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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm doing a fishless cycle on my 125. I seeded it with some media and filter pads from my 46 gallon. Followed the procedure from the library on doing the cycle. I got some ammonium chloride powder as I couldn't find pure ammonia anywhere local.

It's been 10 days and my ammonia is still where it was on day 1. I was hoping with the seed media that I'd have some action by now, but nothing so far.

I know I just need to be patient, but if anyone has done this before, how long did it take before the ammonia dropped, especially if you used media from another tank? It wasn't a lot- just a small bag of ceramic and 2 old filter pads I took out of a canister.

Here's a pic of the tank. Lots of DIY components- lights, stand, filter. The stand isn't done yet, I have some nice wood to wrap it with. There is an identical 125 going right next to it that will be Africans. This one is going to be a community, some Red Head Geos that I have a line on locally from a guy who has 2" young ones, a couple pairs of dwarf cichlids, some angelfish, and schools of cardinals and corys.

tank1.jpg
 

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My 75 took about 12 days for the drop, but with no added media... I kept the ammo between 2-3 ppm. Curious about this myself as I've never seeded from another filter. Well, good luck. Looks like it's going to be a cool aquarium.
 

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I started a 40 gallon breeder last winter using media from one of my established canister filters; it still took 3 weeks for the cycle to complete; my guess is that without well established bacteria though out the tank, the tank is not cycled well enough to process ammonia and nitrite. Hang in there, it will happen.
 

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How much ammonia did you start with?
 

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That's good. Just hang in there man.

Oh, raise the temperature to 84-85...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I know... lol. I'll divert my attention from it today by finishing up the sump and plumbing for the other 125.
 

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Things that help the cycle:
Water aeration
Higher temperature
Good bio filtration (I'm using Seachem matrix)
Water movement
Faith....
 

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I have had success wit API Quick Start. Others seem to like Dr. Tim's bacteria. I have also heard that ATM has a good bacteria product. I have cycled 2 different tanks in approx. 2 weeks using API Quick Start. It seems to quickly start converting ammonia to nitrites, but then nitrites seem to hang around for awhile before nitrates begin to show. If nitrites are still present once nitrates begin to show up at around 20ppm, I would do 25% water changes daily until nitrites were at zero. This process worked for me, but others may have better ideas.
 

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If you are using API Master Test Kit, I would start looking at the integrity of your nitrite test chemicals. Nitrites should certainly be present especially if you are readin 0 ammonia. That ammonia had to go somewhere.
 

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One thing to maybe consider is that your bacteria colony is stronger than you think and ammonia is quickly converted to nitrates. Have you been testing for nitrates?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I dosed with ammonia on Thursday and it was 4ppm yesterday when I tested. This morning it's down to 2ppm, but still no nitrites. I also tested with a 2nd kit I have just in case the nitrite test isn't giving correct results, and it came back with zero as well.

I did a nitrate test, they are at 5ppm, not much, but more than the zero you'd expect at this point in the cycle.
 

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I had a somewhat similar experience. I had what I thought was a very low reading for nitrates, then I shook my #2 nitrate bottle for a solid minute. I also banged it on the counter to release any crystals in the bottle. I tested again and much to my surprise, I had 40 ppm nitrates. Again, just my experience, but maybe worth a try. Hang in there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
And the strangeness continues... I dosed ammonia on Friday after a zero reading, to "feed" the bacteria. Tested Saturday and Sunday- 4ppm. Tested today- 2ppm. Still zero nitrites or nitrates.

So it's taken 3 days for it to drop 2ppm, I thought once there were bacteria there that the ammonia should go to zero in 24 hours or so?

I started the same cycle on my 125g African tank yesterday, dosed w/ammonia and rinsed out a filter sponge from my 46g in the sump to get some bacteria in there.
 

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Not sure what is happening with your tank. The only difference I see between your tank and mine, is if I remember correctly, you used a powder form of ammonia and I used liquid. I don't know if that could make a difference or not. I found my ammonia at ACE Hardware. Did you try banging your nitrate #2 bottle against a hard surface and shaking the heck out of it?
 

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It does not go to zero until enough bacteria have grown.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
DJRansome said:
It does not go to zero until enough bacteria have grown.
It did go to zero, it took about 2 weeks. Then I waited a day, and added more ammonia. Now 3 days later it's still at 2ppm. I expected that it'd turn around from 4ppm to zero in 24hrs or so (based on the article), and my nitrites would be elevated and that part of the cycle would start.
 
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