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View Full Version : How long from when an ammonia source is put in should you start to see it register?


ECU_Pirate
10/02/2017, 07:40 AM
I'm using the API test kit. LFS gave me 4 small dead fish (of non-disease related causes) to throw in the tank to start the cycle. I have a 150G tank with manufactured rock (comes from a quarry) so no hitchhikers to produce the ammonia, only the 4 dead fish.

On a funny note, my 7 year-old just walked over to the tank and said "Rise & shine, sardines!" to the 4 decomposing fish. :rollface:

soulpatch
10/02/2017, 08:31 AM
All depends on how quickly they start to break down.

This is why I have a bottle of ammonia from Ace Hardware that I use. I can dose up to the required amount when cycling and can redose up to an amount to test end of cycle.

Cprice515
10/02/2017, 09:06 AM
I just use pure ammonia to start the cycle like soulpatch said. Its a very accurate way to measure the ammonia uptake of the beneficial bacteria.

In your case, you should see ammonia within 2-3 days I would think if you've got dead fish in there.

ECU_Pirate
10/11/2017, 02:07 PM
Well it's been a week & a half since the 4 dead fish were put in. I took a water sample to my LFS plus tested myself daily and ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate all read 0. The LFS suggested we put 3 Springer damsels in. They've been doing fine for 4 days. Feeding 1/2 cube of misys shrimp daily. I'm still testing daily and there is no ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate to be found.

Just to give a bit more background, the tank was set up almost 4 weeks ago with dry rock, some of which came pre-sprayed with bacteria, and CaribSea Arag-Alive sand. During setup the LFS guys added Seachem Matrix Biomedia 4L, Seachem Denitrate 4L, and had us put in Seachem Aquavitro Seed Bacteria daily for a week. During this time we thought they had also put in an ammonia source, but there was a miscommunication and the expectation was that we would put in some table shrimp. It was only a week & a half ago that we realized there was no ammonia source in the tank, and that's when they gave us the dead fish to start the cycle. They also had us add more Aquavitro Seed for 4 days. When the readings were all still zero a week later, they suggested the damsels. Is it possible that between all the bacteria and the Denitrate that it's taking care of any ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate before they can get to a measurable level and that's why we're not seeing a cycle?

nereefpat
10/11/2017, 02:58 PM
You (and especially your LFS, who should know better) are overcomplicating this.

I would not add fish to a cycling tank. It's torture, for one. And you'll have to catch them later.

Just dose nh4 to 1-2ppm, as suggested. Or feed heavily enough while testing daily to reach 1-2ppm. Then wait.

on the spot
10/11/2017, 08:51 PM
Is it possible that between all the bacteria and the Denitrate that it's taking care of any ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate before they can get to a measurable level and that's why we're not seeing a cycle?

probably. It's a fair bet that minus an ammonia positive test you have adequate bacteria for the present load.

150 gallons will dilute what little bio excrement you have by a good bit anyway.

you plan to keep the damsels?

soulpatch
10/12/2017, 09:59 AM
You (and especially your LFS, who should know better) are overcomplicating this.

That LFS hears ChaChing when some people walk in the door like is happening here. All those additives where basically pointless other then to potentially speed up the process....

I would not add fish to a cycling tank. It's torture, for one. And you'll have to catch them later.

Just dose nh4 to 1-2ppm, as suggested. Or feed heavily enough while testing daily to reach 1-2ppm. Then wait.

This as well. If you think it is cycled you can start to add some CUC and feed them while continuing to test. Everytime I see people throw damsels in to test a tank I cringe. They are lil bastards and typically cause issues with other fish additions and such.

ECU_Pirate
10/16/2017, 11:19 AM
probably. It's a fair bet that minus an ammonia positive test you have adequate bacteria for the present load.

150 gallons will dilute what little bio excrement you have by a good bit anyway.

you plan to keep the damsels?

We finally had a nitrate reading of 3 ppm with ammonia and nitrite at 0, so the bacteria does seem to be sufficient for the present load. Yes, we are going to keep the fish...the Springer damsels are supposed to be more peaceful than most. The largest one does chase the smaller two out of his side of the tank, but I haven't seen any nipping whatsoever. I actually wonder if the other two are male & female and forming a pair! They were swimming side by side going up, down, around and through the rocks almost in perfect synchronization. They are really cute! We just added some zoa frags, too. Going to wait a few more weeks before adding more fish but I do want to go ahead and get some crabs maybe next week.

ECU_Pirate
10/16/2017, 11:33 AM
[QUOTE=soulpatch;25241098]That LFS hears ChaChing when some people walk in the door like is happening here. All those additives where basically pointless other then to potentially speed up the process....

No, this LFS is legit. They have come out to my house twice at no charge to address some issues after setup, one of which was purely my husband's fault and they wouldn't let us pay for the part that needed to be replaced. They are giving us several months free on the service contract as a result of the sump busting and a delay with the carpet cleaner they set up - also neither of which was their fault. I really do think they try to do right by their customers and want to have a long-term relationship rather than make a fast sale of unnecessary stuff. As for the additives I did ask what the purpose was when I went through the quote and it was to speed up the process. If I didn't want the additives I could've had them remove from the order, but I chose to keep them.