Ammonia 1 Ppm For Fishless Cycle.

r5n8xaw00
  • #1
I am attempting to setup a 5.5 gal for a hospital tank, and doing a fishless cycle. I dosed it with ammonia a week ago and it has been at 1 ppm every time I test. It has a little underwater corner filter I ordered from Amazon:

I seeded the filter with a few pieces of bio rings from my cycled 29 gal.

I added a cap full of Tetra SafeStart Plus.

Is ammonia at 1 ppm to high to get the cycle started?
 
BottomDweller
  • #2
Not too high, most people dose 2ppm.

I would use something to kick start the cycle. Do you have any other tanks you could take some filter media from? If not you could use some kind of bottled bacteria such as tetra safe start.

Edit sorry I see you've tried using established media. Maybe add a little more and if that doesn't work then try a bottled bacteria
 
MrBryan723
  • #3
No, it's not. How long has it been cycling for tho? If you used seeded media you shouldn't really be keeping much ammonia at all in it tho. It should nitrify pretty quickly so your test kit might be just reading 1ppm or you're dosing high. I would say to run a control test with clean water to make sure it's not the kit, and if that's not the case, reduce the amount you're dosing. 5.5 is really small and you should be reading 0 by the next day after a dose with a seeded tank.
 
r5n8xaw00
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
Not too high, most people dose 2ppm.

I would use something to kick start the cycle. Do you have any other tanks you could take some filter media from? If not you could use some kind of bottled bacteria such as tetra safe start.

Edit sorry I see you've tried using established media. Maybe add a little more and if that doesn't work then try a bottled bacteria

Yes sorry I had to edit my original post forgot to say I had added Tetra Safe Start Plus.
 
Inactive User
  • #5
Is ammonia at 1 ppm to high to get the cycle started?

1 ppm is fine. Are you using fish food to provide ammonia, or are you using a pure solution of ammonium chloride?

Just to double check: what's your pH, GH and KH? Are you using tap water or RO water?
 
r5n8xaw00
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
No, it's not. How long has it been cycling for tho? If you used seeded media you shouldn't really be keeping much ammonia at all in it tho. It should nitrify pretty quickly so your test kit might be just reading 1ppm or you're dosing high. I would say to run a control test with clean water to make sure it's not the kit, and if that's not the case, reduce the amount you're dosing. 5.5 is really small and you should be reading 0 by the next day after a dose with a seeded tank.

Thanks all for the replies....

Does Prime help? I could add some.

1 ppm is fine. Are you using fish food to provide ammonia, or are you using a pure solution of ammonium chloride?

Just to double check: what's your pH, GH and KH? Are you using tap water or RO water?
I am using Janitorial Strength Formula Ammonia, got a bottle of it from ACE Hardware.
I can test for ph, but the API Master Test Kit does not have a test for hardness.

Maybe I should order a test kit from Amazon for GH and KH.
 
Inactive User
  • #7
I am using Janitorial Strength Formula Ammonia, got a bottle of it from ACE Hardware.

If this is the same Ace Hardware ammonia solution that other US-based aquarists are using, then it should be safe.

Cycles can slow/down stall in acidic water (lower than 6.5). Likewise, GH can be used to test for a water's hardness: extremely soft water (i.e. low in total dissolved solids) can slow/stall a cycle due to the lack of micronutrients, such as calcium as phosphate. KH can assess the buffering capacity of your tank water in response to acidifying events (e.g. the oxidation of ammonia to nitrite is mildly acidic).

Have you tested your nitrite/nitrate at all?
 
r5n8xaw00
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Just tested the ph, 7.6 and the high range 8.0.

Never know which one to believe so I use somewhere in the middle at a 7.8.

Have you tested your nitrite/nitrate at all?

No only ammonia at this point, I will do this later because it takes so long to do that darn nitrate test. Having to shake the bottle like crazy to get it mixed.

With the ph around 7.8 this should be good then.

Cycles can slow/down stall in acidic water (lower than 6.5). Likewise, can be used to test for a water's hardness: extremely soft water (i.e. low in total dissolved solids) can slow/stall a cycle due to the lack of micronutrients, such as as . can assess the buffering capacity of your tank water in response to acidifying events (e.g. the oxidation of ammonia to nitrite is mildly acidic).

With the ph around 7.8 this should be good then.
 
MrBryan723
  • #9
Thanks all for the replies....

Does Prime help? I could add some.
Well kinda, but like most chemical additives it's just a quick fix. I'm a little different than most hobbyists tho. I'm pretty adamant against using any chemicals or additives at all.
 
Inactive User
  • #10
With the ph around 7.8 this should be good then.

