Fishless Cycle Questions

ZachHawks

New Member
Messages
23
Reaction score
9
Points
3
120 Gallon Tank
FIshless cycle using Ammonia

Started cycle on 1/2/19

Current, the tank is cycling 3-4ppm of ammonia to zero in less than 24 hours.

Todays tests:

Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 3-5ppm
Nitrate - 10ppm

On 1/17/19 the tests were this:
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite 1-2 ppm
Nitrate - O ppm

I was just curious if these numbers look reasonable? I think I am getting closer. I have been dosing to 3-4 ppm ammonia every 24 hours. Based on my tests it looks like that Nitrate is is starting to appear, so I think Nitrites should start dropping soon. Am I on the right course?

Appreciate all the help! I have been lurking in the forums this whole process! Thanks again for all your guys help!

Zach
 

Islandvic

Well Known Member
Messages
3,174
Reaction score
1,849
Points
208
Experience
1 year
I would leave the UV clarifier turned off while cycling the tank.

I think that is the model that Ben Ochart reviewed recently on his YouTube channel.
 

Islandvic

Well Known Member
Messages
3,174
Reaction score
1,849
Points
208
Experience
1 year
I would.

Your 120 seems practically finished cycling. Probably a week or less left.

What was your plan for stocking?

I have seen those 704B's on YouTube, they have HUGE trays! What do your media trays filled with?
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #7

ZachHawks

New Member
Messages
23
Reaction score
9
Points
3
I am pretty sure I am going with Mbuna....which I haven't quite decided. I was thinking the following:

Pseudotropheus sp. Demasoni Pombo Rocks

Labidochromis Caeruleus Lions Cove

Lions Cove Afra
Cynotilapia sp. "lion"

Maybe like 6-8 of each.

As for my filter, it does have huge trays, plenty of room for plenty of media. I have Bio Balls, Ceramic rings, Cotton filter pad, and then on the top tray I have polishing pad and Poly-fill in the top two trays which really keeps the water clean. First time ever having a canister filter so I am learning on the fly. Going pretty well so far! I'll post some pics of the tank.
 

Frozen One

Valued Member
Messages
333
Reaction score
87
Points
38
Experience
Just started
Whenever I tried to fishless cycle I had an issue of not having any conversion to nitrate. Not sure why but either way it seems to me you’re approaching a point in which the cycle is almost complete.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #9

ZachHawks

New Member
Messages
23
Reaction score
9
Points
3
Here are some pics....went with pool filter sand and some locally sourced rocks. Painted the back. I think it turned out pretty clean. Built the stand and canopy myself. Canopy has a removable front, doors and canopy door are held on with strong magnets.
 

Attachments

mattgirl

Fishlore VIP
Messages
9,338
Reaction score
8,148
Points
608
Experience
More than 10 years
It sounds like your cycle is moving along really well. I think if it were me I would drop the ammonia level down to no more than 2ppm every 24 hours now though. In my humble opinion it will help keep things more in balance and will allow the cycle to complete without being overwhelmed with super high nitrites.

It seems the nitrite to nitrate phase moves a bit slower than the ammonia to nitrite so if the ammonia level is lowered a bit it should keep the nitrites from rising too high before being converted to nitrates.
 

Islandvic

Well Known Member
Messages
3,174
Reaction score
1,849
Points
208
Experience
1 year
Very impressive. Excellent looking stand and hood. Those rocks are great for mbuna.

Most times a home built stand/canopy are stronger, better looking, and better craftsmanship than a store bought one.

If I can make a suggestion. Next time you clean out the canister, try out placing them in the following order going from bottom to top:

1. Coarse Foam
2. Polyfil / Polishing Pads
3. Biological
4. Biological

The water enters the canister and goes to the bottom through the tube going through the trays. It then travels back upward through the media and back out to the tank.

The order I suggested, the water hits the coarse mechanical then fine mechanical filtration. This takes care of all your small and large particles of muck.

This leaves the water clean so when it goes through your biological media, none of the muck will clog up all the small pores and keeps all the bio-media clean.

