Jump to content
QandD

Fishless cycle timing

91 posts in this topic

Hi all,

 

I was wondering if anyone would care to share how long your fishless cycle took, especially if you fishless cycled without old media. I had to do a total tear-down of my tank and have been using pure ammonia. It is currently at 3-4 ppm for 10 days without any sign of dropping or nitrites. The last time I fishless cycled, I think it took about a month, but that was nearly 5 years ago. When my tank had a massive BB death and re-cycle about 16 months ago, I had to do fish-in cycling, they suffered since I had to go to Europe for two weeks and had my hapless boyfriend trying to do water changes, and so I don't know how long that took to fix itself. 

 

Specs: 29-gallon tank with sand and moderate planting; two AQ 70s; bubble wand; 81 F; lights for the plants during the day. 

 

So.... I know that the correct counsel is patience, but I'd like to know if something's wrong or what other people experienced.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never done a fishless cycle so I can't help but it should usually take about 4-8 weeks from what I have read

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whats your ph, KH and GH hun

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started my fishless cycle on 12-13-14 and saw my first sign of nitrites on 12-28-14. It took until 1-20-15 to get 0ppm ammonia and nitrites.

Edited by Blitz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whats your ph, KH and GH hun

 

My pH is 8. I don't know the KH or GH, but it has stayed solid at 8 for days. My other tank (the QT) and the main tank prior to tear-down also stayed at 8 after buffering since the tap water is a bit hard and around 7.2-7.4. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok hun...

 

So are you using a buffer in this new tank?

 

Does your ph normally stay at 7.2 7.4? or does it crash after awhile... Just wondering

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok hun...

 

So are you using a buffer in this new tank?

 

Does your ph normally stay at 7.2 7.4? or does it crash after awhile... Just wondering

Yes, I use Seachem GoldBuffer in all my tanks, which keeps everything at 8 consistently. I've only seen a pH crash during the ammonia to nitrite phase of cycling in the past.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did a fishless cycle once when I bought some fish from a dealer who said not to use media from another tank. It took a full two months to cycle.  When I put in the fish, I got a nitrite spike that lasted another 2 weeks.  

 

I've never had a fish-in cycle take longer than a month, but I keep the ammonia/nitrite levels much lower than the standard recommendations.    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did a fishless cycle once when I bought some fish from a dealer who said not to use media from another tank. It took a full two months to cycle.  When I put in the fish, I got a nitrite spike that lasted another 2 weeks.  

 

I've never had a fish-in cycle take longer than a month, but I keep the ammonia/nitrite levels much lower than the standard recommendations.    

 

 

I was going to say .... I would keep that ammonia at 2 to 3 ppm ....

 

I

 

Ok hun...

 

So are you using a buffer in this new tank?

 

Does your ph normally stay at 7.2 7.4? or does it crash after awhile... Just wondering

Yes, I use Seachem GoldBuffer in all my tanks, which keeps everything at 8 consistently. I've only seen a pH crash during the ammonia to nitrite phase of cycling in the past.

 

 

I was going to also suggest just for the time being.... dont add your buffer in... let the tank be normal... :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK: no buffer and I'll do a partial WC to lower the ammonia concentration.

I would do a fish-in cycle if I had a Python that worked and my girls weren't currently having parasite issues. They are in QT, so I figured I'd get a head start on cycling.

Thank you for your suggestions and I'll report back if nothing happens in the next week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you can test the water before the WC :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Main tank water was still at 8. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Main tank water was still at 8. 

Ok did you get the ammonia and nitrites and nitrates tested ? :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Main tank water was still at 8. 

Ok did you get the ammonia and nitrites and nitrates tested ? :)

 

 

For the main tank water?

 

Ammonia has been reduced to 1-2 ppm as suggested.

 

For my tap water, the parameters are .25/0/0 (ammonia/nitrite/nitrate), pH 7.2. 

 

If it would be helpful, I will stop buffering the water for the main tank and continue to do partial water changes to hopefully lower it, though it remained at 8 before the water change and after even after swapping out 40% (?). 

 

EDIT: OH WAIT!!! I AM SHOWING .25ppm nitrites!!!!!!

 

Do I let the nitrites raise to a certain point or do a water change now? 

Edited by QandD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Main tank water was still at 8. 

