Did I restart my cycling process? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-14-2020, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
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Did I restart my cycling process?

Hey guys, I’m new to the hobby and have started a 10 gallon planted tank a few days ago. It’s one of those Top Fin 10 gallon kits with the mystery LED lights. Treated my water before adding plants, and I have a few java fern, a green cacomba, a few Anubias and an amazon sword. I was at the pet store today and saw some Nutrafin Cycle, read that it was supposed to help create some beneficial bacteria and stuff, so I purchased it and dosed the 25ml it told me to. But I’ve since heard that products like that essentially kill naturally occurring beneficial bacteria, so will my cycling process restart now if I stop using the product? I’m a little confused as to what my next step should be
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-14-2020, 08:27 PM
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Well...this product is supposed to contain the bacteria that is needed to cycle a tank. So in theory, by adding it to your tank, you are adding a bunch of the bacteria that usually takes time to naturally populate. So, if it is the same thing as what naturally grows in your tank during a cycle, I don't know why the bottle stuff would kill the other bacteria. Besides, if you just started a few days ago, there would not be much bacteria in your tank anyways.

The question is...what is your ammonia source for your cycle? If you are not adding something into the water that either is or produces ammonia, you won't have a cycle anyways. Or all that bacteria that you just added will die. My personal preference is using pure liquid ammonia. Reason being, you can control the amount of ammonia being introduced into the tank and control it better throughout the cycle. Using fish is cruel. And using something like fish food or letting a raw shrimp works, but you can't control the ammonia and the raw shrimp gets pretty stinky and gross. I did that one before I knew about using liquid ammonia.


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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-14-2020, 08:28 PM
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Internet rumor strikes again. No experience with that exact product but pretty sure their same bacteria strains as what will naturally occur in your aquarium.

Important stuff is what are you using as a ammonia source and what do you have for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate tests so you can monitor the cycling process?
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-14-2020, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies/info. I have been putting in a bit of fish food for an ammonia source, but I hadn’t thought to just use liquid ammonia. Also I have the fluval master test kit to monitor my water parameters. The reason I thought I had made a mistake was I watched a video earlier where this guy basically said that products like these don’t introduce the same type of bacteria that naturally grows and that they will eventually weed out the naturally occurring bacteria, and since I’m really new to this hobby it seemed relatively credible.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-14-2020, 08:46 PM
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Technical Information
Nutrafin Cycle significantly increases the speed at which robust beneficial bacteria populate the aquarium and is also able to immediately metabolize greater quantities of ammonia and nitrite. The Cycle formulation has been supercharged and adapts and responds to demanding conditions. Cycle is composed of 5 strains of nitrifying bacteria. In addition to this, heterotrophic bacteria are also included to complement the actions of the included nitrifyers by converting organic waste to inorganic (ammonia & nitrite) compounds for conversion to nitrate.


I've never used these products from my take this is not quite a cycle in a bottle but something to really jump start your natural cycle. I'd continue adding this according to the instructions and if you have or can get the ammonia...I'd add like .5ml-1ml of the ammonia which should spike your ammonia to around 2-3ppm. Test to confirm and then test 24 hours later and see how the ammonia level is and if you have any nitrites/nitrates. If you have any of the later then you know your cycle is going. Maintain that 2ppm-3ppm until the cycle is complete and you are ready to add livestock. You can use this calculator to figure out how much ammonia you need to add to maintain the level of ammonia based on your tank size and current ammonia level.

Ammonia Calculator for Aquariums - Spec-Tanks


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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-14-2020, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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Technical Information
Nutrafin Cycle significantly increases the speed at which robust beneficial bacteria populate the aquarium and is also able to immediately metabolize greater quantities of ammonia and nitrite. The Cycle formulation has been supercharged and adapts and responds to demanding conditions. Cycle is composed of 5 strains of nitrifying bacteria. In addition to this, heterotrophic bacteria are also included to complement the actions of the included nitrifyers by converting organic waste to inorganic (ammonia & nitrite) compounds for conversion to nitrate.


I've never used these products from my take this is not quite a cycle in a bottle but something to really jump start your natural cycle. I'd continue adding this according to the instructions and if you have or can get the ammonia...I'd add like .5ml-1ml of the ammonia which should spike your ammonia to around 2-3ppm. Test to confirm and then test 24 hours later and see how the ammonia level is and if you have any nitrites/nitrates. If you have any of the later then you know your cycle is going. Maintain that 2ppm-3ppm until the cycle is complete and you are ready to add livestock. You can use this calculator to figure out how much ammonia you need to add to maintain the level of ammonia based on your tank size and current ammonia level.

Ammonia Calculator for Aquariums - Spec-Tanks
Thanks for the help buddy! I figured I’d buy some just to jumpstart the bacteria growth in my tank, and it’s good to hear that that’s what it will do. My other question would be how do I know my cycle is complete? After I add ammonia and a test shows that there are no nitrites, no ammonia, and some nitrate?
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-14-2020, 09:23 PM
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Yup. When you dose the ammonia and within 12-24 hours ammonia and nitrites show zero and you have a rise in nitrates you know you are good. Remember, you do need to continue feeding the ammonia until you add livestock or the bacteria will die off.


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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-14-2020, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
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Yup. When you dose the ammonia and within 12-24 hours ammonia and nitrites show zero and you have a rise in nitrates you know you are good. Remember, you do need to continue feeding the ammonia until you add livestock or the bacteria will die off.
Ok, it’s all starting to make sense lol
Would regular household ammonia work alright?
Thanks for all your help!
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-14-2020, 10:59 PM
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As long as it's unscented and no surfactants. Only ingredients should be ammonia and water.


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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-14-2020, 11:33 PM
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You can get pure ammonia at Ace hardware stores . Just shake the bottle and if no lasting foam it should be ok .

My wife says if I get one more aquarium she is going to leave me . I sure am going to miss her fried chicken .
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-15-2020, 01:14 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
As long as it's unscented and no surfactants. Only ingredients should be ammonia and water.
would yellow dye be considered a surfactant? So far I’m unable to find any ammonia without it.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-15-2020, 01:27 AM
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It's probably yellow because of surfactant or scent. Shake the bottle and see if it makes bubbles. Surfactant is basically a tiny bit of soap added to help break surface tension so if it has it in there it will suds up some. It should be clear though. Ace Hardware or online are the only places I've seen it sold.

https://www.amazon.com/JAMES-AUSTIN-...6914057&sr=8-1

https://www.amazon.com/DrTims-Aquati...914110&sr=8-15


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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-15-2020, 02:12 AM Thread Starter
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I looked up the ingredients on the manufacturers website and it says water, ammonia and FD&C yellow #5 dye in it. When shaken it looks more like a bit of air bubbles than anything.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-15-2020, 02:23 AM
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I would probably avoid using that one, just to avoid getting yellow dye in the aquarium. Not sure what effect it might have on livestock but regardless could be unsightly!

If you aren't able to find ammonia it's fine to just keep using fish food, it's just a little harder to be exact in how much ammonia is added.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-15-2020, 02:42 AM Thread Starter
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I would probably avoid using that one, just to avoid getting yellow dye in the aquarium. Not sure what effect it might have on livestock but regardless could be unsightly!

If you aren't able to find ammonia it's fine to just keep using fish food, it's just a little harder to be exact in how much ammonia is added.
That’s kind of how I’m feeling, and with this virus going on it’s hard ordering anything online. We have a few things we’ve been waiting on since early March. Unless I can find some good ammonia locally I’ll have to stick with fish food and maybe a shrimp
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