Ammonia And Bacteria Starter Sources

Ch4rlie

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I thought I would start a new thread on where to source ammonia and live bacteria starter for those of you wanting to start a Fishless Cycles.
 
Link for Fishless Cycle -  http://www.fishforums.net/index.php?/topic/421488-cycling-your-new-fresh-water-tank-read-this-first/
 
Since I am UK based most of these sources are for UK.  Although I have included two brands of ammonia as well as one brand of live bacteria for US members.
 
I have tried my best to provide as much relevant information as I could.
If any information is wrong, then I do apologise.
 
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     Homebase Household Ammonia - Ammonium Hydroxide 9.5%
 
Can be found in Homebase hardware stores
(Note - not all Homebase stores stock these)
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Jeyes Kleen Off Household Ammonia - Ammonium Hydroxide 9-10%
 
Can be found on Ebay
 
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Kleen-Off-Household-Ammonia-Suitable-for-fishless-aquarium-cycling-500ml-/230928834948?pt=UK_HomeGarden_CLV_Cleaning_CA&hash=item35c46e6184
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       Concentrated Aquarium Ammonia - Ammonia 35%
 
Can be found on eBay
 
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Concentrated-Aquarium-Ammonia-for-Fishless-Cycling-Fish-Tank-Use-High-Strength-/181130184497?pt=UK_Pet_Supplies_Fish&hash=item2a2c334731
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This is more for American members as I cannot seem to find this for UK members.
 
 
      
             Ace hardware Ammonia - Ammonium Hydroxide 10%
 
I do not know if this is available in US Hardware stores
 
Found online 
 
http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=1307957
 
(do note this website address is for a 15 pack, am sure there will more online options in the US, this is just so you get the idea of what to look out for)
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This is also for American members as I cannot seem to find this for UK members.
 

         Dr Tim's One and Only Ammonium Chloride 
 
To be used in conjunction with Dr Tim's One and Only Nitrifying Live Bacteria
 
Found online
 
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=24530
 
or
 
http://store.drtimsaquatics.com/Ammonium-Chloride-Solution-for-Fishless-Cycling_p_190.html

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    Dr Tim's One and Only Live Nitrifying Bacteria
 
UK 
Online from Amazon
 
http://www.amazon.co.uk/DR-TIM%2527S-AQUATICS-Only-Freshwater/dp/B001LULBXI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1385163105&sr=8-1&keywords=dr+tims+one+and+only
 
or
 
USA
Online
 
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=18986&rel=1
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  Tetra Safe Start Live Bacteria
 
I have seen these for sale in LFS such as Maidenhead Aquatics
 
Also can be found on Amazon
 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/TETRA-START-BACTERIA-AQUARIUMS-100ML/dp/B000S5L59M/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1385163212&sr=8-3&keywords=tetra+safe+start

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And last of all, a warning
 
        
   Please do not confuse Jeyes Kleen Off Ammonia with this, Sink & Drain Unblocker
 
Do NOT use this for Fishless Cycles.
These two products do look very, very similar - I actually found this in B&Q Hardware Store!
 
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A top tip for those of you unsure if your bottle of ammonia is safe to use or not, is to shake the bottle, if you see a froth on surface that does not dissipate quickly, chances are it is not safe. But if froth or a few bubbles occur but quickly disappears, that should be fine to use.
 
I have personally used the Concentrated Aquarium Ammonia bought online and can vouch for this as not had any problems cycling 3 different tanks with this.
 
I have not used any bacteria starter as I started foist tank from scratch and the following two I seeded media from my first tank.
However from reading threads and articles it seems Dr Tims One and Only Live Nitrifying Bacteria is the brand of choice, Tetra Safe Start has been known to work but can be a bit hit or miss as to whether this brand of bacteria will actually work.
 
I have heard some LFS will actually sell a small bag of mature media, usually in the form of bio balls, for a small sum of around £1 although this can vary.
 
It would greatly appreciated if more input and comments about this can be given as would like to have as much information as possible for ALL members. Previous usage, experience etc. If Wal-Mart or Petco or anything like these can provide ammonia or bacteria starter for those US or Canadian members, that would be good information as well.
 
Sadly information is lacking for Australian and New Zealand members, sorry! I could not find anything at all.
 
Hope this helps and good luck! 

 
 
All pictures posted are from either my camera or from public websites.
 

eaglesaquarium

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Charlie,
 
The ACE Hardware ammonia is available in US stores, ironically, it can be purchased at "ACE Hardware Stores".

 
Its the stuff I used, and its the stuff I still use to 'prove' my cloned filters.
 
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Ch4rlie

Ch4rlie

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eaglesaquarium- that is perfect feedback. That's exactly the type of info that will help others.

