Fishless Cycling Question

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by not4you, Mar 2, 2006.

  1. not4youValued MemberMember

    So my two fishless tanks are cycling quite nicely. Both are readily consuming ammonia and I found out today my nitrites are through the roof and have been for quite some time. I'm doing changing water in both tanks to get down the nitrites and while refilling the 10 gallon I treated the water with Amquel Plus. I meant to treat the water with just a dechlor (Tetra Aquasafe) but forget. Will the Amquel inhibit the bacteria from consuming ammonia and nitrite?

    Since it's just a 10 gallon I'm thinking I might just drain it, refill and treat with just the dechlor when I'm done filling the 55 unless anyone thinks it'll be fine as is?

    Let me know what you think...

  2. vinWell Known MemberMember

    Since your doing a fishless cycle, there's no need to add the Amquell+.....Just dechlorinate the water, monitor the levels and let nature do the rest......Are you adding any fish food to help the cycle along? All you need is a pinch here or there....Or, you can grab a handful of gravel from an established tank, put it in a clean nylon stocking and let that bacteria colonize.....Other than that, I think you're just wasting money on the Amquell+ at this point.......

    What are your nitrates reading? That's the stuff that will break down both ammonia and nitrite......
  3. not4youValued MemberMember

    I'm been adding ammonia to feed the bacteria and I didn't mean to add the Amquel, I want to know if I should drain it and refill and treat with just dechlor? Or will the bacteria still be able to consume the ammonia and nitrite even though it's been treated with Amquel Plus?
  4. vinWell Known MemberMember

    I wouldn't empty it as you'd just be starting over. Eventually the Amquell + will wear off or become diluted as you do water changes....I'm not sure why you're adding ammonia when it looks as though you already have another established tank that you can

    a. Borrow gravel from - or-
    b. Snip a small piece of your filter media and add it to your new one.

    Both of these would serve you better to establish your bacteria in the long run.

    I think the Amquell+ will neutralize, but not eliminate the ammonia or nitrites....Once it wears off it will release whatever it locks up......
  5. not4youValued MemberMember

    vin, I'm not starting over by removing the water, all of the bacteria will still be in the filter media/gravel/decorations. The tanks have been cycling since 2/19 and I have seeded the tanks with a lot gravel my 20 gallon.

    I'm at the point where the ammonia --> nitrite bacteria are rolling but the nitrite --> nitrate bacteria aren't doing much. My nitrite levels before the MWC's was soooooooo far off the scale that it was probably hurting the growth of the nitrite --> nitrate bacteria.

    Anyway, I drained the 10 gallon and refilled treating with just dechlor. I'm about add some more ammonia to keep things going.
  6. vinWell Known MemberMember

    I see what you're saying now. I guess I just wasn't clear....However, with that said - if you add too much ammonia it will not allow the bacteria to bloom from the gravel you've added....I had that happen to me. The ammonia skyrocketed to 8.0, the pH bottomed out as a result and the cycle stopped altogether....Not until I did a wholesale waterchange - 65% was I able to get the ammonia back down to 4.0 and the rest of the cycle kicked in.
  7. not4youValued MemberMember

    gotcha, I was (am) in a similar problem. My pH bottomed out as well but the tank was still eating plenty of ammonia and honestly I thought the nitrite test was still reading under 5ppm.

    I now know this was completely wrong. I diluted some cycling water and tested for nitrites and it was the same color. I diluted more (10x) and still the same color. So then and there I decided to drain the tanks and refill.

    After refilling both tanks now of have 0 ammonia (feeding more ammonia now) and nitrite .25 :eek: soooo much better :) That's after about a 98% water change!!! I wonder what the ppm value actually was, maybe it was in the part per thousand readings 8)
  8. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    Since your doing fishless cycling why are you even changing water? theres nothing in there to hurt if any of the readings are high. Just let it cycle on through.;)
  9. not4youValued MemberMember

    I changed the water because my nitrite readings were waaay off the chart and I wanted to bring them down to levels that are readable on the test kit color chart. I diluted the tank water by 10 and was still getting the same color from the nitrite test. Like I said before after a super massive water change the nitrite level is now .25 which is now readable on the color chart and with the continual ammonia feedings I should now be able to see a nitrite spike.

    Plus I've read that a really high nitrite reading can inhibit bacteria growth.

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