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Old 02-25-2009, 11:21 AM   #1
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ammonia for fishless cycle

Hi all. I just got another tank yesterday and plan to do a fishless cycle. I keep reading to buy ammonia from ACE hardware but I live in Canada and we don't have those here. I bought ammonia that says on the front...no phosphates or fragrances. Is that the right kind? It doesn't have an ingredient list so I'm assuming it's just straight ammonia. Thanks everyone! I appreciate the time you take to answer my questions....especially since I ask so many! lol
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Old 02-25-2009, 11:32 AM   #2
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It sounds like it could be it. You just need to make absolutely sure there's no fragrances or surfactants in it. One way to test it is to shake it - if it bubbles up on the surface like soapy water, then it's no good for your tank.
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Old 02-25-2009, 12:29 PM   #3
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As said, shake it. It should respond to shaking the same as plain clean water.
And it won't be strait amonia, it will be mixed with water. The ACE amonia is 10% amonia if I remember right. It doesn't take alot of amonia so be carefull and add a little at a time so you don't overdose it.
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Old 02-25-2009, 03:32 PM   #4
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ok...no bubbles. I'm good to go! I'll go easy at first.
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Old 02-25-2009, 05:29 PM   #5
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What you need is some sort of bottle with a dropper or a syring of some sort.

For starters, I would suggest that for your first ammonia dosing that you limit yourself to no more than about one drop for every two gallons. Wait an hour and then test the ammonia levels. From there, you should be able to do the math to determine how many DROPS are needed to raise the ammonia levels by 1 ppm in your tank.
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Old 02-25-2009, 06:03 PM   #6
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It took 1/2 teaspoon to get my 75 gallon to 3ppm when I cycled it.That was with ACE amonia that said 10% amonia on it.
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Old 02-25-2009, 06:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missileman View Post
It took 1/2 teaspoon to get my 75 gallon to 3ppm when I cycled it.That was with ACE amonia that said 10% amonia on it.
Based on the Wikipedia artical on the "Drop (volume)" being 1/60 of a teaspoon, then missileman used 30 drops in his 75 gallon tank.

So here's the simple formula once you work through the math:

1ppm of ammonia = 1 Drop of ammonia / 3 gallons of water.

So in a 10 gallon tank, about 3 drops should raise the ammonia level by 1ppm.
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Old 02-25-2009, 06:53 PM   #8
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Interesting bit of math that suddenly brings into question the accuracy of ammonia tests... specifically what ever missleman is using.

Here's some numbers:
missileman used 1/2 teaspoon in a 75 gallon tank to get 3ppm.
Here's the math I get (tell me where you think I have my facts wrong).

1 teaspoon = 1/6 U.S. fl. oz (by U.S. law: 1 teaspoon = 5mL, but this old measure is close enough).
1 gallon = 128 oz.

Given a 10% solution of ammonia, that means the tank was dosed with 1/120 of an oz of ammonia (1/12 of an oz of a 10% solution).

Given a 75 gallon tank, that is 9,600 oz.

That makes for 1 oz of ammonia for every 1,152,000 oz of water. That's less than 1 ppm.

Even accounting for the fact that substrait, decorations, and even air (the tank was presumably NOT filled to over flowing) That changes the calculations by less than 20%.

The math just isn't there for that little bit of ammonia to equal 3ppm.

Where are the other 2ppm coming from (or perhaps stated differently, why is the test seeming off by a factor of three)?

1.1ppm of ammonia in the tank. But missileman measured 3ppm. Why the difference?

Of course some of the difference is that his tank did not have 75 gallons of water. Presumably 75 gallons is what the tank holds if filled to over flowing, and presumably he has some substrait and decorations in the tank. So as a GUESS, missileman only had 60 gallons of water in the tank.
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Old 02-25-2009, 11:22 PM   #9
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Hmmm....well that's kind of confusing. My tank is 48 gallons so I guess I'll just try a quarter of a teaspoon and test after an hour and add more a little bit at a time. I still haven't filled it yet. I need to get a few more things before I get started. I'm hoping my ten gallon is cycled by the time I start this one so I can put some rocks and stuff in there to try to speed it up. Thanks for all the info everyone.
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Old 02-26-2009, 07:35 AM   #10
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I have wondered that myself, but that is exactly what I used.
Perhaps my test kit is off or the amonia bottle I had was more concentrated than they claimed? The cycle still worked though.
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