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Old 06-05-2006, 07:13 PM   #1
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Ammonia Overdose?

I added ammonia to my tank about 4 hours ago. The tank is about 1 week old. Is this ammonia level too high? These two pics are the same exact sample, just one pic with flash and one without. Is this right? What should I do?
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Old 06-05-2006, 07:21 PM   #2
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What is the nitrite reading ? I know you've been dosing ammonia but I can't remember if any of it is being converted yet - refresh my memory.

I would say that if you are already processing ammonia then get the level down to 2ppm. If not then it can stay at 4ppm. If the ammonia is too high it could slow the cycle and the resulting nitrite spike will take a very long time to process since the nitrite bacteria are slower to reproduce.

(ps - I'm no expert so you might want to wait for a second opinion)
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Old 06-05-2006, 07:29 PM   #3
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Looks like 4.0 to me. If this is fishless, you are perfectly fine.

Now you just sit and wait and test daily. When ammonia drops to 0ppm, check for nitrites. If you have nitrites, then only dose 1ppm, but no more than 2ppm. Keep doing this til the nitrite spike passes and both ammonia and nitrite fall to 0ppm in less than 24 hours after dosing.
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Old 06-05-2006, 07:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joannde
What is the nitrite reading ? I know you've been dosing ammonia but I can't remember if any of it is being converted yet - refresh my memory.
Well, I hadn't started dosing ammonia until today. I was at 1.0 for about 4 days and there was little change, so I decided to give dosing a try today. It just seemed really dark afterwards.

Nitrite is still 0 or very low.

Yup, I'm fishless.
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Old 06-05-2006, 07:42 PM   #5
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You are doing fine then.

When the ammonia falls, you should start seeing nitrite. When you do see nitrite and ammonia goes to 0ppm, just keep bumping the ammonia to 1-2pm til you are cycled.
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Old 06-05-2006, 07:43 PM   #6
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OK, thank you.
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Old 06-05-2006, 08:14 PM   #7
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wow - I got the answer right ??? LOL - my newbie-ness may be starting to wear off.

Stretch - I love your tank ! I get excited reading your updates
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Old 06-05-2006, 08:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joannde
wow - I got the answer right ??? LOL - my newbie-ness may be starting to wear off.

Stretch - I love your tank ! I get excited reading your updates
You are absolutely correct...
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Old 06-05-2006, 08:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joannde
Stretch - I love your tank ! I get excited reading your updates
Thanks, man. I can't wait to add fish and plants. Hopefully that will be more exciting than my rocks.
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Old 06-05-2006, 09:54 PM   #10
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LOL I know what you mean Stretch - fishless cycling drove me NUTS - but it beats the heck out of adding one danio at a time ! You're gonna have a BLAST once you start stocking - I can tell
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Old 06-05-2006, 10:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stretch
Quote:
Originally Posted by joannde
Stretch - I love your tank ! I get excited reading your updates
Thanks, man. I can't wait to add fish and plants. Hopefully that will be more exciting than my rocks.
You don't have to wait to add plants. They can be added anytime. You can cycle your tank with them in. Will give you something to do while you are waiting, lol.
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Old 06-06-2006, 06:47 PM   #12
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You really can't have a wrong ammonia level with fishless cycling. The bacteria will grow on levels less than 0.25 ppm, and maximum bacterial reactivation rate is over 100 ppm. Now, don't go dumping in ammonia to over 100 ppm! For one thing, your test kit might start registering zero at extremely high levels (go ahead. test the solution from the hardware store, the ace hardware 10% solution reads zero but will burn you eyebrows off!). And if the ammonia levels are too high, it will take a very long time for your bacteria to reduce it to zero, and you will then have one huge heap of nitrite for your second stage. The whole game with fishless cycling is to give just high enough a dose to speed the bacterial growth without so much as to make the cycle longer. To date, I have not seen any dose comparisons that show what the optimal dose is (if even such a dose exists), so don't try to micromanage the ammonia level. By convention, between 2 and 5 ppm is used, because there have been lots of people who have reported that it works.

