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  1. Hello all! I'm in the process of starting a new tank, after having had to give up my previous baby after a string of house-movements about eighteen months ago. Although I've historically cycled with fish, this time I figured I do things 'by the book' and attempt a fishless cycle. Having read a number of posts and articles both here and on overseas websites, I decided to try it with fish food, due to the difficulties in getting pure/non-cloudy ammonia here in NZ. The issue I'm running into is that I've been dutifully adding fish food to the tank every day for the last six days, and I'm still getting no detectable ammonia. There are definitely heterotrophs developing, in that the water is cloudy, so I'm fairly confident that the food is actually decaying. If anything, I honestly thought I was overdoing it - there's a lot of food on the substrate, and the amount I've been adding has been a large pinch (far more than I would ever actually feed fish in a tank this size). The product is just the generic Nutrafin flakes. I'm not in any great rush - I'd rather do this right than quick - but I figured that it was strange not to have any ammonia after putting so much organic material into the tank. Does anyone have any thoughts? Should I just keep it up, or do I need to change tactic? I've heard good things about shrimp or shrimp pellets, so my next tactic would be to vacuum the excess flakes up, and start using shrimp/shrimp products instead. Readings Ammonia 0 ppm Nitrite 0 ppm Nitrate 0 ppm KH 4.0 dKH pH 7.8 Temperature 26 °C (increased the heater setting to 28 °C last night, so will be warmer by now) Tank Profile Total Volume: 69 L Actual Water Volume: ~ 60 L Heater: Aqua One 100W Filter: Hailea BT700 Internal (2 x sponges instead of the usual 1 x sponge + 1 x carbon cartridge) Livestock: None Plants: Macrandra, Java Fern, Java Moss, plus a couple of generics
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