The Fishless Cycle - Page 4 - Aquarium Forum
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post #61 of 83 (permalink) Old 05-10-2013, 08:45 AM
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Re: The Fishless Cycle

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cleaned all the filters and even bio wheels, I cannot get the ammonia levels below 8ppm.
I still have no plants or fish in tank.
I understand completely and unless you cleaned your filters and bio wheels in old tank water you kill off all the bacteria on the filters and starts your cycle all over again.

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Re: The Fishless Cycle

Sorry for the confusion but I am a total newby and do not totally understand everything, even after ready the awesome advice here. I have been doing a fishless cycle on a 10 gallon tank that has 3 java ferns, driftwood and some shale along with the gravel substrate. I was wondering why all of a sudden my ph would drop from 7.0 to 6.0 within 2 days and my NO2 maxed out over 2 weeks at 1 and is now down to .25 with NO3 steady at 10. Does this sound like my tank is almost cycled or is it stalling out? Any advice is appreciated. thank you
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Re: The Fishless Cycle

Thanks for posting this! I never knew about fishless cycling back when I first started an aquarium. Now that I am getting back into the hobby, I'm using this method - just about halfway through the cycle and it seems to be going well.
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Re: The Fishless Cycle

I recently read another article about a fishless cycle and their steps were almost identical except that say you need to add bacteria from a healthy donor tank or a commercial product. Is this really necessary, and if not, where do the bacteria come from? Are they present in the water even though it is treated tap water?

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post #65 of 83 (permalink) Old 08-02-2013, 01:10 PM
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Re: The Fishless Cycle

The bacteria develope(grow) from the ammonia source.Not left to be completely stagnate(a filtered aqurium we'll say) wants to be healthy.The bacteria grow in two phases being first those that convert ammonia to nitrite,then in the saturation of nitrate the next bacteria begin to grow which will convert nitrite to nitrate.Nothing else but ammonia(the proper ammonia) is needed to fishless cycle.
If you move cycled material to another tank,as long as you add fish(source of ammonia),then the tank is ready to go day one.Stocking for this situation should be done slowly so the bacteria can grow with increased bio load,whereas using the fishless cycle and ammonia at 4ppm to complete allows for full/complete stocking all at once.



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Re: The Fishless Cycle

I am sorry to say I highly doubt there is any bacteria in the ammonia, but maybe that is not what you mean. I am asking if I do not seed my tank with bacteria and I add ammonia, where does the bacteria that grows come from? Is it present in the water in minute quantities and grows from that even though I am on city water with chloramine in it?

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post #67 of 83 (permalink) Old 08-02-2013, 01:44 PM
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Re: The Fishless Cycle

He wasn't saying it is in the ammonia, but more caused by the ammonia entering the water. The presence of the ammonia is what triggers the whole process. It is not bacteria you are putting in the tank. It is formed naturally to start the decomposition of the matter in the water - the ammonia. The same thing happens out of water when something dies. The nitrogen cycle affects everything on Earth. The Chloramine is what kills the bacteria in your water but it is the stuff that causes disease, infections, etc so you can drink it and not get sick. Not the same type of bacteria.



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Re: The Fishless Cycle

This is an interesting discussion... Hope I am not upsetting you.

Ok.. I guess I am not making myself clear.

Lets say I take distilled water and put it in a closed sterilized container with ammonia. Will bacteria develop? If so, where was the first bacteria that the colony grew from? It had to be in the water, the ammonia or the air the water touched.

Our tanks are not distilled water, so I suppose there could be some bacteria in the water. I believe, but don't know for sure, that chloramine will kill the good bacteria we want too... why else would we not want to rinse the filter media in tap water? So if that is the case, I still do not know where the good bacteria in my tank comes from. The air?

