Help, fishless cycle guidance, I am so stuck

Zachsfishies

So I really need guidance I’m almost 3 weeks into my fishless cycle it’s a 75 gallon tank and I used dr Tim’s one and only and my ammonia source which was Fritz fishless fuel I stopped putting in ammonia because it was not doing anything but making my nitrates higher and higher and higher so where I Stand as of 20 min ago is ammonia 0 nitrites 1.0-2.0ppm and nitrates are 160+PPM I stopped dosing ammonia because all the fish aquarium people told me to STOP. Trying to more so figure out why my nitrites won’t go down (unless it takes more time) and why my nitrates are so dang high. HAVE LIVE PLANTS IN THERE AS WELL
 

LowConductivity

Change half your water.
Change half your water again.
Change half your water again, again.

redose ammonia to 2ppm. And test the next day
 

Bwood22

So I really need guidance I’m almost 3 weeks into my fishless cycle it’s a 75 gallon tank and I used dr Tim’s one and only and my ammonia source which was Fritz fishless fuel I stopped putting in ammonia because it was not doing anything but making my nitrates higher and higher and higher so where I Stand as of 20 min ago is ammonia 0 nitrites 1.0-2.0ppm and nitrates are 160+PPM I stopped dosing ammonia because all the fish aquarium people told me to STOP. Trying to more so figure out why my nitrites won’t go down (unless it takes more time) and why my nitrates are so dang high. HAVE LIVE PLANTS IN THERE AS WELL
Hey! Things are going great!

You're doing just fine.

You will need to keep dosing ammonia but i would wait 3 days between doses. There's no need to dose every day, especially when you are wanting to see your nitrite dropping.

How often are you changing water?
If you have been dosing a bunch of ammonia and all you have is 1-2ppm nitrite.....you're almost done.

Your nitrate is high because your ammonia turned into nitrite then into nitrate. More ammonia = more nitrate.

Dont be afraid to change some water if you want, or just wait it out because you are almost there.

I would change the water.....others might tell you not too but if you have that much nitrate then that means your nitrite is absolutely dropping. At this point changing water wont hurt a thing....I promise.

Change out half of your water....then wait for the remaining nitrite to dissapear....then change half of the water and then dose ammonia again.

Wait 3 days then repeat.

This will dilute those high nitrates and also finish out your cycle.
 

mattgirl

Welcome to Fishlore :)

I agree with the others. Although not totally necessary I would go ahead and change out at least half the water. That will lower both nitrites and nitrates and will also replenish depleted minerals.

Once the water change is done get the ammonia up to 2ppm. At this point in the cycle I do recommend adding ammonia every other day instead of daily. It isn't unusual for it to take more time than you expect for the nitrites to drop. It will happen though and may happen faster by doing the water change at this point in the cycle.
 

Zachsfishies

I’m
Hey! Things are going great!

You're doing just fine.

You will need to keep dosing ammonia but i would wait 3 days between doses. There's no need to dose every day, especially when you are wanting to see your nitrite dropping.

How often are you changing water?
If you have been dosing a bunch of ammonia and all you have is 1-2ppm nitrite.....you're almost done.

Your nitrate is high because your ammonia turned into nitrite then into nitrate. More ammonia = more nitrate.

Dont be afraid to change some water if you want, or just wait it out because you are almost there.

I would change the water.....others might tell you not too but if you have that much nitrate then that means your nitrite is absolutely dropping. At this point changing water wont hurt a thing....I promise.

Change out half of your water....then wait for the remaining nitrite to dissapear....then change half of the water and then dose ammonia again.

Wait 3 days then repeat.

This will dilute those high nitrates and also finish out your cycle.
done with the ammonia why would I change all the water just to screw up the nitrates again I’m just gonna change out 25% a day of water tell all the test clear up
 

Bwood22

I’m

done with the ammonia why would I change all the water just to screw up the nitrates again I’m just gonna change out 25% a day of water tell all the test clear up

You're never "done" with ammonia. You will need a constant supply of ammonia in your tank from now on. The ammonia is food source for a strain of nitrifying bacteria called nitrosomonas. They need to eat. They will eventually starve and die off if they go for a long time without food. You don't want them to die....you need them. That's why you are growing them.

Once your cycle is complete, the source of ammonia changes from that bottle of DrTims to the fish that you add. All fish that breathe and poop are a source of constant ammonia for those bacteria.

