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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello

I am currently doing a fishless cycle with pure ammonnia.

Since almost two weeks, I have high nitrites, high nitrates( both of the chart of the test kit), and the 3ppm of ammonnia I add are dropping almost to 0 in less than 24h ( so I add another 3ppm each time to feed bacteria)

Is everything normal ? I thought that as I have high nitrates, my nitrites would have go down, but they are still very high…

Should I just wait, or do a water change or smt like that?

Thank you !
 

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According to Dr Tim's instructions for cycling you shouldn't let the Nitrite or the Ammonia get above 5 ppm. The instructions say Nitrite and Ammonia at higher concentrations are toxic to the bacteria you are trying to cultivate. I'm cycling now and tested for Nitrite and Ammonia last night with API tests. The Ammonia was 0.5 ppm and the Nitrite was 2 ppm. I decided not to add more Ammonia and to retest this afternoon. When my Nitrite gets up to 4 or 5 ppm I will do a 50% water change. When your Ammonia gets to 1 ppm before your Ammonia converting bacteria get established you should add 2 ppm more Ammonia. That and water changes. I remember reading somewhere else that it's okay to put in even less than 2 ppm Ammonia once your Ammonia oxidizing bacteria are affirmatively estabilished. It's like trying to start a fire. You just have a little too much wind so you have to block it so the fire can get started.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the informations !
So according to you, I should do a water change when my nitrites are to high, and add a bit less ammonnia ?
Because I often saw on the net that you shouldn’t do water changes during cycling.. but it might be different for the ammonnia cycling ?
 

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At this stage of your cycling you can put in a quarter the amount of Ammonia. Do water changes as necessary to keep Nitrite below 5 ppm. Dose a total of 0.5 ppm Ammonia per day in two 0.25 ppm doses. Like your feeding your fish twice a day only you're using Ammonia.
 

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At this stage of your cycling you can put in a quarter the amount of Ammonia. Do water changes as necessary to keep Nitrite below 5 ppm. Dose a total of 0.5 ppm Ammonia per day in two 0.25 ppm doses. Like your feeding your fish twice a day only you're using Ammonia.
I generally agree with the rest of your advice, but what are you hoping to gain by breaking this into two doses?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
At this stage of your cycling you can put in a quarter the amount of Ammonia. Do water changes as necessary to keep Nitrite below 5 ppm. Dose a total of 0.5 ppm Ammonia per day in two 0.25 ppm doses. Like your feeding your fish twice a day only you're using Ammonia.
I did a 60% water change, and when I tested for nitrites, it was still very high ( more than 1ppm, dk how much because my test kit only go to 1ppm)
Should I do more water changes ?
I will add 0.5ppm ammonia per day as you said !
 

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I generally agree with the rest of your advice, but what are you hoping to gain by breaking this into two doses?
Ideally you would maintain constant dosing like your fish do for you in your aquarium. So I'm suggesting two doses to even out the distribution of the Ammonia to keep the population of bacteria more stable. I have no citation on this and the cycling will work without splitting the dose. I just think more bacteria will die off that way. It takes 18 hours for the population of bacteria to double. That I do have a citation for here somewhere.

I did a 60% water change, and when I tested for nitrites, it was still very high ( more than 1ppm, dk how much because my test kit only go to 1ppm)
Should I do more water changes ?
I will add 0.5ppm ammonia per day as you said !
2 ppm Nitrite is the sweet spot. You don't have to be exact about it though. Somewhere between 1 and 4 ppm Nitrite is fine.

( more than 1ppm, dk how much because my test kit only go to 1ppm)
You can dilute your sample to test higher.
 

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I've heard of people going as high as 10 ppm Nitrite which contradicts the troubleshooting advice I found on Dr Tim's website. Increasing the pH to 8.4 and the temperature to 86 degrees Fahrenheit supposedly makes it work faster. I've been doing that but it hasn't helped. It takes as long as it takes. Four to six weeks, 45 to 60 days all the way up to three months are some of the ranges that I've read.
 
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