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Old 02-19-2012, 08:08 AM   #1
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Initial ammonia dose question

This is my first post here after lurking for a few days. We seem to have a great group of fish folks here.

Anyway, after 20 years away from the hobby my wife and I decided to purchase a new 60g tank. We want a nice active community freshwater tank with lots of color. It has been loaded with substrate, filled with water, dechlorinated, and heated to 80+ degrees, filter filtering, and bubbles bubbling. Now 20 years ago we'd just toss a couple of hardy fish in and let things happen. I've read and followed the thread that many keep posting when 'fishless cycling' questions are asked. But I can't seem to find any specifics on how much ammonia (say 20% pure) to add to a tank to get in the ballpark of 4-5ppm. A gallon? A coffee cup full? A few drops? I know I will need to test to get close but is someone could just clue me in about the magnitude to start with I'd be grateful.

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Doug in Augusta, GA
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:44 AM   #2
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Welcome back!! and welcome aboard! I did my first tank with a fish-in cycle, I just get another 29 yesterday that I will do a fishless cycle. So I hope they help you out, as well as me...hehe we both will learn from this question. What ammonia are you using, or should i say, what are you using to add ammonia?
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:50 AM   #3
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Hi and welcome to AA
I just finished a fishless cycle. I used Ace Janitorial ammonia and it took me 28 drops to reach 4ppm in my 29 gallon. There is a link to a great guide to help you but I can't find it. I'm sure someone will be along shortly that can post that link for you.

Happy fishkeeping! I'm excited for you and I'm looking forward to following along.
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:04 AM   #4
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Hi and thanks for the quick replies

"What ammonia are you using, or should i say, what are you using to add ammonia?"

Well that is kinda why I wanted to know the magnitude so I could decide what to use. Reygan clued me in to drop counting so I think I'll try this thing the dentist gave me when I had my wisdom tooth extracted. It's kind of a hypodermic thing with a very fine plastic tip. I tried it with water and was able to get nice droppage from it. It looks like Reygan was at about 1 drop/gal so I will try that first.
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:25 AM   #5
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Put a shrimp in. Seriously. Go the the grocery and buy a frozen shrimp, toss it in and measure you water chemistry's every day and by 7-10 your levels should be 0.
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:33 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Augusta View Post
Hi and thanks for the quick replies

"What ammonia are you using, or should i say, what are you using to add ammonia?"

Well that is kinda why I wanted to know the magnitude so I could decide what to use. Reygan clued me in to drop counting so I think I'll try this thing the dentist gave me when I had my wisdom tooth extracted. It's kind of a hypodermic thing with a very fine plastic tip. I tried it with water and was able to get nice droppage from it. It looks like Reygan was at about 1 drop/gal so I will try that first.
I forgot to mention that I think the Ace brand of ammonia is only 10%. I'm not sure which brand your using or even if there is a difference. If it's not Ace, then I would dose half that, then wait about 20 minutes and test, just to be safe. You wouldn't want to start this off with a big water change.
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:41 AM   #7
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Well I started with 60 drops and got to about 0.5 ppm. I just added another 60 and will check in a few minutes. The ammonia is Blue Ribbon Clear Ammonia. It doesn't say anwhere on the bottle what %. I'm deternined to hit 4 ppm in the next hour, hehe. Also, I may try the shrimp idea Georgia. I guess the cats will enjoy the rest of the package.

Cheers,
Doug
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:43 AM   #8
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Here use this:

http://www.fishforums.net/aquarium-calculator.htm
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Augusta
Well I started with 60 drops and got to about 0.5 ppm. I just added another 60 and will check in a few minutes. The ammonia is Blue Ribbon Clear Ammonia. It doesn't say anwhere on the bottle what %. I'm deternined to hit 4 ppm in the next hour, hehe. Also, I may try the shrimp idea Georgia. I guess the cats will enjoy the rest of the package.

Cheers,
Doug
This may help some. I don't think the blue ribbon is as strong as the Ace brand.


http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articl...ing/Page1.html
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Augusta View Post
Well I started with 60 drops and got to about 0.5 ppm. I just added another 60 and will check in a few minutes. The ammonia is Blue Ribbon Clear Ammonia. It doesn't say anwhere on the bottle what %. I'm deternined to hit 4 ppm in the next hour, hehe. Also, I may try the shrimp idea Georgia. I guess the cats will enjoy the rest of the package.

Cheers,
Doug
I dont know the exact % on the Blur Ribbon stuff but I do know its way more diluted than most ammonias. It will still work but it will take alot to reach 4ppm. You will get there- just remember how much ammonia it took to reach 4ppm!