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Re: The Fishless Cycle

It would be hard to setup an aquarium and not inadvertently add bacteria.
Nitrosomonas (ammonia-oxidizers) and Nitrobacter (nitrite-oxidizers) are found in very small quantities in even chlorinated water. Obviously, a good colony cannot grow in chlorinated water, but, there are enough survivors to very slowly start up an aquarium. Adding them from an already cycled aquarium is significantly faster.
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Re: The Fishless Cycle

Before I wander(much farther) than what I know for 100% WHO ADDS THE BACTERIA TO ALL NATURAL WATER BODIES?The bacteria is developed/inveloped/created by REACTION to "things" added to the water .Be it decomposing plant,food or once live creatures they decompose creating ammonia.The ammonia"in effect"(not being healthy or wanted) is then taken care of by bacteria that is grown/developed "because" of it.
If you think you need to help mother nature in your tank you're right.If you think you need help mother nature in nature,.....I wish you luck!We are all trying to emmulate nature ,just seems a little more work on enclosed systems(then again I couldn't even begin to figure the pump size for Niagra falls so maybe I'm clueless{but not upset by your thoughts!)



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Re: The Fishless Cycle

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Originally Posted by Jenniferinfl View Post
Nitrosomonas (ammonia-oxidizers) and Nitrobacter (nitrite-oxidizers) are found in very small quantities in even chlorinated water. Obviously, a good colony cannot grow in chlorinated water, but, there are enough survivors to very slowly start up an aquarium.
Jenniferinfl... THAT'S IT!!! That was what I was asking. We are growing the survivors of our chlorinated tap water if everything else is eliminated.

Now, for the other part of this. The article I was reading about adding bacteria for a fishless cycle is not 100% necessary. It can work very well on it's own albe it a little slower.

Thanks for the answers! I really appreciate it. It really helps me understand what is being accomplished.

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post #72 of 83 (permalink) Old 09-29-2013, 08:31 PM
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Smile Re: The Fishless Cycle

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Originally Posted by rtbob View Post
and retest. Repeat the ammonia dosing until 3-5ppm is achieved. Write down the dosage you used to obtain this level. This is why the concentration of the ammonia is not important as mentioned earlier. If you should happen to over dose donít panic. Replace some of the water in the tank with some of your tap water and retest. Eventually you will get it right.

Now just sit back and do nothing for 72 hours. Tell your wife/husband I said it was okay. (let me know if this works). No need to test during this time. The time has passed and it is time to start monitoring the progress of the cycle. Test your ammonia levels at least once every 24 hours. Once they begin to drop add the appropriate amount of ammonia to bring the levels back up to 3-5ppm.

Now that the ammonia levels have begun to drop it is time to pull out your nitrite test kit and begin monitoring both the ammonia and nitrite levels. Again testing should be done at least once every 24 hours. Keep dosing ammonia to maintain adequate levels (3-5ppm).

At some point your nitrites will peak at around 5ppm. At this time I recommend cutting your ammonia dosage by 50% and reduce the frequency of dosing to every other day. Monitor the ammonia levels closely! To high of a level may stall the cycle and prevent the colonization of bacteria. When nitrites begin to decline begin testing for nitrates. When nitrates begin to register you are getting close to completion. Continue to dose ammonia at the reduced level and monitor closely.

*(More dosing info at the end of article)

Your cycle has completed when you can dose the ammonia up to 4ppm and after 24 hours when you test the results are zero ammonia, zero nitrites and X ppm nitrates.



Do a water change to bring the nitrate level down to less than 20ppm. Do not do any filter maintenance or gravel vacuuming at this time ! Donít forget to adjust the temp of the tank water to the appropriate range for the fish you plan on keeping.


The tank is prepared for fish now. A great benefit of this cycling process is that your aquarium has a large bacteria population and can support a greater initial bio load (number of fish). Do not wait to stock your tank after cycle completion as the bacteria will die off if an ammonia source is not present.

You should continue to monitor your ammonia and nitrite after introducing your fish into your aquarium. Better safe than sorry. After about a week of continued readings of zero for ammonia and nitrite you can quit testing for them.

Monitor nitrate levels and base the percentage of water changed out on the results of this test. Letís say after a week of zero ammonia and nitrite you test the nitrate and the results are 40ppm. A 50% water change using replacement water with zero nitrate will result in a 50% reduction in the nitrate level. Your new nitrate level will be 20ppm. I would not recommend any filter maintenance at this time and light gravel vacuuming to avoid triggering a mini cycle.

