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Old 09-09-2006, 12:08 AM   #1
Aroboy II
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Default Fishless Cycling

Fishless Cycling

Most hobbysist would have done or heard “cycling” of newly setup tank or restart tank. Ever wonder using fishless cycling? This is what I want to touch on in this article of mine.

Briefly introduction is the addition of fish waste products to a new aquarium to stimulate the nitrogen cycle before the actual addition of fish.

Fishless cycling required certain amount of time and only slightly faster in creating “ammonia spike” which will be discussed later on. With an appropriate biological filter and setup, you are ready to go.
  1. Get ammonia powder and add into the tank to get “ammonia spike” almost immediately. I would prefer to get 5ppm ammonia reading as later on the biological filter will be able to handle more bioload. (Just make sure you have 90% biomedia and the rest mechanical) Then add the amount daily until you get nitrite readings.
  2. Next, you will get “nitrite spikes” whereby the readings will be sky high but at this moment, ammonia readings will be almost zero or zero. Well, you are half way thru. Once the nitrite is visible, cut back the daily dose of ammonia to half the original dosage.
  3. The tank should be able to cycle through the additional small doses of ammonia powder within a couple of days of additional if bacterial populations are sufficient. The whole process usually takes 2-4 weeks depending on temperature, filteration and dosage of ammonia powder.

After the tank is fully cycled i.e. ammonia and nitrite readings are zero and high reading in nitrate, you can start to do a 20% water change to reduce the nitrate before introducing your fishes into the tank. Used aged water or pre-conditioned water will be good.

Problems: Ammonia too much!!!!!

If the ammonia levels are very high readings say out of the chart of the test kit, the solution is simple, do a water change, or if necessary a series of water changes to bring the ammonia and or nitrite levels back to the readable range on your test kit. Then proceed as normal with daily additions of ammonia until the tank is cycled.

After cycling:

You may get some readings in ammonia and or nitrite after introducing your fishes into the tank, but do not panic. There are a number of commercial bacterial supplements (Cycle, Stress-Zyme,etc) available to help the beneficial bacterias in the filter media in our biological filter, live plants, gravel, other ornaments like rocks or driftwood.

Hope the above helps to reduce killing fishes for our sake of fishkeeping. Happy and enjoy your cycling!

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