55 Gallon Tank How much Ammonia?

dfisherman
Member
Have had tank going for 6 days. PH 6.6 - 7.2, Average temp 80. current ammonia 1.0. I just added 2 4x4 inch pieces of filter media from a friends 175 established tank. Now I know I need to feed it ammonia. What level should I get it to with out killing the bacteria?
 
Jaysee
Member
I would start by adding 1 ppm per day. From there, you can up the dosage in order to prepare for adding fish.
 
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ryanr
Moderator
Member
Congrat's on fishless cycling

If you're adding ammonia to the tank, here's an excerpt from the nitrogen cycle page
Use 100% pure ammonia.
Using a dropper, add 5 drops of ammonia per 10 gallons of aquarium water. If you don't get an ammonia reading with your test kit, add some more drops until you start to see an ammonia reading. Keep track of how many drops you've used so you can repeat this process daily. Continue to dose the tank with ammonia until you start to get nitrite readings with your test kit. Once you can detect nitrites you should only add 3 drops of ammonia per 10 gallons of aquarium water, or if you added more drops originally to get an ammonia reading cut the amount of drops used in half. Continue this process daily until you get nitrate readings with your test kit. Do a 30% water change and your tank is ready.
From memory, I think you want to get your ammonia to 5ppm, until you get nitrites (don't quote me, but I think this is right)

note: I don't believe that you can kill your bacteria persay, it might just mean that it takes longer for the colony to grow large enough to remove all the ammonia ???
 
NMfishman
Member
ryanr said:
note: I don't believe that you can kill your bacteria persay, it might just mean that it takes longer for the colony to grow large enough to remove all the ammonia ???
Actually I am pretty sure if you have enough you can kill it, but you need like 8 even 10+ppm in order to do this! If you have that much I would just dump the thing and start over!!! ;D
 
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ryanr
Moderator
Member
I wasn't 100% sure, I've never had ammonia that high (thankfully).
 
Jaysee
Member
Since the OP is getting seeded media, smaller doses are required. 5 PPM is for starting the fishless cycle, which is not what's happening. The OP is skipping to the last step.
 
NMfishman
Member
ryanr said:
I wasn't 100% sure, I've never had ammonia that high (thankfully).
Yeah, I think that high would be pretty much instant fish death!
 
funkman262
Member
What actually happens is that the nitrobacter, which converts nitrite to nitrate, can't perform it's job until all of the ammonia has been oxidized to nitrite by nitrosomonas. This is because ammonia is an inhibitory factor for nitrobacter's metabolism. However, it's actually free ammonia and not ionized ammonia (aka ammonium), that causes this. In our aquariums, I'd suspect that the amount of free ammonia is very low due to the neutral pH range that we keep. Ammonia has a pka of about 9.2 so that means at a pH of 9.2, we have equal amounts of ammonia and ammonium. For every pH drop of 1, there's 10 times more ammonium than ammonia (although temperature does make a difference also). So at a pH of 7, there would be more than 100 times more ammonium than ammonia. There would have to be an extremely high concentration of total ammonia in the water in order to inhibit the nitrobacter bacteria. I don't think there would be any issue with having "too much" ammonia in there, but there also isn't really any need for it. You'd be perfectly fine keeping the levels around 5 mg/L but I wouldn't stress out if it accidently got higher than that.
 
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dfisherman
Member
Thank you all for your suggestions.
 

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