What stage in the Cycle am I in?

Ir3land
Member
Hi everyone! I’ve been trying to do a fishless cycle with my 36 gallon planted tank, but I’m a little stuck on what to do next. The tank has been cycling since about March 17th. I’ve been using APIs Master test kit and recently got some weird readings from it. Last week I had about 0.5 ppm for Ammonia and 0.25 ppm for nitrite. Just today I’ve tested again and included nitrates, but the thing is now I only have 0.25 ppm for ammonia and 0 ppm for nitrite. But I do have 5.0 ppm for nitrate. Ive been putting fish flakes in to help ammonia, as well as tetra start and today I did put in aqueons bacteria start ball thingys. I’m just a little confused and need help. Down below is a photo of today’s results.
 
jtjgg
Member
the color on my screen looks like .5, 0, 0

you'll want to add more fish flakes, you want to start out with around 4ppm ammonia. once nitrite spike to like 5ppm, you can reduce ammonia to 1 or 2 ppm.

also, the plants are consuming some of the ammonia.
 
AggressiveAquatics
Member
Your going to need more ammonia. I’d really recommend pure ammonia (made for fish tanks) because it helps so much more
 
  • Thread Starter
Ir3land
Member
jtjgg said:
the color on my screen looks like .5, 0, 0

you'll want to add more fish flakes, you want to start out with around 4ppm ammonia. once nitrite spike to like 5ppm, you can reduce ammonia to 1 or 2 ppm.

also, the plants are consuming some of the ammonia.
Yeah the nitrate looks a bit off in the photo. I’ll definitely add more! And I didn’t even think about the plants stunting the cycle, thank you so much!
AggressiveAquatics said:
Your going to need more ammonia. I’d really recommend pure ammonia (made for fish tanks) because it helps so much more
I’ve been hearing about that! I’ve heard most people use Dr. Tim’s? I’ll definitely see if I can get some, thanks!
 
mattgirl
Member
Contrary to popular opinion we can cycle a tank by only using fish food as our ammonia source. We really don't have to get the ammonia up to a specific level. When we fishless cycle we are trying to replicate what will happen once fish are in our tanks. We are basically ghost feeding the tank

Once we have fish they eat the food and produce ammonia. When there are no fish the fish food decomposes and forms ammonia. Either way there is an ammonia source to feed the bacteria.

This tank is still early in the cycle. It isn't unusual at all for it to take up to 6 weeks to complete the cycle. If I were you I would continue ghost feeding the tank and just give it time to complete the cycle. You may need to adjust the amount of food you are feeding or if possible put a piece of raw shrimp in there. It should quickly raise the ammonia level and kick this cycle into high gear. Remove the shrimp once the ammonia level reaches 2 or 3ppm. When the ammonia drops down close to zero add another piece of shrimp.

I recommend removing the shrimp once the ammonia level rises and replacing it as needed simply because if you don't the tank may not have a very pleasant odor.
 
  • Thread Starter
Ir3land
Member
mattgirl said:
Contrary to popular opinion we can cycle a tank by only using fish food as our ammonia source. We really don't have to get the ammonia up to a specific level. When we fishless cycle we are trying to replicate what will happen once fish are in our tanks. We are basically ghost feeding the tank

Once we have fish they eat the food and produce ammonia. When there are no fish the fish food decomposes and forms ammonia. Either way there is an ammonia source to feed the bacteria.

This tank is still early in the cycle. It isn't unusual at all for it to take up to 6 weeks to complete the cycle. If I were you I would continue ghost feeding the tank and just give it time to complete the cycle. You may need to adjust the amount of food you are feeding or if possible put a piece of raw shrimp in there. It should quickly raise the ammonia level and kick this cycle into high gear. Remove the shrimp once the ammonia level reaches 2 or 3ppm. When the ammonia drops down close to zero add another piece of shrimp.

I recommend removing the shrimp once the ammonia level rises and replacing it as needed simply because if you don't the tank may not have a very pleasant odor.
Woah, that actually makes a lot of sense now that I think about it that way. And I’ve also heard about the shrimp method as well! Ill see if I can try that as well and still continue the fish food method. Thank you so much!
 
mattgirl
Member
Ir3land said:
Woah, that actually makes a lot of sense now that I think about it that way. And I’ve also heard about the shrimp method as well! Ill see if I can try that as well and still continue the fish food method. Thank you so much!
You are so very welcome

Please stick around and let us know how it is going. I love reading happy endings.
 
