How Much Ammonia To Add 20 Gallon Tank

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by ForceTen, Jun 17, 2019.

  1. ForceTenValued MemberMember

    Using fish food to cycle my tank is not cutting it.
    I cannot get the ammonia levels higher than .50.
    So, I bought some ammonia and plan to use it. Question, as every internet source says something different.
    I added 1ML yesterday. (1 drop per gallon) Tested ammonia today and it was still at .50. I expected a higher reading. I dosed again today with 1ML.
    Am I adding enough for my 20 gallon aquarium. Since this tank has existed for some time I checked nitrites to see if the cycle had started. 0 nitrites.

    So should I use more ammonia or continue at 1ML per day until I get it higher?

    Thanks in Advance John
  2. FanaticFishlore VIPMember

    You could test that in a bucket if you'd like, fill it up with a gallon of water and see how much ammonia a few drops would produce.
    It depends on your stocking for the strength that you'll cycle the tank, but eventually, the media will catch on and become able to handle more.

    I used about five drops in a ten gallon right off the bat, but slowly worked it up to twenty or so drops to raise the ammonia past 2-4PPM.
  3. ystroutWell Known MemberMember

    Just put some in until you're at 3 to 4 ppm.

    I cycled my tanks with 10% ammonium hydroxide (10% pure ammonia, 90% water). I used a capful of Ace Hardware to bring my ammonia to about 4 ppm.

    But just test it out. If you don't use enough, add more. If you add more than 4 ppm, do a water change.
  4. HeronValued MemberMember

    Are you using any bacterial starter or just adding ammonia? Ammonia feeds the bacteria but you need to have bacteria to feed. If you just add water with very few of the right bacteria it may work but will take much longer. I assume you are doing a fish less cycle. Add ammonia a little at a time until you get about 2. Every couple of days add more to get it back to 2. Test daily and first you should get an increase in nitrites then nitrites drop and nitrates form. Once nitrates rise stop adding ammonia and soon after you should have no ammonia, no nitrites and some nitrates. At this point you are cycled. If your nitrates are very high ( above 20 ) lower them with water changes, then you are ready for fish.
  5. AngryRainbowValued MemberMember


    This is the calculator I used when I cycled my tanks. Was accurate every time I dosed
  6. ForceTenValued MemberMember

    First Thanks.
    This is an existing tank that I messed up by changing substrate with fish present. Within a few days I lost every tiger barb I had.
    All my fish one or two a day.

    When the tank was up and running with fish for months, the test readings were all good. All fish were super healthy and had grown considerably.

    So add enough ammonia to get to 1-2 PPM?
    Should I do this now? Today?
    Then continue to add until I see nitrites?

    The tank is partially seeded as the biofilter remains

    Using the calculator I added 3.4 ML of ammonia hydroxide. I have no idea of the concentration as the manufacture has no responsibility to list that. shoot I guess? It’s a non food source.

    I may have added a bit more than I needed as I had already dosed at .05 ML earlier just before my first post on this subject.
    But in the few days of adding AH I am not seeing any levels close to 1 PPM.

    I guess I should wait until tomorrow to see where it’s at?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2019
  7. AngryRainbowValued MemberMember

    Yeah wait at least a couple hours to test so everything mixes properly. Since there's no fish, if you over dosed its no big deal. If you test over 4 ppm you can do a water change

    Depending on your location, the manufacturer by law needs to have a SDS or MSDS sheet available to the public. You can try searching for one online. That will have the concentration on it
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2019
  8. ForceTenValued MemberMember

    Thanks. Yep, will not mess with it until tomorrow afternoon. When all concerned will be long gone. LOL