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Guest dcninja

Fishless Cycle Question

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Guest dcninja

I'm trying my hand at fish again this time... I've got the 29 gallon, I dunno what I'm putting in it yet, just trying to get it cycled. I'm using ammonia and it's the proper kind blah blah blah... so once it's finished cycling, what do I do? How big of a water change? Should I let the water sit for a day or two before adding it or should I treat it and put it right back in. I don't want to mess up my two months worth of cycling.

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How nice! A 29 gallon would be a lovely home for 2-3 goldfish! Many best wishes for success this time! You have a good start in taking the time to properly cycle your tank!

Here is a link to Koko's Fishless Cycle article. In part it says, that when your nitrites have all cycled and you get a spike in nitrates,

"Day 40 0 ammonia 0 nitrite 160+ nitrate

The tank has now grown a cycle of beneficial bacteria. To make this tank habitable for fish, you now need to do a massive water change to bring the nitrate levels down to a reasonable value (20ppm or less). Do 50-75% change. Test the water. Change a little more if necessary. Do not rinse, change or even touch the filter. Do not clean any equipment, decorations or tank sides. Change only the water. Turn down the heat to the temperature you wish for your tank. Add your fish."

A water change consists of removing a certain percentage of water from the tank and replacing it with fresh tap water that has been temperature matched and had a dechlorinator added. It does not need to sit first. My dechlorinator of choice is NovAqua +.

Edited by lynda441

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When your ammonia gets down to 0, you add a few drops every day or so to keep feeding the nitrites. Eventually the nitrites will get to 0, and your nitrAtes will start increasing. Once your ammonia and nitrItes are at 0 and you have nitrAtes, your tank is cycled.

Once the ammonia and nitrItes are at 0, I would leave it for a few days (still adding the drops of ammonia), just to make sure everything is working as it should, then do a water change to bring the nitrAtes down under 20, as Lynda said. There really isn't a reason to let the nitrAtes get up to 160 as long as ammonia and nitrItes are at 0. [Correct me if I'm wrong on that, I don't want to misinform!]

Do a big enough water change to get the nitrAtes down to under 20. Probably pretty large, like 80% I'd say as an estimate.

Definitely treat the water, as Lynda said, with dechlorinator (I use AquaSafe by Tetra) and match the temperature. But what I do is as I'm filling up the bucket with tap water, I pour in my dechlorinator, then put the water in the tank right after that.

Hope this helps! And good luck with cycling! :D

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I'm trying my hand at fish again this time... I've got the 29 gallon, I dunno what I'm putting in it yet, just trying to get it cycled. I'm using ammonia and it's the proper kind blah blah blah... so once it's finished cycling, what do I do? How big of a water change? Should I let the water sit for a day or two before adding it or should I treat it and put it right back in. I don't want to mess up my two months worth of cycling.

The beneficial bacteria for your cycle will be in your filter media, so adding treated water should have no affect on the cycle. It won't have to sit out, so long as you've added the water treatement. :)

The amount of the water change will depend on how high your nitrate level is. If it's really high, you may have to do a couple water changes back to back. Change what you think you need - then test - then change again if you need to. (That's what I had to do with my 55, if I remember correctly :rolleyes: )

Post back with any questions or concerns. A tip I'd like to give you, is to keep a diary of the tank each day. What your readings are, how much ammonia you added, etc. It helps keep you in line. :)

Good luck with the cycle!!! :goodluck

Debbie

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