How much Ammonium Chloride Solution should I add to a 7.9 gallon tank

Jiggyjigmah

I'm opting to go the fishless cycling route for my 7.9 and will be using Dr. Tim's Ammonium Chloride Solution. I really want to do this right! Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

LyndaB

See if you can track down mamajin. She uses Dr Tim's.

Also, you can visit their website and get instruction on how to use properly.

Good luck!
 

Jiggyjigmah

Thanks. I want to have a go without using Dr. Tim's nitrifying bacteria. Just the ammonium chloride solution. Shipping for the nitrifying bacteria is high this time of year (extreme cold). Just wondering if it can be done and how.
 

jdhef

When cycling with ammonia it is recommend to add enough ammonia to get to 4ppm. Don't know how many drops that would be, but I would say just add and test until you hit 4ppm.
 

EUFolk

Use CV=CfinVfin where:
C is stock solution concentration DrTim's solution
V - volume tgat u have to add (unknown)
Cfin - final concentration 4ppm
Vfin volume of the water in your tank in Liters
Solve for V
 

LyndaB

I'm no science geek and your post makes zero sense to me. What did you really mean to say?
 

EUFolk

It is simple calculation kindergartener can do it.

Volume that you want to add to your tank to achieve 4ppm.

V=(4ppm*(7.9gal * 3.76l/gal))/(stock)

stock is the concentration in ppm of DrTim's solution of NH4Cl

Edit:
1ppm=1mg/L

C[SUB]s[/SUB]V[SUB]s[/SUB]=C[SUB]f[/SUB]V[SUB]f[/SUB]
C[SUB]s[/SUB] - concentration of the stock solution
V[SUB]s[/SUB] - volume that has to be added
C[SUB]f[/SUB] - desired concentration
V[SUB]f[/SUB] - final volume of the solution

For the 7.9 gal problem at 4ppm (assume 0ppm in the tank)

C[SUB]s[/SUB] - 50000ppm Tim's NH4Cl solution (DrTim's web page 50mg/L, but then numbers don't make sense - I think it should be 50g/L)
V[SUB]s[/SUB] - unknown - this is the volume that one should add to the tank
C[SUB]f[/SUB] - target is 4ppm of ammonia
V[SUB]f[/SUB] - final volume is 7.9 gal (7.9 x 3.7854L = 29.91L of water in the tank)

Lets plug this info in:
50000ppm*V[SUB]s[/SUB]=4ppm*29.91L

solving for

V[SUB]s[/SUB]=(4ppm*29.91L)/50000ppm

therefore

V[SUB]s[/SUB]=2.39ml this is the volume of Tim's solution that you have to add to the tank to get 4ppm concentration

For the measuring in drops (20drops/ml=0.05ml/drop in the lab). Tim's drops are about 0.15ml that's what you can get from calculations.

For measuring volumes use syringe
 

ricmcc

Yup, perhaps we have different Kindergartener's here.
Btw, your is equation is almost correct--pls post a correct solution, thx, rick
 

badrad

or maybe just follow the directions on the bottle as to how many drops needed per gallon/litre of water to acheive the desired ammonia ppm... (1 drop per-gallon equals 2 ppm ammonia-nitrogen as per printed directions on the label)

there's enough of us that didn't graduate Kindergarten that still managed to use the product. LOL!
 

ricmcc

Sorry, but my daughter plays the piano-fort to my flute---she does this be ear, something that I'll never understand, other than her Uncle can do it well,too. We play Bach, the senior sonatas, if you happen to have heard of J.S. Bach--her uncle is an engineer, just a by stander, but throw more equations with intent to deceive, , well simply don't. Quite a few people here are smart enough to call a bluff, rick
 

badrad

Quite a few people here are smart enough to call a bluff, rick
Speak for yourself... I'm still struggling with ruh ruh ruh equals ruh ruh ruh ruh ruh divided by ruh ruh ruh ....
 

LyndaB

Bottom line, follow the instructions.

Please let us know how you make out!
 

