Help! I think I’ve confused myself. Question 

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Christin825

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So , back on August 8th I set up my 29 again . Got the water in it, and cranked the heater to 82. I waited till the next morning to start my fishless cycle . I added 58 drops of dr.tims ammonia along with his bacteria. The levels in the tank for ammonia were exactly 5ppm , ive followed the method to the T dropping and adding , and waiting . My ammonia has been dropping good every time I spike it from 1 ppm everything was reading perfect as it should and after two months I finally see my nitrite almost over night fall to 0 yet the ammonia is supposed to drop 4ppms in 12 hours .. It’s been two months and the ammonia when spiked to 4 ppms takes two days to drop yet my nitrite is 0 and nitrate is off the charts .. I’m aware the nitrite spike takes twice as long ..yet it’s done but ammonia isn’t ?? Is that possible??. so what have I done to make this backwards mess? Can I just drain 70% and start with my hardies like Rasboras and tetras and just watch my ppms and change when necessary?? I know I’ve done something wrong I’m I’m just at my limit with waiting it out ...HELP ! -christin
 

vyrille

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As far as i understood it, i don't think you need a full 4ppm drop to zero in 12 hrs for ammonia. As far as I'm aware, a good measure is 1ppm ammonia dropping to zero in 24hrs, 4ppm to zero is too much imo, as you won't accumulate that much ammonia naturally (hopefully)!
 

abbytherookiehuman

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Live plants can be beneficial by sucking up some of the icky stuff plus your fish will love them. I think vyrille was right about 1 ppm in 24 hours. What fish were you originally planning on?
 

Sorg67

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Thanks for posting your experience Christin. I would be curious to hear more about the details of your experience. I am at the beginning of a similar process and I have read about processes similar to yours. But I have not heard anybody actual experience with such a process. I would enjoy hearing about it.

Also, I have had some difficulty being confident that I am reading my test results accurately. I had read that I should target 4 ppm, but recently on this site, I have been advised that 2 ppm is enough. Particularly if I am going to stock slowly.

Thanks for sharing and good luck.
 
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Christin825

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Ammonia Instructions For A Fishless Cycle - Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle 19627

this is the actual article I started my journey with and went for the 4ppm , however last night I dropped 1ppm to 0, in 12 hours . I think I kinda stressed myself out at this point but I see the light . I’m assuming the 4ppm to 0 in 12 is for a max bioload ,as far as what I’m looking to stock - 6-7 Rasboras hets. 5-6 neons , 5-6 Cories and I have always wanted an angel!! So definitely my show boy.. I’m used to doing betta scapes I have 3 tanksrunning now that I shoulda just used the media from but I wanted to try a new way .
So you think I’m good to go with the draining and addiction of fish ? Maybe just the tetras and ras to start ?
 

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when you use bottled bacteria, the nitrite bacteria are added immediately and grow at the same time as the ammonia bacteria, as opposed to natural cycling where the ammonia bacteria has to grow enough to start producing nitrite then the nitrite bacteria starts growing.

do a large water change and add some fish. you're good to go.
 
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Christin825

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Yay!!! Im so ready ! So start with some hardies how long should I wait before I can add more? Do you think it would be OK to add the Rasbora and Tetras at the same time?
 

GumYu

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i would do 1 group at a time, just to not overload the beneficial bacteria.

if you're parameters are still 0,0, <20 after a week, you can add another group.
 

Morpheus1967

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I would add the rasboras and tetras at the same time, no problem at all. I would wait a bit on the corys.
 
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Christin825

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Thank you for the great advice , looks like I’ll be going fish shopping tomorrow!
 

