Plants Reducing Ammonia? / Cycle Question

BloonStuff

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Hi again! (Sorry to be a pest haha).

I just wanted to clarify some things and get some opinions on my course of action.

I'm currently running a fishless cycle in a planted 5.5g tank. It's been a week and a few days, so super early days and I know this takes a lot of patience. I just want to make sure what I'm doing is moving me in the right direction. Anyway, after my ammonia fiasco, where it went off the charts when I added bottled ammonia I got the ammonia back down to 1ppm. A little lower than I planned but I didn't mind too much.

Next time I tested it, it was at either 0.25ppm or 0.50ppm. I was topping off the water after I tested it and added some more ammonia to the water I was topping off. I measured out a gallon, put two generous drops of ammonia in and then added as much of the gallon as I needed to top off the tank. I left it a day and then tested the water today and the ammonia is 0.25ppm and there is no nitrites or nitrates.

So I just wanted to clarify that it's probably the plants that are reducing the ammonia. That makes sense, right?

Also, I wanted to ask if this course of action seems reasonable. Basically I'm going to continue to test the levels every other day and if the ammonia continues to drop, I'll drop a few more fish flakes in.

Then on the days I need to top off the water, which is every few days, I'll use the bottled ammonia instead. Just so I can avoid making the ammonia go off the charts again. I don't really feel comfortable adding it straight to the tank and that way I can just add it to the bucket of extra water.

Thanks!
 
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BloonStuff

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Ah, okay.

So shall I just continue as I said I plan to? Does that sound reasonable? Or do I need to change anything or add anything to my plan?
 

NavyChief20

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Maintain your current chemistry plan, at 5.5 gallons it is going to take a little while but it will stabilize and you should get good results. Remember that with a small water volume slight changes can have a large impact.
 
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BloonStuff

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Okay, thank you!

I don't mind the wait so long as I know I'm on the right track. At the moment I'm thinking of the plants and the BB as the pet I'm looking after. My family don't understand how I can find an 'empty' tank so interesting. Haha.
 

NavyChief20

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Tell them it is an exercise in fluid chemistry that requires exact attention at certain moments.
 

mattgirl

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Maybe you have explained your thoughts on another thread but I am wondering why you are adding fish food to rot thus forming ammonia when you already have liquid ammonia and could just use it and avoid the mess the fish food is going to make.

You can control the amount of ammonia much better by using the liquid ammonia. With fish food you can't know how much is necessary and how long it will take to rot and form ammonia.

If it were me I would siphon all that rotting food out of there and just use the clean ammonia. You can easily control the amount of ammonia by adding a drop or two. Running the ammonia test and add more if needed. Just keep testing after each added drop. Once you know how many drops it takes to get it where you need it to be you can just add that much each time without having to run the test each time.

What are your concerns about adding the ammonia straight to the tank? That is normally how it is done.
 
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BloonStuff

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Oh, it's because the last time I added the ammonia straight to the tank the ammonia ended up going off the charts. Like, the water in the test tube went black. Perhaps because the tank is so small and the dripper from the bottle is kind of big. I was concerned about it killing my plant and I guess I just want to avoid that happening again. So that's why I was going going to do it with fish food on the times I need to add it straight to the tank and then the liquid ammonia when I can add it to the water to top off.

I dunno, maybe I'm just worrying too much. Haha.
 

NavyChief20

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you need to do it in measured amounts. Theres that DrTims stuff or you can use ammonia literally from the store. You have to do it in a certain mL per volume. Its my day off so i am "testing" my homebrew and i cant remember the dose per gallon. But it is something like 5 drops per gallon.
 

mattgirl

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BloonStuff said:
Oh, it's because the last time I added the ammonia straight to the tank the ammonia ended up going off the charts. Like, the water in the test tube went black. Perhaps because the tank is so small and the dripper from the bottle is kind of big. I was concerned about it killing my plant and I guess I just want to avoid that happening again. So that's why I was going going to do it with fish food on the times I need to add it straight to the tank and then the liquid ammonia when I can add it to the water to top off.

I dunno, maybe I'm just worrying too much. Haha.
I just went back and re-read your other post and it jogged my memory. If the dropper that came with the ammonia is too big maybe you could get a 1 or 2 ml needle-less syringe and use it instead. That way you can fine tune the amount of ammonia and not worry about adding too much.
 
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BloonStuff

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Yeah, I know. I already have Kleen Off. It was recommended for cycling. And I did some testing before I put it in the tank, working how much I needed to the gallon etc to get the ammonia ppm I wanted, but I guess my calculations were off. Haha.

Edit: Sorry, didn't see the second reply until after I posted. Lol. I got a syringe with my fertiliser that arrived today. Maybe I could try that actually.

I mean, I would definitely rather use the ammonia. But you know, once bitten.. twice shy etc.
 

mattgirl

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BloonStuff said:
Edit: Sorry, didn't see the second reply until after I posted. Lol. I got a syringe with my fertiliser that arrived today. Maybe I could try that actually.

I mean, I would definitely rather use the ammonia. But you know, once bitten.. twice shy etc.
I do understand but now you know a lot more than you did then and I would be willing to bet it won't happen again. The good thing about really big goofs is the lesson we learn from them

Of course you have to do what feels most comfortable but with a syringe it is very difficult to add more than is needed as long as you have the right amount in the syringe.

By using just the ammonia you actually have better control than using fish food and when the tank finishes its cycle you won't have all that excess food in the tank and filter to contend with.
 
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BloonStuff

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So uh, I used the syringe and added about 0.7ml to the tank and this is the reading I ended up with. I feel like it’s closer to 8ppm than 4ppm, right?

D0B3EA67-7760-48BE-BC91-9F2EAEEF8C7A.jpeg 9BD8FB19-54C2-4C24-A96B-28B0555CEB5D.jpeg

Reading colour charts is hard... lol.
 
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