Fishless Cycle

  1. k

    kcg Initiate Member

    Hi Everyone,

    I'm so glad to have found this forum. I have a tendency to ramble, but will give an honest attempt to get to the point (ha). After several years of not having an aquarium, I've finally been able to set a new one up. All previous have been cycled old school with hardy fish. I've decided to go the fishless cycle with ammonia this time. Just a couple ?s, pls.

    My tank is 175 gallons, 48L, 24W, and 30H. I'm in the process now of setting up my substrate now. I'm trying another first, sand. This will be a freshwater tank. I'm using Dr.Tim's ammonia because I was having a hard time finding store bought ammonia without any additives.

    I'm a complete newbie at this, but I have been reading and trying to educate diligently. I purchased aquarium bacteria. I keep mixed reviews about using it. Any suggestions would be SO greatly appreciated. I'm trying to be patient, but I can't wait to get this tank cycled!

    Thank you. :)
     
  2. mattgirl

    mattgirl Well Known Member Member

    Welcome back to the wonderful world of fish keeping and Welcome to this forum. You have come to the right place to find answers to all your questions.

    My advice will be a bit different than others advice but neither of us will be wrong .... just different.

    I have always cycled a tank with fish in but lots of folks do fish less cycling. Some use bottled bacteria and liquid ammonia as a food source for the bacteria while others just add the liquid ammonia and let nature take its course. Either way will work.

    If you don't have one you may want to invest in an API Master Freshwater test kit. It will be one of your most valuable tools while cycling this tank. You have to know what is going on with the water and without a test kit you will just be guessing.

    Please ask away and I am sure if not me someone else will have an answer for you.
     
  3. jdhef

    jdhef Moderator Moderator Member

    Welcome to FishLore!

    If you ever need pure ammonia in the future, and don't want to have to mail order from Dr Tim, ACE Hardware sells pure ammonia.

    Which bacteria additive do you have. Not all bacteria additives are created equal. Additionally different ones need to be used in different ways.

    My preferred method of cycling is to perform a fish-in cycle with tetra SafeStart, because...well, because I'm impatient.

    One thing you'll want to do is determine the pH of your water. If your pH is less than 7.0 it starts becoming more and more difficult to cycle, and if your water's pH is around 6.0 it may become impossible to get the tank to cycle. This is because at a pH under 7.0, ammonia starts to convert to ammonium. And by the time your pH gets down to 6.0 all ammonia had been converted into ammonium. The good news is that ammonium is far less toxic to fish (some claim it's non-toxic). The bad news is that it is a horrible food source for the ammonia converting bacteria.

    (and you think you tend to ramble):p

    Best of luck and feel free to ask any additional questions you may have.
     
  4. GreekGills

    GreekGills Member Member

    I used dr tims and stability and was cycled in 48 days. Although it would have been quicker had i raised the pH and temp at the beginning.