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Old 10-20-2009, 01:12 AM   #1 
Mizzle
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Post Fishless (Ammonia) Cycling Log

Hello, I recently bought a 20 gallon aquarium for my three bettas and I am in the process of cycling it. I've done a lot of research and found a lot of bogus information about the subject so I've decided to post a log of my cycle for anyone interested.

The aquarium I'm setting up is a 20 gallon long with a penguin 150 biowheel filter & a 75 watt heater (all Marineland hardware)

I'm using the API Freshwater Master Test Kit & ACE brand ammonia ( 10% Ammonium Hydroxide)

I will always be testing my water before adding ammonia

October 19th, 2009

pH = 7.6
ammonia = 1-2ppm
nitrites = 0.0 ppm
nitrates = 0.0 ppm

Octover 20th, 2009

pH = 7.4
ammonia = 1-2ppm (added 5 drops post testing)
nitrites = 0.0 ppm
nitrates = 0.0 ppm





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Old 10-20-2009, 08:15 AM   #2 
ChristinaRoss
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theres easier ways to cycle without adding ammonia.
you could just add fish food without fish in there, itll create ammonia
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Old 10-20-2009, 09:49 AM   #3 
giypsy
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How much ammonia are you dosing your 20g with?
My calculations come to 3.9mL per dose.
What is your temp? I cooked up my chem brew
at 82(F).
I always took a 1hr reading for NH(3) after dosing to make
sure I was maintaining the same dose.
Once you NO(2) & NO(3) start showing up, you should be testing
daily.

Both my tanks took three weeks. When my levels read:
0/0/<10ppm, I did a 48 hr test to make sure the levels were
stable, then I acclimated my fish. Fish should be added
2-3 at a time, wait two weeks, add 2-3 again until stocked.
So far, no probs, no algae.
Good Luck!

Last edited by giypsy; 10-20-2009 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 10-20-2009, 07:14 PM   #4 
Mizzle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristinaRoss View Post
theres easier ways to cycle without adding ammonia.
you could just add fish food without fish in there, itll create ammonia

Arguably, cycling with ammonia is much easier than cycling with fish food.

You can add the exact amount of ammonia you want so there is no guess work, there is no cleanup afterwards, it's faster (you have to wait on the food to start decomposing to produce any ammonia), and from what I've read there are a whole number of problems that can occur from rotting fish food.

I know both can work, but I don't think cycling with fish food is by any means the easier method.

Last edited by Mizzle; 10-20-2009 at 07:26 PM.
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Old 10-20-2009, 07:22 PM   #5 
Mizzle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giypsy View Post
How much ammonia are you dosing your 20g with?
My calculations come to 3.9mL per dose.
What is your temp? I cooked up my chem brew
at 82(F).
I always took a 1hr reading for NH(3) after dosing to make
sure I was maintaining the same dose.
Once you NO(2) & NO(3) start showing up, you should be testing
daily.

Both my tanks took three weeks. When my levels read:
0/0/<10ppm, I did a 48 hr test to make sure the levels were
stable, then I acclimated my fish. Fish should be added
2-3 at a time, wait two weeks, add 2-3 again until stocked.
So far, no probs, no algae.
Good Luck!
My starting dose was around 3mL ( about 20 drops ) to reach an ammonia ppm of around 1.5. I'm dosing daily with 5 drops now to slowly raise it to around 3-4ppm & my temperature is at 86(F)

You say your aquariums took around 2-3 weeks to fully cycle? Thats good to hear, hopefully I will have the same luck. Any tips would really be welcomed!
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:19 PM   #6 
Mizzle
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October 21, 2009

pH = 7.6
ammonia = 4.0 ppm
nitrites = 0.0 ppm
nitrates = 5.0 ppm

I tested earlier and my ammonia levels were still floating around 2.0 ppm so I added 5 drops, waited a few hours, and tested again. The results above are the results I got.

I'm not sure where the nitrates came from. I tested & retested and it stood true. Maybe the nitrites had already been consumed by the time I tested?

Last edited by Mizzle; 10-20-2009 at 11:31 PM.
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:22 PM   #7 
dramaqueen
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Is your tank planted?
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Old 10-21-2009, 04:02 AM   #8 
Mizzle
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Originally Posted by dramaqueen View Post
Is your tank planted?
no
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Old 10-21-2009, 04:41 AM   #9 
1077
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizzle View Post
Arguably, cycling with ammonia is much easier than cycling with fish food.

You can add the exact amount of ammonia you want so there is no guess work, there is no cleanup afterwards, it's faster (you have to wait on the food to start decomposing to produce any ammonia), and from what I've read there are a whole number of problems that can occur from rotting fish food.

I know both can work, but I don't think cycling with fish food is by any means the easier method.
Personally, I have used both fish food,and also a small uncooked raw shrimp depending on tank size. Have also used raw ammonia. All three methods, took approx same amount of time to yield nitrates, and zero for ammonia and nitrites .
Food and shrimp method are hands down easier than daily dosing and testing with ammonia. All three methods require one large water change before adding fish and ammonia dosing does not ensure that tank can be stocked to capacity immediately as some believe.
I would only recommend ammonia method if I were certain that it was being used by adult or with adult supervision.
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Old 10-21-2009, 07:51 AM   #10 
ChristinaRoss
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i agree completely 1077

but, to each their own
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