Setting up a freshwater aquarium


I’m working on setting up a new 29 gallon freshwater aquarium. Right now I’m cycling the tank, or more specifically, I’m performing a fishless nitrogen cycle. I’ve added about 4.4ml of a 10% ammonium solution to reach a concentration of 4ppm in the tank. This should be adequate to start building of the good bacteria that will turn the ammonia into nitrite. From there, a second bacteria will build up that will turn the nitrite into a less harmful nitrate.

While I’ve had several tanks in the past, I didn’t know anything about “nitrates” and “nitrites” back then, so this is really all new and exciting to me. I’m a science guy, so all this chemistry stuff is right up my alley! For water testing, I purchased an API Freshwater Master Test Kit. It works quite well.

Here’s some helpful links that I’ve gathered thus far:

Fishless nitrogen cycle – great explanation of how to do it

Calculator – for determining amount of ammonia to add to reach desired PPM

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