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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am doing a fishless cycle atm, and I am adding ammonia when the reading goes down.

The ammonia is up to around 5 atm, and the nitrate/ nitrites around mid way on the scale, does this mean its cycling?

When do I stop adding the ammonia? and what shoud readings be once cycled?


Love my furry, feathered and finned family
2,882 Posts
Hi :)

I'm also doing a fishless cycle atm, and have been given some good advice here :)

If you have readings for nitrites, that means it's cycling, as they are produced by the bacteria that break down the ammonia.

The bad news is the nitrite phase can last a long time! (2 weeks so far for me!) You can speed it up somewhat by turning up your heater (though if you have any live plants in your tank, check what temps they can tolerate first!)

The good news is that when nitrites do drop, they will drop fast.

You need readings of 0ppm for both ammonia and nitrite, and no more than 40ppm for nitrate, before it's ready for fish.

BTW, I don't know what the general consensus is on how much ammonia to add, but over at Tropical Fish Forums UK I was told only to dose up to 1-2ppm every other day during the ammonia phase, and then less frequently during the nitrite phase or it can slow down the 2nd part of the cycle. (But don't stop adding it altogether until the tank is fully cycled, as you need to keep feeding the ammonia-munching bacteria.)

Hope that helps! :)
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