Fishless Cycle

Mb3864

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Thanks for the help in advance!

Just getting back into the hobby after a 10 year hiatus... going with a fishless cycle with added bacteria and liquid ammonia on my 120 gallon

Currently on day 10 of the cycle... for the last 2 days 3ppm of ammonia can be converted to 0, with 0 detectable nitrites within 12 hours. Current nitrate readings only show about 5ppm though.

The tank did have an addition of Dr Tims One and Only on day 1, and Seachem Stability has been dosed according to instructions for the last 7 days.

I did see a reading of .25ppm of nitrite on day 6... no detectable nitrite readings since.

Tank has been running at 82 degrees, ph 8.1, kh 7, gh 12 (it will be an African cichlid tank)... 1.5 inch substrate or mixed aragonite and crushed coral... filtered by an fx6 and fx4 with an additional power head for full surface agitation.

It seems as though I am cycled... was looking for extra opinions though?

thanks again!
 
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Mb3864

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I’ll up the ammonia dosage...

should note that ammonia, nitrite and nitrate are all 0’s out of the tap...

Any chance we think this tank is actually cycled this quickly?
 
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Mb3864

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I’ll try that... appreciate the help!

Assuming the bottled bacteria is most likely responsible for me not really seeing an sort of nitrite spike? Additionally, do they have enough anaerobic bacteria spores to produce that low of a nitrate value?
 
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Mb3864

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Dosed 6ppm Ammonia right after you mentioned it last night... those are the results about 10 hours later.

Nitrate is a little tricky to see... but looks to be in that 5-10ppm range. Still wondering where they are all going... unless by some miracle I have built up that much anaerobic bacteria already. No plants of any kind are in the tank and I have yet to do a water change.

Thanks again!
 

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Lordofwar

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Api test kit for Nitrate is somewhat dicey. Would suggest to please shake the nitrate 2 bottle for good 1 minute prior transferring the droplets. Also bang it twice/thrice on a surface. Alternatively do exactly as it states in the manual.

Hope this helps. Welcome back.
 
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Mb3864

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I’ve been beating the heck out of it...

The only strange thing... the first nitrate bottle turns the test an amber color, which I know people have had issues with before. It does settle to that orange color in the appropriate time frame.

Curious if my nitrates are just off the chart high and maybe that’s the reason?
 

Lordofwar

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How much is the KH please? There may be possibility that nitrate is off the scale. Till date approx. How much ammonia you may have poured into the tank?
 
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Mb3864

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Kh runs 6-7... currently 7 this morning...

Day 12 of cycle is today...

ammonia was added on day 1, 8, 9 (this was the morning of the to 0 from 3 ppm), 10 & 11...

3 ppm was added the first4 times... dosed about 6 ppm last night... so... a total of 18ppm I’d say... nitrates should be off the chart high (assuming I have 0 anaerobic bacteria to eat them). PH has held consistently between 8-8.2.

I did dose Dr. Tims one and only on day 1... also completed a 7 day cycle of Seachem Stability...
 

Lordofwar

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Keep an eye on kh it will drop all of a sudden & may create imbalance in the cycle. Happened with me couple of weeks ago. I would recommend to perform a water change around 40% as nitrates are off the scale. Thats my personal opinion.
 

mattgirl

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It may just be my monitor but that seems to be a strange color for nitrates. I am actually seeing kinda brown. I don't think this tank has processed enough ammonia for the nitrates to be off the chart. If it was we would be seeing a deep red in the test tube. Others have reported faulty bottles of nitrate testing solution. If is possible that is the case here.

I do have to think adding Dr Tim's one and only first and a week of Stability has sped up the cycling process in this tank since it is processing the ammonia so quickly. Using bottled bacteria does tend to get some folks through the nitrite spike much quicker than tanks without it so it is possible that this tank is in fact cycled. Since it processed 6ppm ammonia down to zero within 10 hours and nitrites are still zero pretty well affirms that to be true.
 
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Mb3864

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So... general consensus is that we think the tank is cycled?
If so... fish cannot go in until this coming Wednesday...
So... just continue dosing daily 3-4ppm ammonia and a 50% water change Tuesday?

thanks for all of the replies!
 

StarGirl

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mattgirl said:
It may just be my monitor but that seems to be a strange color for nitrates. I am actually seeing kinda brown. I don't think this tank has processed enough ammonia for the nitrates to be off the chart. If it was we would be seeing a deep red in the test tube. Others have reported faulty bottles of nitrate testing solution. If is possible that is the case here.

I do have to think adding Dr Tim's one and only first and a week of Stability has sped up the cycling process in this tank since it is processing the ammonia so quickly. Using bottled bacteria does tend to get some folks through the nitrite spike much quicker than tanks without it so it is possible that this tank is in fact cycled. Since it processed 6ppm ammonia down to zero within 10 hours and nitrites are still zero pretty well affirms that to be true.
Hey look he has a bunk Nitrate green liquid test too. It still works but mine is not as brown/ green as his. Its not in the danger zone. Looks to be 10-20 to me.
 
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Mb3864

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Yea... hard to tell in the picture for sure... but... somewhere in that 5-20 range once it does settle... did a side by side comparison with the ammonia test.

thanks again... happy to be back in such a helpful community!
 

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