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 Post subject: First time cycling
PostPosted: May 12th, '18, 08:02 

Joined: Apr 30th, '18, 03:40
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Well, not actually, but my first time at this scale (250 gallons plus the water in the gravel bed, grow bed and sump (so maybe 300+?)

Anyway. I am trying to cycle ammonia but the kit I have is now empty of ammonia crystals and the ammonia level has not risen above 4.0 ppm. Is that going to be enough to get the Nitrites cycle started and sustained through the Nitrate cycle? I thought I needed to get it up to around 8.0?

Assuming not, what are good (and readily available) sources of ammonia to use in aquaponics? I am pre fish at this point so no urea in the system (unless I add it myself... I read that is "ok").

Assuming that I go the route of personally adding ammonia... how much is too much or how much is enough?

Thanks in advance,


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 Post subject: Re: First time cycling
PostPosted: May 12th, '18, 10:02 
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4ppm should be fine. The point is to have a source of ammonia that can support the population expansion across the system over the period of a few weeks. A frequent source of ammonia is probably better than a large dose anyway.

8ppm seems too high.

You don't need anything fancy. Put some plants in the media bed and simply water them with a liquid fertiliser - that will have heaps of urea/ammonia and the plants will go well. You can use it later for other plants and/or as a supplement if needed. At the same time your plants will establish and be ready to deal with the nitrate load.

Take your measurements (pH, Ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrates) and look for signs of the Ammonia dropping after a day and nitrites initially being present then no longer there even if you water with the LF (that is the sign cycling is complete).

The ammonia dose will make no difference to getting bacteria established and the system cycled quicker.
The system is ready once you have established a resilient level of bacteria (2 types involved) and they can respond to the required ammonia load.

Darren ( dlf_perth )

May the fish sh*t and the plants grow.....

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