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Linda

New fish parent, almost

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Please give me some details on your cycling process.  You added ammonia to the tank a month ago.  Right? What ammonia reading did you have after the initial addition?  Have you added ammonia since then?  If so, how much and how often?  Have you tested for nitrates?  Did you dechlorinate the water?

 

 

Edited by shakaho

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30 minutes ago, shakaho said:

Please give me some details on your cycling process.  You added ammonia to the tank a month ago.  Right? What ammonia reading did you have after the initial addition?  Have you added ammonia since then?  If so, how much and how often?  Have you tested for nitrates?  Did you dechlorinate the water?

 

 

Hello there. Yes, I added Dr Tim's ammonia a month ago and have had a steady reading of 4.0, no nitrites. Today I checked the ammonia and it seemed a little lower. I have not tested for nitrates. Koko suggested perhaps the ammonia was a bit high so today I removed some water (6 gallons out of 40) and added clean declorinated water. All my water has been declorinated. I have no heater so the water temp has been around 64 degrees for the past week. I didn't want to purchase a heater just to cycle the tank, but if I have to, I have to. I will recheck the ammonia in an hour or so to check that I have around 2.0 ish.

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I suggest you do a 50% water change and confirm that you have 2 ppm ammonia afterward.  Dr. Tim recommends keeping ammonia between 1 and 2 ppm for fishless cycling.  As Koko indicated, ammonia inhibits  nitrite oxidation at a concentration below 1.0 ppm.  The concentration of ammonia that inhibits ammonia oxidation is higher, but remains unknown, since ammonia oxidizing microbes differ so wildly among the many different species of AOAs (ammonia oxidizing archaea) and AOBs (ammonia oxidizing bacteria) that the same experiments in different labs yield very different results.  Dr. Tim says to stay below 2 ppm, and he does research in the area.  

Raise the temperature to 75F only if you intend to keep the fish at that temperature.  Raising temperature to increase growth rate works for some parasites, for example the ich parasite, but probably not for nitrifying microbes.   Specific species and strains of bacteria each have an optimal temperature, and will grow faster at a warmer temperature if and only if they currently live in a temperature lower than that optimum.  If you keep your tank at the prevailing temperature (which I recommend) the nitrifiers that prefer that temperature will grow.  

Have you put any plants in your system yet?  If you leave a little soil on the roots of the plants you put in the plant bed, you will supply some nitrifiers.  You have water running through the filter/grow bed system, right?  That should keep the water well oxygenated.

Fishless cycling can frustrate.  It may take two months, but we have observed 6 months.  Unless changing and testing water feels like a terrible burden or one wants to start with large fish, fish-in cycling works fine.

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Thank you for your advise. There is a topic on this forum titled "Fishless Cycle" by Tithra. I followed these guidelines to bring my ammonia level to 4.0. Perhaps these instructions could be changed to prevent others from bringing their ammonia level up so high when starting a new tank. I also followed the directions on the bottle of ammonia, which says to add 4 drops per gallon.

My level is down closer to 2.0 now and we'll see what happens.I will keep my fish at the ambient temp of my home which varies by the season. Right now the tank water is hovering around 64 degrees.

Yes, the water is running through the grow box and pre-filter section. Would the large amount of grow media slow the process down?

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Thanks for the info on Tithra's post.  If you search the internet for fishless cycle, you will find virtually every article tells you to use 4 ppm ammonia.  This happens simply because everyone who write one of these articles just copies from others.  According to Dr Tim, you should get ~2 ppm by adding 4 drops.  I know he cut the concentration of ammonium chloride last year, so maybe you got a mislabeled bottle of the old stuff.

No, the large amount of medium won't slow the cycling process.

I don't think I linked you to my aquaponics system -- outdoors, but small.  I need to get my act together and tell about current modifications.

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Sorry I'm so late to this - but welcome and CONGRATS! Lovely looking tank!! :D

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48 minutes ago, shelbysfish said:

Sorry I'm so late to this - but welcome and CONGRATS! Lovely looking tank!! :D

Thank you very much.

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