question about fishless cyclee

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genie

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As some of you know I am cycling my 33 gal fishless-- this is my first attempt to cycle this way.

Questions: Can you add too much ammonia?
Will it hurt to add a "bio enhancer" that isn't Bio-Spira?
My ammonia is like 4+, shouldn't I have Nitrites already?

Sorry for all of the questions-- please help.
 

COBettaCouple

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Genie.. does your tank have a pleasing aroma to it? We're trying our first fishless cycling right now as well using flakes and shrimp pellets and just last night moved it out to the back porch to give it added warmth (we read warmer temps help the process along and don't have a heater in it yet - on order from DFS.).

I have to do a testing today, but 2 days ago had 1.0 for ammonia & 1.0 for nitrites & 0 to 5 for nitrates. Perhaps the spikes and all flow differently depending on the fishless method employed?
 

Butterfly

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Genie- no you can't put too much ammonia in, but after a certain point more won't help either.
a "bio" enhancer won't hurt anything but most have mixed results. some people like them some don't. I can't say as I've never used them.
My memory fails me sometimes and this is one of those times- I don't remember how long you've been cycling your tank. I would say with an ammonia reading that high Nitrites should be along soon.
don't worry about the questions- Never be afraid to ask them. Hope that helped.
Carol
 
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genie

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Well, I was cycliing with fish-- they all died, so I decided to add ammonia and go fishless. Total time is almost 2 months, but time with just ammonia is a little over 2 weeks.
I feel like I have done something wrong since it is taking so long. I wish I could get my hands on some Bio Spira, but the shipping is just too much for me. I want to rescue another betta, I can't do that until this thing is cycled! I also want some more cories since all of mine died... they are the coolest fish!
 

Gunnie

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I have read that adding excessive ammonia can sometimes stall the cycle, but I don't know if this is correct. I have never done a fishless cycle, but have read that you keep the ammonia level at 4 or 5 each day by adding the required amount of ammonia. The nitrites should be kicking in shortly.
 

Luniyn

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Like Butterfly mentioned, you can't have too much ammonia when cycling fishless, but you don't need to try for a certain level. In fact once you get enough good bacteria to start eating the ammonia, you won't be able to keep that level without adding a lot more ammonia then you need. Just keep the level constant. If you are using pure ammonia, just do a set amount of drops each day. With flakes, just keep adding a few flakes every 12 hours and you will be fine. And yes you will see high readings for a while before you get to the next step of seeing nitrites, and that's normal just keep the ammonia constant. And remember to keep the ammonia constant even when you get a reading of 0 ammonia but still have nitrites. If you stop adding ammonia, then the good bacteria that eat it will die. Once those die then there won't be any nitrites in the tank and the good bacteria that eat that will die. Thats when you have to start all over.

As for a bio-enhancement besides bio-spira, anything that doesn't have to be refrigerated is the wrong type of good bacteria and won't stick around to help in the long run. Just let the cycle proceed as normal and it will happen in time. And, yeah I have a problem with being patient too ;D.
 

COBettaCouple

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I am not feeling patient either.. i'm tempted to dump a whole can of fish food in to try to push the cycle, but i'm pretty sure it doesn't go that way. i started wed. and have got the ammonia spike (4.0 today) now, but have had a 1.0 on nitrites since the 1st test - is this a problem? I also have 5.0 on nitrates.. is my cycle in trouble or does this sound like i'm doing ok?
 
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genie

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Sounds like you are ahead of me! It won't be long now.
 

COBettaCouple

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Genie said:
Sounds like you are ahead of me! It won't be long now.
well, we really need it to cycle in less than 2 more weeks with that Betta show coming..
 
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genie

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I am sure that the betta fairy will help you cycle in time! ;D
 

COBettaCouple

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if the betta fairy has their attitude, she'll probably wait until i give her some bloodworms and then flare at me and swim off.
 

Luniyn

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With all the tanks you have, did you cut out a piece of an old filter and put it into the new tank? That would really help you along. And no I'm sorry, adding a whole bucket of ammonia to your tank wouldn't help it go any faster. It's not the amount of ammonia that help the cycle along, it's the rate at which new bacteria are added. And at 15 hours per new colony, it just takes time.
 

COBettaCouple

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no, we wanted to use this tank to see how long it would take us without any help to do a fishless cycle (and we may ask some newbie questions as we proceed down this new method (to us) of cycling a tank).

Then we found out about the Betta show and I thought about some seeding from our established tanks, but then Genie brought up the Mahachai Bettas and now i want to find out if we could somehow get a breeding pair of those so we're back to not needing the tank in a hurry and I can continue charting the progress for better understanding & experience of the cycle.
 
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