Fishless Cycle Guide using Ammonia

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an interest in aquariums or fish keeping!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

Aiken Drum

Moderator
Site Team
Joined
Apr 10, 2019
Messages
6,194
Location
Derbyshire, UK
STAGE 1 – SET UP AND PREPARATION.

Set up the aquarium, stand, filtration, lighting, heater if required and any other equipment. Fill the tank and run for 24 hours to ensure there are no leaks and that all the equipment functions correctly.

Drain the tank. Aquascape including substrate, hardscape and softscape. Refill the tank dosing a suitable water conditioner.

Test both your tap water and tank water for pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate to obtain baseline levels. If you detect any ammonia or nitrite seek further guidance.

If you have access to an established filter, put a small amount of filter media from the established aquarium into your new filter or squeeze out a sponge from the established filtration into the water of your new aquarium.

Turn on the aquarium filtration, lighting, heating etc. If you have a heater set the heater to 28c/ 82.5f. Run until the water settles to the desired temperature.

Proceed to STAGE 2 - DOSING.

STAGE 1.jpg
 
STAGE 2 – DOSING.

You will need one of the following.
  • An aquarium specific ammonium chloride product. For example Dr Tims Ammonium Chloride or Fritz Aquatics Fishless Fuel.
  • Household ammonia, ensure it free of perfumes, surfacants or other additives.
Calculate the dosage of ammonia/ ammonium chloride needed to raise ammonia by 1ppm for your volume of water. This should be included in the instructions of any ammonium chloride product or can be calculated using the level of dilution on household ammonia. Seek further guidance if you don't understand how to calculate this.

Check your calculation is correct by dosing a proportionally smaller amount of ammonium chloride/ household ammonia into a small container like a bucket or tote box and testing. Adjust your calculation accordingly and write down the amount it will take take to raise ammonia in your aquarium by 1ppm.

Dose 4ppm of ammonium chloride/ household ammonia into the aquarium. Confirm the level through testing.

Dose a bottled bacteria supplement as per the manufacturers instructions into the water. For example Dr Tims One and Only, Fritz Aquatics FritzZyme 7 or Fritz Aquatics FritzZyme Turbo Start 700.

Let the aquarium run for 24 hours.

Test for ammonia and nitrite. If you are still detecting any ammonia or nitrite repeat the tests every 24 hours until you are no longer detecting any ammonia or nitrite. Once you are no longer detecting ammonia or nitrite dose another 2ppm of ammonium chloride/ household ammonia.

Let the aquarium run for 24 hours.

Test for ammonia and nitrite. If you are still detecting any ammonia or nitrite repeat the tests every 24 hours until you are no longer detecting any ammonia or nitrite. Once you are no longer detecting ammonia or nitrite dose another 2ppm of ammonium chloride/ household ammonia. When you can dose 2ppm of ammonium chloride/ household ammonia and 24 hours later see zero ammonia and nitrite you are cycled.

Change 50% of the water, more if required to get nitrate below 10ppm. Remember to use water conditioner with every water change and set your heater to the required water temperature before adding fish.

STAGE 2.jpg
 
Last edited:
Back
Top Bottom