Starting New Tank Soon - Cycling Question

excelsior

I picked up an aquarium yesterday and will be documenting the build with a new thread soon!

For the cycle, I was convinced by some helpful folks on here to not test my patience by doing a fishless, fish food only cycle and to use ammonium chloride solution and/or a nitrifying bacteria solution. I'm leaning towards using both and decided on the two below products.

Dr. Tim's Aquatics Ammonium Chloride Solution for Cycling Aquariums
-Reagent-grade ammonium chloride
-50 mg/L of total ammonia-nitrogen (TAN) concentration
-4 drops per-gallon equals 2 ppm ammonia-nitrogen
-Does not contain scents or other dangerous additives


Fritz Aquatics Fritz Zyme 7 Freshwater Nitrifying Bacteria for Aquariums
For new systems, dose 4oz (119 ml / ½ cup) per 10 US gallons (38 L). For established systems, use 2 oz (60 ml / ¼ cup) per 10 US gallons (38 L).

Two questions (may end up having a few more):
-In what order should I add in the two solutions above after filling the tank and using tap water conditioner?
-How much time in between adding the water conditioner, ammonium chloride, and nitrifying bacteria solutions?


Below are detailed instructions I found that answer my questions but figured I'd ask for some additional insight or feedback here.

The Process:
  • Day 1 – dose ammonia to 2 ppm ammonia-nitrogen [NH3-N] using our ammonium chloride [NOTE: do not expect your test kit to exactly read 2 ppm and it is not critical to get exactly 2 ppm. The key is to not add too much ammonia]. If using Nitrifying bacteria add it now
  • Day 2 – Measure ammonia and nitrite.
  • Day 3 – If ammonia and nitrite are below 1 ppm add more ammonia: four drops of ammonium chloride per gallon (check the label).
  • Days 4 & 5 – Measure ammonia and nitrite.
  • Day 6 – If ammonia and nitrite are below 1 ppm add 2 ppm ammonia. Four drops of our ammonium chloride per gallon.
  • Days 7 & 8 – Measure ammonia and nitrite. On the first measurement day (Day 2, 4, 5, 7 or 8) that BOTH ammonia and nitrite are both below 0.5 ppm (NH3-N or NO2-N) your tank is close to being cycled.
  • Now start to measure ammonia and nitrite every day.
  • When BOTH ammonia and nitrite are below 0.2 ppm (NH3-N or NO2-N), add another 2 ppm ammonia.
  • Continue to measure every day. When you can add 2 ppm ammonia and BOTH ammonia and nitrite are below 0.2 ppm (NH3-N or NO2-N) the next day your tank is cycled – congrats! You’re done!
  • Do a partial water change and add some fish.
 

FishDin

Yeah, that's it. I aggree that food only is less precise, will take longer and is hard to quantify

A couple of thoughts: Using the bacteria in a bottle does not always work. So if you don't get the results you expected, don't despair. The cycle will happen with or without the bottled bacteria. The bottle is simply a way to cycle quicker, when it works. Also, during the cycling process do not clean any thing, especially the filter. I wouldn't clean anything for a month or two. If you get algae or other undesirable stuff resist the urge to scrub things clean. If you don't have plants there is no need to cycle with a light on. It will only encourage algae growth.
 

MasterPython

Throw some food in there too. There are other bacteria besides the nitrifiers than can be useful.
 

Flyfisha

I agree with the instructions you have read and written in post #1. It’s very similar to what I might right except for the second to last line .

Quote
congrats! You’re done!”

excelsior it’s a small point but something you should have as an understanding now and for the rest of your fish keeping journey.
A cycle is never done. It’s not an on or off switch. It is a couple of colonies of living bacteria. They grow in numbers or reduce depending on the daily bio load (poop load). While they are hard to kill the colonies of bacteria are living things.

Should you have say 4 fish in a tank one day and then decide to add another 8 the bacteria will take time to grow in numbers. No big deal a couple of extra water changes over the next couple of weeks is all that is required. Adding more fish throws any tank into a mini cycle. All I am trying to say is a tank is never done.


I have no bottled bacteria in my house. Not since I brought a bottle in my first week and started my journey in the hobby.
 

Azedenkae

I picked up an aquarium yesterday and will be documenting the build with a new thread soon!

