Ammonia Calculator for Aquariums

I included this calculator as part of my article on performing a fishless cycle but wanted to make it a separate post for easier access.

This is a simple calculator.  Make sure to select your units (gallons or liters) as a first step (based on your preference).  The concentration is dependent on the ammonia you use and will usually be between 5% and 10%.

The output is in mL and in drops (useful for small quantities of nano aquariums).

Source for Ammonia:

For aquariums, make sure to use Ammonia that is free of impurities (soaps, dyes, surfactants).  I only know of two that are confirmed suitable: Ace hardware (if you can go into a store) and Ammonia Clear (available on Amazon).  Ace ammonia is 10% concentration; Ammonia Clear is 5% concentration.

22 thoughts on “Ammonia Calculator for Aquariums

  1. Nate – perhaps they have changed their formula, but the Ammonia Clear you link to on Amazon appears to be 1%. I purchased it and used your calculator at 5% concentrate for 5ppm and couldn’t get close.

    According to comments on the product, it is 1%. When I used your calculator at that concentration it was at 5ppm in no time.

    Thanks for this blog. You’ve made me look like a nano tank expert!

  2. Has the link to the calculator broken? It’s not appearing anymore?

    • Thank you so much for pointing that out. I fixed a problem with the plugin and hopefully it is back up.

      • Yes it’s back thanks Nate! Its so useful, your whole site is for that matter! It’s helped me so much

  3. Hello, I stumbled on this calculator and it is going to come in real handy.

    I have reviewed many ammonia cycle prprocesses and am confused to which is the best, most stable and correct method to use.

    Could you be as kind to email me easy to follow detailed step by step instructions on how to complete the process you use?

  4. What about ammonium chloride products, such as DrTim’s. No options to accommodate these type of fishless cycling ammonia additives.

    • That is an aquarium specific product. If you choose to use something like that, just use the directions that come with the product.

  5. I can’t seem to find out the concentration of Ammonia in Austin’s Clear. Their website says 1% to 2.5%, but this can’t be right since my ammonia levels were off the chart when calculating 2.5%. Does anyone know the Austin’s Clear true Ammonia percentage?

    • I contacted the company, because the % is not listed anywhere on the bottle. They told me it was 2%.

  6. Hi, Nate. Great guide. Thanks for writing it. However the calculator site is no longer working. Are you able to fix it? Thanks in advance!

  7. I’m in the middle of cycling an aquarium at the moment and am using your calculator to dose ammonia with transfer pipettes. Every time I add ammonia I test an hour or two later to confirm the level. It’s bang-on every time. Thanks for the great calculator!

    • Thanks for the feedback! So glad you have tested it and it’s accurate.

  8. The ammonia clear material safety data sheet indicates ammonia between 0.5 to 2.5%:
    “1336-21-6 0,50-2,50 % Hidróxido de amonio”
    Information from their web site.

  9. Great calculator. I have read many pages on how to cycle but few give enough information on how much ammonia to add, just a few drops and check levels. This took me quite a long time to get to a level I needed. I will be sure to use this when I dose again as it will be quicker. My fear is that I may have overdosed now as it took me more than suggested to get to my test to read at 4 ppm, time to verify with a new kit.

    • Update, after several days my ammonia came down to zero with no water change. Yeah!!! I used the calculator and dosed appropriately back to 4 PPM and had the level return to 0 in 24 hours. I did use filter media from my old tank and some ornaments to seed the new tank. I guess sit back and wait was good advice. I was very worried the overdosing by 4-6 times was going to kill all the bacteria, but they bounced back and took care of the ammonia. Nitrites followed suit, I’m cycled in. Thanks for providing the calculator.

      • That is great! It’s interesting how it just turns a corner and all the sudden – it’s cycled.

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