Everything you need for successfully fishless cycling
DrTim's Aquatics best-selling product, One & Only Live Nitrifying Bacteria is the ultimate nitrifying bacteria for use in fishless cycling. Now you can put an end to "New Tank Syndrome" forever.
DrTim's Aquatics offers complete, step-by-step instructions on how to do fishless cycling using the products below at: DrTim's Quick Guide to Fishless Cycling. You can also learn more about the science of fishless cycling in the more comprehensive article Fishless Cycling at DrTim's information site.
Plus we have a guide, below, that you can download and print that will lead you thought the process step-by-step, day-by-day so your tank will be cycled quickly.
- You need to get rid of the chloramine and chlorine in the tapwater/aquarium water before adding the One & Only Nitrifying bacteria.
- Use our First Defense to condition your water.
- Keep all the parts of your filter in your filter - this includes the sponge or filter pad, activated carbon, bio-balls, etc.
- Turn you filter on. Turn your heater on. You can leave the light off.
- You need substrate on the bottom of the tank.
- Bare-bottom tanks do not provide enough surface area for the bacteria.
- It takes longer for the bacteria to colonize filter blocks and ceramic media.
- When fishless cycling reduce the calculated water volume by about 20% to account for water displaced by substrate and decorations.
- For example, if you have a 30 gallon tank subtract 6 gallons (20%) so figure 24 gallons as the final volume.
- Use 4 drops AND ONLY 4 drops per gallon - is this case 24 gallons * 4 drops/gallon = 96 drops or 1 tsp.
- When adding drops follow the guidelines below (see infographic):
- Hold the bottle vertically, don't press so hard that there is a steady stream of liquid instead add drop by drop.
- Some conversions 1 tsp = 5 ml = 100 drops or 1 Tbsp = 15 ml = 300 drops.
- If you are using a live sand product wait 24 hours after setting-up the tank and running the filter before adding ammonia drops.
- Then measure the ammonia in the water before adding the ammonium chloride.
- Live sand products can add ammonia to the aquarium so you may find your water already contain ammonia and so you don't need to add ammonia drops or as many.
- Do not use RO water for your freshwater aquarium. RO water does not contain any hardness or alkalinity which the nitrifying bacteria need.
- Using RO for your marine tank is fine as we assume you are adding a synthetic sea salt to the RO water.
- Water with a low pH (under 7) and/or soft water will take longer to cycle because the bacteria do not grow fast in these conditions.
- BE PATIENT - is can take a day to 3 days before you start to see results.
- Do not expect ammonia to disappear in 15 to 30 minutes
- The bacteria DO NOT need to fed ammonia everyday - this will just cause problems.
- In many cases you will not see nitrite - that is because the product is working.
- In most cases you will not see nitrate - this is because most test kits do not measure nitrate well when the concentration is less than 20 ppm.
- Nitrate will not be 20 ppm and higher for several weeks (or several ammonia additions) so don't worry about this.