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Old 09-17-2009, 08:01 PM   #1
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The ammonia is very high?

I'm cycling my 5 gallon aquarium and I started cycling it on 9/14. On 9/14 I added 18 drops of ammonia, on 9/15 I added 18 drops and the ammonia was 3-5ppm, on 9/16 I added 18 drops of ammonia and it was 8ppm. I tested the nitrite and it was .25ppm or lower. Today (9/17) I tested the ammonia and it still says 8ppm. Should I do a water change? If so...how much water should I take out? I really want my tank to cycle pretty fast without any problems...
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Old 09-17-2009, 08:53 PM   #2
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I just did a 100% water change and tested the ammonia, it's between .25ppm and .50ppm. Approx. how many drops of ammonia should I add?
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Old 09-17-2009, 08:53 PM   #3
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You might consider changing out 25% to bring the NH3 down to 4-5. Or you might skip a day or two of dosing & let the levels fall naturally.

Your goal is to add as much ammonia as your bacteria is converting to NO2 daily. Since you don't have much bacteria to start, you don't need to add that much ammonia. Once you get your initial ammonia level up, you should not need to add more until the levels falls. There will be a bit of guess work as to the exact amount needed to maintain the levels. But if you go from 0 to 4 with 18 drops, then you should use half that to go from 2 back to 4 (for example). As the bacteria grow, the level will drop more each day so you can add more each day to keep the level around 4-5.

Once your NH3 level crash to zero, then you can titrate the amount of ammonia add to the NO2 level.
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Old 09-17-2009, 08:56 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by goldfishlover101 View Post
I just did a 100% water change and tested the ammonia, it's between .25ppm and .50ppm. Approx. how many drops of ammonia should I add?
You did a 100% change, you you are back to square one! Add your initial 18 drops to get back to 4. The trick is to test the ammonia AFTER you dose so you know x drops = y ppm increase in ammonia level.
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Old 09-17-2009, 08:58 PM   #5
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Ok, thanks. How long should I wait to test the water after adding the ammonia?
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Old 09-17-2009, 09:06 PM   #6
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You should be able to test the water after a couple minutes. Once its had a chance to mix up. You want to keep the water around 4ppm, so what you add for ammonia every day will not be the same.
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Old 09-17-2009, 09:11 PM   #7
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I just tested the ammonia and it reads that it is between 1 and 2 ppm and I added 8 drops of ammonia. How much more should I add?
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Old 09-17-2009, 09:16 PM   #8
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Nevermind, I just added one more to make it 9.
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Old 09-17-2009, 09:17 PM   #9
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You should be able to test the water after a couple minutes. Once its had a chance to mix up. You want to keep the water around 4ppm, so what you add for ammonia every day will not be the same.
I thought you were supposed to add the same amount each day because the ammonia is supposed to decrease and then the nitrite rises etc?
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Old 09-17-2009, 11:48 PM   #10
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I thought you were supposed to add the same amount each day because the ammonia is supposed to decrease and then the nitrite rises etc?
You are supposed to add the amount that the bacteria used up in one day. And the amount change as your bacteria build up.

In you case, it looks like 4 drops will add 1 ppm of ammonia. lets say you get it up to 4 & tomorrow it is down to 3. The bacteria had used up 1 ppm, so you would add 4 drops to bring it back to 4. A few days later, the bacteria may be dropping the level from 4 to 2 daily. At that point, you would be adding 8 drops daily. Basically, you end up adding more and more ammonia as your bacteria colony grows.

Eventually, your NH3 will bottom out. At that point, it is dropping down to zero daily. You can then then add your 16 drops daily to build up the NO2.
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Old 09-18-2009, 10:24 PM   #11
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right on jsoong.... you might want to go back and reread about fishless cycling.
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Old 09-18-2009, 11:04 PM   #12
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There is a good link in my signature about fishless cycling that will explain every detail. Please read. It will answer alot of your questions....
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