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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been doing a fishless cycle in my 29gal. I used extra filter media I ran in my established 10g for 3wks.

My ammonia has been good, I am dropping to zero everyday (been about 5days). I add enough ammonia to raise it to 2-3ppm. My nitrites are sitting consistently at 1ppm. My Nitrates have been steady at about 5ppm, but today were up to 10ppm.

Should I continue to add ammonia to bring it up to 2-3ppm?

I haven't done any water changes. Is that something I need to do? Its the waiting game...
 

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You do not need to do water changes.

Ammonia disappearing = the first population is pretty well grown.
Nitrite not disappearing, but holding steady = the second population is starting to grow, but is not complete, yet.
Nitrate rising slowly = the second population is starting to grow but is not complete yet.

Keep on dosing ammonia to 3 ppm once a day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
This is the part where my lack of patience shines through :smile:

Diana, I read in another thread that if you have plants, to maybe only raise the ammonia to 1ppm. I'm probably medium-planted. Should I reduce the amount of ammonia to protect them? Or will that mess with what is already happening? Thanks!
 

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Reducing the ammonia to ~1ppm may help as high ammonia levels inhibit the growth of the nitrite consuming types of bacteria. More importantly, raise the temp to 80 degrees where all of these bacs are known to grow exponentially faster. Temps below this cause most peoples slow cycle problems.
 

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If your plants are showing some ammonia burn then I would keep dosing ammonia to only 1 ppm, but I would do this twice a day. This will grow almost the same amount of bacteria as 3 ppm dosed once a day.

These bacteria grow best when ammonia and nitrite are under 5 ppm. If you need to do water changes to keep the nitrite lower, then reducing the amount of ammonia could help that, too.

If your plants are OK with 3 ppm ammonia, then stick with it.

Raising the temperature can help, but only if you can keep the oxygen level up, too. These bacteria need plenty of oxygen. Also, some aquarium plants do not seem to do as well at temperatures in the 80s. I see no problem cycling in the mid to upper 70s if the plants are happier with those temperatures. The tank will cycle with a lower temperature, too, but the bacteria grow a lot slower with significantly lower temperatures.
 
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