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Fishless Cycle With Bottled Bacteria-Help

Discussion in 'Cycle your Tank' started by gale, Sep 15, 2016.

  1. gale

    gale Member

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    I started cycling before but then decided to get the Dr Tim's bacteria (because I wasn't sure if the safestart I had was kept at the right temp) so I put it on hold. When I restarted it I didn't add ammonia again since it was already at 2+ ppm. I'm using RO water and added seachem flourish for minerals. I just bought some live plants today and will add those tonight. Here's what has gone on so far-this is from day 1 of my NEW cycling adventure:
     
    Day 1 - (already had ammonia added from before) ammonia 2 ppm, nitrites 0, nitrates 0. Added 2 capfuls of bacteria

    Day 2 - Ammonia 1.5, nitrites 0, pH 7.4
    Day 3 - ammonia 1.5, nitrites 0, pH 7.4
    Day 4 - did nothing (it was a busy day)
    Day 5 - ammonia 1, nitrites 0, pH 7.6
    Day 6 - added 5 drops of ammonia (this after asking dr tim's support and didn't hear back until the next day) and 2 more capfuls of bacteria
    Day 7 - ammonia 3, nitrites 0, pH 7.2
    Day 8 - ammonia 2, nitrites 0, pH 7.4
    Day 9 - ammonia 2, nitrites 0, pH 7.4. Added some tetra safe start plus (because I have it on hand and was told you can't overdose the bacteria)
    Day 10 - ammonia 2, nitrites 0, didn't test pH after this
    Day 11 and 12 - did nothing
    Day 13 - ammonia 1+, nitrites 0
    Day 14 and 15 - did nothing
    Day 16 - ammonia .5, nitrites 0, nitrates around 10. Added 4 drops of ammonia
    Day 17 (today) - ammonia .5, nitrites 0
     
    Since I added ammonia and 24 hours later it's only .5, should I add it again? I've read that there may not be a nitrite spike while using the bottled bacteria-does anyone have experience with that? Or maybe it happened to be on the days I didn't test. Should I start testing daily? Someone on another forum told me to add a fish. Is my tank ready for a fish? I didn't think it was. 
     
    side note- I think KH and GH are around 3-4. It's hard to determine because the color is so light. 

     
     
  2. eaglesaquarium

    eaglesaquarium Life, Liberty & Pursuit of the perfect fish tank
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    Wait for the ammonia to drop to 0.25 ppm or lower. Then dose ammonia again. No sense adding more bacteria, really. You are rolling now. They can double in a day under the right conditions.

    Do NOT add a fish until both ammonia and nitrite drop to zero 24 hours after adding the ammonia dose. No sense in putting a fish in harms way.

    Why are you using RO?
     
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  3. gale

    gale Member

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    My well water is really bad. Not even fit to drink to be honest (not dangerous for humans but not good at all for fish-I get horrible lime and calcium deposits bad enough to ruin filters and really high copper and iron). In the house we use soft water (not for drinking or cooking) and I don't think that's good for fish either (and I still get a lot of iron staining in my sinks and toilets). Since I only have two 5 gallon tanks it's cheap enough to just buy water from town for water changes. The town water dispensers are all RO filtered town water. 
     
  4. gale

    gale Member

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    My ammonia has been the same (around .5) for 4 days now. Is my cycle stalled? I've been kicking around the idea to buy one of those sponge filters mentioned in the fish-in cycle sticky. The ones that have beneficial bacteria in them. It would be a good time to ship since it's not too hot or too cold right now. Would that help?
     
  5. gale

    gale Member

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    .5 again tonight. That's about 6 days at that same value or close to it. Before this it never stayed that long. Is there something different I need to do? It has cooled off the past few days so I turned the heater on. Anything else I can try?
     

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