Cycling With Ammonia

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by happygolucky, Aug 7, 2015.

  1. happygoluckyWell Known MemberMember

    For my 20 gallon tank, I have decided to fish-less cycle my tank with the janitorial ammonia(Ace Hardware) everyone says is good, pure ammonia. I am purchasing said ammonia tomorrow, and I have an AquaClear 50 that I installed today, so everything is ready for cycling. I know that I am supposed to dose up to 3-4 ppm the first day, then continually test. Whenever ammonia reaches 0, I dose it back to around 2 ppm. Once ammonia reaches 0, nitrites reach 0, and there are some nitrates in the tank within a 24 hr time period, I know my tank is cycled(and then I do a final water change). Is this how I do it, or do I need another product/a different plan? Also, there is a major flaw in my plan. If my tank isn't cycled by the 5th, I'm leaving for a 3 day trip, so I'd need a neighbor to add the ammonia, which is not something I'd like to do. So, any suggestions on fish-less cycling with ammonia, somewhat quickly? Also, is my stocking ok for a 20 gallon high? 1 Dwarf Gourami, 6 corydora habrosus, 6-7 cardinals/neons, and 2-3 platys.
  2. TanksbyTimValued MemberMember

    Your plan to cycle the tank sounds fine and you shouldn't need any additional products besides the pure ammonia and a test kit for testing the levels of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. Every tank cycles at different speeds, so unfortunately it can be a difficult thing to rush. That being said, there are some additives I have used to speed up the cycling process with great results.

    Seachem Stability is a great additive when you're cycling your tank. I used it throughout the cycling process and my tank cycled MUCH faster than it would have without the additive. Some people mention that using bacterial additives can cause a mini-cycle later on, but I have not had this problem (maybe it is specific to certain products).

    You can also look into substrates from CaribSea such as Eco-complete. There are a few other inert substrates they sell that contain beneficial bacteria as well.

    As long as you are monitoring the cycle, everything should be fine. You can add beneficial bacteria to jump-start the cycle in the form of additives. Good luck with your new tank! :)

    Just wanted to say good choice on the filter! I have an AquaClear 50 on my 20 gallon high and it works perfectly!
  3. happygoluckyWell Known MemberMember

    I may buy some Sachem Stability, but I'm unsure I would utilize it well lol(because the ammonia levels jump around even more). So maybe I'll just wait it out, and hope I have a smart neighbor who can help for a few days. I do have an API master kit, so I'm good(today I broke one of the vials with my clumsy hands though).

    As for the filter, I wouldn't have it unless every single person on these forums recommended it ;)
  4. CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    Stability shouldn't make your ammonia levels jump around. If you do decide to use it, only dose the ammonia to 2.0, not 4.0. Also, depending on where you are in your cycling you might have enough ammonia to not have to ask a neighbor for help. Just dose it up a bit higher before you leave. You could even throw in a few flakes of fish food while you're gone.
  5. happygoluckyWell Known MemberMember

    Ok maybe I will try it thanks :)
  6. jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    Were it me, I would just get some fish and a bottle of Tetra SafeStart and be cycled in 14 days, with if my math is correct would have you cycled well before the 5th.
  7. happygoluckyWell Known MemberMember

    If I were to fish-in, I would use Seachem Stability and Prime, because I have heard good things from them. If things don't start looking up with ammonia, I may do that with my platys, but I'd hate to harm them. How would I dose the products to keep ammonia/nitrite spikes away, while also cycling?

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