The following week keep some of your tank water you drain in a bucket and clean your filter media in this water. Do not clean the bio media unless it begins to impede the flow of the filter. I recommend alternating deep vacuuming of the substrate and the cleaning of the filter. You should never deep vacuum and clean all of the filter media at the same time.

I have at least two filters on all my tanks. Besides improving water quality and circulation this allows me to alternate filter maintenance. Also in the event of a filter failure an established backup is in place and running. If you can do the same.


How long does this take?

Well letís see. When the Earth was first formed it took around two billion years before the first bacteria showed up. If you have read the Bible God did it all in seven days (he must have had a real good bacteria in a bottle product!). So I would say some where between 7 days and 2 billion years. No, really it will take as long as it takes. Patience is the key here. My best guess is somewhere from 21-28 days.

Use the time to research the fish you want to keep. Read all you can about the hobby. Participate in this forum. Post pictures of your tank, ask questions, help others along. The time will go by fast and the results are well worth the time invested.



If you have managed to read through all of this and have learned a thing or two, than I have accomplished one of my goals for writing this. My other goal was to completely waste your time.


Type at ya later,

Rtbob.

Additional dosing instructions added 06/09/11 (Thank you Holly!)

The plan here is to maintain the ammonia levels at the level needed to feed the colonizing bacteria with out rasing levels to high. In a freshly set up system (no bio help what so ever) it is pretty much useless to test the ammonia for around 72 hours after the baseline has been accurately recorded. It will take this long for the bacteria to start forming.

You should have at this time a baseline reading for your tap water and a baseline reading for the tank water. You should also have recorded the initial dose of ammonia required to achieve the desired range (3-5ppm) Using this info you should be able to calculate the amount of ammonia needed to maintain this level.

Example: Baseline ammonia level of tank water was zero. After dosing one tsp for every 10 gallons your new levels were 2 ppm. Not quite there. You add another tsp per gallon and retest. Levels are now 4ppm. Perfect. It took two tsp to achieve the desired level. Initial reading was zero end reading was 4 and dosage was 2 tsp. Divide dosage (2) by change in ammonia level (4)=0.5 tsp. This gives us the dosage required to change the ammonia level by 1ppm, 1/2 a teaspoon.

In a case where the intial dose of 1 teaspoon per 10 gallons was enough to reach the desired level you divide 1 by 4 = 0.25 or 1/4 tsp per gallon would adjust the level by 1ppm.

Maintain the ammonia level dosing your calculated amount of ammonia as needed. As the concentration of ammonia varies by product the initial tank dosage is the best way I know of to account for this.

I couldn't just say dose "X" amount because with some products this would be way to much and with others not enough.

Hope this clears things up a bit.
One of the best if not the best fishless cycle instruction I have ever seen.

Many thanks. I'm going to set up another 5.4Gbetta tank this next week I'll follow this to the letter because I finally understand the process. I can then monitor it with some understanding. I hated chemistry (both high school and college) so I didn't study it enough to truly understand it so the other descriptions of the cycle process weren't simple enough for me!!!

Thanks again!!!

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post #73 of 83 (permalink) Old 09-29-2013, 09:06 PM
 
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Re: The Fishless Cycle

Hmmm, wonder how many people I can tick off on this post? LOL I don't add ammonia, I don't use test kits. I set up my tanks, let them run for a few weeks and toss in a fish. Been doing it this way for 20 plus years.
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Re: The Fishless Cycle

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Hmmm, wonder how many people I can tick off on this post? LOL I don't add ammonia, I don't use test kits. I set up my tanks, let them run for a few weeks and toss in a fish. Been doing it this way for 20 plus years.
Go grab a discusautolinker.com autolinking image and let me know how that turns out for ya lol. We now know the damage we cause to fish by doing this, seems a tad cruel now.
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Re: The Fishless Cycle

