not quite the right ammonia

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dazzler

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good afternnon, i have been in constant confusion with a product i bought to cycle my fishless tank. its called "cloudy ammonia" nothing fancy its cloudy to look at and on the label it says " contains 20 gallon/L ammonia (as nh3).      is it a weaker form of ammonia? and if so should i be adding more drops to compensate for its weakness. i have a 250 litre tank(about 67g) and have be adding 36 drops every night and my test readings have remained the same i have also in the tank a stocking full of gravel from a cycled tank and was expecting to see some drastic changes by now.

my test results are as follows
pH 7.4
ammonia .5
nitrites  .25 all these readings have remained the same since i started on the 12th of jan testing!!!
nitrates 5.0
temp 28c (82F)

am i being impatient or is there something i should be doing?
thanks for your help as always
regards  dazzler
 

JMatt1983

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you're right on track, since you have quite a large tank, it could take up to 2 months for it cycle, now that it started, just be patient with it, i know that its tough
 
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dazzler

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phew i was starting to pull my hair out!!!! so that ammonia is good to go i guess. i might wonder on down to my lfs and see if they have 100% pure NH3 this might speed it along. also might get another cup of gravel to add to the sock already in there. or just go to the lfs and see if i can buy some patience as mine is fast dwindling away.... LOL!!!!

cheers jmatt
dazzler
 

chickadee

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If you find a store that sells patience by the cup, BUY it.(the store) You will make a fortune. (and I will need to be your first customer) ROFL

Rose
 
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dazzler

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ah the great patience debate. how great it is!!! seems to me to be easier if i find a virtue. b/c they say patience is a virtue.... so where is she?????
so i struggled today to find 100% pure ammonia. pulled more hair out on my search!
i am still confused as to wether my cloudy ammonia is doing the job. is there going to be a problem if i double the dosage. my tap readings are not far off my tank readings. and it is this that bothers me the most. so is my tank really cycling? how long should it take for the ammonia to spike???

maybe its time to put money away to buy that store of patience!!! i know its gotta be out there somewhere
here are the the tap v the tank readings;
pH 6.4 pH 7.6
ammonia 0.5 ammonia 0.25
nitrites 0.5 nitrites 0.25
nitrAtes 5.0 nitrAtes 5.0
i started fishless cycling 10 days ago.

i havent the foggiest idea.. do you?? any hints or tips as always are greatly appreciated
kind regards
Dazzler
 

chickadee

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What water conditioner are you using?  Perhaps you have already said somewhere but I have forgotten.  I am just curious that the tap has more ammonia and nitrite in it than the tank...if you are using a conditioner that removes ammonia, nitrites and nitrates then this could be working against you.  Check the bottle and see if the conditioner is just removing chlorine, chloramine and heavy metals or doing more than that.  If it mentions neutralizing ammonia, nitrites or nitrates, you cannot use it during the cycle process.

Examples of the wrong kind are, to name just a few, Amquel, Amquel+, Prime.  (there are others I am sure but these are the ones I am familiar with.)  These are perfectly great to use after the cycle is complete, just not during it.  If you happen to be using one of these, you will need to get a SMALL bottle of StressCoat or one of the safe ones and do major water changes to clear the other type out of the tank and change the conditioner and then the cycle should progress normally.  I would not increase the amount of ammonia as you can get too much and that halts the cycle too.

5 drops for 10 gallons is the correct formula for a daily dose.  For a tank your size 10 days is not a long time to wait.  My 5 gallon tank took that long and your tank is going to take longer than a 5 gallon.

Are you using the liquid tests or the strips? The strips are notoriously inaccurate and you may be getting false levels with them. You need to use a liquid reagent test like the Master Test Kit for Freshwater by Aquarium Pharmaceticals, Inc. or API.

Rose
 

JMatt1983

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the best thing to do, if you can talk your lfs into it, is to try and get a piece of used filter media and put into your filter, i did this with my 20 gallon and it cycled within 2 weeks, if you can not get the filter medi, you might try a product called 'cycle', it's supposed to add the bacteria for the cycle to start

ps: to add on to the list of products that Rose gave you, ammolock is one that you should not use
 

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Just to mention, I was warned about Cycle by the people over in the Betta forums because I was considering using it. It's really nothing more than a money making scheme, once you stop using it your tank loses the bacteria. If you're wanting a quick cycle, use Bio-Spira if you can find it. I've looked... it's hard to find
 
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dazzler

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oh no!, it seems that the water conditioner i am using "instant chlorine,chloramine,ammonia & heavy metals neutralizer + slime coat" its called "water ager cn" (yes cn). its doesnt seem to have a brand name but i have used it before just not on a new tank it also states on the label ..use when starting new tanks and exchanging water...removes 3ppm chlorine, 1.5 ppm chloramine,0.1ppm ammonia,... i have only used this product once when i initially first filled the tank up with water 10 days ago its advises 4 drops / 10L. which i have done. i have an API liquid test just like many of the people here (but that cost me $65 aud!!!). however the white fiber floss in the hood filter is turning brown so maybe there is progress of some sort happening. i will do another test shortly including the tap water and post the results soon after.

thanking you
regards Dazzler
 

chickadee

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It sounds like an excellent product for after the cycle has happened but the bacteria NEED the ammonia to grow and if the conditioner removes it then it is interfering with the progress of the cycle. It won't stop it but it can slow it down to a snails pace as the ammonia will have to fight an uphill battle. The formation of ammonia is the first and probably one of the most important steps in the cycle and without it no cycle can happen.

Yes, Cycle is a waste of time and money and will not promote a lasting cycle.

