What form of ammonium to use for fish less tank cycling?

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TIGERssr

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Hello everyone!!!

I am planning to set up a 65 gallon tropical fresh water tank. I wanted to complete the cycling without using any fish.
My plan is to add beneficial bacteria to some ammonia and test the water until the cycle is complete.

My question is in which form should i add ammonia?
Whether the 99% pure ammonia solution will be good? Because i think the concentrated ammonia is dangerous.
Please suggest the form of ammonia which i have to use.

Thanks in advance!
 

kallililly1973

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I'v never used it to cycle a tank but one form is DR Tims. But i think a lot of people use the pure non scented type and add 3-4ppm to get the BB colony going. Others will chime in with actual experience. I believe most stores will carry the correct "pure" ammonia your looking for.
 

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Sorg67

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I have used Dr. Tim's. It is not expensive and designed for fishless cycling. It is very easy to use. I have used it to complete four fishless cycles over the past month and a half. I have not used the Ace Hardware ammonia, but others have reported doing so successfully.

If you use common cleaning grade ammonia, you must be very careful that you know exactly what you are doing. It is easy to get the concentration wrong. And you must be careful to make sure you get pure ammonia with nothing else in it.

If you use Ace Hardware or similar ammonia, I would start with very small amounts, test, add more, test again and repeat until you are sure you are getting the dosage right. Make sure when you add small amounts, you measure carefully so that you can accurately determine the relationship between the amount you add and the resulting concentrations.

I may try that some time out of curiosity. But the Dr. Tim's is not expensive and worked very well for me.
 

Morpheus1967

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TIGERssr

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can i use this bottle? it's very concentrated though..
Please help me...
Ammonia Solution 99%
  • Chemical formula: NH4OH or NH5O
  • Molar mass: 35.04 g/mol
  • Appearance: Colourless liquid, Melting Point: −57.5 °C (−71.5 °F; 215.7 K) (25 % w/w) −91.5 °C (35% w/w)
  • Odor: "Fishy", highly pungent, Boiling Point: 37.7 °C (99.9 °F; 310.8 K) (25 % w/w)
  • Density: 0.91 g/cm3 (25 % w/w), 0.88 g/cm3 (35 % w/w)
 

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Dunk2

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TIGERssr said:
can i use this bottle? it's very concentrated though..
Please help me...
Ammonia Solution 99%
  • Chemical formula: NH4OH or NH5O
  • Molar mass: 35.04 g/mol
  • Appearance: Colourless liquid, Melting Point: −57.5 °C (−71.5 °F; 215.7 K) (25 % w/w) −91.5 °C (35% w/w)
  • Odor: "Fishy", highly pungent, Boiling Point: 37.7 °C (99.9 °F; 310.8 K) (25 % w/w)
  • Density: 0.91 g/cm3 (25 % w/w), 0.88 g/cm3 (35 % w/w)
Unless I knew with 100% certainty that it does not contain any additives, I personally would not use it.
 

Sorg67

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TIGERssr said:
can i use this bottle? it's very concentrated though..
Please help me...
Ammonia Solution 99%
  • Chemical formula: NH4OH or NH5O
  • Molar mass: 35.04 g/mol
  • Appearance: Colourless liquid, Melting Point: −57.5 °C (−71.5 °F; 215.7 K) (25 % w/w) −91.5 °C (35% w/w)
  • Odor: "Fishy", highly pungent, Boiling Point: 37.7 °C (99.9 °F; 310.8 K) (25 % w/w)
  • Density: 0.91 g/cm3 (25 % w/w), 0.88 g/cm3 (35 % w/w)
Momgoose56
John58ford

I tagged a couple members who are very scientific. They may be able to answer your question. I would be guessing.

I like to guess. I am often a good guesser. But your guess is probably as good as mine. So I will leave guessing to you.

I would say that using something that concentrated would require the ability to measure with extreme precision. I think the ACE Hardware is 10%. I do not know about Dr. Tim's.
 

Momgoose56

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TIGERssr said:
can i use this bottle? it's very concentrated though..
Please help me...
Ammonia Solution 99%
  • Chemical formula: NH4OH or NH5O
  • Molar mass: 35.04 g/mol
  • Appearance: Colourless liquid, Melting Point: −57.5 °C (−71.5 °F; 215.7 K) (25 % w/w) −91.5 °C (35% w/w)
  • Odor: "Fishy", highly pungent, Boiling Point: 37.7 °C (99.9 °F; 310.8 K) (25 % w/w)
  • Density: 0.91 g/cm3 (25 % w/w), 0.88 g/cm3 (35 % w/w)
That's the right stuff but where does it say 99%?
 
