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Old 06-11-2012, 09:31 PM   #1 
sholee
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Fishless Cycling using Pure Ammonia HELP!

I bought a 5.5 gal tank over the weekend and I'm a bit confused about what levels of ammonia i should be looking for before nitrite starts and during nitrite..

I've read multiple beginner guides and they all say different things, it seems to be varying from 2ppm-5ppm..

Thank you very much!
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Old 06-12-2012, 05:24 AM   #2 
ao
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I think most people tend to go by 2ppm :)
watch out for algae growth if you add too much.

pretty much throughout the entire cycle try and add a constant amount of ammonia daily. (the bacteria needs to be fed constantly) then you will see ammonia dip into nitrites and nitrites dip into nitrates. When you have no ammonia or nitrites and only get a nitrate reading, your tank is pretty much cycled.
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:14 AM   #3 
Hallyx
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It depends on how fast you want to cycle. Somewhere between 2.0ppm and 5.0ppm is accepted practice.

More important for getting a fast cycle is adding live nitrifying bacteria. Get some substrate or filter material from an established, cycled tank. Put it in your filter or high-flow area of your tank. This can cut your cycle time by more than half.

Also keep your temperature >85*. Run your filter on high, and aerate, if possible.
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Old 06-12-2012, 09:40 AM   #4 
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Okay, so.... since I'm trying to cycle with ammonia, I'm going to piggie back here with my questions. Sorry, OP!

If I start out with 3-5ppm, and seed the tank with gravel and faux plants from my existing tank, do I need to keep adding ammonia NOW or should I wait until I start seeing the ammonia drop below 3ppm? I was assuming the second, but I could be wrong.

It doesn't make much sense to me to test for nitrites until I start seeing the ammonia dropping, but I test for the ammonia every day. The day before yesterday was the first day I started seeing it drop, so I added 3 drops of ammonia. Yesterday, it hadn't dropped noticably, so I didn't add more ammonia. Was this right?

It's a 10 gallon and I've got a sponge filter going and my heater should arrive today. Anything I've missed?

Last edited by Knitterly; 06-12-2012 at 09:42 AM.
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:19 AM   #5 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knitterly View Post
If I start out with 3-5ppm, and seed the tank with gravel and faux plants from my existing tank, do I need to keep adding ammonia NOW or should I wait until I start seeing the ammonia drop below 3ppm? I was assuming the second, but I could be wrong.

It doesn't make much sense to me to test for nitrites until I start seeing the ammonia dropping, but I test for the ammonia every day. The day before yesterday was the first day I started seeing it drop, so I added 3 drops of ammonia. Yesterday, it hadn't dropped noticably, so I didn't add more ammonia. Was this right??
There are two different schools of thought on this, some say add the full amount everyday regardless, others say just maintain it at a steady level. I personally feel that it is only important to maintain it at a certain level. The people who add the ammonia everyday regardless of it dropping are building up huge amounts of bacteria to process it all. They won't be able to support all that bacteria once they add their fish, so they'll just die off anyway. The pro side to doing it that way though, is that they can add a large number of fish all at once without having to worry about overwhelming the biofilter.

I would just add the ammonia to keep it at the 3ppm level. Most of us on this forum are just going to be having to support one or a couple of fish max, so it doesn't need to power through insane amounts of ammonia. Also be sure to check the level everyday. Once the bacteria get up and running, they can plow through the ammonia pretty quickly. You don't want them to starve.

Last edited by CytoEric; 06-12-2012 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:26 AM   #6 
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Thanks, CytoEric.

I have been testing ammonia daily. I'm putting together a sorority tank, so it will have to be 6 fish added at once, so maybe I'd better add just a drop or two of ammonia every day and get that bacteria going gangbusters.

When I initially set it up, I had read instructions that had me add 2TBS of ammonia for starting. Ridiculous, so I brought it down with water changes to 5ppm. It has since started dropping to 3ppm, so I'm starting to feed more ammonia in. This is good! But SLOW..... I"m hoping the heater will help move things along.

Again, thanks!
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Old 06-13-2012, 04:44 AM   #7 
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Knitterly,

You have the concept and the execution exactly right.

May I ask: What has been your water temperature through all this? The heater at >85* will speed things along.

Would you be kind enough to provide us with a brief log, just a record of the timing of major events like the drop in ammonia, the rise in nitrites (how high) and the rise in nitrate (how high). This information will be valuable for future reference.

If that's a picture of your sorority tank in your album, you may want ot consider getting many more plants. Start adding them now. They just love eating all that ammonia and nitrate.

Oh, and where did you get your ammonia?

@ CytoEric
Very good observations and advice. I totally agree.

@ Sholee
How's your cycle coming along? Would you also please keep a log of your project? We're all interested in hearing about your results.

And where did you get your ammonia?

Last edited by Hallyx; 06-13-2012 at 04:54 AM.
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Old 06-13-2012, 06:29 AM   #8 
Olympia
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I'm curious if you've experienced any plant loss, and what sorts of plants you have..
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Old 06-13-2012, 09:42 AM   #9 
Knitterly
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My plants are faux. I have heard that plants can be difficult to manage at first, and since the sorority is also challenging, I thought I'd start with faux and move to real once I balanced my sorority and felt confident.

I do intend to add a few more. My husband set that up as it is, and doesn't understand exactly HOW cluttered I need it. I will pick up a few more today or Friday.

I"ll start a new thread with my log in it and update it as often as I can. I have it written down so when I get a chance, I'll do that.

The water had been at 72F and is rising now as the heater works to bring it to 85F.

The ammonia is Ace brand Janitorial Strength, 10%.
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Old 06-13-2012, 10:13 AM   #10 
Tiger Oak
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I just finished cycling a 5.5 gallon tank using Ace brand Janitorial Strength, 10% Ammonia. After accidently stalling my cycle, I was pointed to this wonderful calculator by someone on another forum to learn how to precisely control how much ammonia I added to the tank:

http://www.fishforums.net/aquarium-calculator.htm

Scroll to the bottom of the calculator page, and you will see one called "Fishless Cycling - Ammonia Required." By filling in the various fields, you will get the precise number of milliliters required to provide whatever ppm level of ammonia you desire. I actually stalled my cycle towards the end, and had to do 3 complete water changes, plus lower my levels of ammonia added to get my cycle going again. I used a 1 ml syringe to be able to precisely control the amount of ammonia I added each day. I kept a detailed record of my progress from day 1, and I would be happy to post it either here or in a new topic if anyone is interested!
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