In Process Of Fishless Cycling Need Some Help.

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by wapooshe, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. wapoosheValued MemberMember

    So I am about a week into my fishless cycle and its going great! Right now my water is cloudy and I assume this is a bacterial bloom, which means I'm cycling correctly i think. Anyways, Let me first say how i cycled.

    So First I put in my Top Fin Bacteria in a bottle. After De-Chlorinating water first. Then 2 days after I read on that Top Fin is not as good as TSS and read that one should do pure ammonia cycle. Instead I used Fish food to produce ammonia. Now I'm just waiting till water clears and I will go to my LFS for a water test to see if im cycled. What I'm wondering is did I do anything wrong? And also my Top Fin bacteria bottle is like a 1/5 full and i know im not going to be using it again, so is it ok just to dump the rest and go a bit over the recommended value or should i not put it in since i already have a bacteria bloom? Thanks for the Help :)
  2. OnTheFlyWell Known MemberMember

    What are your water test readings at this time? Without knowing any more details, avoid a future chemical experiment by adding too many products. I'd be tempted to do a large water change and check your numbers a day later.
  3. wapoosheValued MemberMember

    I don't have a kit and I won't be able to check unless I go to my lfs only about 5 blocks away. How many times a week would you say I should check my water? Also I read that in a fishless cycle water changes are unnecessary . I also probably wont add anything more.
  4. Lindsay83Valued MemberMember

    During a cycle - with or without fish, you need to check ammonia every day, and nitrite daily once ammonia starts to fall, otherwise there's no telling what stage you're at in the cycling process (a bacterial bloom is no indication), whether or not things are progressing as they should, or if something has stalled the cycle ( a pH crash, for example), or whether a water change is necessary or not.

    During a fishless cycle water changes may be needed if ammonia and/or nitrite get too high, or a pH crash results in the cycle stalling. Also, right at the end when ammonia and nitrite are 0, but nitrate is often through the roof.

    It is possible to cycle the tank using fish food, but you want a ball of the stuff suspended in the foot of a stocking, or a net. A pinch of fish food will take forever to cycle the tank.
  5. HerkimurWell Known MemberMember

    Fish food feeds heterotrophic bacteria while pure Ammonium Chloride feeds autotrophic bacteria.
    Fish food also promotes fungal growth.

    I've read though that the nitrobacter (Nitrites -->NitrAtes) need a small amount of food (as in cooked shrimp) to take off. Not sure if that is true.
  6. CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    Hi, welcome to the forum :)

    You really need your own test kit. Without one, you are kind of blind as to what is going on in your tank now and when you have fish. You can get the API master test kit for about $20 on amazon and it has hundreds of tests so is more economical over test strips.

    Fish food feeds both heterotrophic and autotrophic bacteria. The organics in the food feed the heterotrophs and the ammonia byproduct feeds the autotrophs which is why you can cycle with it.
    It can cause fungal growth though and never my first choice, a piece of dead shrimp would be even worse in that regard as it can lead to excess saprolegnia fungus in the tank.

    Nitrite to nitrates conversion requires phosphates and some people don't have enough in their tap water. In that case a small pinch of fish food is enough.
  7. wapoosheValued MemberMember

    Confused now, one says a pinch of fish food is good and another said I need a sock full hanging in a tank. Which one?
  8. el337Fishlore LegendMember

    If you're going to use fish food as your general ammonia source, it's best to keep it in a stocking/sock so you can remove it easily if the ammonia/nitrite get too high. It's not as messy either. I believe Cindi was referring to helping the nitrite conversion specifically when she says to add a pinch of fish food to the tank.

    The best ammonia source though would be to use pure ammonia. If you are in the U.S., Ace Hardware sells their brand of pure ammonia that many use to fishless cycle with. It's easier to dose than fish food and you can control how much ammonia is being produced.

    Have a read of this thread written up by @CindiL. It's a really helpful guide on how to fishless cycle with ammonia and a bacteria starter.

    Ammonia Instructions when Cycling with TSS+ or other Bacterial Starter
  9. wapoosheValued MemberMember

    thanks the link helped a lot too :)
  10. OnTheFlyWell Known MemberMember

    Do it once and go from there. You can't get any real advice with no water data. My good LFS is 45 minutes drive. Five blocks sounds really handy. Anyway, you have an unknown chemistry experiment going on at the moment. I'm truly not trying to be mean but you might get some useful advice with a little more info. It is impossible to know what is going on now. You may have massive ammonia, or maybe not.
  11. wapoosheValued MemberMember

    yeah ill def get my parameters tomorrow and then place em up for some better advice
  12. OnTheFlyWell Known MemberMember

    Sounds good. You can get meaningful advice with some water data. Be prepared to change out some water if your numbers are ridiculous. A fishless cycle done properly doesn't require that. You may or may not need to do it to get back on track and finish this in a reasonable time frame. Numbers have to be in a reasonable range to not stall a cycle. You may be just fine but nobody can know right now.