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Cycling with Dr Tim ammonium chloride


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Reefers, I'm cycling my tank now using the Dr Tim ammonium chloride. 

I'm. In my second day of cycling. Have dosed AF bio s for seeding the tank with bacteria and concurrently dose the ammonia in the tank

based on the instruction, 4 drops per gallon. My system is 64 gallon. A total of 256 drops required to reach 2ppm of NH4. 

I have read online that many reefers dosed the full 4 drops per gallon will result in more than 5ppm of ammonia in their system. 

So eysterdya I dosed 64 drops and tested for ammonia using salifert. No ammonia reading. As of now a total of 192 drops. Still no reading. 

Kindly advise those who have experience using this. 

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First off kudos for going the Dr Tim ammonium chloride route, you are on the right tracks. I would add in more ammonia, probably 128 to 200 drops as adding 64 drops and leaving it a day then adding in 128 the next day is not the same as adding 256 in one go as directed. Even in a new tank the ammonia will start to break down. So you have probably added in less then half of what you need. This is especially so if you have any live rock or sand in the system or added bacteria. It does warn you against going above 5ppm but that would take 540drops in your 64gal aquarium so you have a long way to go :)

Regarding the test kit not showing. This is perplexing. Sadly hobby grade kits are not infallible and I have read of people thinking they have 1.5ppm when really it was 8ppm. Not sure if it's a testing error, a dud kit, or your tank simply had low levels of ammonia.

However, irrespective of what the ammonia level is, given you will be adding ammonia it is the absence of nitrite and the production of nitrate that is of most interest.

You are on the right tracks, just go for it. Personally I add in some more ammonia, wait a few days and see if Nitrite or even Nitrate is showing (NO3 normally after 5 days unless you adding bacteria).

All the best. Keep us informed as to how it progresses.








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Thanks Rob! 

I've read that previously was 1 drop per gallon and later they changed the concentration and now 4 drops per gal. Some US reefers followed the new packaging instruction and the ammonia skyrocketed to more than 10ppm. 

I've added another 128 drops and I'll test again tmw. Hopefully the ammonia test kit is not a gimmick. With more than 5ppm it'll stall the cycling process. 

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Stop dosing ammonia for now and don't have to test for ammonia.

Just dose AF bio S for a week and stop then check for NO3.

Once u detected NO3, then dose 10 to 15 drops of ammonia only every 2 days for another week.

If u get about 5ppm to 10ppm of NO3, your cycle is consider completed.

Dosing too much of Bio s or ammonia will cause u bacteria bloom later.

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I started dosing 2 drops of bio s. Tank already cloudy. 

I'll shall stop dosing for Now. Hopefully the cloudiness will pass after the cycle. 

10 to 15 drops is sufficient for the whole water vol during the second week of cycle? 

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I started dosing 2 drops of bio s. Tank already cloudy. 

I'll shall stop dosing for Now. Hopefully the cloudiness will pass after the cycle. 

10 to 15 drops is sufficient for the whole water vol during the second week of cycle? 

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Yes, it should be enough. The Ammonia should start to zero out over the coming 5 days and then nitrites should spike and zero out over the following 8-10 days. If you are adding bacteria you can expect this to speed up substantially. But there is no reason to keep adding ammonia now you got to a good starting point.

Typically, it is said that a cycle is finished when there is zero ammonia, zero nitrite and a modicum of nitrate. At that stage some reefers will take their tank for a 'test drive' once they see zero ammonia (and zero Nitrite and c.20 nitrate) by adding ammonia once more to the tank to get to 2ppm. The idea is that this will take just 24 hours to clear if the tank is fully cycled(0 NH3 and 0 NO2). Once this is done then you can add fish. Again this is all sped up with the use of bacteria!

There are a few things you can do to help... keep salinity lower then normal as bacteria use more energy in more saline solutions. Keep water slightly warmer as it promotes bacterial multiplication. Oh and keep your lights off.

Check out DR TIM HOVANEC's MACNA presentation on cycling your tank with bacteria.



Hope this helps



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Thanks Rob! What puzzled me after dosing so much Dr Tim ammonia I can't still get a reading of ammonia levels using the salifert. 

I've done fw set up and using an api kit. No problems with the ammonia levels. Able to detect. In this casebits the opp. Thought that salifert test kits are more reliable than api. 

