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Sourcing ammonia for fishless cycling

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Yeah I don't cycle tanks either, I just take some media from a going tank and stock slowly and keep an eye on things.

I think the biggest thing with cycling a tank is to be aware of the process and what is happening in your tank so you know what to look out for and to do a few more water changes and not chuck a ton of fish in all at once.

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I always read that cloudy ammonia is no good as it isn't pure. Contains some kind of soap or detergent I think, which would be pretty toxic to fish. I got some, but it wasn't that easy, I tried hammer hardware, bunnings, pak'n save, foodtown as well as life pharmacy and unichem in New Market with no luck, only cloudy ammonia. I only tired one branch of each store tho.

Ended up getting mine from a friend who did chemistry. He was able to get me some ammonium nitrate (ammonia in salt form, which I'd assume form the name is ammonia bonded with nitrate ions). A bit of a odd way of getting it, but I find it handy, less messy than liquids and you can find it on trademe too.

In my recent experience...

I got some of that cloudy ammonia, HomeBrand from Countdown. I setup a 10L paint bucket (clean of course) and added my highest L/h filter that would (barely) fit in the bucket, chucked a heater in on max, I think 35C with a splash of that ammonia. The media in the filter was dirtyish, very dry and had been sitting in the garage for months. Within 4 days I had nitrite conversion and in 6 days with a bit of a rinse in tank water to dilute the ammonia, transfered the media to the filter in the tank and woo hoo, a day or two later, no more funky water!

I've done this a couple of times in the last month and using a 1cm squared bit of seeded media added to barren media, I can go from off the chart ammonia to readable levels in 36 - 48 hrs and very high nitrites and nitrates. One thing I've tweaked is, when I want to remove the seeded media I lower the temp over 8hrs or so, taking 2C at a time. I read in some essay on mass scale water treatment that nitrifying and denitrifying bacteria stumble when temps drop too fast. I've also thrown in a few blocks of foam media to just spin around in the water and put a venturi hose on the filter, apparently this helps from what I've read but I can't seem to get it any faster than what I've managed.

I had some real cycling issues over this whole eathquake period... and I managed to drop my newly cycled media in the kitchen sink!... Which was full of soapy water :/ My poor little fish must hate me! Since figuring out this trick I look forward to seeding my next tank!!

Hope this helps someone.

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:digH:

I randomly walked into a cleaning supplies shop in Petone and they happened to have some. It was $8 for a 250ml bottle. I suggest people in other parts of the country try a cleaning supplies store that mixes their own cleaning products. These guys didn't retail the ammonia, they just used it for other cleaning products.

Clorogene - 58 Waione St, Petone

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I need to cycle a tank so that I can move all my fish into it when I move back to Wgton. Looks like my wife had ammonium bicarbonate crystals in the cupboard. It's used in cooking ... see http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/284172 as a leavening agent. I presume that this should work, and can be purchased from Chinese grocery stores.

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I've never heard of that being used. But you can pick up pure ammonia from a hardware store for like $10 which is cheap, nd commonly used in fish less cycling.

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I know this is a bit old to be replying. However I was trying to find ammonia to do a fishless cycle. Anyway I emailed countdown and spoke with them on the phone and they contacted the homebrand people who make "Cloudy Ammonia" and actually the only ingredients in it is ammonia and water. I made them confirm it because I really really wanted to know!! There are no soaps or detergents. If you want a copy of the email proving it from their customer support I can send you one. So feel free to use homebrand cloudy ammonia to fishless cycle your tank!!:)

Now I realise that so called "cloudy ammonia" does have soap or detergent in it (just like wikipedia says), however homebrand don't put it in theirs thankfully.

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On 4/5/2015 at 3:03 PM, jessy2363 said:

I know this is a bit old to be replying. However I was trying to find ammonia to do a fishless cycle. Anyway I emailed countdown and spoke with them on the phone and they contacted the homebrand people who make "Cloudy Ammonia" and actually the only ingredients in it is ammonia and water. I made them confirm it because I really really wanted to know!! There are no soaps or detergents. If you want a copy of the email proving it from their customer support I can send you one. So feel free to use homebrand cloudy ammonia to fishless cycle your tank!!:)

 

Now I realise that so called "cloudy ammonia" does have soap or detergent in it (just like wikipedia says), however homebrand don't put it in theirs thankfully.

I know this is now REALLY REALLY old to reply to, but I just wanted to make sure this is noted, I contacted countdown last week asking about what (if anything) other than ammonia and water is in homebrand cloudy ammonia and it does contain substances which may be harmful to fish. Their reply was that it also contains "Surfactants and a clouding agent"  surfactants being a wider group that contains detergents, so I wouldn't recommend using it for cycling a tank.

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Might I just say that in a previous life I built a fish house with 60 tanks and bred 50000 tropical fish a year for a number of years and never once cycled a tank with ammonia or a dead prawn and never once had a problem. When a tank is cycled there are many things going on as well as the nitrogen cycle and a proper cycle comes from adding fish slowly and being patient. Instant gratification is not he best answer for you or your fish.

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