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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
But after reading what seems like 10 different articles/threads/methods, one seemingly contradicting the next in some (sometimes minor) way, I'm pretty confused as to how to go about this thing. It's been about 8 years since I've done one and I had success but I don't really remember exactly how I did it.

I've got my 90g tank filled up and filters set up. I've got my temp set in the upper-mid 80s. I've got a bottle of Ace brand 10% ammonium hydroxide, and I've got my API test kit.

What the heck do I do now? Somebody point me in the right direction, please! :D

I understand the concepts completely, I just need a blueprint for the best way to get this done.
 

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Okay here goes. I just finished my 90 gallon fishless cycle. Go to this link http://www.fishforums.net/aquarium-calculator.htm scroll down to the bottom change your ammonia % to 10 and change the ppm to 3ppm you don't need 5ppm ammonia that's really high.

1. Add the amount of ammonia the calculator said to get it to 3ppm
2. Now test ammonia every 2 days
3. Once ammonia starts to go down add more ammonia back to 3ppm.
4. Now start testing ammonia and nitrite every other day. You should start to see nitrite
5. Keep testing ammonia and nitrite when both get to 0 add more ammonia test the water the next day and if both are 0 your done.

Think I got it all. :lol:
 

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Shame on you for starting another thread!!!! :p adam0444 hit the main points, so just to add to what he said...

When you slowly see a decrease in ammonia (5-7 days maybe?) you will see an increase in Nitrites. When the ammonia drops to 0, then add ammonia (once every other day) to maintain a reading around 2 ppm.

Don't add too much ammonia because you don't want the Nitrites going above 4-5 ppm.

Nitrites take the longest to convert so don't be surprised if it takes a couple weeks. When the Nitrites read 0 (there will not be gradual decrease like ammonia) then measure your Nitrates.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks.

Water change prior to adding fish? This is another of those things I've heard wildly varying opinions on.
 

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How large?
Not necessarily 50%, enough to get your nitrates below what would be considered a good number. That would be less than 40-50 ppm, I think, although many prefer it under 20 (there is some discussion on this). 50% might not be enough, or it might be more than adequate.
 

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Make sure to check your parameters after the water change though. Your tank might go through another small cycle. :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So ten days after putting enough ammonia in to reach 4ppm (was going for 3ppm, but I guess the calculation was a little high) and testing ammonia and nitrites every two days, I finally got a nitrite reading today. It's up high - 5ppm.

Ammonia has dropped to what looks like 2 ppm. Should I add more ammonia? If so, how much and how often?

Also, any guesses as to how long it'll take for the nitrite readings to drop now?
 

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Don't add no more ammonia in tell both nitrite and ammonia read 0 then add ammonia to get it back up to 2ppm then wait 24 hr then test if they both read 0 your tank is cycle
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Pnut said:
Don't add no more ammonia in tell both nitrite and ammonia read 0 then add ammonia to get it back up to 2ppm then wait 24 hr then test if they both read 0 your tank is cycle
If I want my colony to be large enough to handle more than 3-4 ppm, shouldn't I have more ammonia than 2ppm to keep the colony growing/living?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Deeda said:
No! You just need enough to keep the bacteria colony growing. You don't want to overwhelm it.
Ok... intuitively, it seems like I'm not preparing the colony for more if I keep feeding it 2 ppm every time it hits zero, but I'll go with it.

What's the course of action now? Test everyday to see when ammonia zeros out?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Guess I'm going to test daily now if nobody says otherwise...once ammonia hits 0, I'll try to dose to 3-4 ppm again
 

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3-4ppm is enough for a full load of adults. Very rare that you need that much. You've already seen what it's done to your ntirite level. 1-2ppm is fine for fully stocking with juveniles. What are you stocking with, size and number?

Here's what you need to do from here:

Keep testing for ammonia every 24 hours. Don't add any more until you get a 0 reading.

Then add ammonia every other day while testing for nitrite. Do small partial water changes to keep nitrite down.

When the nitrite test reads zero, do a series of small, partial water changes to bring nitrate down.

Add the last dose of ammonia 48 hours before adding fish.

That's it. There are other methods and most will work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
prov356 said:
3-4ppm is enough for a full load of adults. Very rare that you need that much. You've already seen what it's done to your ntirite level. 1-2ppm is fine for fully stocking with juveniles. What are you stocking with, size and number?

Here's what you need to do from here:

Keep testing for ammonia every 24 hours. Don't add any more until you get a 0 reading.

Then add ammonia every other day while testing for nitrite. Do small partial water changes to keep nitrite down.

When the nitrite test reads zero, do a series of small, partial water changes to bring nitrate down.

Add the last dose of ammonia 48 hours before adding fish.

That's it. There are other methods and most will work.
Was hoping you'd chime in.

I plan on about 25 Demasoni, ~7 Acei, 8 or 9 Yellow Labs and in the neighborhood of 5 synos. All juvies.

Thanks for all the advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ammonia hit 0 this morning. Nitrites off the charts (5ppm or higher). Nitrates are between 20-30ppm.

Just did about a 30% water change before dosing ammonia. Calculated for 2 ppm but I ended up at 4ppm after testing...I figured for 80g to correct for rocks/substrate. Next time I'll dose like 3mL less and hopefully end up at 2.

Nitrites are still off the charts after water change (I tested the nitrites again before re-dosing ammonia but after water change). Should I do a bigger water change next time? Should I do one now?

I'm guessing the nitrite level being so high might impede the growth of the bacteria...although it seems I've already got some since I have a nitrate reading.
 

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Don't add any more ammonia until you get the nitrites down below 5. The ammonia bacteria will not starve. Also you're wasting your money testing for nitrate - when you have high nitrIte you will get a false reading for nitrAte.

I suggest another water change to get the nitrite down and then do not add so much ammonia -- go for 1 ppm so the nitrite does not build up so fast which inhibits the nitrite oxidizing bacteria.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yea, I haven't been testing for nitrates regularly...Just figured I would today to see if I could get anymore information on what's going on at this point. Didn't realize that about the false readings. I'll keep that in mind.

Thanks for the help!
 
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