Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Centreville, VA
Should I keep adding ammonia? fishless cycle
I have been doing cycling my tank (fishless cycle) for almost a month now (setup the tank on 7/8/2012).
-55 gallon brand new tank
-Rena xp3 filter
-Hydor Koralia nano 425 power head
-100 lbs (3 inches) of eco-complete
-plants: wisteria, carolina fanwort, java moss, micro swords
-lighting: just switched to a better lighting system about 5 days ago.. Catalina 1 T5HO bulb.. 3 inches above the tank.. light is diffused through black screen mesh
For the first three or so weeks, I was just adding about 2 pinches of fish flake food every 2-3 days. some of it would float around the tank, some of it would sink to the bottom.. i would then test my water parameters once every 3 or 4 days ( i probably should have tested more). But when I used the fish flakes, I never really saw much ammonia or nitrite. My nitrate though would started at 0ppm and went to about 10-20ppm.
8/1/2012- I decided to use real ammonia and added 1 spoonful to the tank to boost up the ammonia to about 4ppm.
8/2/2012- The next day I tested again and:
-ammonia 1-2ppm, nitrite 0.5ppm, nitrate 10-20ppm
8/3/2012- Then the day after:
-ammonia 0.5-1.0ppm, nitrite 5.0+ (shot up), and nitrate to 40-80ppm
8/4/2012- Then the day after (morning):
-ammonia 0.0ppm, nitrite 5.0+ (too high for the scale again), and nitrate 80
8/4/2012- Then same day (morning) I added another spoonful of liquid ammonia to boost the ammonia up again since it was 0.0. This brought it up to 1.0ppm
8/4/2012- Same day (evening):
-ammonia 0.5, nitrite 5.0+ (too high for the scale), and nitrate 40-80
-ammonia 0.25ppm, nitrite 5.0+ (too high for the scale), nitrate 40-80
Sorry for the long post, but as you can see from the past 5 days or so since I've been using liquid ammonia rather than fish flakes, my higher concentrations of ammonia have been converted quickly to nitrite.. and then nitrite is off the scale.. way too high. however i'm guessing some of it is being used up because my nitrates are high as well (40-80ppm).
so my question is.. should I continue to dose 1 spoonful of ammonia every day/other day to keep the ammonia in the 1.0ppm? continuing to add ammonia.. it'll get converted to nitrite and there is just so much nitrite that isn't getting converted to nitrate quick enough. From my understanding, after I add ammonia, the next day or so, the ammonia and nitrite readings should be 0.0ppm and only the nitrate should have a number? that's when it'll be cycled?Also from reading this forum, since I'm doing a fishless cycle, I believe it is not necessary to do a water change to get the nitrite levels down? I just want to know if I should keep continuing to add ammonia or not.. if do, it seems the nitrites won't ever go down?