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Old 10-06-2010, 05:06 PM   #1 
Moldau
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Best Way to Keep Tank Cycled While Away

Well, I've been cycling my 5 gallon with pure ammonia for quite a while. I think it's almost done but the nitrite to nitrate step hasn't become established as it should yet. Any ammonia I add gets converted to nitrite very quickly though, so I've had to keep adding it often so it doesn't run out. Anyway, I'm going to be away for the weekend (Friday afternoon to Sunday evening) and I wanted to know what would be the best way to make sure the tank doesn't run out of ammonia while I'm not there to add more. Should I put something in there to decompose and give a steady source of ammonia? Please let me know what would be the best way to deal with this. I really don't want to lose the cycle and have to start all...over...again.
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Old 10-07-2010, 01:45 PM   #2 
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Since there haven't been any replies, I guess I'll just get some fish food today and put some in the tank over the weekend to provide ammonia. Will that work?
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Old 10-07-2010, 06:11 PM   #3 
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That should probably work, if you have tanks set up with fish already, you could add their waste to the tank too.
Best wishes in the tank's cycle!
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Old 10-07-2010, 09:46 PM   #4 
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if you could post after the weekend with your results, that'd be great! i'm also going to start cycling a tank with ammonia (hopefully tomorrow) and in a few weeks i will be away for a weekend and it'd be great to know what to do if i can't get the cycle completed in time!!

i really hope it goes well for you! :)
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Old 10-12-2010, 10:42 PM   #5 
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Well, it looks like the cycle is still there. What I ended up doing was changing out most of the water, adding enough ammonia to get it to about 2 ppm (if I remember correctly) and adding the fish food right before I left. I think I dumped way more food in there than I needed to because I was afraid of not adding enough. I put in probably 2 tsp the night before I left and 2 tsp more right before I left. Probably big time overkill. But like I said, I was paranoid.

Anyway, as you can probably imagine, the tank needed a thorough cleaning when I got back.
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Old 10-18-2010, 10:29 PM   #6 
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haha i bet...but at least the cycle didn't break!!!
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Old 10-19-2010, 12:08 PM   #7 
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Yep, that's what was most important to me at the time. If you're still planning to do a fishless cycle and might have to be away for a while, it sounds like the shrimp method could possibly be better. According to the cycling sticky, it provides a more steady source of ammonia. Not sure how soon before leaving you would have to put it in, though. I used fish food because I have it around. I don't eat shrimp so I didn't want to go buy some to have one for cycling.

Last edited by Moldau; 10-19-2010 at 12:09 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 10-20-2010, 10:17 PM   #8 
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i only have fried shrimp handy...i don't think those would work to well, haha.
but i've heard the shrimp method leaves a big mess, and i've already spent SO much time cleaning this tank SO many times (turns out i was using ammonia with something else bad mixed in so i had to start over and clean like mad) >.<

i really wish those "instant cycle" products at the store actually worked....
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Old 10-21-2010, 04:38 PM   #9 
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this is why i dont cycle! its too complicated. like, WAY too complicated
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:47 PM   #10 
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Originally Posted by zelilaa View Post
this is why i dont cycle! its too complicated. like, WAY too complicated
I agree! lol Sometimes it seems like you have to have a degree in chemical enhineering to cycle a tank.
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