Lesson Learned

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chughes737

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Fishless Cycle Lessons Learned

My Fishless Cycle experience:

Well it's obvious as I look at my data but too bad I didn't realize it until it was too late and I wiped out and rebooted my cycle twice within the span of a week.. I never got a large NO3 spike yet I assumed my tank was cycled based on NO2 at 0..

anyway here's my data so far and I have learned a lot in this process, which is still continuing...here's my Excel sheet for those who might wish to use it or learn from my newbie mistakes



http://depositfiles.com/files/b2oo16fel
 
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Lucy

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Can you post them here rather than asking members to download a file?

How did you wipe out your cycle twice?
 
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chughes737

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I tried to but the forum didn't like .xlsx Excel files only .xls and my data is too formatted in Excel 2007 to make any sense in a text format but I'll give it a shot

Date ToF Ammonia NH3/NH4+ pH HR pH Nitrite NO2 Nitrate NO3 GH KH H20 Clarity Filter Type/Cond Notes
4/11 81 7 * 8.8 0 0 * 125 95% Charcoal/New Some Minor Particulate in H20 - Fishless Cycle
4/21 81 7 * 8.8 0 0 * 125 80% Charcoal
4/25 82 7 * 8.8 0 0 * 125 65% Charcoal Increased Temp Slightly
4/25 81 7 * 8.7 0 0 * 125 95% Charcoal Did 50% H20 Change, then 65 %, Water was Yellowing
4/25 82 5 * 8.6 0 0 * 125 110% Charcoal Ammonia stable lower, pH came down slightly. Did KH test, okay values. Water crystal clear.
4/27 86 4.5 * 8.5 0 0 * 125 100% Charcoal Temp and Aeration Increased to help bacteria. Added Nova +, for Chlorine elimination and water conditioning
4/28 84 4.5 * 8.1 0 0 * 125 100% Charcoal Looks like Ammonia starting to lessen along with pH
5/1 86 4 * 8 0.5 0 * 107 80% Charcoal Process finally starting, bacteria growth from Nitrite levels apparent..added more Ammonia
5/2 86 5 * 8 1 5 * 107 80% Charcoal Ist Nitrate test…starting NO3 production
5/3 84 0 * 7.8 1 8 * 89 65% Charcoal Ammonia gone!!! Added more to feed Bacteria
5/4 86 0 * 8.8 1.2 15 * 71.6 45% Charcoal Very Cloudy, Nitrate Building, added more Ammonia
5/5 86 0 * 7.8 1 15 * 71.6 40% Charcoal
5/5 86 7 * 8.8 0.5 15 * 71.6 75% Charcoal May have stalled cycle…Added TOO MUCH Ammonia, about 6 teaspoons. Did a 50% water change and will test again tonight to see where ammonia levels are
5/5 84 2 * 8.4 1 5 * 71.6 90% Charcoal Another 75% water change, got Ammonia down and nitrites picking back up
5/6 84 0 * 7.9 1 5 * 71.6 95% Charcoal Added small amount of ammonia
5/9 88 0 * 7.6 0.5 10 * 90% Charcoal pH more neutral, water clearing up on own, Nitrite falling
5/10 84 0 7.4 * 0 10 * 53.7 90% Charcoal TANK CYCLED (False Alarm), changing water tonight
5/12 84 0 * 7.8 1 5 * 89.5 80% Charcoal Jumped the gun on the Tank cycle ….was getting a 0 Nitrite reading and did a 80% water change. Seemed to stall tank. Setback cycle…NO3 bacteria weren't present enough to continue. Next time wait more time after NO2 =0
5/15 84 0 * 7.8 0.15 8 * 71.6 80% Charcoal Added HydroSponge III
5/16 82 0 7.2 * 0 10 * * 80% Charcoal 25% Water Change
5/17 79 0 7.2 * 0 8 * 71.6 80% Charcoal Tank Is Cycled (False Alarm #2) - Large Water Change 80%. Added more substrate and NH3. Cycle seems to have rebooted in the middle somewhere. Getting around 1.0 now on NO2 and NO3 is back down to 5ppm. I think Iost a good portion of bacteria with the water change
5/18 84 0 * 7.6 0.75 8 * 89.5 80% Rinsed Charcoal Cycle seems to be going better. NO2 falling and NO3 holding but not rising yet. Key I found is waiting for the big NO3 spike in the 50-80 range…NEED TO SEE REDDISH ORANGE…then do a smaller 20% change
 
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chughes737

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I wiped it out by jumping the gun and doing large water changes before my NO3 bacteria really took hold...not sure what I was thinking looking back...guess I was excited to see the NO2 drop to 0 and any increase in NO3 seemed okay..

A lot of people have said

NH3 = 0, NO2 = 0, NO3 = + anything and your cycled...I tend to disagree now and would really wait for a large spike to make sure the colonies are setup and not just getting established
 

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The bacteria isn't free floating, it adheres to surfaces.

It may be that your ammonia is too high.
While we can use ammonia to cycle, remember we also use ammonia around the house to kill bacteria.
Personally, I prefer the add and wait method.
 
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