This method I got from watching Richard on his Pondguru YouTube channel before I joined the forum. He even has a playlist of 20+ videos in a series called "**** my filter" where he reviews a filter and puts media in that order in it and sends it back to a viewer.

As a disclaimer, he does promote his brand of pond foams and his brand of bio-media he sells online and his store in the UK. Looking past that point, his general concept of stacking media makes since.

I like his idea of throwing some bio-rings down in the bottom void space before dropping the first tray in.

 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #13

ZachHawks

New Member
Messages
23
Reaction score
9
Points
3
IDK if any of you guys are still following this thread, but I have another questions. This morning I tested water parameters again and got these results: Ammonia 0ppm, Nitrite 1-3 ppm, and Nitrate was off the charts, dark red color. I found this interesting because yesterday I didn't do my normal 3ppm dose of ammonia. I wasnt worried since I felt like the Nitrities were high enough, one missed day would be ok. My question is, do you think my nitrites will now drop in the next couple days? Should I still feed the ammonia daily? I feel like not doing the ammonia yesterday, helped slow down the nitrites and speed up the nitrates? Would this be true? Any help would be great! Thanks
 

mattgirl

Fishlore VIP
Messages
9,338
Reaction score
8,148
Points
608
Experience
More than 10 years
You could start adding ammonia every other day OR now that you have all the necessary parts of your cycle (ammonia and nitrite eating bacteria) you could do a few large water changes and may very well find that your cycle is very close to if not already finished.

I have never done a fishless cycle but since joining this forum I have seen this happen over and over. It seems when doing a fishless cycle folks can't tell when it is actually done.

Some folks say just wait it out and eventually the nitrites will zero out. I say why wait.

If there is enough bacteria to consume 2ppm or more ammonia in a 24 hour period and zeros out during that time and the tank has both nitrites and very high nitrates then you have your cycle. It is just out of balance. Water changes will bring it back into balance and often the one struggling to cycle their tank are pleasantly surprised to find that the tank is actually cycled.
 

Hunter1

Well Known Member
Messages
2,417
Reaction score
1,340
Points
148
Experience
1 year
I agree with Mattgirl on your cycle question.

If you stop dosing altogether, you’ll starve the bacteria.

But I really want to commend you on the stand and hood, very nice work!!
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #16

ZachHawks

New Member
Messages
23
Reaction score
9
Points
3
Thank you Hunter for the compliments on the stand. So today when I go home from work I am gong to do like a 50% water change. When I add the new water I should treat with prime like usual correct? Also, after I have added new water, should I do my dose of ammonia? On the other hand should the water change be bigger? Like 90 percent? When you say do multiple water changes, do you mean a couple today or like 1 today and 1 tomorrow?

Thanks again for all the help! I really do feel like I am close and can't wait to get some fish swimming in there!
 

mattgirl

Fishlore VIP
Messages
9,338
Reaction score
8,148
Points
608
Experience
More than 10 years
ZachHawks said:
Thank you Hunter for the compliments on the stand. So today when I go home from work I am gong to do like a 50% water change. When I add the new water I should treat with prime like usual correct? Also, after I have added new water, should I do my dose of ammonia? On the other hand should the water change be bigger? Like 90 percent? When you say do multiple water changes, do you mean a couple today or like 1 today and 1 tomorrow?

Thanks again for all the help! I really do feel like I am close and can't wait to get some fish swimming in there!
Yes, always add Prime or your water conditioner of choice to any new water going in your tank. If you have chlorine or chlorimines in your source water it will possibly kill off the bacteria you are working so hard to grow.

If it were me doing it I would do no less than a 50% water change today and again each day until you get your numbers down. You can do more than 50% but i wouldn't do less. Go ahead and dose your ammonia up to 1 or 2ppm each day after the water change.
 

mattgirl

Fishlore VIP
Messages
9,338
Reaction score
8,148
Points
608
Experience
More than 10 years
ZachHawks said:
Should I wait to test water parameters after a water change and adding my ammonia? How long? 24 hours?
I don't think it matters. I would have to do it sooner rather than later but only because I would want to know if the water change helped.
 
Toggle Sidebar

Aquarium Calculator

Follow FishLore!





Top Bottom