DIY Ammonia for cycling your tank

Peterpiper
  • #1
The one thing we all must do when starting a new tank is get it to cycle.
Cycling methods have changed over the years, we used live fish or put a dead fish or shrimp in the tank to start the cycle. The problem with using live fish was that some would die, and the fish suffered due to the Ammonia and Nitrites in the water. Using a dead fish or shrimp is better than using a live fish, but who really wants to have a rotten stinking dead fish in their tank for 4-8 weeks.
You are adding live or dead fish to the tank for 1 reason.. to get Ammonia.
Ammonia is what starts the Nitrogen cycle in your tank, and Ammonia is the food that keeps the bacteria alive. How much bacteria you end up with will depend on how much Ammonia is in the tank.. So if you use live fish to cycle, you would put 1 or 2 in the tank and wait for the ammonia to rise and fall and then the same for the Nitrites, once the levels fall to 0 the tank is cycled, but only for the 1 or 2 fish. The amount of bacteria that is in the tank will only be able to deal with the waist from 2 fish. So when you want to add more fish, you can only add 1 or 2 every 3-4 weeks as you must let the bacteria grow to meet the extra Ammonia/bio load produced by the new fish.
In other words each time you add more fish the tank will go into a minI cycle, and you will get a spike in Ammonia & Nitrites.
It is much the same if you were to cycle with a dead shrimp.. Once the readings dropped to 0 you would add 2 fish then wait 3-4 weeks before adding 2 more etc etc..
Think about how the larger fish breeders cycle their systems. They use Ammonia, imagine trying to cycle a 15 000lt system with dead things..
These large systems are cycled in 4-5 weeks and then fully stocked. The same can be done by you at home if you cycle your tank using Ammonia, and once it is cycled it can be fully stocked.
People have had issues getting "pure" Ammonia or Ammonia without additives.
If you want to "make" Ammonia to cycle your tank, you can use Sal ammoniac.
Sal ammoniac comes in 2 forms, as a powder or as a brick, try to get the powder as it is easer to work with..

WARNING A LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY.

Mix up 1/2 a flat teaspoon of Sal ammoniac powder in a jar with 100ml of tank water.

Now, for every 10lt of tank water you will need to add 1 to 1.5ml of the Sal ammoniac/water mix to give you a reading for Ammonia of 1ppm

Now if you want to know how to cycle your tank or filter so you can fully stock your tank in 4-5 weeks, let me know and I start another post and go through the method in detail

The method is the same method used by commercial breeders and shown to me by a commercial aquaculturist
 
Shawnie
  • #2
great info peter!!! is this for both saltwater and fresh? thank u for sharing!! although I did it the hard way, its great for newbies to see ...
 
Peterpiper
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
great info peter!!! is this for both saltwater and fresh? thank u for sharing!! although I did it the hard way, its great for newbies to see ...

Yes works for fresh, brackish, and marine.
 
Shawnie
  • #4
awesome info!! now if just people will listen..
 
aquariumnewbie
  • #5
Hello Peterpiper, Great info you've provided. I'll be learning from them. Keep providing with the brilliant info through your personal experience. I'll be glad to learn them.
 
Ntruder1400
  • #6
What is Sal ammoniac and is it available in the US? Where do you find it in Australia? At a home center (like Home Depot - a home improvement wharehouse here in the States) or what? I am looking to add a tank or two to my collection and would like to do the fishless ammonia cycling, but the ammonia I have found around here all contain "surfactant" and "fragrance".
 
Peterpiper
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Glass shops that do leadlight windows or stained grass will have it.
Or get it here..
 
susitna-flower
  • #8
What is Sal ammoniac and is it available in the US? Where do you find it in Australia? At a home center (like Home Depot - a home improvement wharehouse here in the States) or what? I am looking to add a tank or two to my collection and would like to do the fishless ammonia cycling, but the ammonia I have found around here all contain "surfactant" and "fragrance".

It HAS to be pure. The additives you mentioned are not to be used in a tank.

I like Peterpipers advice, however that might be hard to find. Maybe at a pharmacy?
 
paswed
  • #9
The one thing we all must do when starting a new tank is get it to cycle.
Cycling methods have changed over the years, we used live fish or put a dead fish or shrimp in the tank to start the cycle. The problem with using live fish was that some would die, and the fish suffered due to the Ammonia and Nitrites in the water. Using a dead fish or shrimp is better than using a live fish, but who really wants to have a rotten stinking dead fish in their tank for 4-8 weeks.
You are adding live or dead fish to the tank for 1 reason.. to get Ammonia.
Ammonia is what starts the Nitrogen cycle in your tank, and Ammonia is the food that keeps the bacteria alive. How much bacteria you end up with will depend on how much Ammonia is in the tank.. So if you use live fish to cycle, you would put 1 or 2 in the tank and wait for the ammonia to rise and fall and then the same for the Nitrites, once the levels fall to 0 the tank is cycled, but only for the 1 or 2 fish. The amount of bacteria that is in the tank will only be able to deal with the waist from 2 fish. So when you want to add more fish, you can only add 1 or 2 every 3-4 weeks as you must let the bacteria grow to meet the extra Ammonia/bio load produced by the new fish.
In other words each time you add more fish the tank will go into a minI cycle, and you will get a spike in Ammonia & Nitrites.
It is much the same if you were to cycle with a dead shrimp.. Once the readings dropped to 0 you would add 2 fish then wait 3-4 weeks before adding 2 more etc etc..
Think about how the larger fish breeders cycle their systems. They use Ammonia, imagine trying to cycle a 15 000lt system with dead things..
These large systems are cycled in 4-5 weeks and then fully stocked. The same can be done by you at home if you cycle your tank using Ammonia, and once it is cycled it can be fully stocked.
People have had issues getting "pure" Ammonia or Ammonia without additives.
If you want to "make" Ammonia to cycle your tank, you can use Sal ammoniac.
Sal ammoniac comes in 2 forms, as a powder or as a brick, try to get the powder as it is easer to work with..

WARNING A LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY.

Mix up 1/2 a flat teaspoon of Sal ammoniac powder in a jar with 100ml of tank water.

Now, for every 10lt of tank water you will need to add 1 to 1.5ml of the Sal ammoniac/water mix to give you a reading for Ammonia of 1ppm

Now if you want to know how to cycle your tank or filter so you can fully stock your tank in 4-5 weeks, let me know and I start another post and go through the method in detail

The method is the same method used by commercial breeders and shown to me by a commercial aquaculturist

will you start another post and go through the method in detail
 
Ntruder1400
  • #11
Thanks for the link Peterpiper. I wil have to keep that in mind when I am ready to cycle some more tanks.
 

Similar Aquarium Threads

Replies
20
Views
265
RynxX
Replies
131
Views
2K
KingOscar
Replies
9
Views
1K
Valhallan
Replies
21
Views
503
Atbird
Top Bottom