Fishless cycle question about testing ammonia.

Paul31733

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Hey everyone!
I am currently cycling a tank using Dr tims one and only and ammonium chloride.

I have the seachem ammonia test kit which has separate tests for free ammonia and total ammonia.
(Little yellow discs change color)

My question is, which one should I be looking at before I re-dose with the ammonium chloride?
Thanks.
Paul.
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taricha

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Total ammonia will tell you NH3+NH4. Free ammonia will tell you NH3, which depends on Total ammonia and pH.
Cycling discussions talk in terms of total ammonia, So I'd measure that.
 

Azedenkae

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Thanks!
So once I show less than 0.5 ppm total ammonia I re-dose ammonium chloride?
There are multiple schools of thought when it comes to cycling, and when to re-dose ammonium chloride depends on which one you subscribe to.

Since you are using bacteria and ammonium chlorine from Dr. Tim, you might be interested in following his method. Quoted from his fishless cycling guide, https://www.drtimsaquatics.com/resources/fishless-cycling/:
Whatever the source of your ammonia, the following is the way to proceed. Add the ammonia solution to the aquarium so that the ammonia concentration is between 2 and 3 mg/L (but, as mentioned, do not go above 5 mg/L). Record the amount of liquid you added. If you are not using DrTim’s One & Only Live Nitrifying Bacteria, wait 2 or 3 days and measure the ammonia and nitrite. Continue measuring ammonia and nitrite every 2 or 3 days until you start to see some nitrite. This is a sign that the ammonia-oxidizing bacteria are starting to work. Add half the initial amount of ammonia you added to the water on day 1. Continue measuring ammonia and nitrite every 2 or 3 days. Around day 9 to 12, the ammonia will probably be below 1 mg/L, maybe even 0, but nitrite will be present. Nitrite does not spike until somewhere between days 14 and 20. You want to be careful adding more ammonia because you do not want the nitrite-nitrogen over 5 mg/L as this will start to poison the nitrite-oxidizing bacteria. Add a little ammonia every few days (1/4 dose), making sure the nitrite does not go above 5 mg/L. Once you start to see the nitrite decrease, it will drop pretty fast. The cycle is completed when you can add the full dose of ammonia (2 to 3 mg/L-N) and overnight it all disappears to nitrate with no sign of nitrite. Now you can start to add fish.

My personal method is to re-dose when both ammonia and nitrite hits 0. Once both ammonia and nitrite can measure 0 within 24 hours of dosing between 2 to 4 ppm ammonia (depending on your preference), your tank is cycled. Doing water changes in the interim to keep nitrates low when necessary, of course.

Others will focus just on ammonia, because nitrite needs to be at very high levels to cause short term harm to fish and stuff. Yet others again will have their own ways to determine how the process is going.

My suggestion is to see which one you want to follow, and stick to just that one particular method.
 
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Paul31733

Paul31733

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There are multiple schools of thought when it comes to cycling, and when to re-dose ammonium chloride depends on which one you subscribe to.

Since you are using bacteria and ammonium chlorine from Dr. Tim, you might be interested in following his method. Quoted from his fishless cycling guide, https://www.drtimsaquatics.com/resources/fishless-cycling/:


My personal method is to re-dose when both ammonia and nitrite hits 0. Once both ammonia and nitrite can measure 0 within 24 hours of dosing between 2 to 4 ppm ammonia (depending on your preference), your tank is cycled. Doing water changes in the interim to keep nitrates low when necessary, of course.

Others will focus just on ammonia, because nitrite needs to be at very high levels to cause short term harm to fish and stuff. Yet others again will have their own ways to determine how the process is going.

My suggestion is to see which one you want to follow, and stick to just that one particular method.
I am following the dr Tim method. Just was unsure which ammonia test to follow!
 

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