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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V5 #418

> Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 09:21:54 -0700
> From: Jerry Baker <jerrybaker at attbi_com>
> Subject: Fishless Cycling
> As I was browsing the chemical supply store's shelves, I thought about
> fishless cycling. It seems to me that much of the wait is for the
> bacteria to develop that digest the ammonia and produce nitrites, and
> then the bacteria that digest nitrites and expel nitrates. People have
> successfully been cycling their tanks by addition of pure ammonia and
> waiting. It occurred to me that the process time could be cut in half if
> a source of nitrites was added simultaneously. Does this not sound
> correct to anybody?
> - --
> Jerry Baker

FWIW, I did this with my fishless cycle.  I added household ammonia and sodium nitrite at the same time.  My tank took about 8 weeks to cycle.  In fact, I ended up adding plants that I figured would have bacteria to help seed the tank after about 5 or 6 weeks.

My experience is not typical.  So, YMMV.  I have to wonder if the nitrite needs to be kept to a fairly low level so as not to 'poison' the ammonia eating bacteria.  In a sense, NO2 is a waste product of that bacteria.  FWIW, I tried to keep the nitrites below 1ppm.


Scott Lewis