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My Cycle Journal - Dr Tim's - Fluval Flex 57L

Discussion in 'Cycle your Tank' started by DeeGeeDee, Apr 26, 2017.

  1. DeeGeeDee

    DeeGeeDee New Member

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    I couldn’t find many threads/reviews about of Dr Tim’s freshwater cycling products when I was researching what method to use for my tank. I knew I wanted to use Dr Tim’s as I liked the idea of the One & Only Nitrifying Bacteria used in conjunction with the Ammonium Chloride instead of having to use another ‘bacteria’ product and trying to find and measure out household ammonia.

    I bought both Dr Tim’s One & Only and the Ammonium Chloride from Amazon which was sent from the USA (I live in the UK). The One and Only arrived early April 2017 and had a best before date of April 2017 – this was slightly annoying but I used it anyway. I plan to dose to 4ppm Ammonia using the supplied Ammonium Chloride.

    My cycle started on 23rd April 2017 and I plan to log each day’s readings here so other people can find it if they to plan to use Dr Tim’s. Fingers crossed for some results.

    Tank was set up on Saturday 22nd April using Caribsea Eco-Complete, Grey Mountain Stone and planted with Eleocharis Parvula, Rotala Rotundifolia and Staurogyne Repens. Filter turned on and left overnight to run in. Heater turned on and set to 30 degrees (C).

    Water readings before anything added are:
    pH 7.8 Ammonia 0
    Gh 7 Nitrite 0
    Kh 6 Nitrate 0

    All tests carried out (apart from Day 1) around 5pm each day to ensure an accurate comparison.

    Day 1 – Sunday 23rd April, 2017

    With the water sitting at around 28/29 degrees, it’s time to start.

    Tank dosed with the full 2oz bottle of Dr Tim’s One and Only Nitrifying Bacteria for Freshwater and left for 1 hour to run through the tank. I then added 120 drops of the Ammonium Chloride to reach a level of 4ppm ammonia in the tank @ 1.35pm.

    The instructions on the bottle are to reach 2ppm but I decided to double this to reach 4ppm as I saw this on a video on YouTube (link below) and decided to do the same.

    One hour later I tested the water for ammonia and got a reading of 4ppm. So far so good. Now I wait.



    Day 2 – Monday 24th April, 2017
    Ammonia: 4
    Nitrite: 0.25
    Nitrate: 0

    Day 3 – Tuesday 25th April, 2017
    Ammonia: 4 I would have thought this would be going down by now if Nitrite's are on the rise?
    Nitrite: 2
    Nitrate: 0

    Day 4 - Wednesday 26th April, 2017
    Ammonia: 4 (Still?) Might be somewhere between 2ppm and 4ppm as it's not as dark as it was before but still looks quite like 4ppm.
    Nitrite: 2
    Nitrate: 0

    Day 5 - Thursday 27th April, 2017
    Ammonia: 4 (same as yesterday, not as dark as 4 but not as light as 2!)
    Nitrite: 2
    Nitrate: 0

    Feel like this is taking a while to show better results... can only wait and see!

    Day 6 - Friday 28th April, 2017
    Ammonia: 4
    Nitrite: 2
    Nitrate: 0

    Day 7 - Saturday 29th April, 2017
    Ammonia: 4
    Nitrite: 2
    Nitrate: 0

    Day 8 - Sunday 30th April, 2017

    Ammonia: 4
    Nitrite: 2
    Nitrate: 0

    Day 9 - Monday 1st May, 2017
    Ammonia: 4
    Nitrite: 1
    Nitrate: 0

    I think I may have OD'd the tank with ammonia at the beginning of the cycle as Ammonia is not moving from 4ppm but Nitrites have gone up and now starting to come down. The initial reading of ammonia was a dark green but I wouldn't have put it much above 5ppm. Perhaps a small water change could help this?

    Day 10 - Tuesday 2nd May, 2017
    Ammonia: 4
    Nitrite: 1
    Nitrate: 0

    Day 11 - Wednesday 3rd May, 2017
    Ammonia: 4
    Nitrite: 1
    Nitrate: 0

    Day 11 - Thursday 4th May, 2017

    Ammonia: 2
    Nitrite: 5+ (It's very dark purple)
    Nitrate: 5

    FINALLY - some movement. Hoping to have re-dosed by the end of the weekend. Nitrates are coming!

    Day 12 - Friday 5th May, 2017
    Forgot to take readings but see following day.

    Day 13 - Saturday 6th May, 2017
    Ammonia: 0
    Nitrite: 5+
    Nitrate: 5

    Tank re-dosed to 2ppm (60drops of ammonium chloride)

    Day 14 - Sunday 7th May, 2017
    Ammonia: 1
    Nitrite: 5+
    Nitrate: 5

    Re-dosed ammonia to 4ppm.

    Day 15 - Monday 8th May, 2017
    Ammonia: 0
    Nitrite: 5+
    Nitrate: 5

    Ammonia levels converted within 24 hours. Just need nitrite now.