Yes yes. I've not run the chiller as of now. I'll wait for the cycle to complete during this cb period. Got all the time on hand. Haha

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Yes is weird. You should have between 2 and 3ppm ammonia by now. But as both@Indeco and I indicated above, testing ammonia is less important now, you should focus on nitrates (nitrite if you have the kit and want a little more info). Just wait, stuff is happening.

So this is the initial cycle. Post this phase you should be thinking of adding a few fish. Clowns, then a six line, then a bristletooth Tang. Keep the lights off! Start your ATS (if you have one) as soon as you can. I would start to think about getting your tank stable. Get into a Rhythm (if your maintenace rhythm stays the same your numbers will stay the same).

Good luck. Exciting times ahead!

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I started dosing 2 drops of bio s. Tank already cloudy. 
I'll shall stop dosing for Now. Hopefully the cloudiness will pass after the cycle. 
10 to 15 drops is sufficient for the whole water vol during the second week of cycle? 
10 to 15 drops is not to increase the ammonia in the tank but to feed the bacteria to contiune the cycle.

If ur tank is already cloudy then don't dose Bio s and wait a while.

Don't worry about ammonia or nitrite, look at NO3.

Just remember after cycle start adding live stock slowly and avoid adding big fish else u will have mini cycle.

For ammonia reading, normally I will buy the seachem ammonia badge to ensure no NH3 is in the tank.

NH4 is not harmful to fish.

Relax and stay cool, after this CB period ur tank will be cycled for live stock.


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3 hours ago, Indeco said:

10 to 15 drops is not to increase the ammonia in the tank but to feed the bacteria to contiune the cycle.

If ur tank is already cloudy then don't dose Bio s and wait a while.

Don't worry about ammonia or nitrite, look at NO3.

Just remember after cycle start adding live stock slowly and avoid adding big fish else u will have mini cycle.

For ammonia reading, normally I will buy the seachem ammonia badge to ensure no NH3 is in the tank.

NH4 is not harmful to fish.

Relax and stay cool, after this CB period ur tank will be cycled for live stock.

 

Thanks bro. My tank cleared up today. I'll keep dosing the bio s 2 drops a day for a week and I'll dose the ammonia to feed the bac. Thanks for the insight. Been reading and there's alot of ways using the ammonia. But do not know what suits my tank or the AF system I'm running. 

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Thanks to both of you I had some nitrates today. Will carry on dosing bac for the remaining few days and I'll doswnthe ammonia to see if the nitrogen cycle is in full. Effect 

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My nitrates is about 10ppm consistently for a few days now. I've dosed about 20 drops of ammonia but have not seen the nitrates increasing. 

Could it be that I have siporax and maxspect bio blocks which removed some nitrates in the system? 

Till date it's only been 6 days into the cycle. 

I've read that salifert ammonia kit won't be able to detect low levels of ammonia in the tank. Red Sea kit able to test for it. Quite hesistant to buy the kit IMHO. 

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To add they extended the cb period till June. So no sales of livestock till this epidemic blows over. 
So. Till then do. I. Just dose and feed the tnak with ammonia? 

yes. just keep up the routine and the bacteria will continue to populate and not starve. then perhaps when the cb ends you could do a major water change and get all the benefits of a clean tank that’s ready for the first few fish


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My nitrates is about 10ppm consistently for a few days now. I've dosed about 20 drops of ammonia but have not seen the nitrates increasing. 
Could it be that I have siporax and maxspect bio blocks which removed some nitrates in the system? 
Till date it's only been 6 days into the cycle. 
I've read that salifert ammonia kit won't be able to detect low levels of ammonia in the tank. Red Sea kit able to test for it. Quite hesistant to buy the kit IMHO. 
Sounds like all is going well. 10ppm is good at this stage. Ammonia is still not at detectable levels (or dodgy test kit haha). Are you seeing any brown diatoms on your sand now? This is the next stage, as you may start to see the diatoms and possibly a brown algea appear. This will last for a few weeks.

Adding Ammonia, agree with Mr Soggy, you can add a little to simulate fish in the tank.

Reefgrrl produced a daily video of a typical cycle. Is interesting to see (just remember each tank is slightly different)


Regarding what to do next. Think of the fish stock. Here is a "stocking strategy"


Also I would start to educate yourself on the basics of salinity, Alk, calcium and Magnesium.


