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I started cycling my tank 11 days ago. It’s fishless but I did add ammonia (started at 2ppm) and api quick start. Tank is 37g. Ph is 7.6. Yesterday I went to a fish store and purchased a fish but won’t be getting him until this is cycled. While I was there the guy gave me about half a gallon of water from one of his tanks that he squeezed out his sponge filter into and it was super dirty so I assume it grabbed a bunch of stuff to help. I poured it into my tank. How long do you think I should be seeing changes for the cycle? I did it last night and my ammonia now looks like it’s at 1ppm but idk if it’s like that because I added some water or not but nitrites is 0. I did nitrates for the heck of it and I think it’s a little orange? It’s strange the tube looks orange but when I pick it up and look through it in the sunlight it’s yellow but a tad more yellowy orange than the 0 level yellow if that makes sense lol (using api test kit) 

Edited by xxaprilrose
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On 6/27/2021 at 10:57 AM, xxaprilrose said:

How long do you think I should be seeing changes for the cycle?

The best way to do a fish less cycle, IMO…

  • Use ammonium chloride solution to bring measurable ammonia level to 2 ppm.
  • Add as needed to maintain 2 ppm ammonia, do not exceed.
  • Stop dosing ammonia when nitrite starts to be measurable.
  • Wait
  • wait
  • wait some more.
  • When you measure both 0 ppm ammonia AND 0 ppm nitrite, PLUS you have nitrate formation, do a large water change.

Only then is your cycle complete.

Adding bottled “cycling aids” does nothing, IMO.

The donation of water from the LFS will do little to speed things along.  Nitrifying bacteria don’t live in the water column, they need surfaces to colonize on.  If they had given you some gravel or used filter media, this would have been more helpful.

Your tank will cycle without any other assistance, it just takes time.

Fishless cycles can take anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks to complete, in most cases.

Patience is the most valuable tool.

Edited by tonyjuliano
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On 6/27/2021 at 11:42 AM, tonyjuliano said:

The best way to do a fish less cycle, IMO…

  • Use ammonium chloride solution to bring measurable ammonia level to 2 ppm.
  • Add as needed to maintain 2 ppm ammonia, do not exceed.
  • Stop dosing ammonia when nitrite starts to be measurable.
  • Wait
  • wait
  • wait some more.
  • When you measure both 0 ppm ammonia AND 0 ppm nitrite, PLUS you have nitrate formation, do a large water change.

Only then is your cycle complete.

Adding bottled “cycling aids” does nothing, IMO.

The donation of water from the LFS will do little to speed things along.  Nitrifying bacteria don’t live in the water column, they need surfaces to colonize on.  If they had given you some gravel or used filter media, this would have been more helpful.

Your tank will cycle without any other assistance, it just takes time.

Fishless cycles can take anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks to complete, in most cases.

Patience is the most valuable tool.

This is the way.

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On 6/27/2021 at 2:35 PM, xxaprilrose said:

I’m going to grab used filter media from my friends tank. Once I place that in my filter how long should that then take to cycle?

It will take as long as it will take, as outlined above.

If anyone tells you any definitive timeframe (days, weeks, etc.), it will be a wild guess at best.

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If you place your bio-filter media between your friends filter media and the out-flow of your filter, the beneficial bacteria will start colonizing your bio-filter immediately, but give it a week to fully colonize your bio-filter. I've done this with my own filters in my own tanks using a bio-filter from one to seed the bio-filter of another. Works fine and it's Easy-Peasy. 

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@tonyjuliano advice is sound.   When you start a cycle,  you've got *all sorts* of different bacteria and algae trying to colonize a tank and competing with each other for limited "food" and the best real estate (surface area).   As I understand it, the "good" nitrogen cycle bacteria are one of the the slower growing bacteria in a tank- doubling the size of their colony in 10-12 hours under "perfect conditions"...but with a tank in "start up mode" conditions are going to be far from perfect- you're going to have ebb and flow as the bacteria colonizes well, dies back, and rallys strong again.  Keep checking your water parameters,  they will stabilize soon and you'll be on your way.

Edited by NanoNano
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