Bought Ammonia - is it the right stuff ??? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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Bought Ammonia - is it the right stuff ???

I bought a jug of "Janitorial Strength Formula" ammonia at my ACE Hardware store. In smaller print it say's "contains 10% ammonium hydroxide".
Is this the right stuff to use for cycling a new tank?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 05:23 PM
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Yup you should be good.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 05:40 PM
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Yes, that's the stuff I used and many on the interwebs recommend (can't be wrong on the interwebs, right??)...

If you want to double-check it, shake it up with the cap on. The "wrong" stuff will generally form a thick sudsy foam because it has detergents in it. This stuff won't.


Also, be a little careful with this stuff, if you spill it the fumes can be rather overpowering, and a little goes a very long way. It isn't as dangerous as some lab grade chemicals, but it isn't Windex either.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 06:45 PM
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Yes it is the right stuff. If you shake it it should not bubble up. The wrong stuff makes foamy bubbles (has soap in it)


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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 07:03 PM
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Relatedly, the same goes for bleach that lots of us use to disinfect and clean plastic stuff. The majority (even the cheapo brands) now have surfactants (detergents) to make it thicker and less prone to splashing.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 07:57 PM
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Bleach should be less of an issue, maybe not a non-issue, but substantially less of one.

At least with bleach you should be rinsing very thoroughly, and be eliminating all but a very small trace of the surfactant and thickening agents.

On a fishless cycle, the ammonia is going into the tank, and you'll do a 90-95% water change at the end, but that means 5-10% of the total amount added stays behind in the tank. That's a lot more than just a thin film....

Note: The surfactants used in both products are *probably* ones that aren't going to be very toxic to fish.. but strangely they never label which exact surfactants they used, making it hard to know for sure.

Last edited by mattinmd; 10-31-2014 at 07:57 PM. Reason: spacing, double % sign
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-01-2014, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattinmd View Post
Bleach should be less of an issue, maybe not a non-issue, but substantially less of one.

At least with bleach you should be rinsing very thoroughly, and be eliminating all but a very small trace of the surfactant and thickening agents.

On a fishless cycle, the ammonia is going into the tank, and you'll do a 90-95% water change at the end, but that means 5-10% of the total amount added stays behind in the tank. That's a lot more than just a thin film....

Note: The surfactants used in both products are *probably* ones that aren't going to be very toxic to fish.. but strangely they never label which exact surfactants they used, making it hard to know for sure.
Oh, I know it's less of an issue. I merely pointed it out for pretty much the same reason as the cautionary "note" you made. This hobby uses stuff for purposes they were never formulated for. So when the folks making bleach and ammonia "improve" their product, it causes issues for the hobbyist. And we usually end up finding out about it the hard way. So, it was just a heads up that if your bleach foams, you have to rinse a little better than you used to.
The SW folks had/have a real core of DIYers that will tinker with lots of things to bring the cost of the hobby in line with reality. So there were lots of folks that used driveway melts (Dowflake) etc, to maintain things like Dh, and magnesium levels. Well, it took some folks' reading of packaging to find out that Boron % had become elevated. Nobody knew the exact reasons since Dowflake wasn't exactly formulated for aquarium use. But by the same token, nobody knew what elevated Boron levels would do to a SW system.
So it was just a semi-related word of caution to just be a little more observant when using such products even indirectly.

Angelo

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-01-2014, 03:16 PM
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Very important point, to read the label every time. Not trust that the next time you buy a product that it has remained the same.
Whenever possible avoid added ingredients that the tank does not need.
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