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When is the fishless cycle complete?
Hi Everyone,

I'm 16 days into a fishless cycle. When I add enough Ammonia to take the level to 3ppm, it's takes approx 24hrs for both Ammonia and Nitrite reading to hit zero ppm.

For the last 3 days I've been consistently getting zero reading for both in about 24hrs after adding the Ammonia.

My question is, when is the tank actually ready to add fish? I've read on some guides after adding ammonia, the readings need to hit zero after 10-12hrs.

Any guidance or verification would be appreciated.

Thanks given by:
Sounds like your near enough there to me.
Normally if your topping up to 2ppm or 3ppm and its clearing that in 24 hours with no nitrite (0ppm of both) for 3 days then your tank is cycled and ready to add fish.
Before you get your fish you will want to do a large water change to reduce any excess nitrate and freshen the water.
Also remember to acclimatise your fish correctly and stock fish suitable to your water hardness, and they are compatible together. And keep an eye on the parameters just in case.
 😇 Heaven doesn’t want me...
And Hell is afraid I’ll take over! 😈
Thanks given by:
Awesome! Good to know. I wasn’t sure and there is a lot of contradictory advice out there. I’ve checked the nitrate and the level is very high. I’ll make sure I do enough water change to bring it down. So frustrating, I’m away all next week due to work commitments. Have to wait until the weekend before I can stick with fish. My wife has agreed to top up with Ammonia everyday while I’m gone to keep the bacteria levels healthy. Thanks for the advice 🏻
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Yeah just keep topping it up to 2/3ppm until your ready to get your fish. Normally around 80% water change is recommended, just make sure it’s temperature matched to what your tank is running at currently as the bacteria might stall if you change the temperature too much. Then gradually bring it to a suitable temperature for your fish.
 😇 Heaven doesn’t want me...
And Hell is afraid I’ll take over! 😈
[-] The following 1 user Likes Gingerlove05's post:
  • grommit
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Great, thanks. Forgot to ask earlier, how many fish can/should I add to the tank if it can handle getting 3ppm Ammonia to zero within 24hrs? I’ll likely be looking to add Harlequin Rasbora or Neon Tetras first.
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Depends how big your tank is.
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You could stock fully, thats the idea behind a fishless cycle as it was developed for stocking malawi cichlids. But as bhafc has said it depends on the tank size/footprint as to how many fish you could stock and in what numbers. The adult size of the fish should also be considered as some fish are bigger than others Smile
 😇 Heaven doesn’t want me...
And Hell is afraid I’ll take over! 😈
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My first tank so not that big, 60 litres
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6 of each (harlequins and neons) then. Wink
If at first you don't succeed....
...get someone else to do it! Big Grin

Enjoy your fish, shrimps and snails!

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