dr. tims cycling question

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i am starting a new tank 10 gallon, an have started the cycling process w/dr tim. i am at day 10 today with a 4ppm reading of ammonia. its been at this reading since day 1. everything else ph is good, nitrite is at 0ppm. my filter heater an airstone is running even though i do not have fish in tank yet. do i just wait it out till ammonia drops to at least 2ppm or 0ppm. i certainly am not adding any ammonia, last time i added it was on day 6. i also have substrate an decor in tank. any help, would be very much appreciated, then i can start to roll w/adding fish:)
 

Colin_T

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Just wait until the ammonia goes down.

The filter cycling process usually takes around 4-6 weeks but can be longer. After a couple of weeks the first group of beneficial bacteria start to build up and one day the ammonia level will suddenly drop and the nitrite will go up. A few weeks after that and the nitrite level will drop after more good bacteria develop. When that happens the nitrate will go up.

When the ammonia and nitrite have both gone up and come back down to 0ppm, the tank is cycled.

Don't bother testing for nitrate until the tank has cycled because nitrate test kits read nitrite as nitrate and give you a false reading.

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You can help speed up the cycling process by doing the following things.

Remove covers from the top of the tank. This allows bacteria to land in the water and help inoculate the tank. You can put the cover back on after the tank has cycled.

Increase the water temperature to 30C. This helps the bacteria grow faster. You can reduce the temperature after the tank has cycled.

Increase aeration/ surface turbulence to maximise the oxygen level in the water.

Try to keep the pH around 7.0 during the cycling phase. If the pH is too low or too high, it can slow or stop the bacteria from growing.

Leave the tank lights off during cycling. The beneficial filter bacteria prefer dark environments. This is why most filters have a dark or tinted case (to reduce the light).

Add some liquid filter bacteria supplement (available from most pet shops or online). I recommend adding a double dose every day for a week. then pour the remaining contents into the tank. Try to add the bacteria near the filter intake so it gets drawn into the filter where it belongs.
 

Mcostas

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I know some people think it's snake oil but I've had great success adding bacteria. I used fritz turbo start and Fritz fishless fuel. My substrate supposedly has beneficial bacteria in it as well. I also have plants and driftwood. My 20G cycled in less than 2 weeks.

I would never have ammonia in a tank with fish. I didn't know that was a thing. I did a fish in cycle in my 10 gallon and never noticed ammonia. I used beneficial bacteria and substrate with BB in, and plants. That one just had a Betta and a snail.

Anyway, that's just my experience. I've had no problems with tank cycling but I've been fighting a very resistant case of ich though. Heat and salt only affected my tetras, not for the better. I'm fixing to resort to copper based treatment.
 

DoubleDutch

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I know some people think it's snake oil but I've had great success adding bacteria. I used fritz turbo start and Fritz fishless fuel. My substrate supposedly has beneficial bacteria in it as well. I also have plants and driftwood. My 20G cycled in less than 2 weeks.

I would never have ammonia in a tank with fish. I didn't know that was a thing. I did a fish in cycle in my 10 gallon and never noticed ammonia. I used beneficial bacteria and substrate with BB in, and plants. That one just had a Betta and a snail.

Anyway, that's just my experience. I've had no problems with tank cycling but I've been fighting a very resistant case of ich though. Heat and salt only affected my tetras, not for the better. I'm fixing to resort to copper based treatment.
As stated before bacterial starters aren't snake oil if one realises what he is actually and doing.
Most starters are heterotrophic bacteria mixes that them temporarily convert the same compounds as the natural ones do after occuring in a tank (3 weeks) . They simply don't seed / cycle a tank.

If you never saw ammonia the bacteria mix bought enough time and did its job perfectly but doesn't mean you cycled a tank in 2 weeks.

In case of a crash or emergency this is perfect stuff as well. No snake oil but different than thought.
 

Mcostas

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As stated before bacterial starters aren't snake oil if one realises what he is actually and doing.
Most starters are heterotrophic bacteria mixes that them temporarily convert the same compounds as the natural ones do after occuring in a tank (3 weeks) . They simply don't seed / cycle a tank.

If you never saw ammonia the bacteria mix bought enough time and did its job perfectly but doesn't mean you cycled a tank in 2 weeks.

In case of a crash or emergency this is perfect stuff as well. No snake oil but different than thought.
I didn't bother in my 10 gallon, mostly because I didn't have as much information about tank cycling.

But I added nh3 to the 20, along with the bacteria. By the end of week 2 I could add enough ammonia to get it to 2ppm and the next day it all would be zero, except for maybe a trace of nitrates.

I never get much nitrates, usually it's zero, I figured it was my plants and substrate. I don't wait for nitrates to rise before I do a water change, I like to keep things clean.

Plus I'm battling ich in the one tank and I'm trying to keep it from getting worse. I'm resorting to copper but it's not here yet.
 

FishHobby99

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As stated before bacterial starters aren't snake oil if one realises what he is actually and doing.
Most starters are heterotrophic bacteria mixes that them temporarily convert the same compounds as the natural ones do after occuring in a tank (3 weeks) . They simply don't seed / cycle a tank.

If you never saw ammonia the bacteria mix bought enough time and did its job perfectly but doesn't mean you cycled a tank in 2 weeks.

In case of a crash or emergency this is perfect stuff as well. No snake oil but different than thought.
What brand do you like?
 

DoubleDutch

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What brand do you like?
I have never used these starters and never do fish in cycles. In most cases I use matured media from another tank or do a fishless cycle using fishfood and patience.

Dr.Tim's one and only and TSS contain right bacteria btw. And there are some more brands recently

But seeding and complete cycling still is different. All this stuff is only made to replace patience (or usage in case of a crash to save fish)

As said there is nothing wrong using any brand, but I think we can't say we cycled the tank in one or two weeks.
 
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FishHobby99

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I once tried a Dr. Tim’s fishless cycle. I bought his products & watched his video & read his chart of daily instructions. Before & ever since I have used pre-cycled filters from my own tanks. For the last 3 weeks I’ve had two big Fluval AC 110s cycling in two tanks. They will be used when my 125 G gets here. Neither the LFS or manufacturer knows when that will be.

For whatever reasons, Dr. Tim’s methods drove me mad. I did not like all the counting & taking parameters. I aborted the mission & tossed in a cycled sponge.
 

DoubleDutch

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I once tried a Dr. Tim’s fishless cycle. I bought his products & watched his video & read his chart of daily instructions. Before & ever since I have used pre-cycled filters from my own tanks. For the last 3 weeks I’ve had two big Fluval AC 110s cycling in two tanks. They will be used when my 125 G gets here. Neither the LFS or manufacturer knows when that will be.

For whatever reasons, Dr. Tim’s methods drove me mad. I did not like all the counting & taking parameters. I aborted the mission & tossed in a cycled sponge.
Allmost any process in our hobby has an aquabrand way and a natural one hahahaha.
Two differences : price and needed amoubt of patience.
 

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