Cycling Query

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Offline barneyadi

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Cycling query
« on: March 03, 2018, 02:03:19 PM »
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I am following the fishless cycle procedure and have got to part 8 which says

8. When you have two consecutive tests where ammonia is zero (that is, zero at one test and zero again two days later) add one third of the ammonia that you added originally. Yes, you add less ammonia than you did on the first day as this will stop the nitrite level getting too high.

So I added 1ppm ammonia on Thursday. Tested today, Saturday and have 0.10ppm ammonia and 0.08 nitrite. So as per part 9 and 10 below:

9. Continue testing every 2 days. Whenever the tests show zero ammonia on two consecutive tests but the nitrite is over 1.0ppm, add the one-third dose of ammonia.

10. As soon as you have test results that show ammonia below 0.25ppm and nitrite below 1.0ppm, add the full 3ppm dose amount that you added on the first day.

Do I add in 3ppm ammonia and check daily until 0ppm for both?

Offline fcmf

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Re: Cycling query
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2018, 03:43:32 PM »
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My reading of this is that you're still at Step 9. As you are still getting some ammonia and nitrite, you don't add anything but test again on Monday and again on Wednesday, and so on. Only once you have two consecutive testing days with 0 ammonia and with nitrite over 1.0ppm, then you add 1ppm. As I understand it, you're at Step 9 and shouldn't look ahead until you've achieved this. Once you do achieve it, though, then you move onto Step 10.

However, I'm in no way any expert on this at all, so maybe best to wait until someone with much more or recent experience in fishless cycling can confirm this.

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Cycling query
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2018, 03:55:16 PM »
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I only question where I am as ammonia and nitrite are both zero hence wondering if I should go to step 10. Will wait and see what others suggest first.

Offline Sue

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Re: Cycling query
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2018, 04:57:17 PM »
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You are using a colorimeter to read the results; if you'd just been going by eye, 0.1 ammonia and 0.08 nitrite would both look like zero.

So despite what it says in my method, I would wait till Monday and test again, and if they are the same or even lower (in other words, what would look like 2 zeros again to the human eye) I would add the 3 ppm dose of ammonia.

It's only because you are using a fancy gadget to read the results that you are getting readings above zero. Next time you test, look at the tubes as well and see if they look like zero.



Even in a tank that has been cycled for years, ammonia and nitrite are never zero with sensitive measuring equipment, there is always a trace of ammonia & nitrite. It has to travel from the fish to the bacteria before it can be removed.

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Cycling query
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2018, 06:34:28 PM »
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Uh oh. Kept rereading things and as by eye ammonia and nitrite were both zero I decided to add 3ppm ammonia. Will check things tomorrow and let you know how things went.

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Cycling query
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2018, 03:46:38 PM »
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So after adding 3ppm yesterday asboth Ammonia and Nitrites looked like zero, I have chaecked today and ammonia is 0.91ppm and nitrite is 1.46ppm. o do I wait till ammonia is zero and add 3ppm or go back to 1ppm?

Offline Sue

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Re: Cycling query
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2018, 04:03:31 PM »
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Ammonia is as near zero as can probably be seen by eye, but nitrite is is nowhere near zero.
Wait till Tuesday and test again. If nitrite is then below 1.0, add another 3 ppm dose and test next day.

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Cycling query
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2018, 01:00:56 PM »
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So waited till Tuesday and both ammonia and nitrite were zero (visually) and .13ppm and .05 respectively. So added 3 ppm ammonia.
Tested today and got 0.02ppm ammonia (zero visually) and 0.56 nitrite so will wait and test nitrite tomorrow and if zero add another dose of 3ppm ammonia.

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Cycling query
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2018, 02:35:27 PM »
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So both ammonia and nitrite down to zero so added in 3ppm ammonia. With my other tank's cycle having stalled I checked PH and nitrate as well. PH is holding steady whilst nitrate was 80ppm at least. Am I right in thinking that if my PH drops that is a sign of stalled cycle? 

Offline Sue

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Re: Cycling query
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2018, 04:19:07 PM »
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It's the pH drop that causes the stall. Filter bacteria do not like low pH and they stop multiplying somewhere around pH 6.5. They don't die, they just don't multiply so you are stuck with the same number of them.

When there is not much buffer in the water - that is, where the KH is low - it doesn't take much acid to drop the pH. Nitrate is acidic and cycling makes a lot of nitrate.
The good news is that once the cycle is finished, you will do regular weekly water changes which will remove nitrate and top up KH so there shouldn't be a problem when there are fish in the tank - unless it is grossly overstocked with a poor maintenance regime.

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Cycling query
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2018, 12:14:29 PM »
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Sorry, another question. Have just checked and nitrite is 0.60ppm and ammonia is zero, but just realised I checked about 2pm yesterday. Should I retest at 2pm to get an accurate 24 hour check?

Offline Sue

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Re: Cycling query
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2018, 12:43:44 PM »
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Did you test at around 12:15? That's less than 2 hours short of 24, so testing again at 2 won't make that much difference.

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Cycling query
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2018, 12:47:47 PM »
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Hi Sue

I tested at 1200. I think yesterday was somewhere between 1400 and 1430, can't remember exactly.

Offline Sue

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Re: Cycling query
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2018, 12:49:49 PM »
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There's nothing wrong with testing again - at 2:30. The nitrite reading should be lower, but how much lower is the question.

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Cycling query
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2018, 12:55:45 PM »
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Yes that is the question. Will go on visual as well as colorimeter look in case it is zero.

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Cycling query
« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2018, 02:32:42 PM »
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Hi Sue

So just checked again and Nitrite is zero visually, about 0.08ppm on the colorimeter. So can I assume that my tanks is now cycled?

Offline Sue

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Re: Cycling query
« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2018, 02:48:55 PM »
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Yes, I would say so. If it wasn't for the colorimeter, it would look like zero, and that's what the rest of us go by  :)

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Cycling query
« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2018, 02:59:42 PM »
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Thanks Sue

Will empty tank and refill today, then get fish tomorrow or Sunday.

Thanks for all your help.

Now got to decide what fish to get.

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Re: Cycling query
« Reply #18 on: March 10, 2018, 07:38:25 AM »
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Exciting times  :))

 :fishy1:

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Cycling query
« Reply #19 on: March 10, 2018, 05:52:59 PM »
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Exciting times  :))

 :fishy1:

Definitely, two tanks to look after now.

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