Kudos for going fishless, and for researching things first! Be patient, and it will come. Very likely 2 to 4 weeks more in an unseeded tank to get completely cycled. Hang in there.
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Old 06-06-2006, 10:16 PM   #13
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Stretch,

I tend to believe you have at least 8ppm and might be more. Do me a quick favor. Redo the test but this time dilute the tank water 1 to 1 with distilled/RO water if you have it, otherwise just use your tap water. If the results look the same as this one you might have "overdosed". I don't like pictures that use a flash since they can REALLY mess up results for something as specific as a liquid test. If you look at that first picture it looks to be at the high end (8ppm) of the AP test.

And my "overdosed" I mean that while it probably won't affect the cycle you will have a LOT of nitrIte being produced which will take a long time to be converted fully to nitrAte (ie your cycle unless you do a large PWC will seem to take longer than it really needs to be).

HTH,

justin
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Old 06-06-2006, 10:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7Enigma
Stretch,

I tend to believe you have at least 8ppm and might be more. Do me a quick favor. Redo the test but this time dilute the tank water 1 to 1 with distilled/RO water if you have it, otherwise just use your tap water. If the results look the same as this one you might have "overdosed".
Good idea. A 50% WC won't mess up my cycle, will it?
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Old 06-06-2006, 11:21 PM   #15
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Stretch, do the 50/50 thing in the test-tube. Take 1/2 cup of tank water and 1/2 cup of distilled / RO (or tap) water and put them together into a cup. Stir it up a bit and then redo the test. The result you get will be 50% of your actual tank result - its easier to read the results when the concentrations are diluted this way. Once you do that see what color / number it looks like and report back.
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Old 06-06-2006, 11:31 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joannde
Stretch, do the 50/50 thing in the test-tube. Take 1/2 cup of tank water and 1/2 cup of distilled / RO (or tap) water and put them together into a cup. Stir it up a bit and then redo the test. The result you get will be 50% of your actual tank result - its easier to read the results when the concentrations are diluted this way. Once you do that see what color / number it looks like and report back.
Ok, after doing this, the reading is about 4. So I guess I do need a 50% pwc, huh?

I'm headed out the door to go to work now, I may be able to do it later when I get off. Thanks for the help guys. I guess it's a good thing I'm fishless, right?
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Old 06-06-2006, 11:44 PM   #17
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Edited...

Try doing a 50% PWC. Then test again after a couple hours. Give it time to cycle through the whole system.
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Old 06-07-2006, 12:29 AM   #18
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The BEST thing about a fishless cycle is that we get to mess up and not hurt any animals - gotta love a system that allows that margin of error LOL
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Old 06-07-2006, 05:39 PM   #19
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Ok, I did a 50% pwc and got the ammonia level down between 3 and 4. I guess I'm good now. Mistake made, lesson learned.
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Old 06-08-2006, 12:26 AM   #20
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I think the problem may lie more in the reference that we are using to dose ammonia than our actual ability to dose it.

I just overdoesed the everlivingcrap out of my tank. The reference I read said to put 3-5 drops of PURE ammonia per gallon (to reach 4-5ppm). Well apparently the stuff I got from ace that says 10% ammonium hydroxide is PURE ammonia. Though the bottle says 10% the reference I used failed to mention that they considered that "pure".

So for my 10 gallon tank (assuming 20 drops per mL) I thought I should put 3drops*(100/10) to convert to Pure ammonia*10 gallons. That works out to roughly 15 mL of my ACE hardware brand ammonia. Did that and the test went black in about a minute.

Did a 50% water change. Black within a minute again. Realized the error in my calculation, or the error in the guide I read. Whichever you want to call it.

Did a 80% water change (should leave me with 10% of my original water) and now I have 4ppm of ammonia.

So... A note to everyone out there. IF YOUR AMMONIA SAYS 10% AMMONIUM HYDROXIDE THEN THAT SHOULD BE CONSIDERED PURE AMMONIA!

I did a lot of searching on this forum for a useful ammonia calculator, but that yielded nothing. Everyone seems to reference the same article on how to cycle a tank with a piece of shrimp when they are talking about dosing ammonia. There really should be a sticky somewhere, or maybe even a guide on how to actually measure out the ammonia. That is the one deficiency that I found.

Not meaning to rant here, but I'm a little worked up after drying my hands out with VERY high pH water. I want to say 40ppm ammonia is a pH of about 10.3 assuming I started with pure H2O to start... check that and correct me if I'm wrong.
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