Betta Fish Care  
Go Back   Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care > Betta Fish Bowls, Habitats, and Accessories
Check out the eBook Betta Fish Care Made Easy
betta fish
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 01-14-2012, 03:22 PM   #1 
cataze
New Member
 
cataze's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Question First Time Fishless Cycling...Am I Doing This Right?

Hi Everyone!

I'm on my 10th day of a fishless cycle in my 20 gallon tank. From what I've read, I should have seen my ammonia level drop by now.

I just want to make sure I'm doing everything right.

As I said, it's a 20 gallon tank. I've got my substrate (small rounded gravel), fake plants and a cave in there. My heater is keeping a constant temperature of 80F. My filter (Penguin Bio Wheel 150) is running. I have the water level a little low so there is aeration from where the water comes back out of the filter into the tank.

I used pure ammonia and added to a level of 2ppm. I didn't see the point in raising it any higher than that since I will just be adding one Betta fish to start with.

I have not seen my ammonia budge from 2ppm yet. Just in case, I tested my NitrItes, which are still at 0ppm. I tested my NitrAtes, and they were between 5-10ppm. When I saw that, I tested my tap water and it was about 2-3 ppm. Not sure why the NitrAtes are slightly higher in the tank. I am using an API Master Test Kit (liquid) to test my water parameters.

Is there anything I'm not doing right?

Thanks for any advice!!!
Cate
cataze is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2012, 11:30 PM   #2 
Sakura8
Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Elk Grove, California
Have you been doing water changes? Did you use any kind of bacterial additive? If the cycling is going right, the ammonia should drop first, then the nitrites appear. Then the nitrites should drop and nitrate should appear.

Have you been doing water changes?
Sakura8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2012, 07:27 PM   #3 
cataze
New Member
 
cataze's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Ottawa, Canada
No, I haven't been doing any water changes. I didn't think I was supposed to.

Ammonia is still at 2ppm.
cataze is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2012, 08:02 PM   #4 
Sakura8
Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Elk Grove, California
Do a water change, about 40%. Don't add any more ammonia. This will alow the ammonia-eating bacteria to catch up and start growing. Hopefully this gets things back on track.
Sakura8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2012, 08:04 PM   #5 
cataze
New Member
 
cataze's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Thanks Sakura8!

I have to return the gravel vac I have because it doesn't work, so I will do that tomorrow. I just checked my ammonia again, and it looks the same. It could be creeping towards 1ppm from 2ppm, but those greens on the test are so close together that I can't tell. But it still looks more like 2ppm. It's been 12 days going on 13 days of staying around there.

One of the reasons I didn't dose any higher than 2ppm was so that I didn't overwhelm the cycle and stall it. I guess that can happen even at a lower ammonia concentration!

Just out of curiosity, how much would water evaporation affect the ammonia concentration. I've seen quite bit of evaporation over the last couple of weeks.

Also, the water conditioner I have right now is Prime, which works on ammonia as well as the chlorine/chloramine. How will that affect the ammonia in the water while I'm cycling? Should I get a small bottle of another water conditioner to use while I'm cycling?

Thanks again for your help!
Cate

Last edited by cataze; 01-16-2012 at 08:06 PM.
cataze is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2012, 11:20 PM   #6 
Sakura8
Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Elk Grove, California
I agree, those colors on the test kits are too close. Why they can't make the first one red, the next one green . . . *shrugs*

I really couldn't say for certain about the evaporation affecting the concentration of the ammonia. It would seem pretty logical that the less water there is, the higher the concentration though, wouldn't it? Hmm. Hopefully someone who knows will come and answer that question. Otherwise, I'll ask around for you.

Prime works on ammonia by locking it up and turning it into ammonium, which is a slightly less toxic form of ammonia. I think the ammonia eating bacteria also will eat ammonium but just to be on the safe side, you could get a bottle of something that doesn't work on ammonia. I know API has bottles that just say Tap Water Conditioner that basically only remove chlorine and chloramine. Maybe a small bottle of that will help. I'm going to go back through my fish book and re-read what it says about fishless cycling so I'll let you know what I find out. :)


EDIT:

Okay. I think, after reading, that the high ammonia levels you're seeing still are normal for fishless cycling. The difference between fishless and fish-in cycling is with fish-in, you have to do frequent water changes to bring the levels down into a safe range for the fish but not so low that there is no ammonia left for the cycle. When you cycle fishless, you don't have to worry about safe levels. You pour some in (the book says about a capful) and wait for the levels to drop. From what I'm understanding, this process can take several weeks so I guess you're right on track. The only part I don't understand is why there are nitrates already. What kind of test kit are you using, a liquid one or strips? If it's liquid, be sure to really shake the second solution bottle. I mean shake it until your arm is going to fall off. That's the key to an accurate reading. Also double-check the expiration dates. I bought a bottle of test strips once that didn't work because they had expired long before I bought them.

You can check this thread out to see if it has any helpful information. http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=47838

Last edited by Sakura8; 01-16-2012 at 11:32 PM.
Sakura8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2012, 12:56 PM   #7 
cataze
New Member
 
cataze's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Okay...thanks.

I read that post before I even got my tank, etc. I think I'm going to wait and see what happens over the next week. Cross your fingers for me!

Cate
cataze is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Help with fishless cycling please! tlyons01 Betta Fish Bowls, Habitats, and Accessories 4 07-27-2011 01:34 PM
fishless cycling halfcent Betta Fish Care 3 04-03-2011 08:40 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:27 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.