For the cycle, I was convinced by some helpful folks on here to not test my patience by doing a fishless, fish food only cycle and to use ammonium chloride solution and/or a nitrifying bacteria solution. I'm leaning towards using both and decided on the two below products.
I recommend against using fish food if you are going to dose ammonia. Ammonia-dosing is the superior method and fish food would most likely only hinder rather than help.
Dr. Tim's Aquatics Ammonium Chloride Solution for Cycling Aquariums
-Reagent-grade ammonium chloride
-50 mg/L of total ammonia-nitrogen (TAN) concentration
-4 drops per-gallon equals 2 ppm ammonia-nitrogen
-Does not contain scents or other dangerous additives


Fritz Aquatics Fritz Zyme 7 Freshwater Nitrifying Bacteria for Aquariums
For new systems, dose 4oz (119 ml / ½ cup) per 10 US gallons (38 L). For established systems, use 2 oz (60 ml / ¼ cup) per 10 US gallons (38 L).
I recommend using FritzZyme TurboStart 700, the concentrated version. It will work much better. It is more expensive though, so that is a consideration.
Two questions (may end up having a few more):
-In what order should I add in the two solutions above after filling the tank and using tap water conditioner?
-How much time in between adding the water conditioner, ammonium chloride, and nitrifying bacteria solutions?
So water conditioners work very quickly, you can give it like five minutes or so just to be sure.

I’d recommend dosing ammonia first and giving it half an hour or so to mix before measuring. This is to ensure in the event you somehow accidentally wayyyyyyyyy overdosed ammonia you can do a water change without removing bacteria that would have been added.

Once you get ammonia to where you want it to be, dose the bacteria.
Below are detailed instructions I found that answer my questions but figured I'd ask for some additional insight or feedback here.

The Process:
  • Day 1 – dose ammonia to 2 ppm ammonia-nitrogen [NH3-N] using our ammonium chloride [NOTE: do not expect your test kit to exactly read 2 ppm and it is not critical to get exactly 2 ppm. The key is to not add too much ammonia]. If using Nitrifying bacteria add it now
  • Day 2 – Measure ammonia and nitrite.
Sounds good so far.
  • Day 3 – If ammonia and nitrite are below 1 ppm add more ammonia: four drops of ammonium chloride per gallon (check the label).
  • Days 4 & 5 – Measure ammonia and nitrite.
  • Day 6 – If ammonia and nitrite are below 1 ppm add 2 ppm ammonia. Four drops of our ammonium chloride per gallon.
  • Days 7 & 8 – Measure ammonia and nitrite. On the first measurement day (Day 2, 4, 5, 7 or 8) that BOTH ammonia and nitrite are both below 0.5 ppm (NH3-N or NO2-N) your tank is close to being cycled.
  • Now start to measure ammonia and nitrite every day.
  • When BOTH ammonia and nitrite are below 0.2 ppm (NH3-N or NO2-N), add another 2 ppm ammonia.
  • Continue to measure every day. When you can add 2 ppm ammonia and BOTH ammonia and nitrite are below 0.2 ppm (NH3-N or NO2-N) the next day your tank is cycled – congrats! You’re done!
The dosing idea sounds good, specifically in that only re-dose ammonia when nitrite is below 1ppm. I’d recommend testing everyday however if you can, especially since you are using Fritz and things can work faster. And even more so if you decide to use FritzZyme TurboStart 700 instead of FritzZyme 7.
I’d suggest having the water change size be dependent on how much nitrate you actually see. If your nitrate is high, you could just do a massive or even 100% water change.
 

SparkyJones

to answer the pertinent questions,

1. you'd dose the ammonia first, this way the bacteria has something there to feed on when you dose that next. i don't think it really matters all that much, it's minutes differences, but it's the logical order.
2. you can wait as long as you want to, I find if dosing a whole tank, 10-20 minutes allows for the dosing to spread/mix through the tank into the filter and all that jazz, I don't think you want to just do 1,2,3, back to back for this reasoning, but people do it that way also. '

A question not asked, Yes, filter on the tank and running, when you do these steps.

fish food introduction while fishless cycling with ammonia, yeah you can do it, people do it, you don't need to do it though.
When it's cycled and you add fish, those fish will produce waste and poop, that poop will come with it's own seed bacteria from the fish's gut to break it down and build the colony to do that where the poop goes, in the substrate and eventually the filter also.
It's why fish in cycling worked for as long as it did and was the go to method for so long, the fish introduces everything to the tank.
Fishless ammonia cycling is superior because you don't have to watch out for the fish. Bacterial boosters (whether using a bottled product or a sponge from another tank) speed the process along. holding more bacteria than a fish could introduce at one time, or what would just occur from natural introduction from environment, but same result, some nitrifying bacteria setting up shop and multiplying to form a colony thats capable of processing the ammonia.
The fish can handle introducing and growing the decomposing bacteria strains after you have your nitrification cycle, you really don't even need them until you have fish anyways.
 

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