Ok did you get the ammonia and nitrites and nitrates tested ? :)

 

 

For the main tank water?

 

Ammonia has been reduced to 1-2 ppm as suggested.

 

For my tap water, the parameters are .25/0/0 (ammonia/nitrite/nitrate), pH 7.2. 

 

If it would be helpful, I will stop buffering the water for the main tank and continue to do partial water changes to hopefully lower it, though it remained at 8 before the water change and after even after swapping out 40% (?). 

 

EDIT: OH WAIT!!! I AM SHOWING .25ppm nitrites!!!!!!

 

Do I let the nitrites raise to a certain point or do a water change now? 

 

 

Sorry--I just reviewed the fishless cycling instructions and will keep ammonia at 1 ppm and nitrites under 2 ppm, unless this is wrong. In my excitement all reason momentarily flew out the window.

 

Thank you for your help! Here's hoping that those BBs grow like wildfire!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yay! Go little BB! Goooo!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Main tank water was still at 8. 

Ok did you get the ammonia and nitrites and nitrates tested ? :)

 

 

For the main tank water?

 

Yes silly :)

 

Ammonia has been reduced to 1-2 ppm as suggested.

:thumbup2:

For my tap water, the parameters are .25/0/0 (ammonia/nitrite/nitrate), pH 7.2. 

 

If it would be helpful, I will stop buffering the water for the main tank and continue to do partial water changes to hopefully lower it, though it remained at 8 before the water change and after even after swapping out 40% (?). 

 

Dont buffer it hun... We just want the tank water to go back to normal hun...... just add your ammonia when it gets below 1ppm..... :)

 

EDIT: OH WAIT!!! I AM SHOWING .25ppm nitrites!!!!!!

 

Do I let the nitrites raise to a certain point or do a water change now? 

 

 

Yes, If nitrites reach a concentration of 2ppm, do a large water change and add ammonia back in. Nitrites higher than 2ppm can sometimes stall the cycle, so water changes are necessary to keep these lower.

 

 

:thumbup2:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

Main tank water was still at 8. 

Ok did you get the ammonia and nitrites and nitrates tested ? :)

 

 

For the main tank water?

 

Yes silly :)

 

Ammonia has been reduced to 1-2 ppm as suggested.

:thumbup2:

For my tap water, the parameters are .25/0/0 (ammonia/nitrite/nitrate), pH 7.2. 

 

If it would be helpful, I will stop buffering the water for the main tank and continue to do partial water changes to hopefully lower it, though it remained at 8 before the water change and after even after swapping out 40% (?). 

 

Dont buffer it hun... We just want the tank water to go back to normal hun...... just add your ammonia when it gets below 1ppm..... :)

 

EDIT: OH WAIT!!! I AM SHOWING .25ppm nitrites!!!!!!

 

Do I let the nitrites raise to a certain point or do a water change now? 

 

 

Yes, If nitrites reach a concentration of 2ppm, do a large water change and add ammonia back in. Nitrites higher than 2ppm can sometimes stall the cycle, so water changes are necessary to keep these lower.

 

 

:thumbup2:

 

 

 

OK--thank you all for your patience and advice. Nitrite is up to .5 ppm but ammonia has not dropped very much below 2 ppm (it looks a shade lighter but not quite 1 ppm). I'll try to keep lowering the pH through water changes--I'm frankly not sure how it go up to 8. It was just there for a long while (over a year) and I decided to maintain the pH rather than shock Queenie, my sickly one, at the time. But I hope a lowered pH might help the plants succeed, too. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

 

Main tank water was still at 8. 

Ok did you get the ammonia and nitrites and nitrates tested ? :)

 

 

For the main tank water?

 

Yes silly :)

 

Ammonia has been reduced to 1-2 ppm as suggested.

:thumbup2:

For my tap water, the parameters are .25/0/0 (ammonia/nitrite/nitrate), pH 7.2. 

 

If it would be helpful, I will stop buffering the water for the main tank and continue to do partial water changes to hopefully lower it, though it remained at 8 before the water change and after even after swapping out 40% (?). 

 

Dont buffer it hun... We just want the tank water to go back to normal hun...... just add your ammonia when it gets below 1ppm..... :)

 

EDIT: OH WAIT!!! I AM SHOWING .25ppm nitrites!!!!!!

 

Do I let the nitrites raise to a certain point or do a water change now? 