Drakkenfyre

The API Master Kit will NOT properly detect the ammonia from Dr. Tim's or any other pure ammonia. If you have this kit, follow the instructions on the bottle, and don't try to dose it until you have 2ppm or 4ppm reading on the test, or you will kill the beneficial bacteria.

Unless you get another brand of kit, you are basically going to have to fly blind on this. 1 drop per gallon should amount to 2ppm when you are done.

Basically, you can dose according to directions, and give your tank about a month, and it should be cycled. Or you can get a different type of kit that measures it correctly, and do it normally.

Whichever way you choose, once your tank is cycled, do an almost 100% water change to remove all traces of the ammonia that the beneficial bacteria didn't get.
 

Jiggyjigmah

Decided to with it and ordered some Dr. Tim's nutrifying bacteria.
 

Jiggyjigmah

Oops. Didn't know that some words don't fly here. Make that to heck with it (?). lol
 

Roxie Brookshire

Okay, I am pretty sure that there will be instructions on the bottle but I am here to help!
When doing a fishless cycle you are shooting for 2-4 ppm ammonia.
So I may be approaching this horribly wrong; kindergarten was a long time and many happy hours ago but I will give it a shot.
I am assuming in the original post you are talking about a 7.8 gallon aquarium. I am aware that manufacturers measure volume with outside measurements rather than a more accurate inside measurement but because I am horribly lazy Imma go with it.
The first thing I did was convert the volume of liquid to metric because powers of ten = easier.
So 7.8 gallons (US) is 29.5262 liters. (Thanks google!)
This is the same thing as saying 29526.2 mL (Milliliters are a pretty common measurement in fish keeping I am finding)
So my next step is since ppm stands for part per million was to divide 29,526.2 by 1,000,000
29526.2/1000000 (for those of you playing along at home)
So for your aquarium, assuming it is completely full, 1 ppm is 0.0295262 mL
(I would round this a bit if I where you)
So to get 4 ppm I next multiplied that last number by 4
So
.0295262(4)= 0.1181048
Now I round that up to 0.12

Here is where it gets sketchy (or more sketchy if you like)
I took out my trusty medicine dropper and got 1 mL of water. Then I counted how many drops came out when I drained it from as close to a vertical axis (straight up and down) as I could get it to ensure uniform drop size.
I came up with a figure of 13 large drops per mL
So at this point we are talking about 1 drop being ~.0769 mL
To be this level of exact we would need to downgrade sizes on the medicine dropper to pipettes perhaps and I am sadly fresh out.
So in summation I would say about 2 small drops or 1.5 big ones.

A "drop" isn't any sort of scientific measurement I am afraid, but I am pretty sure that the good Dr.'s product will come out via squeeze dropper. So what I would do in lieu of any guidance from the manufacturer is put in a drop and measure it with my trusty API liquid ammonia test.
More than 2ppm but less than 5ppm? I would call that a success. Less than 2ppm? Add a little more calibrated on what we already added and the result of our test.

Now I don't think any of the calculations in this post will be particularly helpful to you in this instance but you may need to do something similar down the line with meds or prime, particularly considering your tank is a bit of an odd size. However! I think the practical asides contained herein may prove useful, or at least I sure do hope so.

At any rate do track the progress of your cycle. I would suggest testing ammonia levels several times per week but holding off on checking for nitrites till around week two. You can use a spreadsheet to record your data and make a pretty chart if you are weird like me. At the end it will look a bit like this:

cycle.png
At any rate I've rambled enough. Best of luck, do get a freshwater test kit from API, it is a long term savings and quite user friendly and do keep us all posted.
Welcome to fishlore and I applaud your determination to do this thing correctly!
 

