Question on cycling tank

RDcompton03

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I see frequently here on the board people recommending to others that they do large water changes to reduce ammonia during the cycling of tanks. In a fish in cycle that makes some since to prevent the ammonia from getting higher than the fish can tolerate. However in a fishless cycle it would seem that all that does is delay the cycle. Leaving the ammonia in the tank leads to the growth of more bacteria which is the goal. Why not just let the tank work through the cycle without water changes? When ammonia goes to 0 do a change just before the fish go in if your nitrates have gotten too high. Ammonia during cycle is a good thing why do water changes?
 

JenC

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Ammonia is needed but it's said that very high levels can slow progress. When water changes are suggested it's not because the concentration is 3 or 4 ppm; it's that sometimes people have 8 or 10+ ppm. That's just not needed and will result in high nitrites and nitrates as it converts.

Everyone does it differently but my limits are 5 ppm for ammonia and nitrite and nitrate on the chart. Anything above that and I'll do a PWC to get them under those levels.
 

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