Proper ammonia level during fishless cycle?

JohnL

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What ammonia level should be maintained during the cycling period?
 

JohnL

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I've never done it myself, but I have heard 5ppm is the max. I would think 1-2ppm would get the job done since that's what you see when you do it the oldschool sacrificial damsel method (though no damsel ever died when I did it. hardy buggers). Here's a Dr. Tim recipe. I never read it but might be useful info in it.

https://store.drtimsaquatics.com/ass...Guide-0920.pdf

Thank you.

I found a few articles that I didn't read yet either ?

https://www.buildyouraquarium.com/how-to-fishless-cycle

https://www.cpp.edu/~jskoga/Aquariums/Ammonia.html
 

JohnL

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From this article

6. High Ammonia - People think they have to feed the bacteria every day or the bacteria will starve. Bacteria are not human; they do not need to eat every day to survive. Because the ammonia-oxidizing bacteria work faster than the nitrite-oxidizing bacteria the ammonia will read zero sooner than the nitrite will read zero. Don’t believe the internet that says the bacteria will starve if there is no ammonia. Follow the recipe directions - 1) do not add ammonia if either ammonia or nitrite is above 5 mg/L-N and 2) only add a maximum of 4 drops per gallon do not continue to add ammonia until you get a reading of 2 ppm or else you risk overdosing the system with ammonia.

7. Overdosing with Ammonia-Removing Chemicals - It makes little sense to add an ammoniaremoving chemical to your aquarium water when you are then going to add ammonium chloride drops. So don’t! Just use a ‘simple’ dechlorinating agent like our First Defense to remove any chloramines or chlorine. Some popular brands of ammonia-removers advertise that they do not affect the nitrifying bacteria even at high doses - this is wrong. The overuse of ammoniaremoving chemicals will stall the cycle.

8. High Nitrite - Related to #6. Many times the bacteria can quickly handle the overdosing of ammonia and you will get a zero (0) ammonia reading but the nitrite just gets higher and higher. High nitrite is very common when you rush the process or add too much ammonia too quickly. High nitrite inhibits the bacteria and stalls the cycle. If you have super high nitrite do a 33-50% water change without disturbing the substrate. Do not add chemicals to de-toxify the nitrite.
 

kharmaguru

Premium Member
From this article

6. High Ammonia - People think they have to feed the bacteria every day or the bacteria will starve. Bacteria are not human; they do not need to eat every day to survive. Because the ammonia-oxidizing bacteria work faster than the nitrite-oxidizing bacteria the ammonia will read zero sooner than the nitrite will read zero. Don’t believe the internet that says the bacteria will starve if there is no ammonia. Follow the recipe directions - 1) do not add ammonia if either ammonia or nitrite is above 5 mg/L-N and 2) only add a maximum of 4 drops per gallon do not continue to add ammonia until you get a reading of 2 ppm or else you risk overdosing the system with ammonia.

7. Overdosing with Ammonia-Removing Chemicals - It makes little sense to add an ammoniaremoving chemical to your aquarium water when you are then going to add ammonium chloride drops. So don’t! Just use a ‘simple’ dechlorinating agent like our First Defense to remove any chloramines or chlorine. Some popular brands of ammonia-removers advertise that they do not affect the nitrifying bacteria even at high doses - this is wrong. The overuse of ammoniaremoving chemicals will stall the cycle.

8. High Nitrite - Related to #6. Many times the bacteria can quickly handle the overdosing of ammonia and you will get a zero (0) ammonia reading but the nitrite just gets higher and higher. High nitrite is very common when you rush the process or add too much ammonia too quickly. High nitrite inhibits the bacteria and stalls the cycle. If you have super high nitrite do a 33-50% water change without disturbing the substrate. Do not add chemicals to de-toxify the nitrite.

I really like Dr. Tim. I know he's in business to make money but I believe he gives honest information. Good stuff.
 

