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Old 08-25-2011, 02:48 PM   #1
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Ammonia.... ugh

Ok. I am almost ready to start my 55 gal setup. I need an ammonia source. NO ONE in my area carries it, not even ACE. It may be because it is used in my area to cut meth. So I looked online and ACE had to order if I wanted 6 gallons!!! so that's a no go. I know I can use food to do it but I want it to be accurate. Do I have any other options?
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Old 08-25-2011, 02:55 PM   #2
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Tossing in a raw shrimp or two works just as well. I'd suggest throwing it in a mesh media bag to help prevent it from causing mold / fungi issues (do the same if you choose fish food). Good news is...if you buy a bag of shrimp, you get a cycled tank and a dinner out if it
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Old 08-25-2011, 03:00 PM   #3
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you could do dinner on the fish food too... im sure it would be nasty, but still edible Are 2 raw shrimp going to be enough for 55 gal? and how long will decomp take for the shrimp to start producing ammonia?
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Old 08-25-2011, 03:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheJT View Post
you could do dinner on the fish food too... im sure it would be nasty, but still edible Are 2 raw shrimp going to be enough for 55 gal? and how long will decomp take for the shrimp to start producing ammonia?
I've never personally used shrimp, but it's a pretty common method. I wouldn't imagine it'd take very long to start decomposing. My initial thought would have been adding a few in, but since I've heard stories of just 1-2 doing the trick. You could always start with 2, and adjust from there by tossing another in or pulling one out.

Here's an excerpt from Americanaquariumproducts.com about using fish food-

" [3] Fish Food Method;


Another method is the gradual addition of fish food to an otherwise empty aquarium (no fish). This can be a very effective means of cycling that is preferred by many experienced aquarists. This method takes about the same time as the pure ammonia method (2-6 weeks, usually about 3).
This is my preferred method when aged bio media is not available (not everyone has a friend or helpful local fish store to give them some aged media).

The only risk of the fish food method is the possibility of Saprolegnia (mold) growing on rotting fish food which can become pathogenic to new fish that will be introduced later.
This is easily avoided with a fish flake food by powdering it between fingers before introduction to the aquarium (shaking fish flake food in a cup of water can also accomplish this). This risk is relatively small and basically non-existent when you use an easily “liquefied” fish flake food. This unfortunately is NOT the case with the raw shrimp method (recommended by a few poorly researched sites).

4 ppm is a typical fishless cycling target whether using the fish food method or ammonia. Higher (7 ppm) or lower (3 ppm) is also fine for healthy bacterial colony growth (based on mine and others in the maintenance communities experience).
Regardless of fishless cycling method chosen, the bio load is always going to be in flux (higher or lower). When higher is needed, nitrifying bacteria double in population in 18 to 24 hours. When less are needed, they die back and are consumed by each other."

------------------------------------------------

They recommend against using shrimp based off the same potential for mold, but people do it every day with no issues. The choice is yours

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