That's a good pH to maintain. But again, if you can, it'd be a good idea to purchase the GH/KH test kit made by API. Generally, lack of micronutrients is most noticeable in people using RO/deionised water in their aquariums, as there's no dissolved solids at all. But it's worthwhile testing your GH to rule out having very soft water.

Diagnosing a slow/stalled cycle is really a process of elimination, and there's several factors: free ammonia inhibition, nitrous acid inhibition, phosphate block, lack of other micronutrients, use of RO water, acidic pH, low temperature, use of a non-pure ammonia solution. There's also factors that can falsely give the impression of a slow/stalled cycle: ammonia uptake by plants, denitrification of nitrate/nitrite.

We typically need the full suite of water parameters to be able to get an idea of what might be happening: pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, GH, KH, temperature. Without them, it's just a shot in the dark as to whether a cycle is slowing/stalled and what might be causing it.

In addition, I wouldn't recommend the use of Prime in a fishless cycle. It converts ammonia to ammonium, which might make it more difficult to cycle or slow the cycle down (the scientific literature is a bit unclear about this).
 
r5n8xaw00
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
That's a good pH to maintain. But again, if you can, it'd be a good idea to purchase the GH/KH test kit made by API. Generally, lack of micronutrients is most noticeable in people using RO/deionised water in their aquariums, as there's no dissolved solids at all. But it's worthwhile testing your GH to rule out having very soft water.

Diagnosing a slow/stalled cycle is really a process of elimination, and there's several factors: free ammonia inhibition, nitrous acid inhibition, phosphate block, lack of other micronutrients, use of RO water, acidic pH, low temperature, use of a non-pure ammonia solution. There's also factors that can falsely give the impression of a slow/stalled cycle: ammonia uptake by plants, denitrification of nitrate/nitrite.

We typically need the full suite of water parameters to be able to get an idea of what might be happening: pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, GH, KH, temperature. Without them, it's just a shot in the dark as to whether a cycle is slowing/stalled and what might be causing it.

In addition, I wouldn't recommend the use of Prime in a fishless cycle. It converts ammonia to ammonium, which might make it more difficult to cycle or slow the cycle down (the scientific literature is a bit unclear about this).

Your really good at this and know your stuff, I am learning a lot form what you have posted so thanks for that.

I am using tap water treated with Tetra Aqua Safe.

Ok I am going to take a breather on this for now, order the KH / GH test kit and study what you have posted. Since this my first fishless cycle, I am wanting to get it right so I know how to do it in the future.

I don't what to subject my fish to another fish in cycle. (Not knowing any better at the time.)

Again thanks everyone, and hats off to you and fishlore.
 
Inactive User
  • #12
Ok I am going to take a breather on this for now, order the KH / GH test kit and study what you have posted. Since this my first fishless cycle, I am wanting to get it right so I know how to do it in the future.

That's always an excellent idea. I obsessed far too much and nearly tore my hair out trying to understand why my first fishless cycle had (apparently) stalled. It does help to take a step back, breathe and say to yourself "it's just a glass box filled with water".

Let us know how you get on after your GH/KH test kit arrives!
 
r5n8xaw00
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
That's always an excellent idea. I obsessed far too much and nearly tore my hair out trying to understand why my first fishless cycle had (apparently) stalled. It does help to take a step back, breathe and say to yourself "it's just a glass box filled with water".

Let us know how you get on after your GH/KH test kit arrives!
Well do, and thanks again.
 
jdhef
  • #14
Just tested the ph, 7.6 and the high range 8.0.

Never know which one to believe so I use somewhere in the middle at a 7.8.

If you are maxing out on the pH test, but the high pH test is reading 8.0, then your pH is 8.0. API doesn't have a single test that can test the complete range, so they broke into two.

It would be like having a thermometer that can read from 0 degrees to 60 degrees and another thermometer that can read from 50 degrees to 100 degrees. If the first thermometer is maxed out at 60 degrees, and the second thermometer says it is 75 degrees, then it is 75 degrees.

And likewise if the first thermometer says it is 30 degrees and the second one is bottomed out at 50 degrees, you know it is 30 degrees.

BTW...when using TSS you need to add an entire bottle, not a cap full.
 
r5n8xaw00
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
If you are maxing out on the pH test, but the high pH test is reading 8.0, then your pH is 8.0. API doesn't have a single test that can test the complete range, so they broke into two.

It would be like having a thermometer that can read from 0 degrees to 60 degrees and another thermometer that can read from 50 degrees to 100 degrees. If the first thermometer is maxed out at 60 degrees, and the second thermometer says it is 75 degrees, then it is 75 degrees.

And likewise if the first thermometer says it is 30 degrees and the second one is bottomed out at 50 degrees, you know it is 30 degrees.

BTW...when using TSS you need to add an entire bottle, not a cap full.

Thanks for the info, I learned a lot about fishless cycle here and ph readings, very informative and helpful.
 

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