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Old 07-25-2006, 12:32 AM   #1
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Seeding My Cycle

Well I finally got the 55 gallon tank set up! I did a fill test all night Saturday night with no leaks at all (in case you read my other thread where I was worried about used tank leakage). Everything is going great so far.

I want to seed the cycle for the 55 gallon using some of the substrate from the 20 gallon that is already running. I can't use the filter media because they don't match, plus I don't want to take the media out of the 20 gallon if I'm still using it. I will probably take some of the substrate and put it in a stocking to cycle the new tank.

My question is will this automatically cycle the tank even though there is nothing in there to feed the bacteria right now or do I still need to dose with ammonia since I'm doing a fishless cycle?

(P.S. Where do you even GET pure ammonia? I have looked everywhere and the only thing I've seen is lemon scented and even that I only saw at once place.)
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Old 07-25-2006, 12:40 AM   #2
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ace hardware has pure NH3. (mine says "Ammonia Janitorial strength formula")

It will not automatically cycle. it will still take 2 to 4 weeks to complete. seeding greatly decreases the time it takes to cycle, but not instant.

if you are going to seed it, you will need NH3 for the tank to feed the bacteria.
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Old 07-25-2006, 12:44 AM   #3
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You need to dose it with a good ammonia source if you're going fishless. It won't automatically cycle without some ammonia for bacteria food. If you want to go automatic, pick up a good sized shrimp at your local supermarket and place it in a stocking in the tank and leave it to rot. The rotting will produce ammonia which in turn will drive the cycle.


You can find some good ammonia at Ace hardware (Ace Janitorial grade ammonia) if you've got an Ace close to you. Dose to 4-5 ppm and then wait until it drops to 1 ppm. Then continue dosing to approx 1-2 ppm every 12 hrs until the cycle completes.

HTH
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Old 07-25-2006, 05:29 PM   #4
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How do I know how much ammonia to use to get it at 5 ppm? I've never used ammonia to cycle and I don't want to overdose or anything.
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Old 07-25-2006, 05:44 PM   #5
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Add a small amount of ammonia and test. Maybe start with 5-10ml. This will give you a ballpark of how much to add. Say if 10ml gets you to 1ppm, try adding another 30ml (add on the conservative side to avoid overshooting your mark) and test again. Repeat as necessary until the testkit says 5ppm. Record the total amount you added for future reference.

Unfortunately, the concentration of the Ammonia that you purchase will play a large part in how much you have to add to get to a specific ppm. Even knowing the concentration that you are dealing with, it can be very difficult to accurately figure out the actual amount you need to dose without trial and error.
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Old 07-25-2006, 05:45 PM   #6
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The best way is to ramp it up slowly. Add 1 or 2 ml, wait a few hours, test, add more if necessary. If you measure the first dose, you should be able to estimate the amount needed after that.
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