View Full Version : Vacation while cycling?

Sir Tristen
09-10-2008, 02:29 PM
I am looking at getting a 20 gallon setup here soon. I'd like it to be 29 but space is a little limited. I plan on fishlessly cycling; however, I'm going to be leaving for 4 or 5 days at the end of the month. Will that completely stall my cycle and kill off the bacteria? I'd hate to take that time and then have to start over.:help:

09-20-2008, 03:00 AM
So long as you've got a good start, and ammonia levels are at 4.5-5 ppm when you leave, I would think you should be alright. I went for a few days without adding new ammonia and my tank cycled through in 3.5 weeks, no problems.

If it really is a concern, though, you can always have someone drop in and put a few drops of ammonia (or whatever source you are using) in the tank.

Good luck.

09-20-2008, 03:24 AM
Hello Tyandnan,

If you stop adding ammonia to the tank, some bacteria will probably die, but that is nothing to worry about. Not all the bacteria will die, and the few that remain will be enough to seed your system and generate larger populations faster than during the initial cycling.

Once you come back from your trip (you said five days?), you could add the recommended daily dose of ammonia and monitor the water. If the readings of ammonia and nitrites are zero, you don't need to do anything else. If they are not (yet), you could increase the temperature to 27 or 28 and keep adding ammonia normally. Within a few days you should see both concentrations decrease to zero...

...or the other possibility would be, if the tank is ready to add fish before you leave, you could add a couple of strong fish (which will survive with no food for five days no problem) and they will hold the cycle for you...

There is nothing to worry about...

Sir Tristen
09-20-2008, 04:31 AM
Hey, Thanks for the replies. I'll see if I can even get my tank started by then. Still waiting on the master test kit.

09-20-2008, 05:41 AM
Worst case is go buy a few dianos to throw in there while your gone.

09-20-2008, 07:43 AM
There's even people getting tanks cycled without any amonnia addition so... You should be fine, worst case it may take a bit longer.

Lady Hobbs
10-02-2008, 02:50 AM
Near the end of your cycle, your ammonia levels will drop in a day. I think what I would do, is add your ammonia to 5 and add a few raw shrimp to a nylon stocking, hold it to the bottom of the tank with a rock and remove it when you return. That shrimp will rot and give you ammonia constantly while you are away. Make sure it is under water tho or you'll stink up your house.

10-02-2008, 02:53 AM
Or just get a few pond snails which will produce small amount of ammonia. You'll prolly get them on your plants anyway, so no extra harm done.