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Discussion Starter #1
Well I'm trying to begin to cycle my 20 Gallon long tank in order for it to be a sorority tank.
I filled the tank up several days ago. The same day I used the API ammonia liquid test kit and ammonia tested at .5-1.0. This was after I dosed the tank with Prime. Same thing the next day (yesterday). So I added more prime and tested again several hours later and still ammonia tested at least .5 if not 1.0.
I added another almost capful of Prime again today and its still testing that high. I also tested my source and its the exact same.
Whats weird though is that the 10G tank that currently houses 5 of the females is testing between 0 and .25..
How is this possible?
I'm not sure how to get started on my cycle (i plan on doing the shrimp method) if I can't get the ammonia down to at least .25 to start.

I was given advice recently to invest in an RO (reverse osmossis) system for under the sink since my source water has ammonia. I live in an apartment so I would need something I can take with me if (when) I move - most likely in July.
I'm really not sure if anyone can help me in getting my current 20 gallons under control so I can start to cycle but I thought I'd ask. Any help would be appreciated!
 

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I'm confused, are there any fish in the 20 gallon or are you doing a fishless cycle?

If there are no fish in there, you want your ammonia to peak at around 4ppm since this will provide you with a good sized colony of bacteria. You do not want your ammonia to go too high though, as you can start growing the wrong sort of bacteria instead.

Prime does not remove ammonia, it only detoxifies it. What you are reading is probably ammonium as the API test kit does not distinguish between the two.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
No there aren't any fish in the tank.
The ammonia is testing high straight out of the tap. I was under the impression that I needed to start out with 0 so that once the cycle runs its course, it will eventually get back down to 0. I'm afraid if I try to start the cycle with the shrimp, I'll never get it back down to 0. But I can try it. I want to get started because I'm thinking of moving in July and want to know I can cycle a tank. I never have before LOL. well not the right way at least.
I guess I'll go ahead and start with the shrimp and see what happens
 

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Also - I'm wondering how I'm supposed to know if and how much ammonia is in my water if Prime just detoxifies it. If my test is showing ammonium, how is there a point in testing my water for ammonia?
I'm confused LOL
 
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