Rose
 
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dazzler

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thanks rose, i am 2 mins away from doing a test on tap and tank water again just incase i have made a mistake! yes i was dupped into buying the bottle of cycle but thankfully i have not used it. so are you suggesting draining the water and starting again, or dare i say it being patient!!! also another question is how long does the water conditioner (i think we call that water ager over here) stay active in the tank for? does it lose its ability to do its job. i also have a stocking in the tank full of happy gravel from my goldfish tank and was kinda hoping this would speed things along

i will be back in 10mins off to do that test

thanks again rose
regards dazzler
 

chickadee

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The conditioner will remain active until there is nothing for it to act on.  Once it has removed the things in the water that it says it does then it becomes just a part of the water but while chlorine, chloramine, heavy metals, and the other things it says it works on are present, then it is still going to try to the limits listed to remove them.  Yours mentioned "+ slime coat" and that is usually an aloe basis.  Aloe does not dissipate and will not be affected by evaporation.  So if you keep using it and the water keeps evaporating your concentration of aloe will raise and eventually the movement of the water will make bubbles on the surface.  It can look as bad as soap suds in the tank.  Unfortunately though you have to use a water conditioner and if this means that the aloe builds up, it does not hurt the fish.

It may help to have the gravel in there.  The tank would have to have been a cycled goldfish tank with a filter working.

Rose
 
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dazzler

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well its been choas over here for the last hour or so. but i managed to get the readings

tap water vs tank water
ammonia 0 ammonia 0.25
pH 7.6 pH 7.6
nitrites 0.5 nitrites 0.25
nitrAtes 5.0 nitrAtes 5.0
so nowthis looks a bit better. i may attempt to take the filter out of my goldfish tank also and add it to the big tank. i am off to the lfs tomorrow i will ask for some used filter media also. my water has been oh so slightly cloudy too. this baffles me! would it be a good idea to put the carbon(active charcoal) back in for a short period of time to clear it up...... hmmm endless questions, sorry rose, but thanks as always

regards dazzler
 

chickadee

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For some reason cloudiness comes with cycling sometimes and is perhaps the bacteria getting established. No do not put anything back in the tank (carbon) as it will not produce clarity if this is the cause. Just give it time. You are having ammonia and nitrite action so something is happening.

I live for questions, sometimes am just not real fast getting back to the forum so you may have to wait but someone else can always chime in if they have an answer.

Rose
 
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dazzler

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no thats fine,i live in australia its 9.30am right now so i am in the future so to speak. should my ammonia and nitrites be a little higher than they are? i kinda thought they would be! but i suppose progress is being made the filter media in the hood is going brown so i gather thats moving foward in baby steps. well its down to the lfs to see what fish they have in stock. i would like to base my tank on tiger barbs and build they community around them. does this limit me somewhat? i know they are semi aggressive. i have 67 odd gallons (250litres). and would like only about 25 or so fish. they will all get 2.5 gallon per inch full size. i just love your blue night lights too! but they are american your plugs and voltage are different from ours. i already have 6 plugs running to and from my tank.

hmmm....night lights... time to save!!

regards Dazzler
 

chickadee

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The brown stuff on your filter media may only be algae so don't put too much stock in it.  There is a brown algae that seems to attack new tanks and loves the stuff the inside of the walls are coated with.  As soon as they pretty well have it gone or you have kept wiping things down, it will go away.  One day you will look and it just won't be there anymore.

The blue lights are nice and they make a good night light for the other room until I am ready to call it an night.  The loaches are manic all day and need to settle down a bit before lights go completely out.  The bettas go to bed early and need calm and quiet to settle down, it helps that they cannot see the light. (but I can watch them so I know if they are misbehaving  ;D)

No you should not worry about the levels of ammonia or nitrites just yet.  It is so hard to be patient when you are going through all of this I know but there is nothing to be done for it but to wait it out.  I know that statement is making me very popular tonight but it is one of those truths that I cannot change. 

I really wish all tanks were sold with a free packet of Bio-spira attached and then things would be so much simpler....

Almost forgot, Tiger Barbs....yes it will limit you somewhat. Not as bad as with a betta, but there are some fish that they will bully and they do not do well with Angelfish or fish of the Gourami family and they are fin nippers so should not be put in the same tank as fish with longish fins or flowing fins of any size. (bettas are in the Gourami family and they will attack Barbs too but more likely be nipped into oblivion by the Barbs.)

Rose
 
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dazzler

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ahhh, well im off to buy a bottle of patience and drink it then!!! ;D. thank you so much Rose for the info. it keeps me sleeping easy. i will start doing test every three days now so as opposed to doing them every second day. this is so i will notice small changes and look foward to doing the next test. i will find the light at the end of the tunnel. well time to reasearch on the community i will have inside their new home.

you help is awesome rose thank lots..... research,research and probably more research just incase

regards dazzler
 

chickadee

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Well it is my pleasure. I love the fish and I would do what I could to help get them started off well. It is fun to see others have good results with their tanks and so sad when they do not. I will do all the research I need to to prevent that.

Besides isn't all the research at the stores fun? I shop online but I cannot help but shop a bit every day just to see what is new.

Rose
 
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dazzler

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yes i cant agree more but your world in the U.S is far greater in fish stuff than mine . i e-mailed drfosters and they dont have a stockist in australia for bio-spira..baahumbug. so iam off shortly to the lfs to pick their brains and also pick up some odds and bods that i need.its stop raining now so im gonna hop on my motorbike and "go shopping" its christmas all over again for me. maybe hopefully these guys will have 100% ammonia and this will advance my tank along

must stop babbling gotta go shopping... thanks rose you are a true star and to everyone else out here on fishlore... we rock!!!1

regards dazzler
 
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