    Day 16 - Tuesday 9th May, 2017
    Ammonia: 0
    Nitrite: 5+
    Nitrate: 5

    Waiting very patiently for the nitrites to come back down. I think I mistakenly re-dosed the tank with ammonia when I shouldn't have - i.e, before the nitrite level came back down, so now the nitrite bacteria cannot keep up.

    Day 17 - Wednesday 10th May, 2017
    Ammonia: 0
    Nitrite: 5+
    Nitrate: 5

    Day 18 - Thursday 11th May, 2017

    Ammonia: 0
    Nitrite: 5+
    Nitrate: 5

    Day 19 - Friday 12th May, 2017
    Ammonia: 0
    Nitrite: 5+
    Nitrate: 5 Definitely nothing really happening here just now...??

    Day 20 - Saturday 13th May, 2017

    Ammonia: 0
    Nitrite: 2
    Nitrate: 5ish Finally, some movement again

    Day 21 - Sunday 14th May, 2017

    Ammonia: 0
    Nitrite: 0.5
    Nitrate: 10ish

    Day 22 - Monday 15th May, 2017

    Ammonia: 0 / 4ppm as re-dosed
    Nitrite: 0.5
    Nitrate: 10 - 20

    Day 23 - Tuesday 16th May, 2017

    Ammonia: 4
    Nitrite: 5
    Nitrate: 20 - 40

    Day 24 - Wednesday 17th May, 2017

    Ammonia: 2
    Nitrite: 5+
    Nitrate: 40

    Day 25 - Thursday 18th May, 2017

    Ammonia: 0
    Nitrite: 5+
    Nitrate: 40

    Day 26 - Friday 19th May, 2017

    Ammonia: 0
    Nitrite: 0.5
    Nitrate: 40 - 80

    Tank is finally now cycled but keeping up the feeding until fish arrive on Thursday! Water change to reduce Nitrates before adding fish.

    Day 27 - Saturday 20th May, 2017

    Ammonia: 0 / 4
    Nitrite: 0
    Nitrate: 80+

    Day 28 - Sunday 21st May, 2017

    Ammonia: 0 / 4
    Nitrite: 0
    Nitrate: 80+

    Day 29 - Monday 22nd May, 2017

    Ammonia: 0 / 4
    Nitrite: 0
    Nitrate: 80+

    CONCLUSION
    Dr Tim's products do work, just not as fast for me as they say they will. The say a 2 week cycle but I've been at it for more than 4 weeks now and finally just got to the end of it.

    The bottle of bacteria I received was best before the month I received it, and it was also posted from the US to the UK so I would think that both these factors have something to do with it as well.

    I would perhaps use something else in the future such as TSS along with some household ammonia to get it going. Luckily, I've packed the tank full of media so if I get another tank in the future, I will be able to get some of this into a new tank to kickstart it.

    Happy the cycle process is over... fish arrive on Thursday. Bought 6 guppies, 4 amano shrimp and 3 nerite snails. Had an algae problem throughout the cycle but I think this is down to my bad positioning of the tank. The snails will now take over from me to keep this under control. If you have any questions, please post away, or you can send me a message.
     
    #1 DeeGeeDee, Apr 26, 2017
    Last edited: May 23, 2017
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  2. eaglesaquarium

    eaglesaquarium Life, Liberty & Pursuit of the perfect fish tank
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    Stick with doing nothing. You are getting results. Just as an FYI, when dosing ammonia using Dr. Tim's, it is recommended to follow their instructions. The bacteria in a bottle can be killed off by too much ammonia. In a situation like this, less is more. Dosing at 1 or 2 ppm would have probably yielded faster results, but you are rolling now. No need to do anything until the ammonia is clearly under 0.5ppm... then redoes to 2 or maybe 3 ppm ammonia. Then wait until you get double zeroes (ammonia and nitrite).

    As an FYI 1ppm ammonia as measured on our kits turns to 2.6 or 2.7 ppm nitrite, and eventually 3.6 ppm nitrate. This is because the scale is based on the total ion mass, not just counting the nitrogen atoms. Ammonia (NH3) has a molar mass of 17 grams, Nitrite (NO2) has a molar mass of 46 grams, and Nitrate (NO3) has a molar mass of 62 grams
     
  3. DeeGeeDee

    DeeGeeDee New Member

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    Cheers, Eagles. I'm glad it's started to show signs of movement as I thought I was going to have to intervene and do a water change (not that that's a big deal!)

    The ammonia Dr Tim provided quoted 4 drops per G to reach 2ppm, I did this to reach 4ppm so added 8 drops per G (120 in total) but I think this was too much. I wish I had stuck to the 2ppm as it stated instead of going with what the video I found suggested. Will only re-dose to 2ppm when it's time to do so.

    This is great to know - thank you!
     
  4. eaglesaquarium

    eaglesaquarium Life, Liberty & Pursuit of the perfect fish tank
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    Well, if you dose for the volume of the tank, rather than the volume of water added, that can cause an 'overdose'. The decor, substrate etc cuts down on the actual volume of water.
     
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  5. DeeGeeDee

    DeeGeeDee New Member

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    I think that was my mistake. It'll be dosed correctly the next time!
     

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