All the best.

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Thanks Rob. 

Most reefer avoid salifert ammonia kit as stated by the US reefers. It could not test for lower range of total ammonia in the system. Hence they leaned towards the red sea ammonia kit which is more desirable ay this stage. 

As of now I don't have any gha or diatoms breakout. I don't know if the AF bio s and siporax are maintaining the nitrate low or what. Haha. I've read many reviews of AF sys that undergoing the cycling phase don't have any diatoms or gha. 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi all, 

It's been 16 days since I started with the cycle

Ammonia 1.5 (just dosed ammonium chloride this morning) 

Nitrate 15

Now. I'm wondering why my tank have been cloudy for 5 days. Bacteria bloom? Thought it'll. Subside within a few days and I have not dose any more bio s upon reaching day 14 as instructed. 

I did level off the sand once as there due to patches from the wave makers. Doubt will create that bad of a cloudiness 

 

 

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I would think it is a bacterial bloom, most likely from ammonia build up, I would stop adding anything to the tank or at least cut down. Maybe a drop or two once in a while is ok if still no fish. Do you have diatoms? any slimy brown algae forming? Is your skimmer up and running now, and pulling out brown liquid? (Remember Keep those lights off haha). All the best.

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17 minutes ago, R0B said:

I would think it is a bacterial bloom, most likely from ammonia build up, I would stop adding anything to the tank or at least cut down. Maybe a drop or two once in a while is ok if still no fish. Do you have diatoms? any slimy brown algae forming? Is your skimmer up and running now, and pulling out brown liquid? (Remember Keep those lights off haha). All the best.

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No diatoms or algae. Only white film on glass when I'm cleaning it. I haven't run any skimmer chiller or mechanical filtration. 

Yes yes I won't feed those algae with those lights. Hahaha. 

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I'm. Assuming my ammonia is 0 referencing to the ammonia chart and my nitrates are right below 50ppm, that my tank is now Fully cycled

What's bothering me is my tank is cloudy af. FYI,been cloudy for more than a week. I'm not certain if I should dose a few drops Of ammonia to feed the bac or to let the bac bloom clear off. Or should I run thr skimmer hoping For the best

 

 

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Tank is looking better now. Slight cloudiness still. Algae bloom is clearing UK after running the skimmer for 3 days.

Out of curiosity I bought a nitrite test kit. Have tested twice in 3 days period.
Nitrite maintained at 0.25ppm whereas nitrates have doubled the amount from 50 to 100ppm.

I know that the nitrification process is ongoing and should avoid any water changes till the cycle is over, but with such high nitrates will it stall the cycle? Or should I dose the bio s to increase the bacteria strain in the system for 2 to 3 days. I'm using maxspect nano blocks and siporax as my bio medias.

Your inputs are much appreciated! 

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Tank is looking better now. Slight cloudiness still. Algae bloom is clearing UK after running the skimmer for 3 days.

Out of curiosity I bought a nitrite test kit. Have tested twice in 3 days period.
Nitrite maintained at 0.25ppm whereas nitrates have doubled the amount from 50 to 100ppm.

I know that the nitrification process is ongoing and should avoid any water changes till the cycle is over, but with such high nitrates will it stall the cycle? Or should I dose the bio s to increase the bacteria strain in the system for 2 to 3 days. I'm using maxspect nano blocks and siporax as my bio medias.
Your inputs are much appreciated! 

I doubt the high nitrate reading will stall the cycle, if anything it just means the population of bacteria processing ammonia and nitrite into nitrate is rapidly growing. if there’s no livestock in your system yet i would just continue as per normal until you read 0 ammonia and nitrites


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Thanks for the reply. So. Do I dose ammonia or bio s to the system? Or should I just let it run its course till nitrite is zero then I dose a few drops of ammonia to feed the bacteria? 

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Thanks for the reply. So. Do I dose ammonia or bio s to the system? Or should I just let it run its course till nitrite is zero then I dose a few drops of ammonia to feed the bacteria? 

i think just keep doing what you’re doing as per the bio s/ammonia instructions until you can add your first livestock. in this scenario most of the time your tank is close to or already cycled so just maintaining a decent bacteria population is good enough


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