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Old 01-11-2009, 10:27 PM   #1
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concerns i have with fishless cycling

hello. i just have set up my brand new 38 gallon tank. its been running for about 2 day's the temperature is about stabilized. everything else is I'm about to start my fishless cycle.

the concern i have is i was considering to adding the ammonia my self. seems to me alot of people have done it and has had great success. the only problem i have is finding the current ammonia. i've checked walmart, hardware stores, other grocery stores.

the only thing i have found is clear ammonia and the ingrediants is the ammonia its self and surfactant. no other ingrediants. everyone has said do not use ammonia that has surfactant in it.

so if anyone has had experience with cycling a tank this way. please inform me on what i should do. because my tank is all set up and ready to begin the cycling process.

Thanks alot,
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:51 PM   #2
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Surfactant = Detergent or Soap
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:55 PM   #3
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i also might add where can i find this "pure" ammonia? because from what i have seen it doesn't exist lol would it be in a different department than the cleaning section in walmart? only current store we have that is open at this time.
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Old 01-11-2009, 11:27 PM   #4
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People here on the forum always say that Ace Hardware Stores stock it.

Good luck!
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Old 01-11-2009, 11:34 PM   #5
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Ace Hardware Ammonia Products Page Click Here
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Old 01-11-2009, 11:39 PM   #6
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ah. well hopefully i'm able to order online. i think the closest ace hardware i have is probably 1-2 hours away from here but at least now i know it exists
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Old 01-11-2009, 11:47 PM   #7
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You can throw in a raw shrimp to start the cycle rather than ammonia or until you get some ammonia.
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Old 01-12-2009, 12:15 AM   #8
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Ace Hardware Ammonia Products Page Click Here
You want the one in the red/white bottle pictured at the top, "Ace Ammonia". Based on that search, is looks like the only thing they have online is the multi-bottle boxes. In other words, you'll literally be buying it by the gallons. If that is true, then with gas prices back below $2/gallon, it might be cheaper to do that 1-2 hour drive there and back.

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You can throw in a raw shrimp to start the cycle rather than ammonia or until you get some ammonia.
Funny... the previous post I was reading before this one was also about fishless cycling, and someone over there gave the warning of raw shrimp potentially getting pathogens in your tank that might make your fish sick. Since you're not supposed to cook the shrimp, I guess it's just luck of the draw as to whether the shrimp you use is diseased itself or not.
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Old 01-12-2009, 01:06 AM   #9
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well i just finished up the decoration. until i get some more money. which will fish probably after the cycle is finished. the temperature in the tank is now stable so it is time to start the cycle. but it probably wont hurt to let the tank sit for a few days if i can find just one bottle of ammonia online since i am using treated tap water. that will give it a few extra day's for me to make sure the water is in good condition before i start the cycle

and if anyone disagrees with the idea of just letting the system run for a couple more day's before the cycle please tell me. that way i can do everythin in my power to start the cycle as soon as i can

and will it hurt for the system run for a couple more days by its self.?

oh and if anyone has ran across places to order just one bottle of ammonia please let me know. i know its all about patience but i'm gettin excited cuz my tank is already looking good
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Old 01-12-2009, 12:09 PM   #10
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...oh and if anyone has ran across places to order just one bottle of ammonia please let me know. i know its all about patience but i'm gettin excited cuz my tank is already looking good
Perhaps you can find someone to send you a small quanity of their ACE Hardware Ammonia. Anyone (like me) who purchased some for cycling a tank is going to have LOTS left over.

However, anyone sending ammonia via the mail needs to be aware of USPS regulations. You might need to call and talk to someone at the local post office to confirm shipping requirements.

My personal interpretation of the 601 Mailability regulations DMM 601 Mailability is that ammonia is a Class 6 hazard (toxic substance) and that rules 10.16.2 indicate it can be shipped as a toxic substance under the following guide lines:

1. Maximum of 8 oz.
2. The primary receptacle must be a screw top (not a friction top).
3. The primary receptacle must be surounded by a cushioning material than can absorb all potential leakage.
4. The primary receptacle and cushioning material must be held within a leak-resistant secondary container that is packed within a strong outer shipping container (strong card-board box).
5. The address side must be plainly and durably marked "ORM-D AIR" (this basically means it's a limited quanity of a hazardous material intended for household purposes that is allowed to be shipped via Air).

So it sounds to me like all that is needed is to wash an old eye droper, wrap it in lots of paper towels, place that inside a ziploc bag, place the ziploc in a sturdy card-board box, and mark the box "ORM-D AIR".

But as I said, this is MY interpretation of reading the rules at the USPS website. You might get a different interpretation from USPS employees.


I don't have the needed materials on hand (washed eye-dropper and sturdy card-board box). But if you can get them and ship them to me, I'd gladly fill the bottle and mail it back to you. If you don't mind the wait of 1st Class, I'll even pay to ship it back ( < $2.50 for 1st Class ). PM if interested, but obviously such a plan could take over a week to complete.

Any other's out there with the correct materials that can help out? I would think that a perfect "primary receptical" would be one of those bottles that API uses for their wet test kits that's been washed out real good (you should be able to pop-off the dropper to wash it and then replace the dropper to screw on the cap).
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Old 01-12-2009, 03:38 PM   #11
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yea thats great. if anyone else out that that can ship it in a quicker time please let me know.
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:10 AM   #12
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The "Clear Ammonia" sold in Piggly Wiggly grocery stores is surfactant-free, if you have one of those nearby.

You can cook the shrimp before adding it, too, if disease worries you. The point of not cooking it has been the theory that the shrimp itself contains seed bacteria to start your colony, but a cooked shrimp would still provide an ammonia source. Nothing special about shrimp, for that matter. Any rotting material will give off ammonia.
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:48 AM   #13
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well i have yet been able to find out how to close a thread. i decided today after searching high and low from here to 3 hours away drive. cant find any surfactant free ammonia. so i decided. i'm gonna get 4-6 red minor tetra's for the cycling.
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Old 01-16-2009, 10:22 AM   #14
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I have cycled several tanks with a raw shrimp. Toss it in the tank, close the lid (its going to get pretty stinky) and next thing you know (several weeks later)... Cycled.
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Old 01-16-2009, 10:23 AM   #15
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There is no reason to cycle with live stock. It will turn into a big headach of having to do daily water changes so they don't die.

Its better to go to the grocery store, go to the fresh sea food section, and buy a couple of raw shrimp.
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Old 02-13-2009, 10:44 AM   #16
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A guy at a high rep fish chain,told me to pee in my tank to get the amonia lol
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Old 02-13-2009, 11:11 AM   #17
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That will technically work, but why?
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Old 02-13-2009, 11:20 AM   #18
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It will work but it takes alot of pee. There is just not that much amonia in it. (don't ask me how I know this)
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Old 02-13-2009, 11:31 AM   #19
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wow i thought the guy was nutsfor telling me this,but it does make sense in a way,just have to put up with a tank full of pee which wouldnt be pleasent imo
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Old 02-14-2009, 12:20 AM   #20
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It will work but it takes alot of pee. There is just not that much amonia in it. (don't ask me how I know this)
Actually, from what quick research I could find on the subject, urine doesn't have any ammonia in it. Other than water and salts, one of the main components of urine is urea. To get ammonia from pee, you have to break down the urea into ammonia and CO2. I'm not clear if this will happen over time on its own, or if a catalyst is needed.
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