Who said anything about being cruel? I can't get discusautolinker.com autolinking image in my area but I did have two beautiful turquoise severums for years in my 55 gallon. Everyone thought they were bluegills, gives you an idea where I live at. In the country. So sad to lose them. They are very smart fish, one that looks outside the tank.
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Re: The Fishless Cycle

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Originally Posted by snowghost45 View Post
Hmmm, wonder how many people I can tick off on this post? LOL I don't add ammonia, I don't use test kits. I set up my tanks, let them run for a few weeks and toss in a fish. Been doing it this way for 20 plus years.
Not a matter of "ticking people off" as I KNOW BETTER,AND UNDERSTAND THE NITROGEN CYCLE.
You've already been told that being lucky with your method doesn't mean it is sound advice to offer to others!But if you don't care about passing along questionably bad info it is your name you give this info under ,so have at it!
But obviously anyone with a clue about the nItrogen cycle knows that just running a tank with no source of ammonia is just that.YOU RUN YOUR TANKS,YOU CERTAINLY DO NOT CYCLE THEM.



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Re: The Fishless Cycle

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Originally Posted by snowghost45 View Post
Hmmm, wonder how many people I can tick off on this post? LOL I don't add ammonia, I don't use test kits. I set up my tanks, let them run for a few weeks and toss in a fish. Been doing it this way for 20 plus years.
20+ years of ignorance. Running your tanks for a few weeks does nothing but waste a few weeks of your time. Cycling does not mean to "let it run". It means the nitrogen cycle!

If you refuse to read about the nitrogen cycle, PLEASE stop with this tidbit of how you have fumbled through things in the last 20yrs.



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Re: The Fishless Cycle

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Not a matter of "ticking people off" as I KNOW BETTER,AND UNDERSTAND THE NITROGEN CYCLE.
You've already been told that being lucky with your method doesn't mean it is sound advice to offer to others!But if you don't care about passing along questionably bad info it is your name you give this info under ,so have at it!
But obviously anyone with a clue about the nItrogen cycle knows that just running a tank with no source of ammonia is just that.YOU RUN YOUR TANKS,YOU CERTAINLY DO NOT CYCLE THEM.
Amen!!!!!

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Re: The Fishless Cycle

i seem to be stuck mid way with my Fishless cycle, and looking for help..

i'm about 3 weeks in.


i'm basically seeing ammonia to 0 after 24 hrs. a week ago Nitrites appeared, but were way off the charts...(real dark purple) with the API. and a good dose of Nitrates !! so i was happy about the 'trates !

so i read a water change would bring down the nitrites, so i did a 50% today, and tonight my nitrites are still through the roof !!!

do i still dose ammonia with the nitrites so high? or let it run its course, continuing perhaps daily water changes..

thx all..
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Re: The Fishless Cycle

Hey all. I apologize if I should just start a thread but being this is on a fishless cycle I figured I would ask. Ive had my tank set up for a week, added some feeder fish a few days after and as a few where dying so I read up on the fishless cycle ( had always cycled w fish previously). I brought the rest back to the store and proceeded to start my fishless cycle. What I have is a 75 gallon with a penguin hob and a susnsun 4 stage canister filter and used the recommended doseage of API stress zyme+. I have my media ( bio and mechanical) in both filters and have the tank set to 82 degrees and have an air stone in to oxygenate the water. I'm using Austin's clear ammonia and from what I gather it has about 3 % ammonia in it as I had to dose about 40ml to get 4 ppm of amm. In the tank. I started dosing yesterday so I know I won't see a change anytime soon. I tested this morning and have still ~4ppm amm and just under .25 ppm nitrites (bluish purple color).

Now that I listed my specifics this is what I'm wondering. I just found out we will b on vacation at the start of 4th week into cycling. So I will have 3 weeks to continually test and adjust on what the tank is doing but the 4th week will be gone about 6 days. I've read to add frozen shrimp, get a food dispenser and add fish food, add extra ammonia before leaving ,ect but I'm worried about crashing the cycle or taking the wrong advise. What would you all day I should do as I will be gone in the middle (and probably most crucial) part of the cycle.

PS: if this should not be here I will start a new thread.
Thanks in advance
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