Cycling My New Saltwater Reef Tank

Discussion in 'Saltwater Beginners' started by Snarbleglarf, Jun 22, 2019.

  1. Snarbleglarf

    SnarbleglarfNew MemberMember

    I’m trying to figure out the best way to cycle my saltwater tank without using pure ammonia, can I use some freshwater cichlid pellets to add the ammonia? That’s how I have cycled my freshwater tanks but I just want to make sure using freshwater food won’t mess anything up (probably a stupid question but better safe than sorry lol) I have also heard you can get a piece of shrimp and put it in the tank for a few days to add the ammonia has anyone had any experience with that method?
  2. david1978

    david1978Fishlore LegendMember

    Anything dead and decaying will add amonia but some techniques are cleaner then other. The pure ammonia is the cleanest and probably the only way you can actually add a measured amount. Dead fish/shrimp in a media is cleaner then fish food but hard to regulate. Fish food is messy and again hard to regulate.
  3. Jesterrace

    JesterraceWell Known MemberMember

    You could use them I suppose but as mentioned it's much harder to get a decent dosage so it's anyone's guess as to when the tank will actually cycle. The last time I cycled rock with fish food it took about 4 weeks before the cycle even started and another couple of weeks to finish up.
  4. ystrout

    ystroutWell Known MemberMember

    Why can't you buy pure ammonia?
  5. OP

    SnarbleglarfNew MemberMember

    Honestly, it’s not that’s i can’t get it I’m just nervous to use it this is my first reef tank and I have never used pure ammonia before so I don’t know how to use it correctly, I have some freshwater tanks but I used the fish food method on those
  6. ystrout

    ystroutWell Known MemberMember

    Using pure ammonia is way safer than using fish food.

    Oh it's easy, way easier than fish food because you never have to clean the tank until after fish go in. You literally just put a little ammonia in the tank and you're good to go.

    Ace Hardware 10% ammonium hydroxide is what I use. It's 10% ammonia and 90% water. I think it cost under $5.

    Just put a capful in, then test the ammonia in 20 minutes. Then you can do the math to know how much to use when using bigger or smaller doses.
  7. Jesterrace

    JesterraceWell Known MemberMember

    Ace Hardware or if you are really paranoid Dr. Tim's would be fine. Dr. Tim's is specifically geared for Aquarium cycling use so it would probably be the most noob friendly option. As for the use of ammonia as long as you don't have any biolife in there (beyond bacteria) it can't harm anything even if you seriously overdose (you just have to do a water change to bring the levels down).

    BTW this is the Dr. Tim's:
  8. Trung Nguyen

    Trung NguyenNew MemberMember

    Listen to the pros. Use pure amonia. It's alot cleaner/faster to cycle a tank