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  1. #1

    Join Date
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    Default Is this really possible?


    1 Not allowed!
    Hey all, I'm not new to keeping fish but I am starting my first tank in almost 10 years. I've never done a fishless cycle before so I thought I'd try that out. I've been cycling my 40g tank for about 3 weeks now using pure ammonia and I've been testing daily since my ammonia started dropping but it's been a slow process (4-5 days between dosing and when it would hit 0). Today it's been about 3 days since my last test and ammonia addition. 0ppm ammonia for the first time, nitrite and nitrate, they both turned dark purple and dark red (respectively) immediately after I shook them. So after work today I did a 50-60% water change, added ammonia, and let it wait. When I checked, the nitrite and nitrate both turned dark purple and dark red again but not quite as quickly this time, it took about 4 minutes to get to full color. My main question after this wall of text is pretty simple: is it really possible for that much ammonia and nitrate to still be left over after that much of a water change?

  2. #2

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    Thanks for the gift! I bow to your experience so i wanted to be sure that i did not give the OP wrong info. - Silbar   Tx for all the help for me and everyone else! - angelcraze2   Rocksor knows cichlids! - Brhino   Can''t give rep points, but great job on the diagnosis/treatment - Boundava   Sending you a geophagus to  tank you for your analytical powers! - discusluv   

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    1 Not allowed!
    what is the ammonia reading 1 hour after adding ammonia?

    what si the nitrate reading from the tap?

  3. #3

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    2 Not allowed!
    Why did you do a 50% water change in the middle of a fishless cycle?

  4. #4

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Rocksor: it's probably been about 2 hours now and it's dropped quite a bit, from 4ppm to about 1-2ppm. Nitrate from the tap is a solid 0.
    And silbar: in the guides I read, they said to do a large water change when your readings went off the charts so that's what I did.

  5. #5

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    Default


    2 Not allowed!
    I'm sorry, I've never read that. I thought you only did the
    large water change when the ammonia and nitrItes are both zero and you want to bring the nitrAtes down below 20 to begin adding fish.

  6. #6

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    Default


    2 Not allowed!
    I cycled a 55 Gallon and had the same issue you are experiencing. Just wait it out. Your Nitrites WILL come down. Mine took 6 weeks to cycle. I tracked mine and charted it. The Blue line is Ammonia and you can clearly see a stall in progress on the chart. This stall was due to my pump which went south and stopped thoroughly circulating water, when I got my new pump installed, the drop picked up right where it left off. But you can clearly see that my Nitrites (The Red Line) were ridiculously high. I input them at 5.0 ppm because my water was so purple it was off the charts, but you can see, it was that way for WEEKS before it dropped, but once it dropped, it dropped like an anchor.

    Once your Ammonia is dropping to zero within 24 hours, spread the half dose of Ammonia to every other day. In other words, you add Ammonia on Monday and Tuesday you are back to 0 ppm, instead of dosing Ammonia again on Tuesday, wait until Wednesday. Check it again on Thursday, if Ammonia is back to zero, wait until Friday to dose more Ammonia. This "Pause" in dosing will keep the Ammonia eating bacteria alive, but will allow the "Nitrite eating bacteria" to "catch up". Once they are both (Ammonia and Nitrite) reading zero, Dose again. If you get back to zeros for both within 24 hours, dose again, if not, wait another 24 hours to dose again. Continue this pattern until you can dose Ammonia and 24 hours later you have 0ppm Ammonia and 0ppm Nitrites. Once that is true, your tank is cycled!! Now continue to dose every 48 hours until you add fish, and stop dosing at least 24 hours before adding fish.

    Hope that makes sense... Here is the chart of my cycle... Hang in there, you're almost there!!!

    Aquarium Cycling Tracker - 55 Gallon In Wall Tank - Graph.JPG
    It's my kids fault I am hooked on this hobby... It all started with a Desktop 5 Gallon Father's Day Gift!

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    In Wall 55 Gallon - My first "Large" tank...
    135 Gallon Tank
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  7. #7

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    1 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Silbar View Post
    I thought you only did the
    large water change when the ammonia and nitrItes are both zero and you want to bring the nitrAtes down below 20 to begin adding fish.
    And you are correct.
    10 Gallon Beginner Tank... Journal
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    “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went” - Will Rogers

  8. #8

    Join Date
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    Thanks for the gift! I bow to your experience so i wanted to be sure that i did not give the OP wrong info. - Silbar   Tx for all the help for me and everyone else! - angelcraze2   Rocksor knows cichlids! - Brhino   Can''t give rep points, but great job on the diagnosis/treatment - Boundava   Sending you a geophagus to  tank you for your analytical powers! - discusluv   

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    2 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by PaulPerger View Post
    Once your Ammonia is dropping to zero within 24 hours, spread the half dose of Ammonia to every other day. In other words, you add Ammonia on Monday and Tuesday you are back to 0 ppm, instead of dosing Ammonia again on Tuesday, wait until Wednesday. Check it again on Thursday, if Ammonia is back to zero, wait until Friday to dose more Ammonia. This "Pause" in dosing will keep the Ammonia eating bacteria alive, but will allow the "Nitrite eating bacteria" to "catch up". Once they are both (Ammonia and Nitrite) reading zero, Dose again. If you get back to zeros for both within 24 hours, dose again, if not, wait another 24 hours to dose again. Continue this pattern until you can dose Ammonia and 24 hours later you have 0ppm Ammonia and 0ppm Nitrites. Once that is true, your tank is cycled!! Now continue to dose every 48 hours until you add fish, and stop dosing at least 24 hours before adding fish.

    Hope that makes sense... Here is the chart of my cycle... Hang in there, you're almost there!!!

    Aquarium Cycling Tracker - 55 Gallon In Wall Tank - Graph.JPG
    The break in ammonia dosing is key.

  9. #9

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    Thanks for the gift! I bow to your experience so i wanted to be sure that i did not give the OP wrong info. - Silbar   Tx for all the help for me and everyone else! - angelcraze2   Rocksor knows cichlids! - Brhino   Can''t give rep points, but great job on the diagnosis/treatment - Boundava   Sending you a geophagus to  tank you for your analytical powers! - discusluv   

    Default


    3 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Silbar View Post
    I'm sorry, I've never read that. I thought you only did the
    large water change when the ammonia and nitrItes are both zero and you want to bring the nitrAtes down below 20 to begin adding fish.
    If your PH drops too low, like less than 6.5ppm, then a water change to increase PH will help to increase bacteria activity.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Oct 2016
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I've got an update in case you're curious. I've done a few PWCs in the following days and the nitrite level still didn't go down very much so I just did A HUGE water change (80%-90%) because at this point I'm just amazed at the readings I'm getting. Doing a test as I type this.
    Waiting
    Waiting
    Waiting
    Waiting
    Waiting
    Well I actually got to see that pretty sky blue when I put the tester in for the first time this week but after 5 minutes I've still got a dark purple, reading right at the end of what the test shows. I'm not really sure what's going on but I'll see what happens over the next few days.

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