05-22-2007, 10:07 AM
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It'd be like building a house, closing on it, and moving in before the toilets were installed, the ventilation and filters installed. No one would think of doing that, in fact it wouldn't pass inspection.
When you put together a tank, you're building a new house for fish. I think they deserve the same, especially since it's SO easy... what could be easier than a few drops of ammonia a day? Put in an Ammonia Alert and you don't even have to test for a while. They should get to live in houses where their toilets and sewage system and "ventilation" is established too. :/
That being said, the biggest biggest caution here is to make sure you have a PURE bottle of household ammonia. It's getting very difficult to find them, and now they add ingredients listed like "quality control agents!" What?! The most recommended brand is ACE Hardware's Janitorial Strength. If you find a bottle, give it a shake, make sure it doesn't bubble or form. Then open and give it a slight sniff - it should be horrific, not dyed or perfumed or pleasant. And it should feel and look like water, not slippery or coated.
And then do small drips at a time, because you don't want the ammonia to get too high, otherwise you may have to do a water change or two. (Compared to fishy cycling, that's not a big deal anyhow.)