Fishless cycling

Laichyee

Hi all! Hope things are going well. I have got a question about my fishless cycling.


Tank: 20 gallon high
Light: 15 W Led turned on for 5 hours per day
Plants: 2 anubias and1 bunch of java ferns
Testkit: API master test kit
I am currently carrying out my fishless cycling. I had dosed ammonia bicarbonate as a substitute for pure ammonia(my country we cant get access to pure ammonia).

Day1: I dosed at up to 4ppm(around there). Readings were what you will expect: 0 for nitrite and nitrates

Day2: Readings were: 4ppm(ish)still. and added nitrying bacteria as per directions on bottle. Readings were 0 for nitrite and nitrate

Day3: No test carried out but continued bacteria dosing

Day5: Readings: Ammonia still 4ppm ish ,Nitrite at 0.25 ppm while nitrate is at 0

Day6: Readings: Ammonia still 4ppm ish, Nitrite at 0 ppm, Nitrate is showing 5.0 ppm

Is there something wrong with my cycling? is it too early to be showing signs of nitrate, while i don't see significant drop in ammonia while nitrite is at 0 level.

please advise. thank you in advance.
 

Freefallinglove

Nothing wrong, you just have more bacteria converting nitrite to nitrate then you do ammonia to nitrite. It happens. Just continue what you're doing.
 

Laichyee

Nothing wrong, you just have more bacteria converting nitrite to nitrate then you do ammonia to nitrite. It happens. Just continue what you're doing.

Yes sir yes!
 

Laichyee

Hi, so after few weeks of wait.

These are my current reading:

Ammonia: close to 0
Nitrite: 5.0ppm
Nitrate: 10 to 20 ppm

I have only does my ammonia source(ammonia bicarbonate) for once during my first day of cycle.

So now that that my ammonia is nearing 0, do I still add more ammonia bicarbonate to top it up to 4.0(or lesser?). I have read that i only can dose more ammonia only when both my nitrite and ammonia hits the 0.25ppm.

Any opinions?
 

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Sorg67

My opinion is to continue modest ammonia dosage 0.5 to 1.0 ppm per day and do water changes to keep nitrites from getting too high. Some people say keeping nitrites down is not necessary. Dr Tim is an expert in cycling. He advocates keeping nitrites below 5 ppm during cycling. With the API test, I have difficulty telling the difference between 2 ppm and off the charts. All looks similar purple to me.

In my first cycle, I kept dosing ammonia sufficient to keep it at 2 ppm. My nitrites were off the charts. Ultimately my tank stopped processing ammonia. This is exactly what Dr Tim predicts happens with high nitrites. I did water changes to reduce nitrites, ammonia started processing again and my cycle finished. Since then, I have cycled five more tanks doing water changes as needed to keep nitrites below 2 ppm and they all went quickly and smoothly. So I am a believer in keeping nitrites reasonable.

You can good Dr Tim and you will find his cycling advice on his website. I think that is a reliable resource for cycling information. Everything you get here from people like me is just the opinion of somebody you have no idea whether they know what they are talking about. Before you form you own opinion, you should consider the rationale behind multiple opinions and check multiple sources.

There is a lot of great information on forums like this. But there is also a lot of mis information. You have to sort through it a apply some common sense to find the truth.

Www.drtimsaquatics.com
 

Laichyee

My opinion is to continue modest ammonia dosage 0.5 to 1.0 ppm per day and do water changes to keep nitrites from getting too high. Some people say keeping nitrites down is not necessary. Dr Tim is an expert in cycling. He advocates keeping nitrites below 5 ppm during cycling. With the API test, I have difficulty telling the difference between 2 ppm and off the charts. All looks similar purple to me.

In my first cycle, I kept dosing ammonia sufficient to keep it at 2 ppm. My nitrites were off the charts. Ultimately my tank stopped processing ammonia. This is exactly what Dr Tim predicts happens with high nitrites. I did water changes to reduce nitrites, ammonia started processing again and my cycle finished. Since then, I have cycled five more tanks doing water changes as needed to keep nitrites below 2 ppm and they all went quickly and smoothly. So I am a believer in keeping nitrites reasonable.

You can good Dr Tim and you will find his cycling advice on his website. I think that is a reliable resource for cycling information. Everything you get here from people like me is just the opinion of somebody you have no idea whether they know what they are talking about. Before you form you own opinion, you should consider the rationale behind multiple opinions and check multiple sources.

There is a lot of great information on forums like this. But there is also a lot of mis information. You have to sort through it a apply some common sense to find the truth.

Www.drtimsaquatics.com

Hey as advised, did a 1/4 water change and dosed a bit more ammonia.

I think my tank has more bacteria turning the ammonia into nitrite than the bacteria turning nitrite into nitrate.

Now just have to wait for nitrites to go down quickly.

Thanks!
 

Laichyee

Hi an update! Now i have a 0 - 0.25 ppm reading on my ammonia. (my initial tapwater has about the same reading as well, it didn't show me a pure yellow color). My nitrite is an obvious light blue at 0ppm and my nitrate is at the 10 to 20 ppm area. Am i close to finishing my cycle. I had just dosed my ammonia to about 1.0 ppm to see if my tank is able to process it within 24 hours. or should I up it to 4.0 ppm?
 

Sorg67

I think my tank has more bacteria turning the ammonia into nitrite than the bacteria turning nitrite into nitrate.
This is normal. The bacteria that converts ammonia into nitrite replicates about twice as fast as the bacteria that converts nitrites into nitrates.

Hi an update! Now i have a 0 - 0.25 ppm reading on my ammonia. (my initial tapwater has about the same reading as well, it didn't show me a pure yellow color). My nitrite is an obvious light blue at 0ppm and my nitrate is at the 10 to 20 ppm area. Am i close to finishing my cycle. I had just dosed my ammonia to about 1.0 ppm to see if my tank is able to process it within 24 hours. or should I up it to 4.0 ppm?
I have gone to 1 ppm in 24 hours and then stocked lightly and it has worked fine for me. However, the standard guideline is to convert 2 to 4 ppm in 24 hours. That seems excessive to me, but I have little experience to base that opinion on.

So whether you want to build it up a bit or call it good now depends on how heavily you intend to stock initially and whether you are willing to risk a mini cycle.

A mini cycle is when your stocking exceeds the capacity of your biofilter and causes an accumulation of ammonia and or nitrites. The biofilter then has to build up to meet the stocking needs. I have never had one.
 

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