jamesde jamesde
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  • Posted on: 18/12 16:28
Fishless cycle & Ammonia #1
Hi,

I was doing a fishless cycle in a spare tank using fish food but could never get ammonia levels above 0.5ppm - I also had gravel in there and mini ramshorns breeding like mad.

So I put the ramshorns in my main tank and removed the stones and washed the spare tank and began a new cycle yesterday using ammonia going by the article on here.

I used the calculator to tell me how much to put in (0.8ml for 20 litres of water - ammonia concentration in bottle is 9.5%).

I just tested the water and it’s reading 10ppm :O

Should I do a 50% water change to bring this down or just leave it? Will it naturally decrease over time?

I’m cycling this tank as it’ll cycle quicker than doing my fish-in cycle and then I can transfer some of the media over to the main tank to help it along.
Fishlady Fishlady
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  • Posted on: 18/12 19:10
Re: Fishless cycle & Ammonia #2
I suspect a test kit error as that's very high. Which kit are you using? If a subsequent test bears the same result then do a water change (with dechlorinator) to get it below 5ppm as at that level it can actually prevent cycling.
jamesde jamesde
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Re: Fishless cycle & Ammonia #3
I use the Sera test kit.
I’ll test again in a moment and see if anything changes. If so I’ll do a water change as you have advised.
So anything above 5ppm ammonia prohibits a cycle?
As does chlorinated water.
Fishlady Fishlady
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  • Posted on: 18/12 20:05
Re: Fishless cycle & Ammonia #4
Yes, high levels of ammonia inhibit bacterial growth - hence its use as a household cleaner. The chlorine in tap water is put in specifically to kill bacteria and it will wipe out any filter bacteria very easily, which is why we always use a dechlorinator for aquarium water.
jamesde jamesde
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Re: Fishless cycle & Ammonia #5
I’ve done a 50% water change with dechlorinated water and got the ammonia down to around 3ppm now.

I’ll now continue with the article on ammonia cycling.

One question I do have is, do I continue to keep ammonia levels at 3ppm until nitrites have a zero reading? When do I stop feeding ammonia? Or does that never stop as long as I want the filter to continue to harbour the beneficial bacteria?
Fishlady Fishlady
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  • Posted on: 18/12 20:42
Re: Fishless cycle & Ammonia #6
Dose with ammonia back up to 3ppm whenever it drops to 0. When you get to the stage where 24 hours after dosing, both ammonia and nitrite are at 0 the cycle is complete. At that point, nitrate will be very high and you should do a very large water change to reduce that before adding fish. If there is to be a delay of more than a couple of days between the cycle completing and stocking with fish continue dosing ammonia daily as without it all the good bacteria you've grown will die off.
jamesde jamesde
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Re: Fishless cycle & Ammonia #7
Great, thanks so much for your help :)