View Full Version : Ammonia & Australia

11-18-2008, 03:12 AM
Ive checked almost everywhere but cannot find ammonia (hardware store/supermarket/aquariums)

Any alternatives of doing fishless cycle without using ammonia??

11-18-2008, 03:15 AM
If you really cant find any then you can use a prawn and some fish food but it is mighty messy and smelly.

11-18-2008, 03:16 AM
Some people have used urine.... whether that is appropriate or not is another story... just providing you with information...

11-18-2008, 03:33 AM
While the Urine supposedly does work, I'd stick to the prawn, especially since Urine is acidic and will alter your pH.

The mess with prawns can be solved by putting them in an old pair of nylons and placing them in your filter.

Wild Turkey
11-18-2008, 03:39 AM
You can order ammonia for fish cycling online fairly easily. Dont pee in your tank please :)

11-18-2008, 03:50 AM
Where are you Mikeee? I get mine from my partners work. He has bottles and bottles of it. If your in/near Brissy I can get your some. Otherwise I have no idea I can only ever find the cloudy ammonia in stores.

11-18-2008, 04:12 AM
One of the members from Ireland bought some stuff on line for fishless cycling.
I just don't remember who!

11-18-2008, 04:15 AM
I couldn't find any in WA so ended up using prawns ... I wish I'd heard GoldBarb's comment about putting some in my filter ... would saved me a lot of hassle. The prawns were in a plastic bag that I made holes in, but I couldn't seem to regulate the amount of ammonia produced so I released the prawns in the tank water and got myself into one big mess. Ended up scrapping the whole tank and after cleaning the water a few times I used Zebra Danios - which incidentally I still have in my tank to this day so I must have done at least one thing right somewhere along the way :)

If I think back I can almost smell how bad the prawns were after a couple of weeks :(

11-18-2008, 04:19 AM
In the Norwegian fish forum I hang out in, the normal way to cycle a tank is to set it up with plants and everything and let the filter run for about 5 weeks, and add some fish food about once a week. No ammonia added, and it works fine.

Of course it means you have to stock it carefully at first, when the cycle finishes, but if you can't get ammonia or don't want to, then it's an option.

11-18-2008, 05:36 AM
gemini im in Sydney

Are you able to send me some via post? ill pay of course

11-18-2008, 05:45 AM
I'll check if its ok to send it and if so no worries :).

11-18-2008, 06:31 AM
Gemini on second thoughts ive been reseatching and ppl have been using prawns if they dont have ammonia.

I may just go that route

ty for the offer tho

11-18-2008, 06:59 AM
NO worries :D - it's probably not supposed to be mailed anyway. Put the prawns in something though! Otherwise you spend forever trying to get it all out!

11-18-2008, 07:45 AM
Hi Gemini,

I would be really interested in getting some posted to me if I can't end up finding any. I will have a look to see if it is permitted in the post if you like. I have to go and see the guys at the post office in the next few days anyway.

The idea of a rotting prawn in my tank doesn't work for me. I would like to have a reliable measurable way to cycle my tank too.



11-18-2008, 11:50 PM
Hey Aaron,
No worries - find out if it's ok to send and how it should be sent if specified and I'll send it!

11-19-2008, 01:20 AM
Thanks a heap. The wife should be happy that I'm not hurting the fish trying to cycle the tank again. She wasn't impressed with it last time.

11-19-2008, 04:34 AM
yep gemini i socked it and stuffed it into the filter

11-19-2008, 05:01 AM
Yay good work Mikeee :19:

11-19-2008, 10:26 PM
hey gemini with the water change people just say do a water change when cycle is finished but no one really specifies how much?

Also if i say do a 50% water i will be adding the water through my taps can i do this and then dechlorinate straight away or will it kill the bacteria?

my cycle isnt finished yet just wondering but I am getting both ammonia/nitrites showing after only 1.5days of using prawns :D


11-19-2008, 11:15 PM
I believe that the water change needs to be relative to the amount of Nitrate in the tank at the end of the cycle.

So if you have 50ppm Nitrate you would want to get rid of a lot of the water to reduce it but if you have a 20ppm Nitrate reading then a smaller water change would be suitable.


11-19-2008, 11:46 PM
ah ok ty taz.

Would adding tap water then quickly adding decholrinator kill the bacteria colony?

11-19-2008, 11:50 PM
I'm not 100% sure. I would prefer you to wait for a definite answer. However... I would believe that if you have an internal filter then it would kill the cycle but if you have an external and you keep if off for a while while the decholinator mixes and does its thing then it should be ok.

11-19-2008, 11:52 PM
Once the cycle is finished it depends a lot on what sort of fish you are keeping, the size of the tank, plants or not etc. As Taz said if your nitrates are at 50ppm you will need to do a large water change, if they are at 10ppm you could do a much smaller one.
Having said all of that - I find it easiest just to get into a routine. So for example on my shrimp tank I only do a 25%-40% water change a week. There is only a very small number of shrimp in there and the nitrates are never over 5ppm. Why do I change it every week - it's easy for me to be in a routine, then I don't have to worry about spikes.
On my 5ft African tank - I'll take 50-75% of the water out. Why - well the tank is not yet overcrowded but will be soon to help with the aggression. And they eat snails and stuff and I worry about them making a mess of the levels. SO the minimum I change is 50% a week.
My 2ft tank - I change about 40% on average a week - but every now and then do 75%.
What you need to remember is that the good bacteria is in your filter mainly, and a bit in the gravel. So you can do a 90% water change and as long as you decholorinate you should be fine. I fill all my tanks straight from the python - I just throw a bit of stress coat in before any water and then dose for the full tank and turn the hose on.
So your bacteria should be fine - don't aim the hose at the filter, I put the water in the opposite end or middle, and I figure by the time it gets to the filter the decholrinator will have it covered.
Sorry its so long - I type quickly and don't notice how much I've said....

11-20-2008, 03:50 AM
is stress coat the same as dechlorinator?

11-20-2008, 04:42 AM
Sorry yep stress coat is just the decholorinator I use. So put your decholorinator in and then the water. But do it quickly don't put the decholor in and then hang about for a half a day. Put it in and turn the water on.

11-20-2008, 11:01 AM
Is there any risk to the fish from having a large amount of dechlorinator in the tank until it is mixed in?

11-20-2008, 02:49 PM
Is there any risk to the fish from having a large amount of dechlorinator in the tank until it is mixed in?

There is no scientific proof!I have added uit to the tank after a water change and before the water was added.It made no physical difference to the fish.
A fish can live in chlorinated water but it would not be recommended.
The dechlorinator works really fast.

11-20-2008, 11:28 PM
Is there any risk to the fish from having a large amount of dechlorinator in the tank until it is mixed in?
That's why I said add it and fill - not add it and hang around for half an hour. I use a python on my tanks so I"ll be there with the hose in hand, or actually wedged into the little spot I put it, I add the stress coat, go to the tap and on it goes. So the stress coat is in the water less than 15 seconds before water is going in.