How many days until measurable ammonia?

outflying

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Hello,

I was wondering how many days it would take to get ammonia readings.  The LFS recommended 20 minnows for my 135 gallon to get the cycle started.  Although he only charged me for 20 there must be at least 35 in the tank.  It’s hard to count them because they are so active.  They have been in the tank since last Wednesday (5 full days).  My test kit came in the mail today so it’s the first time I’ve been able to test the water.  I have an ammonia reading of zero. 

Shouldn’t I have some ammonia by now?   ???
Especially with so many minnows???   ???

Thanks.
 

Luniyn

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How many times a day have you been feeding them? Also do they eat all the food in a minute or less? 135 Gal is a big tank, it wouldn't surprise me if you were feeding them lightly that it didn't have a reading yet. If you want to make it faster then feed them at least 2 times a day and over feed them a bit so some bits make it to the bottom of the tank. Of course this will lead to spikes in ammonia, which will most likely mean you will lose some fish in the process. If you actually are planning on coming out of this with all (or most) of the minnows alive by the end, then just keep going slowly so the ammonia gradually gets into the tank considering doing even a 10% water changes means a lot of buckets on that baby ;D. And yes I'm jealous
 
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outflying

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Wow!  Thanks for the fast response!  ;D

I’ve been feeding twice a day, as much as they can eat in 2 minutes. 

I’m thinking about returning the minnows and giving the biospira a try. 

Sad that a grown adult has so much trouble with patience. 
 

Luniyn

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outflying said:
Sad that a grown adult has so much trouble with patience.
LOL... ain't it the truth! I knew the dangers and still couldn't help getting various fish during my cycle. Got lucky and all are happy and healthy.

With the Bio-spira, make sure they have it in a refrigerator and if you have a long trip to your house in hot weather, you might want to bring an ice pack or something with you to keep them extra frosty. Also if you return the minnows make sure to get the hardiest of the fish that you actually want in your tank because the bio-spira needs fish in the tank to stay alive.

Now I've never used Bio-spira, but I was thinking about how to add it to the tank. I was thinking that if you have a hang on back filter that it would be best to dump it right into the filter so it goes through the bio layer first and foremost. Even if you have a canister filter pour it in next to the intake. That way hopefully a good portion can make camp right on your bio filter media and whatever doesn't grab hold will enter your tank anyway. No idea if this would work or not, but was just a train of thought I had when I was considering using the stuff.
 

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