Liquid ammonium chloride lets you quickly, easily start the nitrogen cycle in your new aquarium. Reagent grade ammonium chloride solution allows "fishless cycling" that effectively establishes beneficial nitrifying bacteria using chemical ammonia as a food source rather than fish food or live fish.
With Dr Tim's Ammonium Chloride Solution, you will rest assured knowing you're adding a safe source of ammonia (with no scents or other dangerous additives). Plus, you can easily track just how much ammonia you're adding to your tank; you simply add 4 drops per gallon of aquarium water.
Simply add DrTim's Ammonium Chloride Solution to your aquarium water, take daily measurements of ammonia and nitrite levels with a
test kit, and you'll be able to safely add fish to your aquarium in no time! 2 oz treats up to 1,200 gallons.
You can also use
Dr Tim's Ammonium Chloride Solution with DrTim's Aquatics One and Only Live Nitrifying Bacteria to further cut cycling time.
cycling products and bacterial additives.
Learn more about the nitrogen cycle here.
Use to add ammonia to the aquarium during a fishless cycling process.
Directions: Add 4 drops of solution per gallon of aquarium water to achieve an ammonia-nitrogen (NH3-N) concentration of 2 mg/L-N (2 ppm). Do not exceed 5 mg/L-NH3-N in the aquarium during cycling. Use an ammonia test kit to monitor your progress.
Tips on Using Ammonium Chloride
Using ammonium chloride: This is the other most popular way to cycle a fishless aquarium. Simply add chemical ammonia to the aquarium water and let the process cycle. The benefits of this method are that the tank does not cloud-up with a bacteria bloom and you don't have to look at an aquarium with dead cut up shrimp or fish on the bottom. Plus, you can somewhat accurately determine the amount of ammonia being added to the tank. The drawbacks to this method are that the proper ammonia solution can be hard to find and when you do find an ammonia solution you may not be able to easily determine its concentration.
Why do you need proper ammonia? Most of the ammonia solutions that are easy to find at grocery or hardware stores are for household cleaning use. They usually contain an additive for scent or something else. Never use anything but pure ammonia. Also, many of the ammonia cleaning solutions which have a heavy ammonia odor also have very high pH and the smell is ammonia gas. Over time, the ammonia is leaving the solution so the concentration is changing (getting lower). Most start out between 4 and 11% ammonia but rarely is the concentration given on the bottle so it can be hard to figure-out how much to add. If you are going to use an ammonia solution, proceed cautiously at first until you have an idea how much ammonia is actually being put into the aquarium water.
For this, you need to be able to accurately measure the amount of the liquid you are putting into the water. Add some solution to your aquarium, let it mix and then use your test kit to measure the ammonia concentration in the water. You want to have an initial ammonia-nitrogen concentration of 2 to 3 mg/L (ppm). Do not go above 5 mg/L.
Whatever the source of your ammonia, the following is the way to proceed. Add the ammonia solution to the aquarium so that the ammonia concentration is between 2 and 3 mg/L (but, as mentioned, do not go above 5 mg/L). Record the amount of liquid you added. If you are not using Dr Tim's One and Only Live Nitrifying Bacteria, wait 2 or 3 days and measure the ammonia and nitrite. Continue measuring ammonia and nitrite every 2 or 3 days until you start to see some nitrite. This is a sign that the ammonia-oxidizing bacteria are starting to work. Add half the initial amount of ammonia you added to the water on day 1.
Continue measuring ammonia and nitrite every 2 or 3 days. Around day 9 to 12, the ammonia will probably be below 1 mg/L, maybe even 0, but nitrite will be present. Nitrite does not spike until somewhere between days 14 and 20. You want to be careful adding more ammonia because you do not want the nitrite-nitrogen over 5 mg/L, as this will start to poison the nitrite-oxidizing bacteria. Add a little ammonia every few days (1/4 dose) making sure the nitrite does not go above 5 mg/L.
Once you start to see the nitrite decrease, it will drop pretty fast. The cycle is completed when you can add the full dose of ammonia (2 to 3 mg/L-N) and overnight it all disappears to nitrate with no sign of nitrite. Now you can start to add fish.
Using Dr Tim's Aquatics One and Only Live Bacteria: The best and easiest way to fishless cycle is to combine adding the ammonium chloride with live nitrifying bacteria. When used in combination aquariums will cycle in less than one week. Again, do not add too much ammonia. Dr Tim's Aquatics makes it easy by providing a bottle of reagent grade ammonium chloride that is at a concentration such that adding 4 drops of solution to 1 gallon of aquarium water will result in an ammonia-nitrogen concentration of 2 mg/L (ppm).
The procedure is to add the ammonium chloride solution, shake the bottle of nitrifying bacteria well and add it to the aquarium. Measure ammonia and nitrite the next day and record. Add 1/2 dose and wait 24 hours and measure again. By day 5 to 7, you should be able to add 4 drops per gallon and the next day ammonia and nitrite will be 0.
- IMPORTANT - Do not let the ammonia or nitrite concentration get above 5 ppm. If either does get above 5 ppm, do water changes to lower the concentration.
- You do not have to add ammonia everyday - the bacteria do not have to be fed every day.
- Do not let the pH drop below 7. If it does perform a partial water change to bring the pH back up.
- Do not add ammonia removers to bind the ammonia - overdosing with these products will just increase the cycling time.