Forgot ammonia!

  1. Abinormala Initiate Member

    I've just recently set up my 5 gallon with live plants (java fern, Anubis, moss ball, and amazon sword). Eventually this will be home to my betta whose living in a bowl (terrible, I know, that's why I got the 5gl). Anyway, so I conditioned my tap water with Prime, added a bacterial supplement, and added the live plants to the tank, all on the first day. But I forgot to add ammonia or even check ammonia levels! Today, which is Day 3 of my tank setup, I checked my ammonia and it's at 0. My nitrites and nitrates are also at zero. But I'm scared I might have missed a step somewhere. Any thoughts?

  2. Anthony10 Member Member

    0 on all levels is good, but why would you need to add ammonia? I've never done so, and I've never had any problems..


  3. Adam55 Well Known Member Member

    Hello and welcome to FL.

    So, it sounds like two things are sort of being merged into one here. If you added Prime and a bacterial additive, that would be for a fish-in cycle and you add no ammonia. If you add ammonia, that is for a fishless cycle and the only thing you add is ammonia. Which way do you want to cycle?
  4. renthus Well Known Member Member

    You're not going to have ammonia in the tank unless you have an ammonia source, like fish poop or decomposing leaves. Given that, any bacterial supplement you put in has probably starved, so your cycle has not yet even begun.

    Many people use pure ammonia to start the fishless cycle. It's a more direct and controlled method than the usual thing of dropping in a bit of fish food or a dead shrimp.

  5. Abinormala Initiate Member

    Thank you for all the responses!! Regarding adding Prime, that was just to treat my tap water so I could throw in my moss ball and not worry about it dying from the chlorine. So, if my bacteria is starved from not having an ammonia source, is it too late it to add straight ammonia in now, with the plants in there and everything? Heading in now to my local LFS ....

  6. Adam55 Well Known Member Member

    Well, the good news is that chlorine won't hurt marimo. And you can add ammonia with plants, so have you decided on a fishless cycle? You won't need Prime or anything other than pure (no surfactant) ammonia for a fishless cycle.
  7. Abinormala Initiate Member

    Yup, I plan on doing a fishless cycle (sorry, forgot to mention that in my last post). Would yellowing leaves from my plants produce enough ammonia to kick this nitro cycle off? Or should I still add ammonia?


  8. Adam55 Well Known Member Member

    I always recommend dosing with ammonia for a fishless cycle because you can control the process. And it is a bit of a longer process than a fish-in cycle, but your cycle will be stronger.
  9. Anthony10 Member Member

    Oh, I see! Thanks renthus!

  10. Abinormala Initiate Member

    Great, thanks so much for the advice!