Do you have access to any cycled media? This will speed your cycle up alot. If you dont & are interested in purchasing some, quite a few members have had success cycling their tanks with Angelsplus 'active' filters. Not necessary of course- your tank will still cycle without cycled media, you will just have to have some patience. Ill post the link for the seeded filters below- if you do purchase some, make sure you choose the larger (4") 'active' filters or you will just be buying a plain, new filter (not an active one). Dont hesitate to ask questions!!

Sponge Filters for aquariums
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:20 AM   #11
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Nice calculator fishyperson, thanks--just bookemarked it. I found the MSDS for the ammonia I'm using and it has 3%. So according to the calculator I need 37ml which is about the size of the bottle in my test kit. So I'm gonna add quite a bit more.
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:22 AM   #12
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HI and welcome! Good luck with your cycle. If you have any questions along the way just ask.
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:23 AM   #13
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so getting an active sponge should speed up the process how much? and you would still need to add ammonia to the tank with the active sponge?
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:26 AM   #14
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so getting an active sponge should speed up the process how much? and you would still need to add ammonia to the tank with the active sponge?
Yep still need to add ammonia; the bacteria need to eat or else they'll die.

It's hard to say how much it will lessen the cycle time; every tank is different but it can go a long way it making the cycle progress faster. There really isn't a way to predict how much it will shorten it though; could be a few days, could be 1-2 weeks, could be more.
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:48 AM   #15
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so getting an active sponge should speed up the process how much? and you would still need to add ammonia to the tank with the active sponge?
If you add enough 'cycled' media, your tank can be instantly cycled & safe for fish. I would still test for a few days with ammonia just to be sure your amm/nitrite is fully converted. With cycled/active media, more is always better in order to have an ample supply of bacteria. As Librarygirl stated, just adding an active sponge can speed things up by days or even weeks but no ones tank/water is exactly the same so its difficult to provide an exact answer for how much things will speed up.
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:52 AM   #16
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Excellent advice y'all. I just ordered an active filter pad from the AngelsPlus site. It will probably be 3 or 4 days until it gets here. I've also reached 4 - 5 ppm ammonia in the tank so I'm feeling good about this . I'm really glad I found this site btw. I've got a feeling I'll be spending a lot of time here.
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Old 02-19-2012, 07:07 PM   #17
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Excellent advice y'all. I just ordered an active filter pad from the AngelsPlus site. It will probably be 3 or 4 days until it gets here. I've also reached 4 - 5 ppm ammonia in the tank so I'm feeling good about this . I'm really glad I found this site btw. I've got a feeling I'll be spending a lot of time here.
welcome aboard! this is a great place to get help! I just finished (or at least I hope I am finished) cycling my 90 gallon and I am still working on a fish in cycle on my 20 gallon.

so how much did you finally add? I used a syringe and counted by ml - it turned out to be way too many drops to count!! I think I was in the range of 80ml for a 90 gallon. becareful that you don't add too much - a little less is better than too much

good luck and keep us posted
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:01 PM   #18
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Hi Heather. I added about 35 ml of 3% ammonia and I'm pretty sure I stuck it right at 4 ppm.

My wife and I are divers. We dive almost every weekend either in the local lake or the Savannah river. We also try to take 1 trip a year to the caribbean for a dive vacation. Now, with our new tank we hope to bring a little bit of the world we've come to love right to our living room

Cheers,
Doug
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:03 PM   #19
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Hi Heather. I added about 35 ml of 3% ammonia and I'm pretty sure I stuck it right at 4 ppm.

My wife and I are divers. We dive almost every weekend either in the local lake or the Savannah river. We also try to take 1 trip a year to the caribbean for a dive vacation. Now, with our new tank we hope to bring a little bit of the world we've come to love right to our living room

Cheers,
Doug
Cool. You should post pics
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:15 PM   #20
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Hi Heather. I added about 35 ml of 3% ammonia and I'm pretty sure I stuck it right at 4 ppm.

My wife and I are divers. We dive almost every weekend either in the local lake or the Savannah river. We also try to take 1 trip a year to the caribbean for a dive vacation. Now, with our new tank we hope to bring a little bit of the world we've come to love right to our living room

Cheers,
Doug
I've never gone diving but I love snorkling!! I have snorkeld several times in Hawaii and I love it! the water is so clear - like swimming in an aquarium. it is the best thing in the world to me! I would love to take a caribbean dive vacation!
so what are you wanting to put in your tank?
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