Drakkenfyre

Okay, I am pretty sure that there will be instructions on the bottle but I am here to help!
When doing a fishless cycle you are shooting for 2-4 ppm ammonia.
So I may be approaching this horribly wrong; kindergarten was a long time and many happy hours ago but I will give it a shot.
I am assuming in the original post you are talking about a 7.8 gallon aquarium. I am aware that manufacturers measure volume with outside measurements rather than a more accurate inside measurement but because I am horribly lazy Imma go with it.
The first thing I did was convert the volume of liquid to metric because powers of ten = easier.
So 7.8 gallons (US) is 29.5262 liters. (Thanks google!)
This is the same thing as saying 29526.2 mL (Milliliters are a pretty common measurement in fish keeping I am finding)
So my next step is since ppm stands for part per million was to divide 29,526.2 by 1,000,000
29526.2/1000000 (for those of you playing along at home)
So for your aquarium, assuming it is completely full, 1 ppm is 0.0295262 mL
(I would round this a bit if I where you)
So to get 4 ppm I next multiplied that last number by 4
So
.0295262(4)= 0.1181048
Now I round that up to 0.12

Here is where it gets sketchy (or more sketchy if you like)
I took out my trusty medicine dropper and got 1 mL of water. Then I counted how many drops came out when I drained it from as close to a vertical axis (straight up and down) as I could get it to ensure uniform drop size.
I came up with a figure of 13 large drops per mL
So at this point we are talking about 1 drop being ~.0769 mL
To be this level of exact we would need to downgrade sizes on the medicine dropper to pipettes perhaps and I am sadly fresh out.
So in summation I would say about 2 small drops or 1.5 big ones.

A "drop" isn't any sort of scientific measurement I am afraid, but I am pretty sure that the good Dr.'s product will come out via squeeze dropper. So what I would do in lieu of any guidance from the manufacturer is put in a drop and measure it with my trusty API liquid ammonia test.
More than 2ppm but less than 5ppm? I would call that a success. Less than 2ppm? Add a little more calibrated on what we already added and the result of our test.

Now I don't think any of the calculations in this post will be particularly helpful to you in this instance but you may need to do something similar down the line with meds or prime, particularly considering your tank is a bit of an odd size. However! I think the practical asides contained herein may prove useful, or at least I sure do hope so.

At any rate do track the progress of your cycle. I would suggest testing ammonia levels several times per week but holding off on checking for nitrites till around week two. You can use a spreadsheet to record your data and make a pretty chart if you are weird like me. At the end it will look a bit like this:

cycle.png
At any rate I've rambled enough. Best of luck, do get a freshwater test kit from API, it is a long term savings and quite user friendly and do keep us all posted.
Welcome to fishlore and I applaud your determination to do this thing correctly!

If you note my post above, the API Master Test Kit does not properly measure Dr. Tim's or any other pure ammonia. It measures much less than what's actually in the tank. It will show up half or less as strong as it actually is. Other types of test kits can work correctly. I think it's because of the type of test kit it is.

Dr. Tim's ammonia also has instructions right on the bottle. For 2ppm, 1 drop per gallon.

You made a good post with data to back it up, but API's test kit simply doesn't work correctly with pure ammonia dosing, and there are instructions for the dosing right on the bottle.
 

Roxie Brookshire

Ah thanks then Drakken. What sort of test would be more accurate?

Edit:
My gut tells me there should be a ppm calculator online somewhere with a widget that will let you input liquid volume in various formats and select the measurement you want the output volume in.
Like say
My Aquarium is x gallons
y ppm is z mL

where you could select any input and get the other two answers.
If ya happen ta find a widget like that shut up and take my money.
 

Drakkenfyre

Ah thanks then Drakken. What sort of test would be more accurate?

Test strips might. I don't know if it's based on the type of kit, or the brand. I think it's similar to the same problem with testing water with ammonia versus water with ammonia and Prime or another ammonia-binding conditioner. The test cannot distinguish between free ammonia and bound ammonia, so you get a reading of both. However in this case, you get less of a reading.

In this case I think the specific form of ammonia isn't measured correctly. If you check out Amazon's listing for Dr. Tim's ammonia, you will find all kinds of reviews of people complaining that the ammonia is watered down, because they had to add twice as much or more to their tank to reach the stated level. I think they were using an API test kit. Some people report getting the reading correctly for the dosing amount, so I assume they are using another test kit.
 

badrad

Make that "to with it"..

To with it OR NOT To with it... That is the Question!... whether 'tis nobler to fishless or suffer the gilled pets.... LOL!


sorry... meds kicking in...
 

