A week of fishless cycling and no added ammonia in what form whatsoever

Uzair Aiman

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Last week Ive set up my tank and dosed MB7. After doing some asking around I found out that I shouldve dosed some ammonia in my tank to "promote" the cycling process. So on Tuesday (Today is Friday), I added some freshwater fish food to add the ammonia into the tank. On the day I added the fish food I had an ammonia reading of around <0.15 to 0.25 (im new to Im not sure of the readings too much since its based on colour, I use Saliferts Ammonia testers) and a Nitrite reading of little to none.

Now Im just unsure of my reading because it might just be me "thinking" that the tank has ammonia in it because I added the fish food. Can anyone help me clarify and pinpoint my reading
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is it still at a reading of 0.15 to 0.25 for ammonia? or has in increased to 0.5. Is the nitrite levels still 0?
and if so, does that mean that my tank is cycled because it broke down the ammonia I added 3 days ago?

EDIT : Ive had these readings constant since I first started up my tank from day 0. So Ive found that the reading of 0.15 to 0.25 ammonia might be an error (which means its actually 0mg/L.) So if these readings persist even after I added ammonia, does it mean its cycled? because its technically 0 ammonia
 
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Uzair Aiman

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I can't really judge the reading amount, but if you get something like Doctor Tim's you can dose a precise amount of ammonia to your tank to get a known amount, and then see if your tank breaks it down in 24h, 48h, etc.
I live in East Malaysia so its quite hard to come by some products. Thats the reason I just phantom feed with my freshwater fish food (since I havent bought any saltwater fish food yet). But if it does break down after 24-48 hours, does it mean that my tank has cycled correctly/fully?
 

CaseyWagner

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If the food can create 2ppm of detectable ammonia for you and then the tank breaks it down in 24 hours you're good. :)

A piece of shrimp will also do in a pinch if you don't want to have all the other nutrients from the flake food in the water. Then you can pull the shrimp when you need to.
 
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Uzair Aiman

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If the food can create 2ppm of detectable ammonia for you and then the tank breaks it down in 24 hours you're good. :)

A piece of shrimp will also do in a pinch if you don't want to have all the other nutrients from the flake food in the water. Then you can pull the shrimp when you need to.
What do you mean by detectable ammonia? How long should I put the shrimp into the tank and how big of a shrimp. Since my tank is quite small, (around 30L or 10g), Im afraid if I overdose ammonia (if that is a possible outcome)
 
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CaseyWagner

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With the shrimp or a piece of fish breaking down in there you want an ammonia spike that gets up to the darker colours on that test.

Just do a daily test. If it gets darker than what's on the test pull the piece of fish/shrimp out.

The cycle will grind to a stop if you hit 4-5ppm, but if you don't continue to provide it a source of ammonia it won't do that.

If you can go from 2ppm on the test to clear in a day, you've got a cycled tank :)
 
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Uzair Aiman

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With the shrimp or a piece of fish breaking down in there you want an ammonia spike that gets up to the darker colours on that test.

Just do a daily test. If it gets darker than what's on the test pull the piece of fish/shrimp out.

The cycle will grind to a stop if you hit 4-5ppm, but if you don't continue to provide it a source of ammonia it won't do that.

If you can go from 2ppm on the test to clear in a day, you've got a cycled tank :)
So if I were to add a shrimp, when will the next test be to check the ammonia levels? I dont think the ammonia will just rise on that split second right haha.
 

CaseyWagner

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You can give it a few days and then start testing every 24 hours. Depending on the surface area and the establishment of the breeding bacteria it might cycle for you in as little as two weeks or as much as two months.

You seeded it with microbacter so it should establish relatively quickly :)
 
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Uzair Aiman

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You can give it a few days and then start testing every 24 hours. Depending on the surface area and the establishment of the breeding bacteria it might cycle for you in as little as two weeks or as much as two months.

You seeded it with microbacter so it should establish relatively quickly :)
Alright I just added my dead shrimp and just eyeball on when I should remove it ( I guess Ill check on the Ammonia in a few days and if its at 2 mg/L then Ill remove it.) After the ammonia reached 0 again Ill add another shrimp and see if the ammonia will drop within 24 hours or more. Thanks!
 

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