Fishless Cycle

Greener099

Hi, I need some advice please.

I started my fishless cycle on 3/6/21 started at 4ppm, in a Juwel190 tank, 9/6/21 it dropped to 2ppm so topped it back up to 4ppm, same on the 15/6/21, I started having Nitrite up until the 19/6/21 and now nothing, it seems to have gone back to 0 from 2.0, on the same day I had 20.0 Nitrate showing and now back to 0, is this normal or has something gone wrong? I'm new to all of these and need some advice. Many thanks.
 

Lucyn

It's a very good sign. It's a clear indicator that your cycle can properly process nitrates and if it maintains that way with added Ammonia, I'd say you're ready for fish. I will warn, though, makes sure to feed extremely lightly. Your cycle will be very weak and could crash at any moment, causing you to have mini cycles.
 
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Greener099

It's a very good sign. It's a clear indicator that your cycle can properly process nitrates and if it maintains that way with added Ammonia, I'd say you're ready for fish. I will warn, though, makes sure to feed extremely lightly. Your cycle will be very weak and could crash at any moment, causing you to have mini cycles.

Is it time for a water change now then or leave it as it is for the time being. I was worried about it being too soon to add fish as only been 19 days since set up and said it could take weeks.
 
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Lucyn

Is it time for a water change now then or leave it as it is for the time being. I was worried about it being too soon to add fish as only been 19 days since set up and said it could take weeks.
If you go the patient route, which I would advise for the upmost assurance that whatever fish you have will be safe, I would continue dosing ammonia and make sure your system is digesting it correctly. No water changes, but if you continue to see only nitrates for another 7-14 days (the longer you wait, the more potentially stable your cycle will be), I would water change down to 20 nitrates at that point and add fish.

If you get eager and decide to get fish immediately (which I wouldn't recommend), I would insure to feed extremely light. When I say light, I'm talking a small pinch every 2 to 3 days. Gradually increasing it over time and watching parameters closely (in which you should anyway). Best of luck, whatever you may decide!
 
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Greener099

If you go the patient route, which I would advise for the upmost assurance that whatever fish you have will be safe, I would continue dosing ammonia and make sure your system is digesting it correctly. No water changes, but if you continue to see only nitrates for another 7-14 days (the longer you wait, the more potentially stable your cycle will be), I would water change down to 20 nitrates at that point and add fish.

If you get eager and decide to get fish immediately (which I wouldn't recommend), I would insure to feed extremely light. When I say light, I'm talking a small pinch every 2 to 3 days. Gradually increasing it over time and watching parameters closely (in which you should anyway). Best of luck, whatever you may decide!
Thank you I will go with the patient way, as my other tank I was told I could add fish after a week and I lost 10 out of 14 fish within a couple of days so I want to get it correct this time.
 
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mattgirl

Welcome to Fishlore :)

Seeing the nitrites rise and then drop down to zero is what we want to see but is it possible the nitrate test isn't telling you the truth? What kind of test are you testing with? This cycle is moving fairly quick. You mentioned another tank. Is it cycled now and if so did you use media from it to jump start this cycle? that would explain the speed of this cycle.

Are you adding more ammonia each time it drops to zero? We want to keep the bacteria fed much like the fish would be doing if there were fish in this tank. The only difference is they do it constantly throughout the day and we add a days worth once a day once it starts going down to zero.
 
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Greener099

Welcome to Fishlore :)

Seeing the nitrites rise and then drop down to zero is what we want to see but is it possible the nitrate test isn't telling you the truth? What kind of test are you testing with? This cycle is moving fairly quick. You mentioned another tank. Is it cycled now and if so did you use media from it to jump start this cycle? that would explain the speed of this cycle.

Are you adding more ammonia each time it drops to zero? We want to keep the bacteria fed much like the fish would be doing if there were fish in this tank. The only difference is they do it constantly throughout the day and we add a days worth once a day once it starts going down to zero.
I have been using the NTLabs multi-test kit, no i started my new tank from scratch, as when I set it up I was still having trouble with my other tank but has all settled now and my 1 guppie and 3 mollies are now happy

When the ammonia drops I add more in to take it back up to 4ppm.
 
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mattgirl

I have been using the NTLabs multi-test kit, no i started my new tank from scratch, as when I set it up I was still having trouble with my other tank but has all settled now and my 1 guppie and 3 mollies are now happy

When the ammonia drops I add more in to take it back up to 4ppm.
How quickly does that much ammonia drop back down to zero or have you let it drop that low before adding more? If you aren't I will recommend you do so. Don't add it anymore often than every 24 hours though.

