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First time attempting a fish-less cycle with Aquavitro Seed

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  • First time attempting a fish-less cycle with Aquavitro Seed

    I started a new tank 4 weeks ago using newly purchased live sand, dead rock, ammonium chloride and aquavitro seed. I dosed the tank on day one to 4ppm ammonia and added seed daily for 7 days as directed on the bottle. Over the first 2 weeks ammonia dropped and nitrites developed as expected. When nitrites were of the charts I did a 20% water change bringing them back to around 5ppm. Eventually toward the end of week 3 ammonia and Nitrite reached 0 and Nitrates were around 80ppm as expected. I am still learning the hobby but consider this an indication that the cycle has completed? I did (2) more 20+ % water changes after the cycle ended but Nitrates are still holding at about 20 ppm. I have not added any additional ammonia sources since day 1 and have not added any Seed since the 7th day. My last water change did stir up a bacterial bloom which made the water cloudy but cleared back up in a couple of days.

    At this point
    - Should I consider another water change to finish lowering the Nitrates or just simply give the tank some time?
    - Should I be concerned that I have not added any ammonia sources since day one to feed the Seed bacteria?
    - Is there any reason to add additional seed?

  • #2
    Hello FishyBusiness, thank you for the post. You can do a small water change, less than 30% to lower nitrates, but not too large of a water change. If the ammonia level was 4 ppm, that is high enough for most aquaria. If you're planning to add many fish which leads to high bioload, the ammonia produced could exceed what the colony of bacteria can digest. Keep an eye on the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate after fish are added is good. I recommend adding the standard dose of seed weekly, when you do a water change, or medicating for maintenance purposes. Thank you!

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    • #3
      Thank you for the prompt response. So the initial dosage of Ammonia Chloride to reach 4ppm was sufficient with the 7 day seed regiment to produce needed bacteria? I have been showing 0 ammonia and 0 Nitrite in daily testing for a little over a week now. I have not not yet started adding fish or coral due to Nirtrate. Thank you for producing a quality product that helped me kick start the process.

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      • #4
        Hello FishyBusiness! At this point in the cycle, I would consider either adding a bit more ammonia (up to about 1 or 2 ppm) or beginning to add livestock slowly so that the bacteria colonies can continue to grow and establish. It will also be important to see if your existing biological filter can keep up with low levels of ammonia. If you add livestock and see spikes in ammonia or nitrite I would recommend adding Prime to keep these compounds detoxified, and adding a bit more seed to give the biological filter a boost.

        I hope this helps!

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