Adding Ammonia
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Old 05-10-2013, 03:18 PM   #1
newb13
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Adding Ammonia


when starting a fishless cycle, do you guys simply buy ammonia from a hardware store to add in? Is there a specific aquarium ammonia?

Also, is a heating pad necessary for a 6 gallon tank? It sounds like it's essential for growing bacteria, but once the cycle is over you're suppose to remove the heat source before adding the fish, correct?
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Old 05-10-2013, 03:23 PM   #2
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You can just add fish food into the tank to let it rot and release ammonia. Buying a jug of ammonia to only use a few milliliter is a waste.

If you were to buy, any ammonia without fragrance, color, surfactant is fine.
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mistergreen View Post
You can just add fish food into the tank to let it rot and release ammonia. Buying a jug of ammonia to only use a few milliliter is a waste.

If you were to buy, any ammonia without fragrance, color, surfactant is fine.
Then again, ammonia has a ton of other uses.
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:44 PM   #4
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Default Adding Ammonia

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Then again, ammonia has a ton of other uses.
Like?

It's safer to clean with vinegar.


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Old 05-10-2013, 11:14 PM   #5
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Not buying ammonia for cycling is just being cheap. A bottle cost less than 5 bucks. I don't believe it goes bad. I still have my same bottle from Ace that I first cycled with from 12 years ago. I used it last in 08 to recycle the same tank. Ammonia is a janitor type cleaning chemical so it can be used around the house if one can bare the smell. Vinegar may be safer but its also weaker. Some jobs may require that uhhmmm to get the job done right. Also if someone has multiple tanks to setup, its alot cheaper and quicker than using fish food.
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Old 05-11-2013, 04:26 AM   #6
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Ace Hardware has the pure stuff with no additives for just a few bucks. It's really strong, you need a very small amount to get to 3-5 ppm depending on the size of your tank. Don't breathe the fumes, it hurts.
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Old 05-11-2013, 06:41 AM   #7
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Just buy the ammonia. That way you can control your cycle. You know the ppm of ammonia and it's easy to maintain that level. Sure, you may only use a couple ounces but that one bottle will cycle many tanks.
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Old 05-11-2013, 02:53 PM   #8
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I have used the same bottle of ammonia for many years. I usually jump start the cycle by adding used filter media from the other tanks, so the cycle goes really fast, does not use much ammonia.
Finally used up the bottle cycling a big tank from scratch, no jump start with bacteria laden filter media.

I have maintained an unpopulated tank for a while by feeding 'virtual fish'. I fed about twice the normal amount of food so I would be sure that the bacteria were up to handling a regular amount of food when I was ready to add the fish.
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Old 05-12-2013, 02:40 AM   #9
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bought the ammonia. 5 bucks.
Just wanted to make sure the hardware stuff was good to use and i didn't have to get a specific aquarium type.

thanks everyone.
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Old 05-12-2013, 04:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newb13 View Post
bought the ammonia. 5 bucks.
Just wanted to make sure the hardware stuff was good to use and i didn't have to get a specific aquarium type.

thanks everyone.
As long as it said pure ammonia, 100% ammonia, ammonia no additives or something to that nature, then your good. If none of the above re-read the label to justify no additives. If you overlooked sometime, take it back and get one of the above.
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Old 05-14-2013, 03:28 AM   #11
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Not sure if my calculations are correct. But if i have a 6 gallon fluval edge, the calculator said i should try to reach 5ppm which is 4.98 ml of ammonia.

1 ml of ammonia is 20 drops?

I need 100 drops during the initial fishless cycle to try to reach 5ppm?
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Old 05-14-2013, 04:50 AM   #12
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Ammonia is not all packaged at the same dilution. Try adding a small amount, let it circulate and test. Then add more as needed. Keep track of how much it takes to hit 5 ppm the first time, then you will be able to figure out the rest.

1ml is pretty close to 20 drops, but if you need 100 drops (5ml) this is 1 teaspoon. A lot easier to use an eyedropper that is marked in ml, or a teaspoon for kitchen use. I have a separate set of spoons for aquariums, but I also have quite a few syringes, eye droppers and similar things ranging from 1ml (markings down to .01ml) up to a turkey baster, 60 ml.
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Old 05-14-2013, 05:56 AM   #13
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Thanks for confirming. At first the 100 drops seemed excessive, but it makes sense when you say it's approximately 1 teaspoon.
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mistergreen View Post
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It's safer to clean with vinegar.


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Cat deterrent. I have a bunch of strays in the neighborhood that like to tease my dogs. Ammonia = cat -b -gone.
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Old 05-14-2013, 03:22 PM   #15
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In 30 years I've never used a single drop of ammonia to start a tank.
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