6 years ago #1
redwings5552
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Hi,

I have a question about using pure ammonia for a cycle. I know you are supposed to start the cycle by adding enough ammonia until you can read 5ppm on your water test kit...and you keep adding this amount each day until you have nitrites...well I added my first dose last night to get 5 ppm...so just now I just tested my water and it shows its still 5ppm...now here is my confusion, do I still add the same amount of ammonia again even though it is still at 5ppm or do I wait for it to drop a bit and then add some more again?

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6 years ago #2
Andrea
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However much ammonia it took you to get to 5ppm, add the same amount daily till your nitrites spike. Once your nitites spike, cut the dose to half the original amount. Continue at half till bacteria is established. Bacteria is formed to convert ammonia into nitrite, then a second forms to convert nitite to nitrate. You are doing well when nitrates begin to appear. Eventually Ammonia will drop to zero, then nitrites to zero, leaving you only with a reading of nitrates, at this point your cycle would be complete...

I had contemplated a fishless cycle using pure ammonia, but i didn't trust that i had pure ammonia that didn't have surficants. They say if you shake the bottle and it doesn't bubble, it should be good, but i've found clear ammonia that when shook didn't, but the ingredients clearly stated surfactants... so i ended up doing a fishless cycle using only flake fish food...
I have only a 5gal, but by flake food fishless cycle only took about 2-3 weeks to complete.

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6 years ago #3
Andrea
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You may also want to consider the use of live plants. They will help absorb the ammonia and nitries... Hornwort is especially good for this.
Ammonia and nitites need to be at zero after the cycle ends these two things at any level are particularly bad for fish.

A partial water change would need to be done at the completion of your cycle to ensure nitrates are at a safe level. I belive 20ppm, would be okay maybe a little higher. I only have 1 fish at the moment with a few snails. I do 20- 25% water changes 1 per week as well as test my water weekly before i change my water to make sure everything is good.
I wish you well... Happy fish keeping.

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6 years ago #4
redwings5552
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Hey Andrea,

thanks for replying back. Yeah, I know that I am supposed to add enough each day to keep up 5ppm, but after a 24 hour period I checked and it's still at 5 ppm. So should I hold off on adding more ammonia until tomorrow? Maybe I added too much ammonia? I don't think I did because I used a formula to figure out how much ammonia to add.

Also, if I add plants right now without any nitrites and only ammonia, will this be safe for the plant? right now there is just a huge ammonia spike due to the fact that I added it in yesterday.

Thanks again for the reply.

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6 years ago #5
Andrea
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You would be okay to wait a day or so... and retest, likely hood pf ammonia levels dropping quickly in an unestablished aquarium is slim.
To be honest, during my fishless cycle, and i was not using pure ammonia, my levels were never that high... at most i think 1ppm, and i still managed a complete cycle in a fair amount of time. The benifits of the pure ammonia is that you cause the spike to occour rapidly as opposed to gradually, i'd say allow the level to drop a bit and pay attention to the level and the amount of ammonia you add back to get the reading to 5ppm again.., this way the process may seem more "natural". The idea of a fishless cycle is to provide enough ammonia to start the growth of the good bacteria that will convert it to nitrite and then so on with nitrite to nitrate.
As far as live plants added now, i'm not sure how they react at such a high level, but just in case you may want to wait till the appearance of nitrites, ammonia wont drop immediately at first sign of nitrites, but it should be the first to drop to zero. But you will end up adding ammonia consistantly, not to say daily to keep the encouragement of good baterial growth. Once the bacteria is well established, it should be able to convert from 5ppm, to zero with in 24 hrs.

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6 years ago #6
redwings5552
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Thanks a lot, yeah I will wait until I see nitrites and ammonia going down a bit until I add some plants.

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6 years ago #7
redwings5552
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Okay, so just now I tested my water and still, the water is still at 5ppm. Should I just wait a few days? I don't understand why these levels aren't coming down, I've only added ammonia once to the aquarium and the levels have been the same for two days now.

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6 years ago #8
johnarthur
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They will probably stay high until the bacteria colony develops. If you can borrow a cup of wet gravel from an established aquarium, it will help. The only way I've ever cycled an aquarium is with plants, experienced gravel and some flake food every few days. A large aquarium may require over a month to cycle. I understand that a piece of raw fish or shrimp will also help.

Somebody has already worked out the way to cycle with pure ammonia. It's probably very important to keep it below a certain level, because in high concentrations ammonia will kill anything it contacts, including good bacteria. Since it's normally used as a cleaner, the manufacturer may not be required to list all of the ingredients.

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