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Old 11-27-2020, 12:16 AM   #1
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Cycling 10 Gallon Tank

Hello! I have been cycling my tank and I started out by adding Dr. Tim's Aquarium ammonia and have tried to test as often as possible. What do you recommend I do? How often should I change my water? I am at a standstill. I will try to remember to attach a pic of my tank tomorrow. I have a 10 gallon tank with a sponge filter and a few tank decorations along with two (for now) heaters. Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-27-2020, 12:35 AM   #2
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Did you add ammonia on Nov 13?
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Old 11-27-2020, 11:09 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by madimoe10 View Post
Hello! I have been cycling my tank and I started out by adding Dr. Tim's Aquarium ammonia and have tried to test as often as possible. What do you recommend I do? How often should I change my water? I am at a standstill. I will try to remember to attach a pic of my tank tomorrow. I have a 10 gallon tank with a sponge filter and a few tank decorations along with two (for now) heaters. Thanks in advance!
Here is my tank! Definitely a bacteria bloom!
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Old 11-27-2020, 11:19 AM   #4
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Yes I did. I then added some on Nov. 16 because the nitrite was below 1 ppm. I went by Dr. Tim's quick guide. I will post it below.

Day 1 – dose ammonia to 2 ppm ammonia-nitrogen [NH3-N] using our ammonium chloride (1 drop per gallon [After Nov 2016 when using DrTim’s ammonium chloride use 4 drops per gallon]) [NOTE: do not expect your test kit to exactly read 2 ppm and it is not critical to get exactly 2 ppm. The key is to not add too much ammonia]. If using DrTim’s Aquatics One & Only Live Nitrifying bacteria add it now (turn skimmer, UV and ozone off and remove filter socks for 48 hours).

Day 2 – Measure ammonia and nitrite.

Day 3 – If ammonia and nitrite are below 1 ppm add more ammonia: four drops of our ammonium chloride per gallon (check the label).


Days 4 & 5 – Measure ammonia and nitrite.

Day 6 – If ammonia and nitrite are below 1 ppm add 2 ppm ammonia. Four drops of our ammonium chloride per gallon. [NOTE: since you have added the One & Only your ammonia kit will not read 2 ppm and DO NOT continue adding ammonia trying to get to 2 ppm – just add 2 ppm ammonia (4 drops per gallon of our ammonium chloride) and carry-on.

Days 7 & 8 – Measure ammonia and nitrite. On the first measurement day (Day 2, 4, 5, 7 or 8) that BOTH ammonia and nitrite are both below 0.5 ppm (NH3-N or NO2-N) your tank is close to being cycled.
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Old 11-27-2020, 11:20 AM   #5
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Did you add ammonia on Nov 13?
Yes I did. I then added some on Nov. 16 because the nitrite was below 1 ppm. I went by Dr. Tim's quick guide. I will post it below.

Day 1 – dose ammonia to 2 ppm ammonia-nitrogen [NH3-N] using our ammonium chloride (1 drop per gallon [After Nov 2016 when using DrTim’s ammonium chloride use 4 drops per gallon]) [NOTE: do not expect your test kit to exactly read 2 ppm and it is not critical to get exactly 2 ppm. The key is to not add too much ammonia]. If using DrTim’s Aquatics One & Only Live Nitrifying bacteria add it now (turn skimmer, UV and ozone off and remove filter socks for 48 hours).

Day 2 – Measure ammonia and nitrite.

Day 3 – If ammonia and nitrite are below 1 ppm add more ammonia: four drops of our ammonium chloride per gallon (check the label).


Days 4 & 5 – Measure ammonia and nitrite.

Day 6 – If ammonia and nitrite are below 1 ppm add 2 ppm ammonia. Four drops of our ammonium chloride per gallon. [NOTE: since you have added the One & Only your ammonia kit will not read 2 ppm and DO NOT continue adding ammonia trying to get to 2 ppm – just add 2 ppm ammonia (4 drops per gallon of our ammonium chloride) and carry-on.

Days 7 & 8 – Measure ammonia and nitrite. On the first measurement day (Day 2, 4, 5, 7 or 8) that BOTH ammonia and nitrite are both below 0.5 ppm (NH3-N or NO2-N) your tank is close to being cycled.
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Old 11-27-2020, 11:31 AM   #6
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I should warn you that I'm new to aquariums but I am good at science so I will offer a bit of theoretical advice...

It doesnt really make sense that your ammonia jumped up to 8ppm unless you added too many drops or if there is some other ammonia source. There might be something wrong with how you are testing.
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Old 11-27-2020, 11:37 AM   #7
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But if the testing is accurate, it looks good. Ammonia and nitrite at zero and nitrate going up. Maybe it is cycled? I would see if the trend continues by adding more ammonia drops
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Old 11-27-2020, 11:56 AM   #8
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The dosing instructions on Dr Tims Ammonium Chloride are a load of rubbish. They strengthened the product a few years back but the instructions are still for the older product (at least on some bottles) and this causes you to overdose. Hence you added ammonia to 2ppm but ended up at 8ppm. This is a common issue, happened to me too when i first used it.

Having said that, you look on track. You should only do water changes if your nitrite goes off the chart into unreadable concentrations.

When you are dosing 2ppm ammonia (by testing, not by Dr Tims instructions) and 24 hours later you are seeing 0ppm ammonia and nitrite with your nitrate rising you are cycled. Do a big water change then to reduce your nitrate and add fish.
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Old 11-27-2020, 10:40 PM   #9
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Old 11-27-2020, 10:48 PM   #10
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Should I add ammonia now or should I just continue testing?
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Old 11-27-2020, 10:49 PM   #11
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How do you test? I have been cleaning the vials I use for testing using white vinegar
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Old 11-28-2020, 03:58 AM   #12
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Should I add ammonia now or should I just continue testing?
Everytime your ammonia drops below 1ppm you should redose nack to 2ppm. When you are consistently seeing this drop to 0ppm after 24 hours with no nitrite either you are cycled and can add fish. Your nitrate should also be rising at this point as that is the end product of the cycle. Do a water change before you add fish to get the nitrate down below 10ppm.
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Old 11-28-2020, 04:01 AM   #13
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I use API master test kit. I just rinse with clean water and dry the inside with kitchen towel after use.
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How do you test? I have been cleaning the vials I use for testing using white vinegar
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