where to buy pure ammonia to cycle tank? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 12:12 AM Thread Starter
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Question where to buy pure ammonia to cycle tank?

iam cycaling my 55 gal and my nitrites were still at 5.0 ppm someone told me to test for ammonia so i went out and got a test kit for ammonia got home and tested the 55 gal and it was at 0 ppm for ammonia so i need pure ammonia to cycle.the waste i got from my established tank i guess was not enuf waste to create ammonia.... so where can i buy pure ammonia? thank you for your responces...ps if i do get pure ammonia how much do i dose?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 12:40 AM
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grocery store in the cleaning section. Look for no color and no fragrance.

I don't know the quantity but I'm assuming a really small amount. a few drops maybe.

I would just use fish food to make NH3 instead of going out and buy a big ol' bottle for a few drops.


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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 12:41 AM
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Walmart or Ace Hardware. No color or Fragrance.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 12:45 AM
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I would never Do this but i have been told it works for cycling a tank, Pee in it Once. Like i said i would do it but it is ammonia.

What i personally do is, i take a small can of fish food,whatever kind i can find on clearance and i dump the whole can in and just forget the tank for a month, then do a 50% water change, wait till the next day and test the water.

I also add used filter media from another tank. This has worked well for me.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 12:49 AM
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Just load it up with some plants and maybe a few guppies...... BAM!
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 01:12 AM
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Walmart or Ace Hardware. No color or Fragrance.
OR surfactants. The wal-mart ammonia does contain surfactants and they can quickly ruin a cycle. ACE Hardware is your best bet.

--Kathy--


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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 01:15 AM
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Yeah I agree,

Just buy some cheap feeder fish and add some food, a bit more than necessary. Leave it be for a week and then take the fish out of the tank, don't siphon the gravel/do a water change, let it sit for another week, test the water and you should be good to go! It also helps to add used filter media to the filter from this tank, if not the complete used filter system from a previous tank if possible, just as vance said.

I also believe there is a product available for purchase, I cannot think of the name atm, but it supposedly cycles the tank in 24 hours. It's a bit pricey (depends on how you look at it, money or a shorter period of time to cycle), around $20-$30 at my LFS. It is used by many sellers at auctions/meets/ect to get the tanks ready to sell the fish. It may seem sceptical but it has been around for at least a year now and it appears to be good.

If you wanna go that route, I would add that product, let it sit overnight, then add some cheap feeder fish/guppies and see how they do over a weeks period of time. If your water parameters are in check, you should be good to go!
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 01:21 AM
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Yeah I agree,

Just buy some cheap feeder fish and add some food, a bit more than necessary. Leave it be for a week and then take the fish out of the tank, don't siphon the gravel/do a water change, let it sit for another week, test the water and you should be good to go! It also helps to add used filter media to the filter from this tank, if not the complete used filter system from a previous tank if possible, just as vance said.

I also believe there is a product available for purchase, I cannot think of the name atm, but it supposedly cycles the tank in 24 hours. It's a bit pricey (depends on how you look at it, money or a shorter period of time to cycle), around $20-$30 at my LFS. It is used by many sellers at auctions/meets/ect to get the tanks ready to sell the fish. It may seem sceptical but it has been around for at least a year now and it appears to be good.

If you wanna go that route, I would add that product, let it sit overnight, then add some cheap feeder fish/guppies and see how they do over a weeks period of time. If your water parameters are in check, you should be good to go!
Bio Spira is the product i think your talking about, it is also the only one on the market worth anything but if its not refrigerated don't buy it!
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 01:28 AM
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The problem is that you'll later be stuck with a couple of zebra danios or feeder guppies that you don't want. Also, the whole procedure is not a very nice experience for the fish.

If you want to go with ammonia, go to ACE Hardware; their "janitor strength" ammonium hydroxide works and is safe. It says 10% but it's still strong stuff. For a 15g tank, I initially dosed 5 ml to shoot it into the ~8ppm range. When all the ammonia is absorbed (day 6 or so, in my case), continue adding lower doses ammonia daily until you put your first fish in. You'll be adding ammonia for quite a while as the nitrite-absorbing bacteria grow very slowly.


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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 01:47 AM Thread Starter
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ok thanks guys i did go to ace hardware and got the amonia it was only $2.49 a bottle and it is very strong stuff....i have another question my 55 gal is going to used for my rcs's iam currently breeding them in a 10 gallon and will eventualy move some of them to the 55 gal once they have babies.my question is how much would i dose of the ammonia after the week period until i move some rcs's in there and when do i stop dosing ammonia? thanks
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 01:53 AM
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Bio Spira is the product i think your talking about, it is also the only one on the market worth anything but if its not refrigerated don't buy it!


YES! That's it lol. I used it on my African Cichlid tank. I have approximatly 14 various African Cichlids in my 55 gallon. No deaths whatsoever (besides the little bugger that got caught in the filter intake =[ ). I reccommend that product!
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 04:55 AM
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Originally Posted by i love planted tanks View Post
ok thanks guys i did go to ace hardware and got the amonia it was only $2.49 a bottle and it is very strong stuff....i have another question my 55 gal is going to used for my rcs's iam currently breeding them in a 10 gallon and will eventualy move some of them to the 55 gal once they have babies.my question is how much would i dose of the ammonia after the week period until i move some rcs's in there and when do i stop dosing ammonia? thanks
You stop dosing just before adding the shrimps. Of course, no ammonia may be left when you put the shrimps in.

Here is an example schedule:

Day 1: Initial dose of ammonia
Day 2: Test
Day 3: Test
Day 4: Test
Day 5: Test - first noticeable drop in ammonia level

Day 6: Test - ammonia at 0. Add a lower dose of ammonia so that the level is at around 2-3. Usually, the bacteria need anywhere from 8-24 hours to get your ammonia level from 2-3 to 0. So you add ammonia every day. Contrary to what some people say, the bacteria do not die if they are without ammonia for five minutes. Dosing once a day is perfectly fine.

Day 7: Test ammonia, add ammonia. Test nitrite
Day 8: Test ammonia, add ammonia. Test nitrite
Day n: Test ammonia, add ammonia. Test nitrite

Nitrite will take a LONG time compared to the ammonia. Keep feeding ammonia all the way.

Day finally: Test ammonia, test nitrite. Both 0. You can now add livestock after a big water change as there will be significant nitrate build-up. If you can't at this moment, keep dosing ammonia to keep the bacteria cultures running. Many recommend a test day or two to see if the cycle has really come to an end.


Edit: Some info added, thanks Laura!


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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 05:16 AM
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Aquarist fist- you left out water changes. You need to do water changes at the end of cycling to remove the excess nitrate, especially important in a shrimp tank.

You need to do a large water change or two (at least 50% each time) and then test the parameters the next day to make sure that ammonia and nitrites are still at 0ppm to be sure that the tank has truly finished cycling.





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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 05:27 AM Thread Starter
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ok thank you guys realy good and helpful info
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 07:08 AM
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Laura: Uh-oh, thanks for letting me know. Those water changes should not be forgotten indeed. I edited my previous post.


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