Momgoose56

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Christin825 said:
Ammonia Instructions For A Fishless Cycle - Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle 19627

this is the actual article I started my journey with and went for the 4ppm , however last night I dropped 1ppm to 0, in 12 hours . I think I kinda stressed myself out at this point but I see the light . I’m assuming the 4ppm to 0 in 12 is for a max bioload ,as far as what I’m looking to stock - 6-7 Rasboras hets. 5-6 neons , 5-6 Cories and I have always wanted an angel!! So definitely my show boy.. I’m used to doing betta scapes I have 3 tanksrunning now that I shoulda just used the media from but I wanted to try a new way .
So you think I’m good to go with the draining and addiction of fish ? Maybe just the tetras and ras to start ?
At 4ppm nitrosomonas replication can slow, above that it can halt and bacteria may even begin to die off. No tank (except maybe an overstocked pirahana tank) produces over 2 ppm ammonia a day. Good starting ammonia level (first dose) is 4ppm. Then maintain 2ppm until nitrites appear, then drop dosing to 1 ppm. Watch nitrite and keep that level at 2ppm or lower with water changes.
Just my 2 cents.
 
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Christin825

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Well at this point it is processing the ammonia so assume it hasn’t all died . I was gonna go in with two schools of hardies and see how the system handled it and just keep an eye on ppm till it stabilizes

I think the original article I pulled my knowledge from upon starting was trying to allow for the full addition of fish . Essentially the filigree was supposed to build up enough to handle even the highest of load but I think it’s what prolonged all of this
 

Momgoose56

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Christin825 said:
Well at this point it is processing the ammonia so assume it hasn’t all died . I was gonna go in with two schools of hardies and see how the system handled it and just keep an eye on ppm till it stabilizes
If your tank is processing 2ppm ammonia in 24 hours and your nitrites are staying at 0ppm, you can fully stock your tank. I understand your caution tho. Either way is fine. I cycled my last tank (125 g) in December to process 2ppm ammonia and a couple days later added 32 fish (cichlids, a catfish and rainbowfish) plus a 6" common pleco and never had a trace of ammonia.
Good job!
 

vyrille

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Yeah in dealing with live organisms sometimes there is simply no certainty. Even if you did manage to have your nitrifying bacteria to process 4ppm of ammonia a day (or in 12 hrs, even), if your stock doesn't produce that much ammonia anyway, the excess bacteria will simply die off for lack of food. momgoose has a good benchmark at 2ppm per day; personally I'll even go as low as 1ppm (with certain precautions in place). All that said, common consensus is your tank seems adequately cycled as it is. Just do a water change to remove nitrates and you're good to go! Good luck and happy fishkeeping!
 
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Christin825

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So I did a 70% change on the aquarium , yesterday, then added 7 rasboras and 6 neon tetras around 10 am. Today I checked ppms and it’s reading .50 ammonia , 0nitrite , 20 nitrate. Should I do another change and kinda rinse the filter media ??? I cleaned the gravel super good still algae on the decor.
 

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vyrille

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Christin825 said:
So I did a 70% change on the aquarium , yesterday, then added 7 rasboras and 6 neon tetras around 10 am. Today I checked ppms and it’s reading .50 ammonia , 0nitrite , 20 nitrate. Should I do another change and kinda rinse the filter media ??? I cleaned the gravel super good still algae on the decor.
When starting your stocking you don't want to really clean your gravel and decor just yet, as some of the beneficial bacteria live there too, and, as you have a freshly cycled tank, you don't want to upset the balance too much this early on. so with a 0.50 ammonia, yes, do a 50% water change and dose prime if you have it.
 
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Christin825

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I cleaned the gravel really good but nothing else , I know my tap has slight ammonia already I took out about 30% even though I know you said 50% just to see what it would do possibly take out more tomorrow after a test .

Wishing I hadn’t now! Upon taking out the water I didn’t actually sip on anything just drained
 

vyrille

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Christin825 said:
Wishing I hadn’t now! Upon taking out the water I didn’t actually sip on anything just drained
Would you elaborate what you mean by this?

How's your water now? Again, don't clean up your gravel, decor, or filter just yet, give it at least 2 weeks. Feed sparingly so gunk doesn't build up too quickly, the fish won't starve.
 
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Christin825

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Well I can’t undo what had already been done but I haven’t done anything further . I was under the impression you had to wait 24hrs to check ppm after a water change and the ammonia in the tank is harmless due to the conditioner up until that point and api test kit can’t read the difference
 

StarGirl15

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If you have prime in the water just test it again tomorrow. If it is still a little high change some water only and add some prime to it. It was probably a small spike due to the new fish. I bet its fine tomorrow. If not water change! :p
 
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