When starting a fishless cycle on a newly set up aquarium and adding liquid ammonia how much does it take?

Utar

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Only a drop of liquid ammonia in a 29-gallon tank full of water will produce a reading of 2 to 4ppm.

I use a meat injector syringe to draw the ammonia out of the bottle. Then after using the syringe I clean it with tap water to remove the ammonia residue.
I have been using one bottle of ammonia for four years now and have not used very much of it. I tied a wire tie around the neck of the bottle to show the ammonia level left in the bottle. I then added a drop into the aquarium waited ten minutes before testing ppm in the aquarium.

ammonia bottle with test tube.jpg
 

SeaAngel

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Correct. You want to get a reading of 4ppm. I use Dr. Tim’s ammonia so you use 4 drops of that.
 

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Utar

Utar

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Correct. You want to get a reading of 4ppm. I use Dr. Tim’s ammonia so you use 4 drops of that.
For the ammonia I am using it says on the bottle 10%. I am not sure what the percentage is in Dr Tim's ammonia. If it is lower the 10% that would account for using more drops to produce the same ppm. That little bottle of Dr Tim's should last for years.
 

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For the ammonia I am using it says on the bottle 10%. I am not sure what the percentage is in Dr Tim's ammonia. If it is lower the 10% that would account for using more drops to produce the same ppm. That little bottle of Dr Tim's should last for years.
I’ve used it several times and still almost full.
 

Colin_T

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If you have an established tank with an established filter, you don't need to cycle any more tanks. Just take half the filter media from an established tank and put it in the new tank. Instant cycled tank.
 

SeaAngel

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That’s exactly what I do these days to seed the tank.
 
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If you have an established tank with an established filter, you don't need to cycle any more tanks. Just take half the filter media from an established tank and put it in the new tank. Instant cycled tank.
Well not really, you still have to get the entire cycle established. I do exactly that every time by adding seeded bio-media. Yes, it does cycle faster, but still, I want to make sure that the BB is colonized enough to take the load before adding fish. I want to see the ammonia is actually converted to nitrite then nitrate, after that I am secure that the BB will take the load. The BB is not just in the media is also on everything else in the tank, and in the substrate. In a new set up this is not true at first, it takes a while for the BB to colonize other places in the tank.
 

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If the bottle of ammonia is 10%, in theory it should take 3.29 ml to get a reading of 3 ppm in a 29 gallon tank. I used the calculator on here to work that out ;)
I would wait half an hour for it to mix in before testing though.


I agree with testing the tank when setting it up. 18 months ago I set up my quarantine tank using media from my main tank (which has a lot of floating plants) and discovered there were virtually no bacteria in the media. It took 6 weeks before the QT was ready for fish.
 
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@Essjay Yes, I totally agree. When it comes to setting up new aquarium patience is the key.

The first new aquarium set up in a person's home is also by default the quarantine tank. So again patience is the key, there is nothing worse or more discouraging than having new fish die.

So once the cycle is well established then continue by adding fish slowly. If it is a school of tetras for example and a person needs at least ten, then only put a few in to start with and slowly continue adding the rest in small numbers until the desired amount for the school is achieved. This way if there is something wrong a person will not lose an entire large school at one time. Diseases, parasites, as well as crashing a cycle can happen.

But of course, experienced fishkeepers know all that.
 

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Well not really, you still have to get the entire cycle established. I do exactly that every time by adding seeded bio-media. Yes, it does cycle faster, but still, I want to make sure that the BB is colonized enough to take the load before adding fish. I want to see the ammonia is actually converted to nitrite then nitrate, after that I am secure that the BB will take the load. The BB is not just in the media is also on everything else in the tank, and in the substrate. In a new set up this is not true at first, it takes a while for the BB to colonize other places in the tank.
I use the seeding method exclusively now. Normally, within about 24 hours My parameters test perfectly. I then just let the tank age a little before adding fish. I just feed it every few days with a little fish food and I’m done.
 

madmark285

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That little bottle of Dr Tim's should last for years.
I think that was a problem for Dr. Tim sales, I bought a bottle in January which is now 4 drops/gallon. So my tank/sump is ~80 gallons or 320 drops, I used 1/2 bottle to cycle my tank (2 dosing).
 
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