Fishless Cycle ammonia dosing

And1129

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HI all,

I just set up my tank and am in the process of cycling it. I wanted to share what I've done so far and what i'm doing.

To make my ammonia solution, I weighed out 29.6682g of research grade ammonium chloride. I dissolved that into 100 mL of DI water which should give me a solution of 100,051.3 ppm NH4+ ions. Assuming one "drop" is 0.05 mL, my solution will dose 5.002 mg NH4+ per drop! Now, the volume of my aquarium is 57 liters, so one drop will give 0.087 ppm ammonium and 30 drops (which is approximately 2 drops/gallon) gives me a 2.63 ppm NH4+ concentration in my tank. I have seeded bacteria from Aqueon Pure gel balls and Fluval Cycle. I have been adding 30 drops of my ammonia solution every day around the same time for about a week now.

My question is about dosing intervals; how often should I be adding ammonia? I want to promote healthy bacteria colony growth until I add fish a few weeks from now. Would it be best to do smaller additions twice a day, or dose every other day, or what?

Also, my tank is now heavily planted, but no animals yet. Is the ammonium in any way a problem for the plants, or is it just considered a nutrient for them?
 

Cody

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I would dose it anywhere from 2-4ppm of Ammonia reading on your water test kit.

if you added some seeded material check it every 24 hours and see where the levels are at. I would keep dosing to keep it in that 2-4ppm range every 24hrs, you may only need to do this every couple days.

Once you start reading Nitrites I would let it get to below .5ppm of Ammonia before adding more other wise you will get some pretty crazy spikes and it will be more work in the long run in my opinion.

As far as plants are concerned you do not need to worry. I’ve heard some people saying they’ve seen some burning on the leaves if they overdid it with the ammonia but that’s wh when your getting well over 4ppm.
 

Islandvic

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What have the parameters been testing at?

Ammonia should not be a problem with the plants.

Instead if using drops, I would suggest to use a plastic syringe.

If your estimate of 1 drop = 0.05mL and you're dosing 30 drops, that should be 1.5mil total volume.

Try to get a 1mil syringe with 0.1mL marks on the barrel. You can accurately dose your solution that way.
 
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And1129

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Ammonia is 2-4 ppm and has been about that for a few days. However, I just tested and now I see some nitrite and nitrate for the first time. Nitrite is now 2 ppm and Nitrate is 10 ppm.

I am going to stop dosing ammonia now and test again in 24 hours and re-evaluate.
 

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