HELP! - Ammonia for fishless cycle (SURFACTANTS) - The Planted Tank Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 55 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 02:45 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Guru
 
klibs's Avatar
 
PTrader: (29/100%)
Join Date: May 2014
Location: NH
Posts: 3,325
HELP! - Ammonia for fishless cycle (SURFACTANTS)

*****UPDATE 8/22/2014*****
I ended up doing many large water changes every other day for a few weeks. I have since stopped doing this as it is a huge PITA. I now just do at least 50% per week. I have 10+ fish in the tank now and they are all doing completely fine. My rummynose are bright red and my plants are thriving. Think I made the right choice by not tearing everything down...

My tank is stable / I always have 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites.

Success! But lesson learned...

--- Original Post ---

I bought the first bottle of Ammonia that I found at Wal-Mart:
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Great-Valu...Specifications

I have just recently read that any ammonia that "bubbles or foams" won't work for fishless cycling? Well this bottle bubbles a lot to the point of almost being soapy... (IT MIGHT BE SOAPY)

I also noticed that it takes a lot (like 10mL) to raise the ammonia level in my 75G to anywhere near 4...

INGREDIENTS: Ammonium Hydroxide and Surfactant

Some threads say that you don't want ammonia with surfactants in it...
I am terrified that I screwed up big time and will harm my tank...
Is this something that will potentially harm my plants??? Or will it just not work for cycling???

Please let me know!!! Do I need to do an emergency water change?

Last edited by klibs; 08-22-2014 at 04:28 PM. Reason: failure
klibs is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 55 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 02:54 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
FewestKitten896's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Kansas
Posts: 556
Unfortunately it isn't pure ammonia. The surfactant is a substance that helps when cleaning. I had to get some at ace hardware...I believe it was called janitorial ammonia...it works pretty good...not sure if you will have to tear down and restart or just do a major water change...
FewestKitten896 is offline  
post #3 of 55 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 02:57 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Guru
 
klibs's Avatar
 
PTrader: (29/100%)
Join Date: May 2014
Location: NH
Posts: 3,325
I cannot afford to tear down my entire tank - there are almost $200 worth of plants in there right now. I am going to do some emergency water changes in the next week and hope for the best.

Hopefully someone with first-hand experience in this can lend a hand... I am terrified that I ruined my entire tank.

The more I research this the more bleak my outlook becomes...


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
klibs is offline  
 
post #4 of 55 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 03:02 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
FewestKitten896's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Kansas
Posts: 556
Yeah I am not sure...I think if you did enough water changes you should be ok...just gotta make sure it gets out of your substrate...but I would wait til someone else chimes in before you take my word...


Here is what the bottle looks like if you were curious...
FewestKitten896 is offline  
post #5 of 55 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 03:05 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Guru
 
klibs's Avatar
 
PTrader: (29/100%)
Join Date: May 2014
Location: NH
Posts: 3,325
I am so scared / pissed off / upset right now


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
klibs is offline  
post #6 of 55 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 06:45 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
MedRed's Avatar
 
PTrader: (27/100%)
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 1,617
Is this your dirted tank?


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

I have slain all of the Dragons! You owe me!
MedRed is offline  
post #7 of 55 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 11:26 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
CrypticLifeStyle's Avatar
 
PTrader: (8/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Boston MA
Posts: 1,458
The foamy stuff is detergents. For peace of mind I'd breakdown the tank, and clean everything. Consider it a learning curve, plenty more ahead.

I'm not into the image, but into the hobby...
CrypticLifeStyle is offline  
post #8 of 55 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 11:53 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
roadmaster's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Missouri united states
Posts: 5,576
I too would place plants in tub of dechlorinated water and tear down the tank /filters and replace all filter media and clean the tank .
Start again with fresh substrate.
I believe even with daily 70-80% water changes for a month the surfactant will still linger.
Ain't what you want to hear I know.
Could have this tank back up and running in a weekend.
roadmaster is offline  
post #9 of 55 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Guru
 
klibs's Avatar
 
PTrader: (29/100%)
Join Date: May 2014
Location: NH
Posts: 3,325
Quote:
Originally Posted by MedRed View Post
Is this your dirted tank?
Yes

I did a 90% water change last night.

I've only added in total maybe 15mL of the ammonia solution... If I do 10+ 90%+ water changes does anyone think I would have a chance? I am not really willing to waste $100s of substrate / plants on redoing the entire thing. If it wasn't a dirt tank and I didn't already have an HC carpet- maybe. But it is...


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
klibs is offline  
post #10 of 55 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 12:40 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Bushkill, Pa
Posts: 2,577
I can be a little on the practical side about stuff like this and certainly feel your pain. With only 15ml added and a 90% water change under your belt, I would just keep up with the water changes at a higher percentage than even I would do for a while longer, run carbon, check parameters and then start cycling over again. I'm certain you'll get differing opinions here.

On a semi-related note, most bleaches have surfactants in them now as well. They make the bleach thicker and less prone to splashing so you don't get little bleach spots on clothes and stuff in the area. What makes it really tough is that the majority don't even list it as an ingredient. With plastics it's not a big deal since rinsing well is all it takes, but any sort of fabric needs extensive rinsing before re-use. I have no idea how this effects regenerating Purigen.

Angelo

"Why can't my wife see all of this stuff as an investment?"
Bushkill is offline  
post #11 of 55 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 12:55 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
roadmaster's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Missouri united states
Posts: 5,576
Quote:
Originally Posted by klibs View Post
Yes

I did a 90% water change last night.

I've only added in total maybe 15mL of the ammonia solution... If I do 10+ 90%+ water changes does anyone think I would have a chance? I am not really willing to waste $100s of substrate / plants on redoing the entire thing. If it wasn't a dirt tank and I didn't already have an HC carpet- maybe. But it is...
Dirt is cheap, and plant's could possibly be salvaged by placing them in tub as suggested but it's your call.
The filter will need good cleaning and I would without a doubt get rid of the media that has been affected and replace it.
roadmaster is offline  
post #12 of 55 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Guru
 
klibs's Avatar
 
PTrader: (29/100%)
Join Date: May 2014
Location: NH
Posts: 3,325
How sure are we that I'm screwed though? Will trace amounts of this stuff make a tank unlivable for its entire life?

Everything I read is just people saying "oh you have to tear it down" without and proof to back why it is totally necessary to tear the entire thing down.

It will be a major time/$$$ investment to go through setting this tank up again - mostly due to the fact that it is dirted and I do not want to mineralize my mixture. Would a THOROUGH rinsing of my eco complete cap do the trick? Can the dirt be saved? I am VERY reluctant to replace EVERYTHING in the tank...


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
klibs is offline  
post #13 of 55 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 01:13 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Centennial,Co
Posts: 1,836
Just forget the ammonia all together. Run the tank for a month or two then add fish.
BruceF is offline  
post #14 of 55 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Guru
 
klibs's Avatar
 
PTrader: (29/100%)
Join Date: May 2014
Location: NH
Posts: 3,325
Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceF View Post
Just forget the ammonia all together. Run the tank for a month or two then add fish.
But will any soap/detergent/surfactants linger and still ruin the tank?

I am totally fine with doing frequent, large, water changes on this tank and waiting it out for a few months w/o fish if the problem has a chance of going away

Edit: I have also read that activated carbon can help vs. this sort of thing. Lucky for me I have a TON of this stuff so I will load up my canisters when I get back...


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
klibs is offline  
post #15 of 55 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 01:35 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Centennial,Co
Posts: 1,836
People spray soap on plants all the time to kill off insects. So change the water some and change the carbon some and don't worry about it.
BruceF is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome