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Is "Long Life 1L Cloudy Ammonia" OK for fishless circulation?

Discussion in 'General Aquaponics discussion - Aquaponics system ' started by uqji, Jan 7, 2017.

  1. uqji

    uqji New Member

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    I got this from local Bunlings shop, the only ammonia for sale.

    I add about 200ml into my 600L IBC tank a week ago. Ammonia reading shows about 4ppm. No nitrite reading so far.

    I heard this type of product for cleaning purpose can contain detergent and bad for fish.

    Anyone had experience on this, good or bad?
     
  2. Yabbies4me

    Yabbies4me Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi uqji, Welcome to the forum!

    It's in there now!... best to ask before, not after.

    There are soooo many options that are preferable to cloudy Ammonia, ie: Seasol Powerfeed, standard Seasol, pelletised urea, even beer filtered through your kidneys, otherwise known as Peeponics.

    The best option, IMO, for adding Ammonia to a new system to initiate the cycling process is Seasol Powerfeed (also available from Bunnings), not the standard Seasol. Add a capful every day, test the Ammonia level 24 hours later, repeat this process daily until the Ammonia level is somewhere between 1.0 - 2.0ppm, that's all that is required.

    The Seasol Powerfeed will provide Ammonia, but will also provide nutrients for seedlings, so you can plant the system out from day one. This way the seedlings are established and growing when the system finishes cycling in 3-4 weeks and the Nitrates (N03) start being produced.

    As far as the effect of cloudy Ammonia on fish... I dunno???... I don't personally know of anyone that's used it. Where did u get your info from about how to cycle a system?

    P.S. Nitrites (N02) will normally take around two weeks to show up when cycling a system this time of year, possibly three.
     
  3. uqji

    uqji New Member

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    Thanks for the reply, @Yabbie4me.
    I got the idea from youtube and local aquaponics shops. Tried Peeponics and felt its bit slow and I don't drink much beer. :)
    I guess I will just let it run for another week and see. I don't see any foaming or feel the soap water thing so that's a good sign, but couldn't find any info on the product ingredient neither.

    I also heard adding some local lake water helps?
     
  4. Terra

    Terra Active Member

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    Hi Uqji
    youtube is great for visual inspiration but your best useful info will come from the long term established forums
    Forums are full of people that have lots of experience and have made their share of mistakes and learnt from them
    I would tip your water out and start again with a process like Yabbs has described
    Nothing worse than battling away getting nowhere and the disappointment that comes with that
    Have fun
     
  5. Mel Redcap

    Mel Redcap Active Member

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    Cloudy ammonia has soap in it - that's what makes it 'cloudy'. Definitely don't put lake water into your system, it won't add anything good that you don't already have and you run the risk of introducing parasites - anything from ich to leeches!
     
  6. Yabbies4me

    Yabbies4me Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Even a small amount of Ammonia will start the cycling process, and higher levels of Ammonia won't speed up the process.

    When it comes to peeponics, while beer is obviously the preferred choice, followed closely by coffee, any other beverage, even water will actually do the job.

    Also, as has been mentioned, "seeding" a system with bacteria by adding lake/pond/aquarium water etc, is not desirable as it can add disease and parasites to what would otherwise be a healthy system, and it does very little, if anything to speed up the cycling process. The bacteria will show up naturally, on their own, once there is an Ammonia source in the water. I had a customer start two identical systems, side-by-side, both with the same level of ammonia. Into one of them he also added a $35 bottle of beneficial bacteria by a leading aquarium brand, that system took 20 days to cycle, the un-seeded one took 21 days.
     
  7. uqji

    uqji New Member

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    Thank you guys. It's really been helpful here. I've dumped the water with cloudy ammonia and been following yabbies procedure using powerfeed since the weekend. So 20 days counting down . .....
     
  8. Yabbies4me

    Yabbies4me Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The detergents in the cloudy Ammonia probably wouldn't have been good for fish when they went in, but I'm not sure how it would've affected bacteria development. You may find it'll be less than 20 days, as the bacteria had probably already started colonising the system.
     
  9. uqji

    uqji New Member

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    Here is my system under circulation. I am using 1050L/h pump and a bell siphon.
    The full cycle takes nine and a half minutes.
    Should I lower the flow rate and make it pump slower to get longer cycle time.?
     

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  10. Yabbies4me

    Yabbies4me Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Nine and a half minutes is fine.

    Your F&D cycle time is determined by the diameter of the standpipe in the siphon. The water flow into the GB has to be tuned to get the siphon working, too slow or too fast and the siphon won't work. The larger the standpipe diameter, the more flow needed to get the siphon working.

    A well designed siphon kit does give a reasonable operating window in regards to flow rate required for the siphon to work, by slightly reducing or increasing the flow rate you mate be able to slow or speed up the cycles times by a minute or two and still remain inside that operating window. However, a 9.5 minute cycle time in an IBC grow bed would suggest you have a 25mm standpipe, in which case I would suggest that 9.5 minutes is probably very close to the low end of the flow rate window for that siphon anyway.
     
  11. uqji

    uqji New Member

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    Thanks
    My standpipe is actually 40mm, however i can't say the siphon was well designed because i use a thin plastic bottle for the bell. It takes a couple of minutes to fully kick off the siphon and a couple to cut it off, which probably the reason that stretches the cycle time that long.
     
  12. Yabbies4me

    Yabbies4me Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Holy cow!... I'm surprised a 1,050L pump even flows enough water to initiate a siphon with a 40mm standpipe.
     
  13. Mel Redcap

    Mel Redcap Active Member

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    ...if anything, that plastic bottle probably makes the siphon work better! It's lighter than what people usually use so I'd guess it shimmies around a bit and disrupts the water flow. I've had siphons operating on the lower edge of their operating window that would sit without initiating for several minutes, but would always kick off immediately if I wobbled the bell.

    Uqji, if you want to drop the water flow rate through your bed, you could try replacing your standpipe. No need to change the fittings, but if you use a couple of reducers so that it narrows from 40mm at the base down to a narrower pipe - you can get 40mm to 25mm reducers if you're using pressure pipe, that sort of thing - and then expands out again at the top, you'll probably find that you can turn your pump down or divert some of its flow back into the fish tank for aeration without killing your siphon.
     
  14. uqji

    uqji New Member

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    OK that explained why my 65mm pvc bell (cost me almost $15) doesn't seem to work.
    You guys are experts!
     
  15. Mel Redcap

    Mel Redcap Active Member

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    :D Yabbies is an expert; I just read a lot and am good at remembering interesting facts!
     
  16. uqji

    uqji New Member

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    Hi guys today is the ninth day since I changed the water and followed Yabbie's method.
    I am already having nitrite and nitrate readings now. Thanks for you guys.
    I added 1 cap of Powerfeed each day for four days and now I am reading 2ppm's NH3, 0.25ppm's NO2 and 5-10ppm's NO3.
    I guess now I should just wait the NH3 and NO2 readings to go zero and get some fish. Excited!
    I am thinking to start with 10-20 silver perch fingerlings and a few goldfish just for the color. Cheers
     
  17. Yabbies4me

    Yabbies4me Super Moderator Staff Member

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  18. Yabbies4me

    Yabbies4me Super Moderator Staff Member

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    What is your wet gravel volume?... That determines how many fish you should be putting in the system.

    For example, an IBC type GB with a 300mm gravel depth will have a total gravel volume of around 320-330L, but when the max flooded level in the GB is set to about 250-260mm depth (you should have a 40-50mm dry layer to avoid excess evaporation and/or algae build-up and salt build on the surface of the gravel) it will have a wet gravel volume of around 270-280L. The wet gravel is where the all important bacteria live and is referred to as your bio-filtration.
    .
     
  19. uqji

    uqji New Member

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    Thanks.
    I put six bags of 50L clay balls. I only have 20 to 30mm dry layer.
     

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