Pravin

New member
Hello folks, I have setup a 6 feet saltwater tank and had it cycling for almost 35 days. Introduced a pair of blue damsel. Everything went fine for an hour but suddenly both damsels started heavy breathing, twitching their heads/gills, rapid swimming, and finally on the ground, almost dead. Immediately I transferred them to my established saltwater tank and they both revived in seconds. I'm not sure what's the issue I'm facing in my new tank. Can somebody help me get through this. SG - 1.024 pH - 8.2 Ammonia - 0 Nitrite - Nitrate - very minimal Tank size - 6 feet length x 1.5 feet width x 2.50 feet height. I tried to introduce same fishes after 2 days, they showed the same twitching behavior and was almost went into deathbed in an hour. But fortunately I transferred them to my another tank and they are doing well now. Kindly help me understand what issue I'm going through and how to rectify the same.
 

JohnL

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Staff member
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Hello folks, I have setup a 6 feet saltwater tank and had it cycling for almost 35 days. Introduced a pair of blue damsel. Everything went fine for an hour but suddenly both damsels started heavy breathing, twitching their heads/gills, rapid swimming, and finally on the ground, almost dead. Immediately I transferred them to my established saltwater tank and they both revived in seconds. I'm not sure what's the issue I'm facing in my new tank. Can somebody help me get through this. SG - 1.024 pH - 8.2 Ammonia - 0 Nitrite - Nitrate - very minimal Tank size - 6 feet length x 1.5 feet width x 2.50 feet height. I tried to introduce same fishes after 2 days, they showed the same twitching behavior and was almost went into deathbed in an hour. But fortunately I transferred them to my another tank and they are doing well now. Kindly help me understand what issue I'm going through and how to rectify the same.

Welcome to Reef Central Pravin could there be stray voltage in the tank? How much nitrite do you consider very minimal?
 

Pravin

New member
Hello John,

First of all thank you so much for responding. Apologizing for the typo error from my last message, nitrite is zero and nitrate is very minimal. I checked for the stray voltage with an electrician and it is negative.

Actually, I tried to introduce my 2 blue damsels which I am bringing up over an year now. Today while doing drip acclimation, one of the fish started that twitching behavior with inappropriate swimming (even sliding down) and i have immediately terminated the acclimation and moved them back to my established tank (immediately they revived and fine).

First pair of damsels faced twitching when I introduced them inside new tank. Today another pair faced same issue while making drip acclimation. So I'm totally dawned and unable to proceed further.

tank is 6 feet in length and 2.5 feet in height, so i felt like there is no proper water movement, today I changed my old powerhead with a new one (which is big, producing more water current).

Is there anything I'm missing.
 

JohnL

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Staff member
Admin
Hello John,

First of all thank you so much for responding. Apologizing for the typo error from my last message, nitrite is zero and nitrate is very minimal. I checked for the stray voltage with an electrician and it is negative.

Actually, I tried to introduce my 2 blue damsels which I am bringing up over an year now. Today while doing drip acclimation, one of the fish started that twitching behavior with inappropriate swimming (even sliding down) and i have immediately terminated the acclimation and moved them back to my established tank (immediately they revived and fine).

First pair of damsels faced twitching when I introduced them inside new tank. Today another pair faced same issue while making drip acclimation. So I'm totally dawned and unable to proceed further.

tank is 6 feet in length and 2.5 feet in height, so i felt like there is no proper water movement, today I changed my old powerhead with a new one (which is big, producing more water current).

Is there anything I'm missing.

I don't think water flow has anything to do with this. Can you take a water sample to a local aquarium store and have them verify your parameters? Could there be another toxin present somehow? Did you use RO/DI water to fill the tank? What salt mix did you use? Could it have become contaminated?
 

JohnL

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My guess is some toxin in the water. I would update your other thread as the title of this thread may not get the proper attention.
 

JohnL

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Cool John. Thank you. Any suggestion to check toxin or its level. Or any water change required.

My thoughts are that 35 days could be too early in the cycle. I would try to confirm your salinity and ammonia and nitrites with a local aquarium shop. If everything looks OK then I would obtain some Poly-Filter pad by Poly-Bio-Marine and run it in a canister where water is forced to flow through it. I would also wonder if the salt mix is contaminated. There are other much more experienced members than me that may be able to help which is why I suggest you update the thread you started. The title of this thread may be ignored.
 

Pravin

New member
Sea Hacker is a brand of salt I used to get from my dealer. I am using this salt for almost 6 months.

Not treated with chloramine specifically. I used to prepare aquarium with RO/DI water and never used any water conditioner so far.
 
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