Roxie Brookshire

Test strips might. I don't know if it's based on the type of kit, or the brand. I think it's similar to the same problem with testing water with ammonia versus water with ammonia and Prime or another ammonia-binding conditioner. The test cannot distinguish between free ammonia and bound ammonia, so you get a reading of both. However in this case, you get less of a reading.

In this case I think the specific form of ammonia isn't measured correctly. If you check out Amazon's listing for Dr. Tim's ammonia, you will find all kinds of reviews of people complaining that the ammonia is watered down, because they had to add twice as much or more to their tank to reach the stated level. I think they were using an API test kit. Some people report getting the reading correctly for the dosing amount, so I assume they are using another test kit.


Do you think the discrepancy in measurement is due to it being ammonium chloride and not ammonium hydroxide?
It works for sure but I know that some folk who have measured with API pure janitorial ammonia from a hardware store (which is usually the former, and getting it without surfacants and perfumes I have only seen from one particular hardware store) have gotten a correct reading but got an incorrect result with Dr. Tim's.

Just wondering...
 

Drakkenfyre

Do you think the discrepancy in measurement is due to it being ammonium chloride and not ammonium hydroxide?
It works for sure but I know that some folk who have measured with API pure janitorial ammonia from a hardware store (which is usually the former, and getting it without surfacants and perfumes I have only seen from one particular hardware store) have gotten a correct reading but got an incorrect result with Dr. Tim's.

Just wondering...

Could be. It seems the specific type of ammonia in Dr. Tim's the test has problems with. I didn't even bother looking for normal ammonia, as I didn't want to have to waste time looking for pure ammonia with nothing else in it, and I didn't need such a huge bottle. I just ordered the Dr. Tim's, and encountered the same thing.

I cycled a tank without even knowing the exact amount of ammonia in the tank. I used Tetra SafeStart and dosed according to the instructions. I then dosed every other day to every day with the same amount or half (if it were sooner, half.) And watched for what ammonia I could detect to go down.

After a month, I seemed to be cycled. It might have been cycled before that. Did a nearly 100% water change to make sure all traces of the bottled ammonia was gone (which is recommended when using bottled ammonia), changed the filter (not the biofilter media.) I introduced two fish, and dumped in an extra bottle of SafeStart just to make sure.
 

LyndaB

The interesting thing is that hundreds of people have cycled using ammonia and successfully tested with the API Master Kit, so I will respectfully disagree with the party who indicated that it's pretty much worthless.

At the end of the day, everyone is entitled to their opinion about a product. Sharing that information is what this forum is all about.

I have to say that I'm SO happy that I'm not the new fishkeeper here starting up my first tank. Some of the information given was not very user-friendly, I'm not ashamed to say it was WAY over my head and would've made me grab my tank, return it to the store and trade it in for a guinea pig. I kept looking over my shoulder to see if Stephen Hawking was in the room and maybe he'd be willing to translate for my simple mind.

Sharing information is a fantastic thing and no fish forum does it better than this one. If we could keep said information so that every member, from 13 years old to 93 years old could understand it, that would be even better.
 

Drakkenfyre

The interesting thing is that hundreds of people have cycled using ammonia and successfully tested with the API Master Kit, so I will respectfully disagree with the party who indicated that it's pretty much worthless.

At the end of the day, everyone is entitled to their opinion about a product. Sharing that information is what this forum is all about.

I have to say that I'm SO happy that I'm not the new fishkeeper here starting up my first tank. Some of the information given was not very user-friendly, I'm not ashamed to say it was WAY over my head and would've made me grab my tank, return it to the store and trade it in for a guinea pig. I kept looking over my shoulder to see if Stephen Hawking was in the room and maybe he'd be willing to translate for my simple mind.

Sharing information is a fantastic thing and no fish forum does it better than this one. If we could keep said information so that every member, from 13 years old to 93 years old could understand it, that would be even better.

I have successfully cycled a tank with Dr. Tim's ammonia, and I used an API test kit to monitor it. I can tell you from my own experience, the test does not correctly measure the kind of ammonia that is used. Like I mentioned on a previous post, it looks like it's the type of ammonia that it has a problem with.