  • Thread Starter
Ir3land
Member
mattgirl said:
You are so very welcome

Please stick around and let us know how it is going. I love reading happy endings.
For sure! Thanks again
 
  • Thread Starter
Ir3land
Member
Hi everyone! A bit of an update, I let the tank sit for a while and I got a high nitrite reading
I started to use fish pellet food instead of flakes so that must’ve helped a lot!
 
mattgirl
Member
Ir3land said:
Hi everyone! A bit of an update, I let the tank sit for a while and I got a high nitrite reading
I started to use fish pellet food instead of flakes so that must’ve helped a lot!
I love seeing progress. Changing from flakes to pellets may have made a difference but it may have also just time for the nitrites to spike. Are you seeing a rise in nitrates yet? They normally start rising once nitrites rise and start going down so it may be a few more days before you see them going up from the baseline you were seeing early in the cycle.
 
  • Thread Starter
Ir3land
Member
Hi everyone! A bit of an update, I let the tank sit for a while and I got a high nitrite reading
I started to use fish pellet food instead of flakes so that must’ve helped a lot!
mattgirl said:
I love seeing progress. Changing from flakes to pellets may have made a difference but it may have also just time for the nitrites to spike. Are you seeing a rise in nitrates yet? They normally start rising once nitrites rise and start going down so it may be a few more days before you see them going up from the baseline you were seeing early in the cycle.
Me too! And it could be both honestly. And I got a photo with all three just now! And compared to the last photo in this thread it seems to have rised
 
mattgirl
Member
Ir3land said:
Me too! And it could be both honestly. And I got a photo with all three just now! And compared to the last photo in this thread it seems to have rised
This is good news. Seeing the nitrates going up means the nitrite eating bacteria is starting to grow.
 
  • Thread Starter
Ir3land
Member
mattgirl said:
This is good news. Seeing the nitrates going up means the nitrite eating bacteria is starting to grow.
Hooray! . I’ll keep an eye on the tank and let y’all know when it’s completed it’s cycle!
 
  • Thread Starter
Ir3land
Member
Update!
Compared to the last post I made the ammonia’s definitely having a spike of sorts. Nitrites seems to have increase as well as Nitrates. Thinking about adding some bacteria in a bottle to help with eating that ammonia but I honestly have no idea if I should, thoughts?
 
jtjgg
Member
the nitrite phase usually takes about 3 weeks. you're almost done.
 
  • Thread Starter
Ir3land
Member
jtjgg said:
the nitrite phase usually takes about 3 weeks. you're almost done.
Oh gotcha! And hooray! Thanks
 
mattgirl
Member
Ir3land said:
Update!
Compared to the last post I made the ammonia’s definitely having a spike of sorts. Nitrites seems to have increase as well as Nitrates. Thinking about adding some bacteria in a bottle to help with eating that ammonia but I honestly have no idea if I should, thoughts?
If you have not done one since starting this cycle I am going to recommend a 50% water change. We know you have both ammonia and nitrite eating bacteria because you are seeing nitrates. Personally I would not add any bottled bacteria at this point since you already have what the bottled bacteria is supposed to contain. The water change should lower both ammonia and nitrites and will also replace the minerals that will get depleted during the cycling process.

Be sure you temp match and add your dechlorinater to the fresh water before pouring it in there. Don't clean any thing in the tank. Bacteria is growing on all the surfaces in your tank. Just dip or siphon the water out. The bacteria isn't free floating in the water so removing it isn't going to be removing any bacteria.

It is very possible both ammonia and nitrites will drop to zero a day or two after the water change. If not in a day or two it should happen soon.
 
  • Thread Starter
Ir3land
Member
mattgirl said:
If you have not done one since starting this cycle I am going to recommend a 50% water change. We know you have both ammonia and nitrite eating bacteria because you are seeing nitrates. Personally I would not add any bottled bacteria at this point since you already have what the bottled bacteria is supposed to contain. The water change should lower both ammonia and nitrites and will also replace the minerals that will get depleted during the cycling process.

Be sure you temp match and add your dechlorinater to the fresh water before pouring it in there. Don't clean any thing in the tank. Bacteria is growing on all the surfaces in your tank. Just dip or siphon the water out. The bacteria isn't free floating in the water so removing it isn't going to be removing any bacteria.

It is very possible both ammonia and nitrites will drop to zero a day or two after the water change. If not in a day or two it should happen soon.
Oh perfect! I was wondering about when I should do that, and I haven’t done any water changes at all to this tank, I’ll definitely do so! Thanks so much
 
mattgirl
Member
Ir3land said:
Oh perfect! I was wondering about when I should do that, and I haven’t done any water changes at all to this tank, I’ll definitely do so! Thanks so much
You are so very welcome. Looking forward to doing the happy dance with you when you see 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites.
 
