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Old 08-29-2013, 07:55 PM   #1
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Fishless Cycle advice

So... after doing hrs of research and reading lots of different posts online and here, I decided to do a fishless cycle this time around in my 40gal long tank. I have purchased the Fluval 306 canister filter, and put the water in last night, let the filter run for 24 hrs, and today I purchased Janitorial Pure Ammonia from ACE Hardware. I have been trying to dose up my water to 4ppm of Ammonia, but It seems, for past 4 hrs, after dumping around 28 table spoons of ammonia (7-8 each .5-1hr) i still only get reading of .25-.5

My water has that strong ammonia smell now, I cant breath being next to the tank when i dump more ammonia in, and I was wondering, is this normal? I would figure after 3 hrs of adding and monitoring ammonia levels, I would probably be around 4ppm, not .25

Any insights? anyone who went through fishless tank cycle please advise. Should i wait longer till i dump more ammonia in? I usually give .5-1hr rest before testing water and seeing where the levels are at.
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:05 PM   #2
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if .34ml of ammonia per 10g tank gives you 1ppm of ammonia reading, I should of been at 4ppm for 40 gal tank after adding .20 oz ... I think i have added WAY more than that and still my ammonia are not even at 1ppm ...

I got the heater cranked up to 86 degrees and lots of air stones too
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:37 PM   #3
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What are you using to measure the ammonia with? Liquid test or strips?
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:39 PM   #4
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What are you using to measure the ammonia with? Liquid test or strips?
liquid tubes, API Master Test kit.
I just tested the water again, after dumping another 10 table spoons of ammonia about 45 min ago... so far the reading shows .25-.5 but it only been sitting for around 2 min ... ill let it sit longer to see if it gets darker.

I'm not sure I want to dump more ammonia in, the water has that VERY strong ammonia smell now, hard to breath around it... not sure how its still only .25-.5 lol
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:41 PM   #5
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It already has way too much ammonia in it. It shouldn't smell like that and honestly I'd drain it down and after refilling it add the specific amount that should bring it up to 4ppm. Then test it in a day or so.
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:44 PM   #6
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if thats the case, why does the test only show .25-.5?
Ill let it buffer for few hours i guess, and ill test it again before bed, if it still "smells" and shows no sign of high ammonia ill do a water change tomorrow and see where that takes me. I mean, 28 table spoons of pure ammonia should do the trick right? Am i missing something here
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:50 PM   #7
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It has to be your tester. Is it still in date and are you following directions exactly?
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Old 08-29-2013, 09:01 PM   #8
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the expiration date is May 2018, and yes im following the directions lol, I been using this test kit before and its very accurate.

Im performing a test of just 3 table spoon of water and 1 table spoon of ammonia in a cup to see if i get the test to show anything different than .25 or .5
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Old 08-29-2013, 09:05 PM   #9
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WOW this is bizarre, the test still showed .25 of ammonia doing 3/1 ratio.
Something is definitely is going on there! gotta drain the water down, maybe good 80%
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:10 PM   #10
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WOW this is bizarre, the test still showed .25 of ammonia doing 3/1 ratio.
Something is definitely is going on there! gotta drain the water down, maybe good 80%
Drain 100% and refill. 28+ tsps of ace on a 40g is about 27tsps too many. It should only take around a tsp/4-5mls (if that) to bring your tank up to 4ppm. Here's a handy calculator to figure out future ammonia doses:

http://www.fishforums.net/aquarium-calculator.htm
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:18 PM   #11
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Drain 100% and refill. 28+ tsps of ace on a 40g is about 27tsps too many. It should only take around a tsp/4-5mls (if that) to bring your tank up to 4ppm. Here's a handy calculator to figure out future ammonia doses:

Calculator
Ahh yes i drained the whole tank, refilled it, and drained it again, will refill it 100% and let it run the whole night before adding anything in again,

I guess i messed up teaspoon vs tablespoon lol... not smart
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Old 08-29-2013, 11:03 PM   #12
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Drain 100% and refill. 28+ tsps of ace on a 40g is about 27tsps too many. It should only take around a tsp/4-5mls (if that) to bring your tank up to 4ppm. Here's a handy calculator to figure out future ammonia doses:

Calculator
Okay thank you,
Yes i trained and refilled the tank 2 times just to be safe.
There is no more ammonia smell in the tank, so i take that is a good thing. Now, I used that calculator and it said 6-7ml for 4-5ppm, so should i just measure out 5ml and add that in and how long should i wait to test the water?

Thanks for your help!
this is my first time going this route and already made a huge mistake =/
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Old 08-29-2013, 11:04 PM   #13
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Lol, I missed the tablespoon part! Did you add 28 tablespoons or teaspoons? You may be looking at another 100% wc or three.... Also, contact API about your test and explain the issue. Their customer service has been excellent when I have contacted them before.
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Old 08-29-2013, 11:09 PM   #14
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Okay thank you,
Yes i trained and refilled the tank 2 times just to be safe.
There is no more ammonia smell in the tank, so i take that is a good thing. Now, I used that calculator and it said 6-7ml for 4-5ppm, so should i just measure out 5ml and add that in and how long should i wait to test the water?

Thanks for your help!
this is my first time going this route and already made a huge mistake =/
I would wait atleast half an hour then test your tank before adding any amount of ammonia. It may still be high. But I think you need an accurate test before doing anything (if your still having issues with the test).
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Old 08-29-2013, 11:10 PM   #15
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It shouldn't smell like ammonia.

Id buy a new test kit.
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