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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I have a few questions on cycling my tank (I'm a noobie!). I have decided to use the dead prawns method because clear ammonia is so hard to get here in Oz :(

I've had 3 prawns in the (260 liter/68g) tank for a few days so far. The water is quite cloudy and ammonia reading over 4ppm so I am taking the prawns out for a day or two. So far no nitrite/nitrate readings.

So here are my questions...

I have an internal Juwel sponge filter. Should I be rinsing the sponge media while cycling? I don't want to kill off any good bacteria.

Should I be doing water changes while cycling? Seems that there are mixed opinions on this? If so I'll have to look for some good instructions on how to do this (dechlorinating water etc)

Thanks :)
 

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Just keep checking ammonia until it drops then add the prawns back. You just want to be careful not to add so much that the ammonia overwhelms the bacteria. Maybe just add1 prawn back to the tank instead of 3.
 

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Tim, I defer to your authority on cycling. My concern about having the ammonia at 4 ppm is based on it driving the nitrites too high to start with. Wouldn't it be better to lower it a bit with a WC?
 

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The cloudiness is due to a bloom of the bacteria degrading the shrimp. This bacteria action is producing the ammonia. As the others have pointed out you need to watch that the ammonia does not get above 5 ppm (2 to 3 is best) and you should start to see nitrite about days 8 to 12 at this time put back one shrimp and monitor ammonia and nitrite making sure neither gets above 5 ppm.

You're at 4 now with the ammonia so maybe a small water change is needed but don't rinse the filter.
 

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My apologies for thread jacking, but why is clear ammonia hard to find in S. Australia?

I'm asking this based on sheer curiosity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the suggestions all. I'll do a small water change tomorrow and keep waiting for some nitrates! My first water change... how scary - lol!

Apparently clear ammonia is no longer sold in Australia, only cloudy. I'm not sure why this is the case.
 

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Apparently clear ammonia is no longer sold in Australia, only cloudy. I'm not sure why this is the case.

Best guess:
Some clever Aussie found a way to make free beer with it.
 

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JohnnyG said:
Thanks for the suggestions all. I'll do a small water change tomorrow and keep waiting for some nitrates!
It's nitrItes you want to wait for now not nitrAtes. Don't even bother measuring nitrates until your nitrites spike and drop back to zero (likely about 4-5 weeks from now).
 

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zimmy is right. your nitrIte will start to climb and this will mess up the reading of the nitrAte test so don't waste your time etc bothering with nitrAte. Concentrate on keeping the ammonia and nitrite in the correct range (below 5) by doing water changes as needed. The cloudiness will go away.
 

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Small point on the ammonia is that it is not really easy to find pure ammonia in the states sometimes. To get clear in my area would reguire a trip to the far side of town as far as I've found. Only one hardware chain seems to carry it here.
 

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Small point on the ammonia is that it is not really easy to find pure ammonia in the states sometimes.
Try Kmart/Walmart. It's not the same all over the country, but here in NE Ohio, it's the right stuff. I know that doesn't help you in Australia, sorry. :(

Dr. Tim, do you sell just the ammonia? I know you bundle it with the bacteria.
 

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DrTim's said:
Yes. One can buy the ammonia separately. Item #190 -- a 2 oz bottle of ammonium chloride at a concentration of 50 mg/L total ammonia-nitrogen (TAN).

If someone needed a larger size something can be worked out.
There you go, no more excuses to not fishless cycle, at least in the USA. :)
 

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Hey Johnny G listen to all these people they know. I just got done a 39 day cycle. I almost killed myself it it weren't for the people on this site concurring with me that i am in fact cycling right and everything will happen. Do as your told young jedi and u too will become the master

BTW added Silver Dollars to my Tank!! they are awesome!!!
 

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DrTim's said:
Hey that includes the UK and Europe! :) My distributor in the UK may sell as much or more of my ammonia than I do.
Good to know. Now how about the aussies!

It seems the UK is much bigger into fishless cycling than we are here. At least that's the impression that I get from the periodical that I get from the UK, 'Practical Fishkeeping'.
 

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Dr Tim, how about us in South Africa? Fishless cycling here is almost unheard of, except maybe via a prawn.
 
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