When should I see ammonia readings?

  1. jglove276

    jglove276 Valued Member Member

    Im only 3 days in my first fishless tank cycle. My ? is when should I expect to see a rise in ammonia. I have been adding fish food (flakes and pellets) twice a day. Is it to soon to be looking for ammonia? If so any idea when. I understand there is no magic number just looking for a general idea to make sure im on the right track. As of right now I have no readings in ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate the water temp is about 75 and my Ph is 7.5. Oh and the water is slightly cloudy.
  2. iloveengl

    iloveengl Well Known Member Member

    Well, I'm not certain of a time exactly, but I would imagine you'll have something in the next few days; you could add another pinch more than what you're doing now to help speed it up. The bacteria bloom is a good sign!
  3. Bubba the Gump

    Bubba the Gump Valued Member Member

    try using actual ammonia 100 percent ammonia i find it at ace hardware, it must contain no surfectant, thatll jumpstart your cycle much faster than sprinkling in fish food thats just gonna make a mess and produce algae growth,
  4. Aquarist

    Aquarist Fishlore Legend Member

    Hello Jglove. If you want to continue to use food then I recommend putting some in a mesh bag or "never seen soap" nylon hose. It will help to prevent making such a mess in your tank. Too, you can add more into the bag than just a pinch. Try it and see. You could also add a raw shrimp to the mesh bag.
    I wish I could give you a time frame but...
    Best of luck for a speedy cycle.
  5. OP

    jglove276 Valued Member Member

    Speaking of mess when the time comes to add fish should I do a cleaning and water change prior to adding the fish or after they are established. The tank is already messy from the food I already put in.
  6. iloveengl

    iloveengl Well Known Member Member

    I would do a big pwc before. The gravel/decor and filter media hold the vast majority of the bacteria, so changing the water will help make it nice and sparkly without losing the cycle. :)
  7. f

    flyin-lowe Well Known Member Member

    With no fish I don't think it would hurt to crank your heater up. Ive been told warmer water will cycle faster.
  8. MizRamzi

    MizRamzi Well Known Member Member

    +1 on the raw shrimp~it's actually cleaner then using fish food~with your size tank you could use a jumbo shrimp~as it decays your ammonia levels will go up~fish food will develop mold on it~yucky!
  9. Lucy

    Lucy Moderator Moderator Member

    Fish food is a very messy way to cycle. You'll probably need to do a thorough gravel vac to get the left over and probably moldy food out.
    I kept an empty tank cycled that way. When I was ready to add fish, I had to break the tank down. Luckily, I didn't lose the cycle in the process.

    Good luck!