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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I have a heavily planted tank with aquasoil ( tropica ) that I launched in dry start method 2 months and a half ago. I flooded the tank 2-3weeks ago. Everything is going well, my plants are fine. But I need to cycle the tank, and when I test nh4, its always at 0, same for nitrites and nitrates. I started to add fish food, but we are 4-5 days later and still 0 ammonia.
Do you think that I can pure liquid ammonia to cycle the tank ? I red that this is an other way to cycle the tank, to add enough ammonia to reach 5ppm(not sure of the figure). But I am worried for my plants. Will they be fine if I add ammonia to the water? Will 5ppm hurt them ? I really don’t wan’t those 2 months and a half to be ruinned !

other informations that might be usefull :
I have co2
I added live bacteria recently
The filter wasn’t cycled
8h light/day
Ph:6,5 / Kh:4 / Gh:5
I use mix of ro water and tap water
I did 2 50% water changed per week since it is flooded.

Thank you for your help ! :)
 

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I use Ammonium Chloride powder to cycle.


Dr. Tim's makes an excellent Ammonium Chloride dosing solution and has detailed instructions on how to cycle.

Ammonium Chloride Solution for Fishless Cycling | Dr Tims Aquatics

5 ppm [NH3-N] is too much for cycling. The Ammonia is toxic to the bacteria in higher concentrations. Having too much Ammonia or Nitrite will stall your cycling. You start by dosing 2 ppm. Then when it goes below 1 ppm you add 2 ppm more until it goes below 1 ppm again. Nitrite also has to be under 5 ppm. You shouldn't do so much water changing that you eliminate the Nitrite. It's needed to complete the cycling.
 

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I typically use ammonia in order to cycle. Add enough to bring it up to 1-2ppm as mentioned. You just have to make sure it's the pure (typically diluted) ammonia, and doesn't have any surfactant or any additives in it. Plants are fine with ammonia, and will actually take it up directly as a source of nitrogen.

Though given that you flooded the tank weeks ago and you're using active substrate, you might be past the ammonia portion of the cycle. Did you test for nitrite and nitrates? If you add 1-2 ppm of ammonia, and read no ammonia or nitrites 24 hours later, you are done cycling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I typically use ammonia in order to cycle. Add enough to bring it up to 1-2ppm as mentioned. You just have to make sure it's the pure (typically diluted) ammonia, and doesn't have any surfactant or any additives in it. Plants are fine with ammonia, and will actually take it up directly as a source of nitrogen.

Though given that you flooded the tank weeks ago and you're using active substrate, you might be past the ammonia portion of the cycle. Did you test for nitrite and nitrates? If you add 1-2 ppm of ammonia, and read no ammonia or nitrites 24 hours later, you are done cycling.
Yes, I am at 0 nitrites and 0 nitrates too.
I will try to find pure ammonia and test to reach 2ppm and see what happens !
when I will add the liquid ammonia, can I see the results with a test right away or do I have to wait ?

I use Ammonium Chloride powder to cycle.


Dr. Tim's makes an excellent Ammonium Chloride dosing solution and has detailed instructions on how to cycle.

Ammonium Chloride Solution for Fishless Cycling | Dr Tims Aquatics

5 ppm [NH3-N] is too much for cycling. The Ammonia is toxic to the bacteria in higher concentrations. Having too much Ammonia or Nitrite will stall your cycling. You start by dosing 2 ppm. Then when it goes below 1 ppm you add 2 ppm more until it goes below 1 ppm again. Nitrite also has to be under 5 ppm. You shouldn't do so much water changing that you eliminate the Nitrite. It's needed to complete the cycling.
Thx !Those products are not available in my country so I will try to find an equivalent
 

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You will detect some Nitrite soon and then you have to keep going until the Nitrite is gone and you have Nitrate. It takes about four to six weeks. Sometimes it takes longer. The cycling I just did took two months. Be patient and hope for a fast result.
 

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One common misconception is that a tank could be cycled just by sitting there. It is completely not true. You have to provide food for the bacteria. A daily dosage of 2ppm NH4+ would speed up the process significantly. If ammonium chloride is not available, you can always use urea. Heterotrophic bacteria can break it down to NH3 and CO2.
In fact, I would recommend a dosage of 5ppm as nitrifying bacteria wouldn't be poisoned until that concentration, and plants are much hardier. Abundant food always makes things replicate faster.
 
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