Middle of fishless cycle question

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by maestro159, Mar 28, 2010.

  1. maestro159

    maestro159New MemberMember

    History and parameters:
    Temperature: 75 deg
    Ammonia: .25ppm
    Nitrite: 5+ ppm
    Nitrate: Haven't checked in a while but at last test it was relatively low ~ 20ppm
    pH: 8.2

    About 6 weeks ago after an exhaustive search for a suitable bottle of ammonia and not finding anything I started my fishless cycle with fish food. Two weeks ago I finally got a nitrite reading and have been off the charts since while ammonia has been dropping.

    My concern now is that without a way to actively control the ammonia level it will get too low and the bb colony will suffer. So should I do anything differently? Ultimately I am planning on keeping tetras and cory cats. Now that I have some bb could I get a few fish and gradually get more while keeping an eye on my parameters? Or should I stay the course and wait for ammonia and nitrite levels to drop to zero?
  2. Lucy

    LucyModeratorModerator Member

    Welcome to FishLore!!
    Looks like you're doing great! Keep adding a pinch of food to keep the bacteria fed.
    No fish yet, be patient, your ammonia and especially your nitrite level is extremely toxic.

    Hang in there! Good luck. :)
  3. OP

    maestro159New MemberMember

    Alright thank you.
    When the cycle does finish how many fish should I add at a time? I am planning on adding them one school at a time 6-8 fish with a week or two in between. Will this be ok or should i add them 1-2 fish at a time?
  4. Lucy

    LucyModeratorModerator Member

    I know people recommend 3-4, however if you're dealing with a schooling fish, it might be best to go ahead and add the whole school to try and cut down on 'outcasts'
    ;) That's just my opinion.
    Keep an eye on the parameters for a couple of weeks.
    Any sign of ammonia do water changes until the cycle gets back on track.

    If they aren't schooling fish, 3 or 4 should be fine depending on the fish and it's bio-load.

    Use the 2 weeks between adding fish as a quarantine time for new fish :)
  5. jdhef

    jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    I might try to put in half the school wait a 10 to 14 days then add the second half.