Fishless Cycle Step By Step Please


New Member
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4 years
So I have a 55 gallon aquarium that I am doing a fishless cycle on. It seems as though the more research I do and the more I learn the more I realize how much I don't know LOL. I keep on finding out new things and feel like I am completely lost.

So I poured some ammonia into the tank, and I'm not sure how much I put in but it's a lot.

I have a bubbler, a good filter, and a heater cranked all the way up to 85 degrees. I've read that oxygen and heat are important for the bacterial growth

Can too much ammonia overwhelm the bacteria? Should I do water changes?

So I know that there are tests that I can use to find out if it's cycled or not, but what I need to know is what kind of test I need, what levels everything should be at, and I heard about something called TSS I have no idea what that is and also other products that add the bacteria directly I think?

So I guess what it is that I'm looking for exactly is a step-by-step guide on fishless cycling. Because it seems like the most difficult thing to find online.

And also what preventive steps I can take when adding fish. Like quarantining and treating them before adding them.


Well Known
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Sydney, Australia
4 years
Welcome to Fishlore!
Adding heaps of ammonia is fine, when all the ammonia has been eaten by the bacteria and turned into nitrites and nitrates that's when you'll know your tank is cycled. I would invest in a quarantine tank 10-15g, bare bottom with a heater and filter as well as no decorations, every time you buy a new fish quarantine (qt) it for a month before adding it to the tank. With your first lot of fish you will be able to throw them right into the main tank because no fish already inhabit it.

Good Luck!

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