Fishless Cycling Questions

  1. djfbaby01 Member Member

    So I've only been at it for a couple of days. I added the ammonia about 2 days ago and at first it was around 5-6ppm and now it's at about 4ppm after testing today. I haven't added any since I started. Should I add more or just wait until it gets lower. I was a little confused at this point. I also just for the heck of it tested for nitrites but that was at 0ppm. I have live plants in there so I didn't know if maybe they were using some of the ammonia.
     
  2. jdhef Moderator Moderator Member

    Live plants will use up some ammonia, so that's probably why your ammonia level dropped.

    For a fishless cycle, keep the ammonia level at 4ppm until nitrites finally appear (probably about 3 weeks). Once nitrites appear keep the ammonia level at 2ppm until nitrites zero out and nitrates start to rise. Once you have some nitrates, 0ppm nitrites and are processing the 2ppm of ammonia in 24 hours, you're cycled.
     

  3. Lyfeoffishing Well Known Member Member

    Wait till it drops to 1ppm or lower. When I did my cycle it only took me three week to complete my cycle (moderately planted) and I completely missed my nitrite stage.
     

  4. djfbaby01 Member Member

    I checked today and the ammonia is at about 3ppm. Should I continue to wait until it drops more or add more ammonia? Also would adding alittle amount of water hurt anything? I added about a cup just to top off the water since it was getting lower.
     

  5. Lyfeoffishing Well Known Member Member

    Wait till it drops adding water won't hurt anything. My tank is moderately planted and I had to do water changes during my cycle to get snail poop out of the tank and I cycled just fine.
     
  6. djfbaby01 Member Member

    Ok I'll leave it alone until it drops more.
     
  7. fishingdeep Member Member

    Oh yea, when did the plants get involved ..... keep feeding your tank until you see 0,0 and nitrates, and then feed it more until you add fish and do a water change
     
  8. djfbaby01 Member Member

    The plants have been there since setup. That was the most recent test.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. jdhef Moderator Moderator Member

    If it were me, I would try to keep it at 4ppm until nitrites appear. So I would bump it up. A lower ammonia level will lead to less bacteria (But too high an ammonia level will inhibit bacteria growth). So 4 seems to be the magic number.
     
  10. djfbaby01 Member Member

    I just added a little more ammonia. Gonna test once I think it's gotten a chance to circulate in the aquarium. Still no sign of nitrites.
     
  11. djfbaby01 Member Member

    Would it help or harm by adding items from an established aquarium?
     
  12. jdhef Moderator Moderator Member

    I'm not sure how much it would help, but it certainly will not harm to add items from an established tank. But if you could add some filter media from an established tank to your filter, that would help for sure.
     
  13. djfbaby01 Member Member

    [​IMG]

    So I still have some ammonia but I've also got some nitrites and nitrates.
     
  14. djfbaby01 Member Member

    Should I continue to add ammonia? It was around 1-2ppm but I added a small amount to bring it up a bit. But I guess it's good that I finally have nitrites and nitrates.
     
  15. Marie1 Well Known Member Member

    Keep the ammonia at 2ppm until the nitrites are gone. Then when you can get the ammonia to drop from 2ppm to 0 in 24 hours,after the nitrites are gone, you are ready for fish. Do a large water change first though.
     
  16. djfbaby01 Member Member

    So far the ammonia is at about 2-4ppm and the nitrates are still the same. But the nitrites have gone up a bit.
     
  17. Marie1 Well Known Member Member

    Things seem to be going as they should be. Now hurry up and wait for it to finish ;)
     
  18. djfbaby01 Member Member

    Ok so the nitrites are around .50 ppm. They don't look to be 1.0 ppm. The nitrates are around 40-80ppm. The ammonia is at 0. Should I do anything at this point? Add a little more ammonia?
     
  19. Lyfeoffishing Well Known Member Member

    Add some ammonia you want both ammo and nitrites to be 0. Also you want the tank to eat 2-4ppm ammo in 24 hours depending how heavy you will stock right away
     
  20. djfbaby01 Member Member

    Ok I'll add more ammonia