Another Fishless cycle question - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-05-2017, 12:59 AM Thread Starter
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Another Fishless cycle question

I have been working on a fishless cycle for about a month. My ammonia has been stable around .5 ppm until yesterday. Now my ammonia is up to 2 ppm, Nitrite has gone from 0 to 2ppm. My concern is my Nitrate it has been slow rising to 80 ppm. I did a 50% water change and it dropped to about 10 then came right back.

THe only change I have done to the tank is add 3 assassin snails because of a rapid increasing number of pond snails that some how made it thru a bleach mixture dip. Other info on tank is 54 gal, temp is 80F. light 8 hrs a day CO2 during light on keeping my drop checker green to blue. PH is 6.2.
Being new to doing a fishless cycle I'm not sure what my next step should be...

Thanks for any help.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-05-2017, 01:02 AM
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How are you dosing ammonia/feeding the tank?
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-05-2017, 01:20 AM Thread Starter
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I dosed with pure ammonia once the first week to get it up to 1 ppm to 2 ppm. and it never dropped below .5 ppm and the nitrites just started showing up. the Nitrate has been a slow clime from the first week.
Some other info. is:
My tap water has a PH of 8 , I think fluval stratum is buffering (is buffering right term) the ph down to around 6.
the filter is a fluval 306 with foam filter first the 2 baskets of Bio MAX.
Return water flow ripples the surface but no splashing on the lid. Don't know if it may be an O2 problem?
Light is a Planted+ 24/7.
Was having a few plants melting away so have been dosing Thrive every 4 days.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-05-2017, 02:42 PM
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Your nitrate is probably coming from the Thrive. I've noticed if I dose Thrive the nitrates increase by 20 ppm.
Pest snails are the cockroaches of the aquarium world. I've been fishless cycling a tank forever (waiting for fish) and am dosing 6ppm ammonia per day. Snails are still thriving...
Don't worry about your nitrate too much. Just dose your ammonia and wait for it to drop to 0, then also wait for nitrite to drop to 0 before dosing more ammonia.
And my plants are absolutely exploding in this tank.
Also watch your ph, as you don't want it to swing too much womith water changes if you have that much of a difference between tap and tank. Bacteria growth also slows quite a bit at a ph under 6.5, almost completely stops at 6.


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-06-2017, 03:08 AM
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Math is a little weird. If nitrates were 80ppm and you did a 50% water change, then they should be 40ppm (or thereabouts). I'd double check that you're doing the tests correctly. If you're getting bad data then you're bound to be confused.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-06-2017, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry should have said it dropped about 10. Its hard to be accurate with these not much of a difference between 40 and 80 when looking at color chart.
today the ammonia dropped to .25 and the nitrite went off the chart. I'm assuming I just needed to wait it out I guess the BB was slow to grow with my low PH. I'm going to wait out the Nitrate until I see Nitrate then ill start back to doing water changes. Also going to cut back on light starting to see some algae.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-16-2017, 12:20 AM Thread Starter
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My Nitrite is still over 5ppm, my nitrate is over 40ppm should I do a water change or wait until I see nitrite drop to 0?
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-16-2017, 02:52 AM
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I would do a large water change and get it under 4.


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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-16-2017, 12:20 PM
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If you use fishless method to begin a tank,then most instruction's indicate a large water change is needed at the end... to reduce usually very high nitrates from all of the oxidizing of ammonia whose end result is nitrites to nitrate.
Only concern should be whether the ammonia added can be oxidized in 24 hours for three consecutive day's.
There are no fish or life suggested for fishless method so ammonia,nitrites,are of little concern except to see them fall to zero and stay there.
No need to do water changes with fishless method until your ready to add fishes.
Test kit's during cycling period or maturing process will likely show all manner of reading's.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-16-2017, 03:26 PM
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"Pest snails are the cockroaches of the aquarium world."

Not true! Snails are a valuable part of the clean-up crew that process (plant/fish) waste materials and algae into bacteria food and plant usable nutrients. I have hundreds of MTS in my tank helping to create a better ecosystem.

Like beneficial bacteria, the snail population is dictated by the available food and oxygen. However, if you feel you have too many, they're easy to bait and remove.

Edit/Update: Regarding cycling the planted tank. If the tank is well planted, you can add a fish or two right away as plants will typically process the ammonia and the bacteria population will slowly develop. Many experienced hobbyists do this all the time. :-)

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Last edited by AbbeysDad; 08-17-2017 at 06:30 PM. Reason: edit/update
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-19-2017, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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I think I made it.
Todays Numbers.
PH 6.8
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 20
GH 5
KH 3
Temp 80

I'm going to lower temp down to 78~. had it a 80 to help BB grow.
I have learned if you need to learn patience.....fishless cycle a tank........

Now to add some new guests. My plan it to start with clean up crew. So I thought I would start with a few Corys. Then add fish in small amounts every 30 days, until we add those to on our list.
Have a quarantine tank so I figure to add the Corys to the main and the next group to the quarantine tank then I can add them in in 30 days. and add new fish to the quarantine tank. This way I can give the main tank time adapt to the increasing bioload.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-19-2017, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbeysDad View Post
"Pest snails are the cockroaches of the aquarium world."

Not true! Snails are a valuable part of the clean-up crew that process (plant/fish) waste materials and algae into bacteria food and plant usable nutrients. I have hundreds of MTS in my tank helping to create a better ecosystem.

Like beneficial bacteria, the snail population is dictated by the available food and oxygen. However, if you feel you have too many, they're easy to bait and remove.
I meant they can survive... . I have pest snails. Ramshorns and pond. My population exploded while cycling, daily dosing 6 ppm ammonia, nitrite reaching over 200, nitrate off the charts. I don't bleach my plants. My opinion is that snails are inevitable in a planted tank. They do serve a valuable purpose, multiple in fact. And as much as they are hated, roaches are valuable to their ecosystem as well. Thankfully snails are cuter and don't have creepy feet...




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2x 5 Gallon planted with betta, Mystery & Nerite Snails
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