I had a feeling that might be the case regarding Ace Ammonia but since I could not verify or prove this so thought best to leave blank just in case.
 

daizeUK

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Great article Charlie!  You've covered all the brands that I know and would recommend.
The only other one I know of is BioMature which I've used and would NOT recommend due to the lack of clear instructions telling you how much to add.
 
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Ch4rlie

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daizeUK said:
Great article Charlie!  You've covered all the brands that I know and would recommend.
The only other one I know of is BioMature which I've used and would NOT recommend due to the lack of clear instructions telling you how much to add.
 
Thanks daize, have to say I have not heard of BioMature before, is this the stuff you speak of?
 
Another good tip for for us, good to know.
 
Thanks for that input.
 
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/like/230901842545?lpid=83&device=c&adtype=pla&crdt=0&ff3=1&ff11=ICEP3.0.0&ff12=67&ff13=80&ff14=83&ff19=0
 
 
     BioMature Filter Starter - NOT RECOMMENDED due to lack of clear dosage instructions
 

daizeUK

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Yes, my bottle had a different picture but it's the same stuff.  The reason I don't recommend is that they instruct you to keep adding it until your test kit tells you have reached 5-10ppm.  Unbeknown to me, my test kit wasn't accurate so I dosed far too much and my tank never cycled.  My full review on the product is here http://www.fishforums.net/index.php?/topic/423232-waterlife-biomature-review/.
 

eaglesaquarium

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Well, 5-10ppm is way too much, even if it had been accurate.
 
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Ch4rlie

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Just thought would also mention API Quick Start and Nutrafin Cycle. I have heard that these two are not generally very good either.
 
I had a free bottle of Nutrafin Cycle free when I first got my tank, heard not many good things about this product so I never even opened it, think its still in cupboard somewhere!
 
      API Quick Start
 
 
       Nutrafin Cycle
 

TwoTankAmin

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One quick observation- Dr Tim's Ammonium Chloride can be used to cycle a tank without the One and Only Starter. This ammonia works fine for all forms of fishless cycling.
 
I use it to keep the 5-7 filters in my biofarm cycled and ready to use at all times.
 
Also for USA members, Angelsplus sells cycled sponges here http://www.angelsplus.com/FiltersSpongeActive.htm
 
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Ch4rlie

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Thats good information TTA.
 
Did not actually know that, I assumed it would be best with both Dr Tim's products but just using Ammonium Chloride on its own is adequate to do a fish less cycle is good for new members's pockets 

 
Cycled sponges for sale, wow, thats a good idea and a good website for US members, great link, thanks. 
 

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I must admit that on my return to fish keeping, I dosed my tank as recommended with the (Hagen) Nutrafin Cycle then added fish "3X Cherry Barbs"  after 1 week, then added 2 more the following week, the next week I bought some API test strips the test showed Zero Nitrite and 40ppm on my Nitrates, (no ammonia test was on these strips) so from what little I now know, I'd speculate that my tank Fish-in cycle using Nutrafin cycle took three weeks, I still have all but one of those fish (as seen in my fish of the month win) and the one I lost was due to it getting sucked into my Ehiem surface skimmer about a month ago
. But perhaps I just had a fresh batch of the stuff with some actual live bacteria in it when I used it
  Edit (Just to add at no point did these fish exhibit any surface swimming or gasping associated with Ammonia poisoning) Edit
 

rms

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KirkyArcher said:
  Edit (Just to add at no point did these fish exhibit any surface swimming or gasping associated with Ammonia poisoning) Edit
 
I thought gasping was a sign of nitrite poisoning? I only ask because I'm new to the hobby and now confused... 
 

KirkyArcher

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any form of toxicity or low oxygen would probably result in surface gasping and distress, and if prolonged or of high enough dosage then death 
 

daizeUK

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Ch4rlie said:
Did not actually know that, I assumed it would be best with both Dr Tim's products but just using Ammonium Chloride on its own is adequate to do a fish less cycle is good for new members's pockets 
 
Yup it's simply another source of ammonia (ammonium chloride rather than ammonium hydroxide which is in most cleaning products).  I originally bought it to use in conjunction with Dr Tim's bacterial starter but I've since used the same bottle of ammonium chloride to successfully cycle a tank by itself and also more recently in conjunction with mature media. 
 
The instructions on the bottle state that you add 1 drop per gallon to achieve a total ammonia concentration of 2ppm, so you can simply add half as many drops again to get to our recommended dose of 3ppm.  I very much like using Dr Tim's ammonium chloride.  Not to mention the bottle is nice and small and easy to store :)  Highly recommended.
 

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Nutrafin cycle contains the wrong type of nitrite oxidizing bacteria. But barbs are hardy cycling fish which is probably what got you through things with few issues. That and then using light stocking.
 
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