  • Thread Starter
Ir3land
Member
mattgirl said:
You are so very welcome. Looking forward to doing the happy dance with you when you see 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites.
You read my mind!
 
Patman0519
Member
Ir3land said:
Hi everyone! I’ve been trying to do a fishless cycle with my 36 gallon planted tank, but I’m a little stuck on what to do next. The tank has been cycling since about March 17th. I’ve been using APIs Master test kit and recently got some weird readings from it. Last week I had about 0.5 ppm for Ammonia and 0.25 ppm for nitrite. Just today I’ve tested again and included nitrates, but the thing is now I only have 0.25 ppm for ammonia and 0 ppm for nitrite. But I do have 5.0 ppm for nitrate. Ive been putting fish flakes in to help ammonia, as well as tetra start and today I did put in aqueons bacteria start ball thingys. I’m just a little confused and need help. Down below is a photo of today’s results.
Get 3 gold fish,throw them in,let them kick start the cycle then pull them,stock the tank return the goldfish to petco,that's how I start mine off..cycles in about 3 weeks.
 
  • Thread Starter
Ir3land
Member
Patman0519 said:
Get 3 gold fish,throw them in,let them kick start the cycle then pull them,stock the tank return the goldfish to petco,that's how I start mine off..cycles in about 3 weeks.
I suppose that’s one way to do it
 
Patman0519
Member
Ir3land said:
I suppose that’s one way to do it
I tried fishless,never had luck,tried kick start with my stock,bad idea.
Gold fish are stout stubborn fish,on top of bred in captivity they are almost indestructable lol.
 
mattgirl
Member
Ir3land said:
I suppose that’s one way to do it
Thankfully your cycle is almost done now
 
  • Thread Starter
Ir3land
Member
Patman0519 said:
I tried fishless,never had luck,tried kick start with my stock,bad idea.
Gold fish are stout stubborn fish,on top of bred in captivity they are almost indestructable lol.
Dang I’m sorry bro! And I’ve heard Goldfish are pretty hardy, which is best for fish cycling, so I imagine that would be the best option, along with frequent testing and water changing
mattgirl said:
Thankfully your cycle is almost done now
Yes! Exactly what I like to hear
 
  • Thread Starter
Ir3land
Member
Hi fish friends! Some updates on the cycle. I did a 50% water change last Wednesday, but I kinda did it in a awkward way. It was getting super late by the time I emptied out some of the water so I ended up putting the filter into a bucket of tank water for the night. I hoped that I would still save the bacteria and by some later tests it seems like it did thank goodness. I tested the water Monday (First Photo) and just now today (Second Photo). Not much change yet but I’m assuming it’s my anticipation kicking in. Also I tested the pH! I plan on adding some driftwood after it cycles so it’ll probably decrease a little more.
 
  • Thread Starter
Ir3land
Member
Hey guys! I got some good news :). I tested parameters last night and it looks like a lot of the ammonia is gone! I’m assuming what’s happening is that it’s being turned into Nitrite hence the high level of it, but it’s getting so close :D
 
jtjgg
Member
that's great.

go ahead and do a 50% water change and dose the ammonia to around 2ppm.
 
  • Thread Starter
Ir3land
Member
jtjgg said:
that's great.

go ahead and do a 50% water change and dose the ammonia to around 2ppm.
Alrighty!
 
  • Thread Starter
Ir3land
Member
Hi fellas! Just did a 50% water change last night and results seem to look the same. Do I need to wait for like a day to see the correct parameters or should I do another water change? All I know is that I’m so close!
 
mattgirl
Member
Ir3land said:
Hi fellas! Just did a 50% water change last night and results seem to look the same. Do I need to wait for like a day to see the correct parameters or should I do another water change? All I know is that I’m so close!
No need to do another water change at this point. You need to keep feeding the bacteria. When the ammonia drops to zero add it again. The nitrites will drop even though it seems it is never going to happen. :)
 
  • Thread Starter
Ir3land
Member
mattgirl said:
No need to do another water change at this point. You need to keep feeding the bacteria. When the ammonia drops to zero add it again. The nitrites will drop even though it seems it is never going to happen. :)
Alrighty! Thanks again :D
 
  • Thread Starter
Ir3land
Member
LETS GOOOOOOOOOO!
I’ll be adding a single swordtail and a small school of Tetras from my 10 Gal to their permanent home :). I think the bioload should be too much from them. I might try to scrub off some of the algae that’s accumulated. If anybody has tips on what to do next I would love the advice. Thanks so much for your help fish friends, y’all have helped me a ton :D
 

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