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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Cycling a new aquarium fishless w/ food. Went about my daily testing, also tested my tap again because I wanted to compare the color difference. There is more ammonia in my tap than my tank! Thinking about restarting with pure ammonia so that my daily additives to the tank are 100% accurate. Yesterday my tank water was 1 ppm for sure, today it is around .25 ppm.

I was curious, so I made a new batch of water with an unopened sample of Tetra AquaSafe (read here that it helps remove ammonia) and it was .25 ppm, lower but not 0. I used NutraFin Betta Plus when I set up my tank.

I *think* I read that letting your tap water sit for 24 will fix this issue, so I plan to try that out. Anyone know about this or a way to fix this issue?

However, once my tank IS properly cycled, the ammonia in my tap shouldn't be an issue because if I use the right conditioner, say Prime, my tank will be able to process it quickly. Correct?
 

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Your test could be reading ammonium in your water rather than ammonia. My tap water does the same exact thing. Ammonium in small quantities is relatively harmless and it does go away once you let the water sit for a bit. It's nothing to worry about ^.~
If you want a more accurate reading when you check your perameters for your tank and you have to change your water fairly often, you can get some gallon jugs and sit them aside until your next water change- it's nice to have on the side for emergencies, too! Otherwise, just keep doing what you're doing. If you change up anything, more than likely you'll just make cycling take longer than what it really should.
 

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+1 to Draug. I use Prime as a water conditioner (tis my favourite) but it does give a false positive on ammonia readings within the first 24 hours, despite the fact that it actually detoxifies ammonia.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Alright thanks guys, I feel a little better now. I left out my 1G overnight and it still says 1, testing when I get home home from work. I don't want to have to wait longer for my cycle, but I just have that feeling that it needs to be completely reset. I've messed with the setup, moved my heater, etc. Another member said "tinkeritis" heh. Thats it for sure! I didn't feel comfortable about using ammonia but I talked to a friend last night who said its the easiest way with no media. Soo I'll be back at day 1! >.<
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Also does anyone have a link to cycling with ammonia without adding media and without adding bacteria? Everything I find you must use either, or can I just omit that step? I also read its not good to add bacteria because it will cause problems in the long run.
 

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Wait.. there's more than one type of ammonium? I've never heard this, but I'm no expert so I could be wrong... Anyway, I forget exactly how high ammonium needs to be to where it can be considered harmful and my google is being silly thinking I'm meaning 'ammonia' so I can't find anything to specifically confirm my claim other than my recollection of various readings and research... but yeah from what I remember ammonium has to be pretty darn high and 1ppm is definitely something you shouldn't worry about.
As far as letting your water sit over night- I noticed if you let a small container of tap water sit over night, the ammonium is evidently gone within a day. Although with a gallon jug, it has more volume so it takes a bit more than a day for it to dissipate... At least, that's what happened with me when I tested and I'm sorry I didn't mention that sooner I kinda forgot until now >.< So yeah, you should probably try testing a small container of water after it's sat for a day and if you're really curious keep an eye on your gallon jug to see how long the ammonium takes to go away....
I'm not sure about cycling using ammonia, but I know when I first had my hand in cycling I used fish food. I didn't add any bacteria or anything- as this was the only tank I had up and running and after reading about bacteria in a bottle being fail overall I didn't bother with that... So long as you stick to a specific cycling method religiously, it will all work out in the end. Adding bacteria from an established tank more or less helps speeds up the process 'cause rather than 'creating bacteria from scratch' the good bacteria that's been added more or less multiplies... If you honestly feel the need to use ammonia instead of the methods you're doing now, go for it! This is your own learning experience so whatever it is you feel more comfortable with, that's the route you should go with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks sooo much Draug!! When I simply put ammonium I got nitrate, sulfate, hydroxide, carbonate, phosphate, etc. Google did the same to me, thats why I asked here lol. I will let it sit for longer and play with different size jugs to see how long it takes. I wish I had a tank to get media from but I dont know anyone. I still want to restart with ammonia, im going through a lot of food and its not really raising the level.

Thanks again everyone, I will be so relieved when this process is over and I can share pics!
 

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No prob ^.^ Yeah, I noticed that too when I was trying to look up different types of ammonium.. I'm really not sure what kind of ammonium is usually in the water source or created in a fish tank now x.x.... Oh well...
Hold up, you're "going through a lot of food" as in you're adding food to the aquarium still? Just a bit of advice with the fish food cycle: I made the same mistake when I was doing it... All you have to do is add a bit of food and that's it. No more- when I first read how to do it it said "feed the tank like you would feed a fish!" so I ended up 'feeding' it twice a day... It took a bit but eventually I got readings for ammonia.... at 3ppm+ o_O;;; I got some advice saying all I needed to do was 'feed' it a good size once and I ended up having to do alot of water changes and vaccuming the crap outta the gravel substrate -.-;;.... and apparently with high ppm's of ammonia, even if you have nitrite in your tank it can lay dormant until the ammonia is low enough for it to be active... weird... but yeah, when the ammonia from the food spikes, with a lot of food in it... it spikes >.<
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That is why I want to do the pure ammonia method, I was concerned about the other yuck in there when I just want the ammonia. I read your supposed to dose until amm is at 5 ppm and nitrites show then do small doses to keep feeding them? But high amm=dormant? My tank still has 0 nitrites BTW.
 

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Here is a guide for the aquarium cycle, and various ways to go about it including the use of pure ammonia:

http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/...inners-guide-freshwater-aquarium-cycle-38617/

If you buy ammonia in a store, it will most likely be labeled as Ammonium Hydroxide (NH4OH). Plants, and bacteria, do not care what form the ammonia is in and will use it all the same (plants actually will convert ammonia to ammonium before using it as a nutrient). You will need to ensure the ammonia you buy has no additives of any kind (scents, surfactants, dye, etc).

The test kits that we use simply look for NH3, regardless of what form it is in. That is why, even when using a conditioner that detoxifies ammonia (Prime for example) your test kit will still show the presence of ammonia ... because it is still there.

These water conditioners have an effective period, I believe with Prime that is 48 hours. In a cycled aquarium that is plenty of time for the bacteria to process the ammonia found in tap water and convert it to Nitrite, and then Nitrate.

Ammonia will not 'evaporate' or otherwise out gas from water left sitting for a day. I believe you are thinking about chlorine, which exists in water as a dissolved gas and will escape the water either over time or with aggressive agitation. This does not work with Chloramine (NH2Cl) which many municipalities are switching to for treating drinking water which is why it is important to use a water conditioner that works on both Chlorine and Chloramine.
 
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