Fishless Cycle

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railer20

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Do you want me to wait until nitrites hit 0 as well or just clearly under 1 if ammonia is 0 and nitrites arent there yet?
 
Apr 2, 2002
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If ammonia and nitrite do not both read zero, continue to test daily. Whenever ammonia is again at .25 ppm or less and nitrite is clearly under 1 ppm, add the same short dose as last time. That means now. Test in 24 hours.

If ammonia and nitrite do not both read zero, continue to test daily. Whenever ammonia is again at .25 ppm or less and nitrite is clearly under 1 ppm, add the same short dose of ammonia and test in 24 hours. Follow this pattern of testing and adding until both tests do read 0 ppm within 24 hours. The cycle should not take much longer to be completed and even with slower tanks one should not need to go beyond a couple of more doses.

We pretty much know ammonia should hit 0-.25 ppm in 24 hours. We also know nitrite is not doing quite as well. Since you are dosing the same slightly reduced amount, we also know it should create about the same amount if nitrite with each dose. That means sooner or later the nitrite bacteria has to catch up.
 
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railer20

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Happy Thanksgiving (if you celebrate it)! This morning I was at 0 ammonia and approx .25 nitrite. I redosed with the “small” dose again. Fingers crossed for tomorrow!
 

railer20

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This morning - 1 day after dosing

KH - 4
Ammonia - to me looked closer to .5 than to 1 ppm
Nitrate - same deal but maybe lean towards the 1 ppm here
Nitrate - in that 80 rang
 
Apr 2, 2002
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Test 12 hours after you did this morning's tests if you can.

With luck you may be at 0/0. If so, do a 25-50% water change to drop the nitrate level and redose the same slightly lower amount we are using. Then test again in 24 hours.

If you are not at 0/0 this evening, then check again tomorrow morning. Follow the guidlines for redosing we have been using. I would expect you will want to redose tomorrow morning it not this evening.
 
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Apr 2, 2002
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You are dang close. Those are the lowest 24 hour readings for both you have had so far. You are close to adding another dose of ammonia. I think that the odds are good it will be the final one you need. All that is required is that the bacteria do a small amount of reproducing to handle that last .5 ppm for both.

The pH looks fine and there is not too much nitrate. Cross your fingers, when you hit .25 ppm or less for ammonia dose again and hope the cycle will be done. If it is and you cannot add fish soon, you can hold the cycle by adding the dose of ammonia we are now using every 2-3 days. The bacteria will do fine this way. If you are doing this for any length of time, be sure to do weekly water changes to prevent nitrate from building up to the point it can stall things.

For anybody following this thread it should be a lot clearer that cycling is a process and that it can go faster or slower for any given tank. However, in almost all cases, a tank will become cycled. The trick is not to overthink things, to be patient and to allow the process to proceed at it's own pace.
 
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railer20

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Just wanting to make sure I have everything lined out...

So most likely tomorrow morning I will be redosing. Say Tuesday morning I am at 0/0. Guessing I need to do a water change before adding fish? If so how big of one?

Also, if/when I do that water change I am going to take my canister filter out and put the crushed coral in there. I dont need to rinse my sponges or anything yet do I?

And then as for adding fish, going to try and do it all over a 2 day span if the fish store has everything, for acclimating do I just need to float the bags for 30 min or so and then net them out?
 

railer20

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Was at 0 on ammonia and basically 0 on nitrite this morning. Slightest slightest tint on it so was below .25 for sure. Redosed, crossing fingers again 😆
 
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