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TIGERssr

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Momgoose56 it was labelled as 99% ammonium on the label backside.
So can i use this without any problems to the humans while mixing it with water?
If you confirm i will proceed.
 

Momgoose56

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TIGERssr said:
Momgoose56 it was labelled as 99% ammonium on the label backside.
So can i use this without any problems to the humans while mixing it with water?
If you confirm i will proceed.
Of course it is extremely toxic to humans if you are breathing the fumes. Getting it on your skin can cause serious burns, getting it in your eyes can cause permanent damage, it can kill you if you, children or pets drink it. It would be okay to use with extreme caution, to cycle a tank if you use goggles, long gloves, mix it in water before adding it to your tank and only open or handle it in a well ventilated area (preferably outside or under a chemical hood). Do not sniff it or ever open it in a closed room, be sure to pre-dechlorinate any water you add it to. Do not splash the water you dilute it in while pouring it in the tank.
What size tank do you have? 1 drop (approximately) of a 99% solution will bring your ammonia level, in 10 gallons of water to approximately 1ppm (1 mg/l)
Why do you have 99% pure ammonia? Once it is diluted in the tank it isn't as toxic unless someone drinks the whole tank full of water, but the concentration of ammonia in the bottle is very toxic undiluted.
 
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TIGERssr

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my aquarium is a 65 gallon one. so i will go for other options like Dr. Tim.
this seems to be very risky.
Thank you for your professional guidance sir.
 

Butters510

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Sorg67

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Momgoose56 said:
1 drop (approximately) of a 99% solution will bring your ammonia level, in 10 gallons of water to approximately 1ppm (1 mg/l)
Dr. Tim's is 20 drops to achieve 1 ppm in a 10 gallon tank. Can I infer from that that Dr. Tim's is a 5% solution? And the Ace Hardware 10% solution would require half what Dr. Tim's requires to achieve the same concentration?

Simple math, but just curious if I understand correctly.
 

Butters510

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Personally, I would go to Ace and buy that same 10% ammonia that was already pictured. I don't see how theres much room for error with 99% ammonia
 

John58ford

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I use Safeway Signature select. As I go through the jug I retest the amount required for 1ppm per gallon every few months as I find it drifts and gets weaker over time. If it's been sitting open in the cupboard for a year, I definitely retest before trying to restart or maintain a fishless cycle. I use an irrigator marked in tenth of a milliliter increments up to 10 ml.
 

honorstoise

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I've found that with Ace Hardware 10% Ammonia, 10-15 mL per 100 gallons is the way to go for 3-4 ppm
 

Butters510

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honorstoise said:
I've found that with Ace Hardware 10% Ammonia, 10-15 mL per 100 gallons is the way to go for 3-4 ppm
For me it worked out to 2mL = 1ppm in a 55 gal, and so forth (4mL = 2ppm, etc)
 

Momgoose56

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Sorg67 said:
Dr. Tim's is 20 drops to achieve 1 ppm in a 10 gallon tank. Can I infer from that that Dr. Tim's is a 5% solution? And the Ace Hardware 10% solution would require half what Dr. Tim's requires to achieve the same concentration?

Simple math, but just curious if I understand correctly.
That sounds about right.

Sorry, that's right
 

SkookulBob

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I bought a pound or so of ammonium chloride powder off of amazon and mixed up a solution of it in a 30ml dropper bottle. The concentration was arbitrary...I eyeballed it. Figured out how many drops I needed to get a 10 gallon tank to target ammonia level during cycle and just went with it.

Advantages:
- Don’t have to wonder if hardware/grocery store ammonia cleaner has surfactants or not (better to avoid surfactants although I don’t think they are the catastrophe people make them out to be in the concentrations appropriate to a fishless cycle)

- Ammonia fumes are disgusting.

- Easy

- Smug DIY swagger.

Disadvantages:
- My arbitrary concentration method is non-repeatable, but you could weigh out the NH4Cl, or even measure volumetrically and get a reasonably repeatable formula.

- 1 pound is way more ammonium chloride than any reasonable person needs. Although a teaspoon or two mixed with a bit of NaOH solution in a *non-metallic* container is great for degreasing my grill after a cookout. Just keep it outdoors, for the love of god.
 
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