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SubscribeAmmonia to Nitrite Question....
Small Fry
Posts: 13
Kudos: 17
Votes: 2
Registered: 04-Nov-2009
male usa us-texas
EditedEdited 08-Dec-2009 13:31
Hello All,

I have a question about the cycling process...(fish less cycling using fish food)

My tank (200 liters) has been cycling for about 12 days now and the ammonia level has only risen to 1 ppm. The temperature of the tank is at 26.5 degrees celsius. The over head light has been left on. Considering there are no fish I've been putting a small but substantial amount of fish food in daily. Well as of today I am still not getting any nitrite readings. Is it too early to get any nitrite readings or am I doing something wrong? About how long should it take to start seeing the nitrite levels rise, cycling the tank in this way?

Any insight/assistance would be greatly appreciated...

Post InfoPosted 08-Dec-2009 06:58Profile PM Edit Report 
Posts: 5108
Kudos: 5263
Votes: 1690
Registered: 28-Dec-2002
male usa us-colorado
EditedEdited 08-Dec-2009 15:32
At the risk of causing some disturbance, I prefer to use
straight ammonia when doing a fishless cycle of the tank.
Decaying fish food has to go through a longer process to
reach the ammonia stage.

You want a ammonia reading between 1 and 2. Add enough
ammonia to give you a reading of, say 2, and then let
the cycle begin, checking ammonia frequently, when it
drops, add more ammonia to again reach 2. When you can
add that same amount of ammonia and the reading is zero,
nitrite is zero, and nitrate is showing, then the tank
is cycled.

Using fishfood only as your source of ammonia, you want to
duplicate the same process, maintain the ammonia level
and watch for nitrite to develop and then watch for nitrate
to begin to develop. Continue until the ammonia is zero
and the nitrite is zero, by then the nitrate will be reading.
To me, once the two are reading zero, it is time
to add the fish and any further fish food would begin to
polute the tank.


-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 08-Dec-2009 15:32Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Small Fry with Ketchup
Posts: 6833
Kudos: 8324
Votes: 1570
Registered: 17-Apr-2003
female australia us-maryland
I agree with Frank.

Using fishfood to do a fishless cycle will take longer than using ammonia. Being in the US (based on the flag on your profile) you should be able to find unscented uncolored ammonia pretty easily in any pharmacy or the pharmacy aisle of your grocery store.

200L is about a 50 gallon tank, I'd think you'd need a good handful of fishfood to break down. If you can I'd suggest using ammonia at this point. If not just continue doing what you've been doing, increase the amount of food, possibly increase the temperature. I wouldn't think you'd need the lights on though.

I seem to remember from the last time I did readings while cycling a tank that the nitrItes to nitrAtes phase lasted the longest, however that was with fish in a 20 gallon tank.


Post InfoPosted 09-Dec-2009 21:46Profile Homepage AIM MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
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