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Ammonia Problems


12 Oct 2010
Hi guys...

I am new to UKAPS and i need some help... i am currently cycling my tank (96L - 60x40x40cm)...
I read about fishless cycle, and i managed to get 8% ammonia solution to somehow hasten the cycle thinking that by adding ammonia will induce BB to convert it to nitrite, which in turn another BB will convert it to nitrate...

But what is happening is that, i think i have accidentally added too much ammonia (might be 20ml-30ml, it was like a 'whoops' kinda thing).. I did 2 water changes the last 2 days being 40% each day... and when i checked reading for my ammonia, nitrite & nitrate, the reading is as belowed

Ammonia - definitely more den 10mg/L (my SERA test kits give me a dark green/blue color which far exceed the color charts)
Nitrite - 5mg/L (tested on a JBL 5-in-1 test strip)
Nitrate - 0.5mg/L (test n a JBL 5-in-1 test strip)

So what can I do now? leave the water to carry on cycling until my nitrates hits 20mg/L before I do water change? Or just keep it cycling until i see ammonia zero, nitrite zero?

Please help...

Oh ya, water seems to be always yellowish. What can be the issue? I am using ADA2 Aquasoil as substrate, filter media is, Eheim Mech, Eheim Substrate Pro & Biohomme Plus, filter running on a Ehiem Pro2 2026....
Keep water changing (use RO / DI) and check the readings -- when stable then let cycle and will take quite a long time (weeks) keep testing.. look for a spike again so you can see the cycle is happening them nitrate will follow

remember its the hydrogen cycle

if the tanks month old or so - get couple hard fish, bit nasty but if teh ammonia is ok, and nitr-i-te is zero them should be fine for them, keep testing as your get a spike as the bio loads from food and waste mature the filters / tank etc

Anyway, hows it going now and what the parameters of the water currently
Therotically you cannot overdose a system with ammonia when maturing it. Basically the cycling time will only vary by a matter of days but not likely to be more than a week.

What will actually happens is that there will be far more bacteria produced which will alow you to introduce more fish at once. The unused bacteria actually dies as there is not enough nitrogen source to support it.

My advice is to not change any water as this will serve to dilute the water and reduce the beneficial nitrifying bacteria, not only that but diluting will actually extend the nitrification process.

Generally speaking ammonia colourmetric test kits are largely inacurate above 3ppm. An important thing to consider when using an ammonia test kit is that levels above 0.6mgl/ppm is toxic to fish. Also dont forget that you are actually measuring TAN (total ammonical nitrogen), you need to convert this to unionized ammonia (UIA)

Test strips are renown to be very inaccurate. It would be best to purchase liquid kits for more accurate results.

Kind regards
What are your intentions for this tank after cycling?

Using ammonia to cycle a tank that will be planted could be a waste of your time and money.

Hi all,
Using ammonia to cycle a tank that will be planted could be a waste of your time and money."
I'd agree with Dave, I'd just add the plants (including some stem plants or floaters) and after 4 - 6 weeks when the tank is established add the stock. You can adjust your CO2/fertiliser regime and water changes to what ever system you are going to use when the tank is up and running. I think the Aquasoil may take a while to leach and stabilise.

cheers Darrel