All of the ammonia that you (or your fish) add to the water is ultimately getting converted to nitrate and your nitrate will build up over time at which point you must dilute these nitrates (remove them from the tank) by changing water. I'm not sure what you mean when you think that you are going to "screw up" your nitrates....thats not a thing....its ok to get rid of nitrates, you're supposed to. We all do it.
Having too much nitrate (regardless of how many plants you have) is not good. Your tank will get nasty things growing in it, your PH will crash, your water will cloud up and you will have lots of algae.

Since your cycle is not complete, I would dilute the nitrates (below 40ppm is ideal) and then dose your ammonia back up. Your cycle isn't done just because the nitrite dissapears. Or you change enough water that your "tests clear up".

Your cycle is complete when you dose 2ppm of ammonia and 24 hours later your ammonia and nitrite levels are both 0ppm. This will happen because the bacteria that you are growing will have grown to a point that it can efficiently process all of that ammonia and nitrite in 1 day.

You are not there yet and you won't get there if you stop dosing ammonia. So keep adding it, just don't do it every day. Every 2-3 days is fine.

Always dose the ammonia after you change the water.
 

devsi

You're never "done" with ammonia. You will need a constant supply of ammonia in your tank from now on.
Sorry to be "that guy", but needing a constant supply of ammonia is a fact that is highly contested.

There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that shows the bacteria can live for weeks without a food supply, as it goes into a sleep state.

There have also been scientific studies that show it can be starved for years in certain circumstances (https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/biochemistry1922/124/4/124_4_811/_article/-char/ja/)
 

Bwood22

‍ yes....I know. But he said that he was gonna "change water until his tests clear up."

Help me out here bro.

Im trying to help this guy get fish in his tank without testing the limits of microbe starvation.
He's so close.
 

devsi

‍♂️ yes....I know. But he said that he was gonna "change water until his tests clear up."

Help me out here bro.

Im trying to help this guy get fish in his tank without testing the limits of microbe starvation.
He's so close.

Wasn't trying to be difficult, but I've seen people suggest that a constant supply of Ammonia is needed before and the person has then gone on the dose Ammonia with fish in the tank because they've misunderstood. Thankfully, not on here, but I have one other sites.

Wasn't attempting to call anybody out, just wanted to clarify and ensure that wasn't going to happen here.

I could have worded that response so that was clearer :)
 

Bwood22

Wasn't trying to be difficult, but I've seen people suggest that a constant supply of Ammonia is needed before and the person has then gone on the dose Ammonia with fish in the tank because they've misunderstood. Thankfully, not on here, but I have one other sites.

Wasn't attempting to call anybody out, just wanted to clarify and ensure that wasn't going to happen here.

I could have worded that response so that was clearer :)
No, I get it.....really I do.

I feed my quarantine tank every 10 to 14 days and it does just fine. But its been set up for years.

But i wouldn't be so relaxed about it when cycling a new tank.
 

devsi

No, I get it.....really I do.

I feed my quarantine tank every 10 to 14 days and it does just fine. But its been set up for years.

But i wouldn't be so relaxed about it when cycling a new tank.

Of course :) I probably should have just kept my nose out, I guess I just got concerned and remembered the last time a similar conversation happened.

Sorry about that!
 

mattgirl

I’m

done with the ammonia why would I change all the water just to screw up the nitrates again I’m just gonna change out 25% a day of water tell all the test clear up
I'm not sure I understand what you mean when you say screw up the nitrates. You are not going to do that. Nitrates are simply the waste product left behind after the bacteria has finished eating. When fish are in the tank producing ammonia the nitrates will be constantly going up. We keep them down by doing our weekly water changes.

The big water change to lower the nitrates isn't going to affect your cycle in a negative way as long as you add your water conditioner to remove any chlorine present in your source water. Seeing nitrates is a sign that you have both ammonia and nitrite eating bacteria. The amount of nitrates isn't important since it is just waste.

We know a fishless cycle is done when we can add ammonia and 24 hours later we see 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and some nitrates. At this point in your cycle adding ammonia every other day will keep things moving forward.

ammonia, nitrites and nitrates are all waste or poop if you will. Ammonia is fish poop, nitrites are ammonia eating bacteria poop. Nitrates are nitrite eating bacteria poop. The 2 kinds of bacteria keep ammonia and nitrites at a constant zero. Since most of us never grow the bacteria that eats nitrates we keep them low with water changes.
 

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