 

 

Yes, If nitrites reach a concentration of 2ppm, do a large water change and add ammonia back in. Nitrites higher than 2ppm can sometimes stall the cycle, so water changes are necessary to keep these lower.

 

 

:thumbup2:

 

 

 

OK--thank you all for your patience and advice. Nitrite is up to .5 ppm but ammonia has not dropped very much below 2 ppm (it looks a shade lighter but not quite 1 ppm). I'll try to keep lowering the pH through water changes--I'm frankly not sure how it go up to 8. It was just there for a long while (over a year) and I decided to maintain the pH rather than shock Queenie, my sickly one, at the time. But I hope a lowered pH might help the plants succeed, too. 

 

 

 

We can always adjust the Ph later if we need to... but right now we just want it to cycle.... thats good...Nitrites... :panana

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all, 

 

Sorry to have to post again, but I just wanted to make sure that I was approaching things correctly after reading a few threads here about crazy nitrites. 

 

I've been getting 5 ppm nitrites for 3 days straight now. I dose to 1 ppm for ammonia after what usually turns out to be a 90% WC (which has been happening daily), and then wake up to the ammonia being down to .5 ppm and the nitrites back to Bonkersville. This morning, too, my pH was really high (like 8.3-4), and I'm not sure why, since I have not been buffering the tap water had been around 7.2, but now is 7.8 as of this morning (!!!!). I am starting to get traceable nitrAtes, however. Last night I wound up doing a 50% change after my 90% change that morning, since the nitrites were back to crazy in the course of 7 hours. 

 

Here are my tank parameters.

 

Ammonia: .5 ppm

Nitrite: uhhh lots

Nitrate: 5 ppm (woo!)

pH: 8.3-4

 

Time for another 90% WC, I guess (this has been a good weightlifting workout). 

 

I retested the tank water for ammonia and pH, just to be sure, as of a few minutes ago. They are:

 

Ammonia: just shy of.25 ppm

pH: 7.8 (agh, !!!!) 

 

Would it be advisable to only dose ammonia after the water change to something like .5 ppm to see if this keeps things under control? I'd like to grow as much BB as possible, but the nitrites are driving me crazy, and I don't want to stall out the cycle. Also, any tips on how to lower pH? I don't think it's great for the plants to be this high, and I want them to be happy. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sure dose only 0.5 ammonia.  I wouldn't worry about the plants as far as pH goes.  What is your tap and tank pH?  KH?  :idont

 

BBs grow fastest at a pH of 8.3 BTW . . .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sure dose only 0.5 ammonia.  I wouldn't worry about the plants as far as pH goes.  What is your tap and tank pH?  KH?  :idont

 

BBs grow fastest at a pH of 8.3 BTW . . .

 

My tap pH is always hard, but today was 7.8 (!). Yum yum calcium? I don't know my KH, but my pH has never crashed except when there have been medicine-related BB disasters (AKA 15 months ago) and when I didn't have a good filter (and had gravel)... the bad old days.

 

That's good to know about BB; I am mostly concerned about how such an alkaline pH will affect the plants I am trying to grow. But perhaps this is something to worry about in the near future?  

Edited by QandD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

pH and GH are different.  ph is the alkalinity and GH is the hardness . . .   I've never worried about my pH as far as my plants are concerned.  I have crinum and anubias only.  I guess I would choose plants that can tolerate a higher pH rather than trying to lower a pH to keep plants happy.  :idont

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

pH and GH are different.  ph is the alkalinity and GH is the hardness . . .   I've never worried about my pH as far as my plants are concerned.  I have crinum and anubias only.  I guess I would choose plants that can tolerate a higher pH rather than trying to lower a pH to keep plants happy.  :idont

 

OK, point well taken. Unfortunately I already have a fair number of new plants that I'd like to keep alive. I am hoping that once the tank cycles having some nitrates will keep things under 8 re: pH. 

 

Anyway, I've dosed the tank to only .5 ppm ammonia this time and am going to see what happens. At the very least I am going to have some good bicep definition after all of this  :flex:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:rofl  Way to look on the bright side.  :rofl

 

Why would nitrate keep pH under 8?  I have 5 fish in a 75 ( :donthit: some are small) and my pH is still above 8 . . .   Not trying to be a pain in the :booty:D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now