Fishless Cycling - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-22-2016, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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Smile Fishless Cycling

So i have a small ten gallon low tech thats been running for about a month now with a DHG carpet. I just have a quick question.

My tank can convert 2ppm of Ammonia to 0ppm in 24rhrs. Does this mean I have my bacteria colony set and I can do my 90% water change? Ive been feed ammonia every other day for about a week to keep the colony going. Please just let me know if i can do a 90% wc and add fish! Thanks
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-22-2016, 10:58 PM
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You need to check for nitrites after ammonia. If you have no ammonia AND no nitrites with only nitrates showing, then you are good to go with the water change and stocking.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-23-2016, 02:55 PM
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If you've gotten to this point, you may already know this but I would add it to be sure?
As mentioned above, it is a two part process and I might guess that you are fully done and ready but you should have seen a bunch of ammonia converted to nitrite, making a spike. Then as the second group of bacteria grew, that nitrite spike should have come down to zero and that should leave you with a tub full of nitrate. The tub full of nitrate is why you should need a big water change to get the nitrate down to workable.
A month should be about right to be ready but it pays to check the nitrite. In theory, it could be possible to have the group converting the ammonia to nitrite but not have the nitrite to nitrate group doing their job. so do a check of all three readings.
I'm guessing you are ready but don't bet your fish on my guess?
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-24-2016, 12:12 AM Thread Starter
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I dont have a way to test nitrites, but I am assuming since the bacteria can quickly convert ammonia, that the nirtrite bacteria is converting to Nitrates. And since this has been going on awhile, I think my cycle is complete. Im gonna do a 90% wc and add fish and see what happens!
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-24-2016, 12:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan2213 View Post
I dont have a way to test nitrites, but I am assuming since the bacteria can quickly convert ammonia, that the nirtrite bacteria is converting to Nitrates. And since this has been going on awhile, I think my cycle is complete. Im gonna do a 90% wc and add fish and see what happens!
You should really get a nitrite and nitrate test kit. Nitrite spikes are the longest part of the cycle and almost always get to off-the-chart levels. Without a nitrite or nitrate test kit you have no way of knowing whether nitrites are being converted to nitrate or are just accumulating (which, like I said, happens for a very long time, usually making up the bulk of a typical ~1 month cycle).

I don't understand why you would ask this question only to shoot down everyone's responses. Please purchase nitrite and nitrate test kits. Nitrites are toxic and will kill your fish. Nitrates are also toxic in high amounts, and a 90% WC won't always knock them down to livable levels. There's no point in adding fish without knowing whether or not your tank is toxic to them. Yeah, you could "see what happens," or you could know that your tank is safe for fish and not torture any animals in the process. Plus, most pet stores won't refund for dead fish unless your parameters are good, so this way is better for your wallet too.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-24-2016, 02:50 AM
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This is a time when I throw out some thinking on using test strips. They are not known to be as accurate as liquid tests but then they do tell you the basic info you need and do it in a quick, easy way. Right now, you don't need to know if the nitrate and nitrite are at any specific level. you only need to know that there are lots of nitrate and nearly no nitrite. That is something I find the strips do tell me. At other times, you may need to know more precise numbers but not now. I don't know the value of the fish you will be adding but the small expense of testing versus the total loss of all the fish or even worse, going through the ordeal of trying to figure out why they are sick or dying just doesn't work for me.
One of the biggest bummers I see in the hobby is trying to shortcut things and getting a tank in a total mess.
You may be ready but you may not, so do you want to bet the whole tank to save fifty cents of test strip?
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cycling, fishless cycle, low tech

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