letting it rot. However, ammonia has been at 0ppm for a week now. I have clay substrate and don't have anything else in the except bio media.

Does anyone know approximately how long it takes to see the rise in ammonia levels? Thanks!!
What do you mean by bio media? If you meant you have this bio media from an established tank, then it would mean the beneficial bacteria is up and running.

Other than that very weird. Even tap water should have some Ammonia. How about Nitrite and Nitrate level?

Try to grind the fish food before pouring into your tank. It would make it faster to being broken down into nutrient (Ammonia).

Edit: If you want other easy Ammonia source, then try aquatic snail. Get a few in a small container, feed them the fish food. Next day, drain the water from the container (adding new dechlorinated water) and add to your tank. These snails produce Ammonia like crazy when well fed. They breed like wildfire. You can get them from Petco for free.
 

Blueberrybetta

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You wont get an ammomia spike from fish food unless you dump the whole bottle in at once, which will be a giant mess to vacuum in the end. Cycling with fish food is never really recommended. You should go ahead and order Dr. Tims Ammonia to start your cycle instantly. A few drops will bring your ammomia between 2-3ppm.
 

mattgirl

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What you are doing is ghost feeding. To cycle a tank with fish food you need to add a pinch daily just as you would if you were feeding fish. It takes time for the fish food to decompose and start forming ammonia. Should you choose to continue this method you should start seeing the ammonia level rise in another few days.

Using fish food as your ammonia source is a messy way of doing it since that decomposing food will continue to build up and can eventually cause your tank to smell pretty bad. You will be able to better control the amount of ammonia if you could get a small bottle of Dr. Tim's Ammonium Chloride.
 

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