10 Gallon Tank Fishless Cycle Using Fish Food Flakes?

xtigerx

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Hi, so I decided to try and start the cycle in my newly set up tank, using fish food (flakes).
I filled the tank with tap water, added tetra aquasafe to it, and a pinch of fish flakes.

I briefly understand how the cycle works, but I'd like to know more so I know for sure that the water is safe to add my fish.

  • How long will it take for me to detect ammonia?
  • How do I keep the ammonia the same level?
  • Will I have to keep adding food every day?
  • How often should I test?
  • Do I have to do anything to the filter, or just leave it alone?
  • Do I have to do water changes during the cycle?
I'm willing to wait as long as it takes for the cycle to finish. I don't want to use fish to cycle it.

Is there anything important I'm missing out on?
Thanks for any help
 
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EMcT1985

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Instead of using fish food, I recommend going out and buying a bottle of ammonia from a hardware store/walmart/wherever. Check the label to make sure there is no added fragrances and stuff--you can also shake the bottle and look inside; if it's pure ammonia, then there won't be bubbles.

You add a small amount of ammonia to your aquarium so that it hits about 2-4ppm ammonia. You can test the water using API test kit maybe an hour after putting in the ammonia. You should see ammonia right away (if not, add more). The amount of pure ammonia you add to the tank will depend on how big your aquarium is.

If you do flakes, I imagine that ammonia won't show up for at least a few days (I haven't tried this method). I recommend using pure ammonia because it's cheap and you can use it for other stuff around the house. It also keeps your aquarium cleaner and you can be more precise with how much ammonia you are adding to the tank.

As long as your filter has some media in it, just leave it alone (but you will definitely want it turned on!!).

Once a day, test the water for ammonia and nitrIte (not to be confused with nitrAte) and add any necessary ammonia. Try to keep ammonia between 2-4 ppm. After maybe a week or two, you will start to see a lot of nitrites in the water, and the ammonia will start going down (so, you'll have to add more ammonia to get it back up to 2-4ppm).

Eventually, you will start seeing the nitrites go down and nitrates go up. The tank is fully cycled when you get the tank to 2-4ppm of ammonia on one day, and then the next day (24 hrs later), you see 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and some nitrates.

For a helpful article on fishless cycling, see https://www.wikihow.com/Do-a-Fishless-Cycle
 

xtigerx

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Instead of using fish food, I recommend going out and buying a bottle of ammonia from a hardware store/walmart/wherever. Check the label to make sure there is no added fragrances and stuff--you can also shake the bottle and look inside; if it's pure ammonia, then there won't be bubbles.

You add a small amount of ammonia to your aquarium so that it hits about 2-4ppm ammonia. You can test the water using API test kit maybe an hour after putting in the ammonia. You should see ammonia right away (if not, add more). The amount of pure ammonia you add to the tank will depend on how big your aquarium is.

If you do flakes, I imagine that ammonia won't show up for at least a few days (I haven't tried this method). I recommend using pure ammonia because it's cheap and you can use it for other stuff around the house. It also keeps your aquarium cleaner and you can be more precise with how much ammonia you are adding to the tank.

As long as your filter has some media in it, just leave it alone (but you will definitely want it turned on!!).

Once a day, test the water for ammonia and nitrIte (not to be confused with nitrAte) and add any necessary ammonia. Try to keep ammonia between 2-4 ppm. After maybe a week or two, you will start to see a lot of nitrites in the water, and the ammonia will start going down (so, you'll have to add more ammonia to get it back up to 2-4ppm).

Eventually, you will start seeing the nitrites go down and nitrates go up. The tank is fully cycled when you get the tank to 2-4ppm of ammonia on one day, and then the next day (24 hrs later), you see 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and some nitrates.

For a helpful article on fishless cycling, see https://www.wikihow.com/Do-a-Fishless-Cycle
thank you so much for the details, I'll give the pure ammonia a try.
Should I remove all the fish flakes then add tetra aquasafe to the new water I add?
How much ammonia would you recommend for a 40l tank?
 

EMcT1985

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thank you so much for the details, I'll give the pure ammonia a try.
Should I remove all the fish flakes then add tetra aquasafe to the new water I add?
How much ammonia would you recommend for a 40l tank?
You have a 10 gallon tank, so start with about 14 drops of pure ammonia (see the link I sent) and then use the test kit to measure how much ammonia you have in the tank (ppm). You can take the fish flakes out with a net or just leave them in there.

If you need to add water to your tank at any time, always use some kind of water conditioner (like tetra aquasafe).

Hope that helps!


Also - I just realized that you described your tank in litres. Do you live in the UK? If so, it might be difficult to obtain pure ammonia from hardware stores etc. (just from what I've heard). The UK has some laws about ammonia, I guess.
 

xtigerx

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You have a 10 gallon tank, so start with about 14 drops of pure ammonia (see the link I sent) and then use the test kit to measure how much ammonia you have in the tank (ppm). You can take the fish flakes out with a net or just leave them in there.

If you need to add water to your tank at any time, always use some kind of water conditioner (like tetra aquasafe).

Hope that helps!


Also - I just realized that you described your tank in litres. Do you live in the UK? If so, it might be difficult to obtain pure ammonia from hardware stores etc. (just from what I've heard). The UK has some laws about ammonia, I guess.
Yeah I do live in the uk, not really sure about those laws, but I'm sure I'll find ammonia somehow lol.

Thank you again, you helped me a lot
 
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