Just like if you use Prime to neutralize ammonia in your tank, the test cannot tell the difference between free ammonia and unbound ammonia so it will read for both, making it look like the ammonia was not neutralized.

I am not saying you shouldn't use Dr. Tim's ammonia to cycle your tank. I am saying the API test will give you faulty readings on it. Nor am I saying you can't use ammonia to cycle your tank. I am saying specifically Dr. Tim's ammonia isn't read correctly by the API test kit. That product uses ammonia chloride, Roxie Brookshire says janitorial ammonia is ammonium hydroxide, that's probably the difference.
 

jdhef

If ammonia that Prime detoxed didn't show up in the ammonia test, you would have a very difficult time knowing if you have developed enough bacteria to consume all ammonia in the tank.

BTW, how do you know that the Dr Tims ammonia was not read correctly? Did you have a test kit that gave proper results that you compared to the API kit?
 

Drakkenfyre

If ammonia that Prime detoxed didn't show up in the ammonia test, you would have a very difficult time knowing if you have developed enough bacteria to consume all ammonia in the tank.

BTW, how do you know that the Dr Tims ammonia was not read correctly? Did you have a test kit that gave proper results that you compared to the API kit?

I personally only have the API test kit. But there are dozens and dozens of reports of it not reading Dr. Tim's ammonia correctly. If you check the Amazon reviews for it, you will also see people complaining that it was "watered down", because they had to dose 2 to 3 times the amount to have it read correctly on the test. While other people found it just fine.

Using the instructions on the label, what should have been 2ppm was reading .25 on my test. It did this repeatedly.

I screwed up once. I knew it wasn't reading correctly, but I forgot, and after doing a test, it showed up below 1ppm, so I dosed three times as much to get it back up to 2ppm on the test. I remembered afterwards, and started doing tests again. Over two days I didn't see the ammonia drop at all, so I figured I had killed my beneficial bacteria by overdosing it to over 5 or 6ppm.
 

LyndaB

Does Dr Tim's have instructions similar to Tetra SafeStart where you're not to do readings for 2 weeks because they can pretty much guarantee skewed results?
 

Drakkenfyre

Does Dr Tim's have instructions similar to Tetra SafeStart where you're not to do readings for 2 weeks because they can pretty much guarantee skewed results?

No. It simply says 1 drop per gallon results in 2ppm, and there's a schedule available online. At the moment I don't remember if their website lists the dosing schedule. But it's basically like a regular fishless cycle with ammonia, watch the ammonia, and dose when needed.

Considering it's meant to be dosed every day or two, I don't think there would be a test schedule which would make you wait awhile.
 

Drakkenfyre

In addition, I would absolutely love to confirm this. It looks pretty certain from the amount of evidence from other people, and me seeing it myself. But if I could get another brand of test kit, or use another type, to verify that the API test kit can't read it correctly, I would love to. I just don't want to spend $40 to do so, and I don't think there are any of the other kinds of tests (non-strips) available in ammonia-only testing, at least cheaply. Like how API sells individual test kits. I haven't seen any locally, and buying one online would probably be expensive.

I am going to a LFS today, and I could dose a gallon of water, then take it in and have them test it, but they use API's test kit, too. I don't think they have any other one for in-store testing.
 

LyndaB

The only way to get a true scientific result would be to run two identical tanks and use separate test kits.
 

Drakkenfyre

The only way to get a true scientific result would be to run two identical tanks and use separate test kits.

I don't think you would need to run tanks. The instructions say 1 drop per gallon results in 2ppm. If you fill up two identical gallon containers, and put one drop in each, then test them, that will show the difference, if any.
 

LyndaB

Same thing really, two tanks or two identical containers. Tomato, tomahto.....
 

Drakkenfyre

Same thing really, two tanks or two identical containers. Tomato, tomahto.....

Basically, yes. Since I already know the results of my own use of the product, a test with a gallon and a different test kit would be enough for me. But to be scientifically correct, yes, you would want to use two identical ones at the same time.

I will ask today when I am in there if they have an in-store test other than the API one. If they do, I will ask if I can bring in a couple of gallons of water the next time I am in there.
 

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