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Fishless Cycle
August 4, 2012
6:59 pm
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jaykaybee
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Just started my first fishless cycle 5 days ago. Have a 165l tank, estimate that I have about 150l of water in it. To start off dosed 8ml of ammonia. Seeded with silk plant, decorative stone and some bio balls, which were all left in my old tank for about 4  to 6 weeks. Have turned the heater up to 29c. After 1st day ammonia was 5 nitrite was .25. Day 2 ammonia was 4 nitrite was .5. Day 3 ammonia still 4 nitrite 1. no change day 4 or today (day 5). Noticed today that there is a translucent film developing on the airline and on the plastic top part of the heater. Assume that this is normal bacteria build up, but if someone could confirm this, I would appreciate and any other comments would also be cool.

August 4, 2012
8:44 pm
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Graham Ramsay
Blairgowrie - UK
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I've never matured a tank that way so can't comment on that but the white film is normal in new set ups.

August 5, 2012
9:36 pm
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mikev
NYC
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Well... this is not fishless cycle, this is seeding from another tank (bacteria transmitted from another tank), so this is pretty much what most people with many tanks do!
(You can seed with a sponge -- the most usual technique, or media in any form, or with some gravel, or with some fine leaved plants, or even with a piece of driftwood...I did the latter yesterday, after running out of filters with all the new fish :( ...worked fine. ).
And the numbers looks strange to me. Nitrite production on day 1 indicates that seeding was successful, but the bacteria responsible for the ammonia->nitrite conversion is normally very fast growing, so ammonia typically will be fully gone within a couple of days of nitrite production detection. That this is not happening indicates a problem... lack of buffering or lack of oxygen are two possible explanations.

August 5, 2012
11:04 pm
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jaykaybee
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oh dear, doesn't sound ideal. today's readings were the same too! also did ph reading today which is 8 (same as my old tank). turned up the air to full, hopefully if it is the lack of oxygen this will help. does the fact that my ph is stable eliminate a buffering problem do you think?

August 5, 2012
11:57 pm
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mikev
NYC
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Simply check kH, tap and tank, and you will know.

August 7, 2012
9:31 am
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jaykaybee
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update:

 day 5, 6 and 7 was no change.

 day 8 ammonia 4, nitrite 2 Confused. decided also to check for nitrate, which read as 10.

August 8, 2012
11:10 am
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jaykaybee
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day 9 - no change -_-

August 9, 2012
9:11 am
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jaykaybee
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day 10 - no change

August 9, 2012
9:25 am
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Matt
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Are you adding anything to feed the bacteria now the cycle has started?

Cake or death?
August 9, 2012
9:51 am
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jaykaybee
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no, don't  i only add more ammonia, when the existing ammonia drops?

August 9, 2012
11:14 am
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Rüdiger
Brunswick / Germany
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Sorry guys, I might be missing the point here completely. But seeing the parameters I would ask as of day 5 the latest: "how do you filter?"
I.e. filter type, capacity and filter media?
Surely a nitrogen cycle in an aquarium will only work anywhere close to predictable with a propperly dimensioned biological filter???
That's at least my experience.
Regards
R.

If you must insist on living in a box ...... at least do your thinking outside.
August 9, 2012
12:49 pm
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jaykaybee
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wet and dry trickle filter with wool carbon and bio balls. filter capacity is 1000 lhr

August 9, 2012
6:58 pm
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Eyrie
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jaykaybee said
no, don't  i only add more ammonia, when the existing ammonia drops?

 

Correct - you only need to top back up to a reading of 5ppm.  I'm surprised though that there hasn't been any movement following the initial seeding however, and even without that the natural colonisation by atmospheric bacteria should be underway.

 

Are you still reading 4ppm for ammonia and 2ppm for nitrIte? 

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August 9, 2012
8:13 pm
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jaykaybee
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I was, but have scince been advised to do a 25% water change as I worked out that I originally overdosed. I have done this and my readings are now as follows: Ammo - 2, trites - 2, trates - 10.

August 11, 2012
9:59 am
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jaykaybee
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Day 11 - ammo 2, trites 2. Added real plants, java fern, java grass and a baby wendtii.

Day 12 - ammo 2, trites 2, trates 10.

August 12, 2012
11:23 pm
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jaykaybee
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Day 13 Ammonia reading is lighter maybe just under 2. Nitrite is brighter, I would say maybe 3, but I'm not totally sure, they have definately changed colour though. Nitrate is still 10.
August 13, 2012
7:33 pm
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Eyrie
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Sounds like you're finally getting some movement. 

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August 14, 2012
10:32 am
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jaykaybee
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I am indeed Smile todays readings are ammo 1, trites 3-4, trates 15-20.

August 15, 2012
9:50 am
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jaykaybee
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Day 15 - Ammo .50 - 1, trites 5, trates 20 - 40
August 15, 2012
7:02 pm
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Eyrie
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Take it you're topping up the ammonia now and those are the readings approximately 24 hours later?

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