Fishless cycling

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molson622

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I understand the reason for wanting to cycle fishless. I certainly don't want to cause any harm to my fish.. nor do I want to worry about disease down the road. So with that in mind I want curious how long I should expect the 3rd option to take (using 100% pure ammonia drops) in my 12-gallon tank. Obviously I am eager to get started, but I also would like to have a rough idea of what to expect. I didn't see anything in the article about this.

The article does say that one the cycle has started I can add 1-2 fish, but I don't think it would be healthy to have fish in the water when I'm adding pure ammonia drops. Perhaps halfway into the cycle when the number of drops added decreases.

And finally.. does the master test kit come with the parameters values I should be expecting? (I.E. - Levels of Ammonia to expect, nitrates, nitrites, pH, etc..).

Thanks again for all the help.
 

atmmachine816

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I haven't done it the way you have but you shouldn't add any fish until it's completely cycled so don't add them halfway through. And yes the test kit comes with the values.

Good luck and be patient

atm
 

JMatt1983

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i have never used pure ammonia either, but if you're eager to get started, i've heard that bio-spira works really well
 

chickadee

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That is the only Fishless Cycle method I have used other than using Bio-spira.  It takes about 10 days to get an initial cycle, but then you have to be careful not to overload or it will throw you into a mini-cycle as it is not full blown until it has a chance to develop a bit more, but you are going to have that with ANY method you choose. 

Start with 6 drops of ammonia per day for 12 gallons and test for ammonia every day
On the 3rd day you start testing for nitrites as well, if they are present then cut down to 4 drops of ammonia a day
Keep testing for ammonia and nitrites until the readings are ammonia 0 and nitrites 0 and there are nitrates present.
Do a 30% water change and Test for nitrates (should be under 20)
The cycle is completed for 1 to 2 fish.  Wait a week and do a 25% water change and you can add 1-2 more fish.
Continue doing 25% water changes every week and testing the water for ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates.  You can add 1-2 fish a week until the tank has a full complement of fish.

I know that the way most of you want to do it is go out and buy a full tank of fish and start out but you will cause your cycle to never finish if you overload.  It will take weeks if not a couple of months to have a tank that is ammonia free and you may lose fish.  (almost gauranteed)

If you want an instant cycle the only way is Bio-spira and even then you have to stock your tank slowly or the bacteria will not be able to keep up.

Rose
 

atmmachine816

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chickadee

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Yes that would be a good way as long as you have a friend with a tank that you can trust to be a good healthy tank. A lot of us do not have that option, I do not even know anyone who has a tank at the moment...other than on this forum.

Rose
 

atmmachine816

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Or if you already have a tank setup. Works really good, though like Rose said most people don't have that option.

atm
 

JMatt1983

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thats the option i chose for my new 20 gallon, i took out one of the filter bags from my other tank and put it behind the filter pads in my new one
 

ewolfe315

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Definetly go the ammonia route,it's so much easier. It took my 55 gallon tank nearly 2 to 3 months to cycle with fish in it(bad mistake on my part). Plus it was over loaded with fish.

When I did my 120 gallon tank it only took just over 2 weeks, I think it was 16 days, but I cheated. I have 2 huge cannister filters on it and then around the 8th day I added a HOB filter to it from my 55 gallon tank. So I already had a huge jump on the cycling process just from the HOB filter.

As soon as I seen there were no ammonia and nitrite levels, I did a 50 per cent water change and started adding the fish from the 55 into it. Now I did'nt add all of them but a good amount of them.

Now my 55 gallon is home to 2 discus along with other community fish and as soon as they get bigger they'll be moving into the 120 gallon.

But by all means use the AMMONIA cycle process.
 

chickadee

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Let me say that if you already have a cycled tank, using the filter media from a cycled filter is the absolute BEST way of doing the cycle process as it is an instant cycle. BUT since there are many of us who do not have the options of doing it this way, of the options in the Fishless Cycle section, I have to agree that the Ammonia method is cleaner and faster than any of the others. No rotten fish, shrimp, fish food or other stuff in the tank and the time spent waiting for these things to produe ammonia is done away with because you start out with ammonia already.

Happy Cycle!

Rose
 
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