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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've read the article about fishless cycling. I'm setting up a new 125 gal tank this weekend. I put some filter pad materail in the HOB of my established/cycled community aquarium about a week ago. I have an API test kit with ammonia/nitrite/nitrate. I got the correct ammonia from ACE hardware.

I just want to make sure I understand this correctly.

Initally I'll put the filter material from my community tank in the filter of the new tank. I'll then dose the new tank with ammonia until it reachs 5ppm. Here is where I'm confused. Some places I've read say to add 1/2 the volume of ammonia it took to get the tank to 5ppm each day there after until its cycled. Wouldn't it just be better to test the water until I see the ammonia fall and then add ammonia as needed to keep it at 5ppm until I see the Nitrite spike and then fall/Nitrates come up?

I'm afraid adding 1/2 the original dose daily will just lead to way too much ammonia and might injure the little bit of bacteria I'll be introducing on the filter material I have.
 

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Yeah, I would dose once, and test. When using established media, I have put fish in from day 1, and never had ammonia get above 0.25ppm
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
planning on fully stocking the tank from day 1 so I want to make sure the biofilter is well established before I make the investment in fish.
 

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If your stocking as soon as you set up the tank, don't add ammonia, you will poison the fish.

If you mean you are going to cycle, then fully stock, dose once then test until you see nitrite, then use small doses until you see nitrate. when you have nitrate and the tank will process 2ppm ammonia overnite, you are fully cycled, do a large water change and add fish
 

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I think he means he's going to make sure it's cycled first using ammonia.

I, too, have used established filter media and added fish instantly. Never lost one from that.
 

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No need to keep the ammonia at 5 ppm, just start out with 2-3ppm. You also want to make sure the nitrites stay below 5ppm. :thumb:
You'll see the ammonia gradually decrease and the nitrites spike. -After the nitrite spike, add 1/2 of the original dose of ammonia every other day. Unlike the slow decrease of ammonia, nitrites will just plummet overnight. (Waiting for the nitrites to read 0 is the longest part of the whole process.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've now been seeing Nitrite for about 5 days. My ammonia made it to zero yesterday so I'm starting the process of dosing with ammonia to about 3 ppm, plan on doing it about every other day. My nitrite is now very high - much darker than the highest color reading on my API test kit.
Have seen some Nitrate for a few days as well.

My question is about the Nitrite. Will the levels being sky high cause problems with the ammonia to nitrite bacteria or slow the rate of the nitrite to nitrate bacteria growth? Should I do a partial water change to lower the nitrites? I'm hoping in on my way to a cycled tank really soon and I don't want to do anything to slow the process.
 

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It could slow the growth. It's best to perform a water change to bring the levels down.
BTW- don't bother testing the nitrate, the high nitrite levels affect the reading.
 

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DanniGirl said:
It could slow the growth. It's best to perform a water change to bring the levels down.
BTW- don't bother testing the nitrate, the high nitrite levels affect the reading.
+1

I just cycled my tank the same way (fishless), using the same test kit and had the same problem as far as the color comparison. I did small water changes about 25% as needed to decrease my nitrite to somewhere between 2 and 5 ppm on api color chart as it was darker than the highest color on the chart. At least after the water change I could actually compare it then. My nitrites lasted about 10 days, then one morning woke up, tested it, and bam it was gone. As far as nitrates, once tank was cycled just do another water change.
 
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