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Old 07-11-2005, 11:59 AM   #1
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How much ammonia

That is a good question - how much ammonia does it take to equal the amount of waste that your future full bioload will produce?

I think that might be worthy of its own thread to get more responses. I'd love to see a discussion on it. --TG



I posed a question in the beginners forum about how much ammonia should be used for a full load of fish and TankGirl replied with the above. Most of the information on using ammonia to start a cycle in an aquarium is states to bring it up to a certain point and keep it more or less at the one point until the tank cycles. However, when you cycle a tank using animals, it cycles with the load you have put in it whether it is 2 Danios or 5 -6 Danios. Then you add fish slowly to let the bioconverter build up without having an ammonia peak and it will take a while to stock the tank, and the first fish in tend to be aggressive to new comers as a rule.

I want to keep upping the amount of ammonia until I have my bacteria converter loaded with bacteria so I can dump all the fish that I want to have in the aquarium at time in order to reduce aggression and because I have to mail order my fish. They will all come in the same day, less freight expense that way. So how much ammonia does a one inch small bodied fish produce in one day? How much will a two inch thick bodied fish produce. How much will 16 fish produce in a single day if 1/2 is thin bodied and 1/2 is thick bodied, all thin bodied, all thick bodied, and all thick bodied with some already 3 inches long? I still do not know where I will stock with African cichlids, SA cichlids or barbs and some small cichlids, like the ones that use a snail shell for home. But whatever I decide they will all come in the same day and need a home the same day and I only have one 90 gal tank and a 10 gal qt tank. The 29 gal is already full stocked while the other are two are empty of fish. So the new comers will go in the 90 gal when it is finally cycled.

Any one have an answer or even an educated guess?
Or will it work at all.
If not, why not?
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Old 07-11-2005, 12:01 PM   #2
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Caudefin...this is one that I found in the archives...I also posted it in your other thread:

Here
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Old 07-11-2005, 06:44 PM   #3
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From my understanding, the ammonia that is used by a small fish or any fish is dependent on the ammonia that is created by the fish food that you would feed it in a day..
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Old 07-12-2005, 12:48 PM   #4
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Given the fact that a new tank with decent bioload will usually get an ammonia level of 1ppm in less than 3 days, Iwould guess that it is at least 0.5ppm per day for a modest fish load.

Anyone else measure how fast nitrates climb in their tank? if it takes a week to 10 days for the nitrate to climb 5 ppm, it would bear this out.

An interesting experiment. I would get your tank running so that it can consume 1 ppm of ammonia per day, and see how it goes. That would equal a nitrate climb of 7 per week, a good starting guess. Remeber, this is a guess. But I bet that any tank that can consume 1ppm of ammonia in a day (ie: consume = ammonia in today, tomorrow no ammonia or nitrite) would handle a fish load. If not, I bet it would take less than a week to catch up, so you might need a week of lots of PWC's if this is wrong. But it is my best educated guess.

BTW: For the Ace hardware Janitorial Strength 10% ammonium cleaner , 0.34 ml equals 1 ppm for a standard ten gallon tank. I have calculated this, and then confirmed it with testing.
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Old 07-12-2005, 07:38 PM   #5
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I had 5 corys 3 Rams and 3 Apistos in a 80 gal (326 L) tank and would get up to 1.5 ppm ammonia easily every day. I often did pwc's morning and night to keep the levels below this.

The fish survived happily and I got a goot work out. I used a large cooler to move the water out of the fish room. 90 lbs of water X2 morning and night was lots of fun.

To do a cycle with ammonia I would try to keep the ammonia at 2-3 pmm. Testing 2X a day and adding just enough to keep it in that range. That way (without any proof) I would imagine that there would be enough bacteria so the tank could be stocked at a reasonable level after the cycle is done.
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Old 07-13-2005, 12:55 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone for your advice and help on this subject. This is easily one of the best advice places I have found. Great people here. I will let you know what happens when the cycle is completed and I dump the fish in.
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Old 07-31-2005, 11:42 PM   #7
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The large tank, 90 gal, finished the cycle on Wednesday.
Ammonia 0
NO2 0
NO3 12
Friday night I added 5 (3 small-1 inch or less, 2 larger 1 2 1/2 and the other about 2 inches) Tinfoil Barbs, 5 Tiger Barbs all same size, small, 2 small Paradise Gouramis or at least that is what PetSmart had named them.
Saturday
Ammonia 0
NO2 0
NO3 12
And kept them in tank with no lights and no lights in the room Saturday. Today (Sunday) I switched on low level room lights and it did not phase them. Fed them today at the end of the tank and had some problems as I always do in a community tank. The Tinfoils grabbed everything, except for the gouramis which ate their fill by moving the tinfoils away. The Tiger Barbs got almost nothing in mid water in the middle of the tank. I then fed some large flakes to the tinfoils and moved to where the Tigers were in the middle of the tank and mid tank. I wet the flakes and pushed them below the surface and they sink quickly down to where the Tigers were. They then ate them in quick order. I put just a few on the top above them and the Tigers struck like bass.

This sounds like a lot of food but it was all gone in about 20 seconds altogether. The Tinfoils being larger need more food than the others. I foresee a problem there.

The 10 gal finished it's fishless cycle on Thursday. I think it was later because the original tank started leaking on Monday. I transferred 5 gal of tank water to a bucket with the heater and inserted the filter let it run until I got the new used tank disenfected and clean. Then I moved the new tank in place, added the 5 gal of water, the heater and filter back into the 10 gal with 5 gal of fresh treated tap water. Then I added two extra drops of ammonia on Wednesday, and then read just a slight bit of ammonia and .5pmm ofn NO2 Thursday AM
On Saturday it had 0 readings of both ammonia and NO2. So I continue to add two drops of ammonia to the tank to keep it cycled.
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Old 08-14-2005, 11:23 PM   #8
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Well, I must have done something right, I put in all the fish mentioned above, 2 Paradise Fish (Gouramis) 6 not 5 Tiger Barbs, 5 Pink Albino Tinfoil Barbs two of these 2 inches, 1 was about 1 1/2 inches 2 less than 1 inch and no Ammonia came up at all. No nitrite.

A week later added 1 more Tiger Barb and one week later added 2 Tiger Barbs for a total of 9 Tigers. I find them to be the best fish that I have ever kept. It is just simply amazing to watch the 9 work around in the tank. I have one old (fake) wine bottle with two holes in the bottom and two handles that clear the neck of the bottle by maybe 3/4 of an inch on top and 1/2 inch on the bottom. They swim through all the holes, and turn on their sides to slip between the handle and the neck of the bottle. Their antics keep me watch and relaxing for hours. Seldom ever watch the boob tube since they came into the house.
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