With a tank this size I normally recommend raising the ammonia up to 3ppm. 4 isn't a problem but growing that much bacteria may not be necessary. The more ammonia we add the longer it will take to grow enough bacteria to process it out. If you plan on heavily stocking this tank then go ahead and grow enough bacteria to process the 4ppm.

I have to wonder why your nitrates dropped from 20 back down to 0. That really is unusual this early in the cycling process. Some folks do grow the bacteria that removes or at least keeps the nitrates low but it normally doesn't happen this quickly.
 
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Greener099

How quickly does that much ammonia drop back down to zero or have you let it drop that low before adding more? If you aren't I will recommend you do so. Don't add it anymore often than every 24 hours though.

With a tank this size I normally recommend raising the ammonia up to 3ppm. 4 isn't a problem but growing that much bacteria may not be necessary. The more ammonia we add the longer it will take to grow enough bacteria to process it out. If you plan on heavily stocking this tank then go ahead and grow enough bacteria to process the 4ppm.

I have to wonder why your nitrates dropped from 20 back down to 0. That really is unusual this early in the cycling process. Some folks do grow the bacteria that removes or at least keeps the nitrates low but it normally doesn't happen this quickly.
I'm not too sure either, as since it's dropped back to 0 I haven't seen any more showing on results.

I haven't let it drop down to 0 yet I will do this now and then take it back up to 3ppm.

What would you recommend to stock the tank with once done, we want colour and more of a community tank than one species of fish.
 
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mattgirl

I'm not too sure either, as since it's dropped back to 0 I haven't seen any more showing on results.

I haven't let it drop down to 0 yet I will do this now and then take it back up to 3ppm.

What would you recommend to stock the tank with once done, we want colour and more of a community tank than one species of fish.
Since it's not rising I have to think to one reading was a false reading. Normally nitrates show up once nitrites spike and then start going down. Once that happens the nitrates gradually go up.

I am not very good at making recommendations when it comes to stocking but there are lots of folks here that will make suggestions. Once the tank is fully cycled start another thread specifically to ask that question so those that can help will see it. Or start one now so you can start making plans.
 
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Greener099

Since it's not rising I have to think to one reading was a false reading. Normally nitrates show up once nitrites spike and then start going down. Once that happens the nitrates gradually go up.

I am not very good at making recommendations when it comes to stocking but there are lots of folks here that will make suggestions. Once the tank is fully cycled start another thread specifically to ask that question so those that can help will see it. Or start one now so you can start making plans.
Thank you for your help
 
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Greener099

mattgirl i have another tank with 3 Mollies in and 1 Guppie and want to introduce them to out new tank when ready How's the best way of doing this?
 
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mattgirl

mattgirl i have another tank with 3 Mollies in and 1 Guppie and want to introduce them to out new tank when ready How's the best way of doing this?

Before I can answer this question I need to ask for more information. Are you planning on running both tanks or are you cycling this one so you can up grade your fishes space?

Are both tanks now fully cycled meaning no ammonia or nitrites in the smaller tank and the ammonia you add to the bigger tank is processing straight through to nitrates within 24 hours?

Are you seeing zero ammonia , 0 nitrites and some nitrates in both tanks?
 
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Greener099

Morning mattgirl in my smaller tank it's 0 on all three, new tank that I'm cycling is 0.5 ammonia, 0 Nitrite and 0 Nitrate on this mornings test results, topping the ammonia back up to 2ppm now and see what happens again. When will I know my tank is fully cycled started on 3/6/21. Thanks again.
 

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mattgirl

Have you seen any nitrites at all since you started these cycles? A fully cycled tank will have gone through a nitrite spike and will be showing some nitrates when the cycle is complete.

Did you add any kind of bottled bacteria to these tanks? Some folks report never seeing a nitrite spike when they have added some types of battled bacteria.

You will know the cycles are done in both tanks when you add ammonia and it is gone within 24 hours and you are seeing some nitrates. Seeing nitrates tells us you have both ammonia and nitrite eating bacteria in the tanks. Without both the cycle isn't complete.

Are you 100% confident in the reliability of the tests you are using? I really would expect to see some nitrites and nitrates by now.
 
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