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Fishless cycle high amonia

Discussion in 'Coldwater Aquarium Advice' started by Kate Bowen, Jun 26, 2019.

  1. Kate Bowen

    Kate Bowen PetForums Newbie

    Jun 20, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Hi I'm doing a fishless cycle on my new tank and I'm at least 2 weeks in and I'm getting high amonia.

    I've been putting in water from the old tank and a bit of media from the old filter into the new one.

    I don't have much of a clue what I'm doing, any advice would be great!

    (Going from a 15 litre to a 45 litre approx. Tank with one fancy goldfush)
  2. danielled

    danielled Guest

    First that’s still small for any goldfish/any fish.
  3. 3dogs2cats

    3dogs2cats PetForums VIP

    Aug 15, 2012
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    Hi Karen, while it is correct 45l is to small for a fancy goldfish it is certainly not to small for any fish. Upgrading from 15 to 45 is better for your fish but at some point in the not to distant future you are going to have to upgrade again. If at all possible it would be better to go bigger now but if not an option at the moment then getting the 45l cycled is of course your priority.

    Could you clarify please the fish is still in the 15l with a filter and you have taken a bit of media from the filter to seed the new filter and also could you tell us how you are carrying out the fishless cycle. What source of ammonia you have added to the 45l, pure ammonia, fish food? If pure ammonia how much have you added and how often? If you have seeded the filter you need to feed less ammonia so it may be possible you have added to much.

    Oh and of course when you say high ammonia what is reading, has this gone up at all in the last two weeks. Two weeks is a short amount of time in fishless cycling so don't despair! Sorry for the questions, there are very knowledgeable fish keepers here and most of us have gone through fishless cycles ( and made mistakes including not having the correct size tank) you will get the best advice if we know more details.
    @magpie keeps and has bred fancy goldfish so I have tagged her, she will be able to advice specifically on fancy goldfish.

    Please don't be put off if you worry you have the wrong size tank, you are not the first I assure you!
    magpie likes this.
  4. magpie

    magpie PetForums VIP

    Jan 3, 2009
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    If you already have the fish in the 15L, then I wouldn't bother with cycling the bigger tank tbh. If the 15L is already cycled then you can just move the old filter/filter media over to the new tank with the fish and you're sorted. If the 15L is NOT cycled, then even more reason to move the fish over to the bigger tank straight away, as it'll be better off in an uncycled 45L than an uncycled 15L. Obviously you'd have to empty out the new tank first & refill with fresh, dechlorinated water to get rid of the ammonia you currently have though!

    As already mentioned unfortunately neither tank is big enough for a fancy goldfish as a permanent home, so you will ideally need to be thinking about another upgrade at some point. One fancy needs at least 100L, with an additional 50L for each fish after that, and they are social fish so they do appreciate having company. And the filter should be large enough to turn over the tank volume at least 6 times per hour (so for a 150L tank for example, you would need at least a 900 lph filter).

    It's a bit overwhelming, but as @3dogs2cats says, most of us have been there at some point (my first goldfish started out in a 20L tank), so please ask all the questions you need to!

    Here's a pic of one of my babies at 2 months and 12 months old (so still not fully grown), just to give an idea of how quickly they can grow:
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