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PostPosted: Oct 16th, '13, 01:04 
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We started an IBC system in our garage last month.

(A) How much ammonia should we be adding?

(B) How often should we be adding it?

Thanks


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PostPosted: Oct 16th, '13, 08:05 
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Anywhere between 0.5ppm and 2.0ppm is sufficient, there is absolutely no need to go any higher than 2.0ppm, it will not speed up the cycling process, in fact higher Amm levels can impede the process.

Depending on what form the Ammonia is in it may take up three days for it to show fully after adding, so add a small amount and test every day with your Amm test kit. About 1 slightly heaped teaspoon of Urea granules per 1000L, or 1 teaspoon of liquid Ammonia (ensure liquid Amm doesn't contain other cleaning additives). If after 3 days it hasn't reached somewhere between 0.5 and 2.0ppm, then add a little more and repeat the process.

It won't matter if it takes a week or two to get the Amm to an acceptable level, even the smallest trace in the water will help the developing bacteria colony, be patient and don't over do it.

Cheers.

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PostPosted: Oct 16th, '13, 08:15 
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First, do you have a test kit so you can check progress?

It doesn't ake much to get things rolling - you can just pee in it if you want - best way is to pee in a jar and leave it a couple of days then pour it in - the urea process works quicker that way. Then add it in to the FT and sit back and wait.

You will see ammonia first, then after a few days (or longer sometimes) some nitrites appear. A few days (or longer) after that you should see nitrates start. You will also notice as nitrites appear the ammonia starts to drop and as nitrates appear the nitrites will drop.

Doesn't take much and you should only add the ammonia for a few days at most - if you keep adding it you can delay your cycling


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PostPosted: Oct 16th, '13, 09:31 
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Thank you for the responses. I'm thinking I'm adding too much ammonia, actually.

I do have a test kit and use it a couple times a week. So I should just add some ammonia at the beginning and then just let it cycle for weeks at a time, with no additional ammonia?


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PostPosted: Oct 16th, '13, 09:47 
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Correct. Until your system has the bacteria, adding more ammonia just increases the concentration - at a certain point the ammonia will prevent the nitrates bacteria from happening and you will get a lot of nitrites but no nitrates until the ammonia levels come back down.

Your posts show a contradiction - 'adding too much' doesn't seem to fit with 'add some ammonia at the beginning' unless you are thinking of starting over with fresh water? I wouldn't do that, just stop adding ammonia and wait a bit. To coin a phrase, "It may not happen overnight but it will happen" :D


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PostPosted: Oct 16th, '13, 09:53 
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No contradiction: I've been adding more and more ammonia over the last 4 weeks when I should've just added a little at the outset and waited. I was under the impression ammonia had to be continually added every couple days. Oops!


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PostPosted: Oct 16th, '13, 10:09 
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How are your tests? Perhaps post some results so we can see where you are up to?


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PostPosted: Oct 16th, '13, 14:12 
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When I first started, I kept hearing "If you add too much urea the system will crash"

Didn't really make much sense to me so I cycled my system at 40 tsp/1000 litres of urea.

It worked beautifully and the lettuce that it grew during the fishless cycling was the best.

This is a summary of what I did.


Quote:
My system consists of
fish tank 1500 litres
sump tank 800 litres
grow beds 3x 600 litres.

I dosed the system initially at 40 teaspoons of urea per 1000 lit of system

day 1 was July 15 2010 water temp for the test 9+/- 3 C.

day 4 ammonia 0.5
day 13 ammonia 4 . . nitrite 0.1
day 16 ammonia 8 . . nitrate 0.5
day 22 ammonia 8 . . nitrite 5 . . nitrate 5
day 30 ammonia 8 . . nitrite 5 . . nitrate 80
day 42 ammonia 0 . . nitrite 0.25 . . nitrate 40




I think, if you have already added the ammonia, just sit back and relax.

Once your your ammonia/ nitrites are zero and your nitrate comes down, throw in your fish.



cheers Lou

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FISHTANK 1500 LITRES
GROWBEDS 3 X 600 LITRES
SUMP 800 LITRES
FISH 60 TROUT


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