View Full Version : Raised Ammonia Level

02-18-2011, 05:36 AM
I recently added CO2, increased my lighting to 5 watts per gallon and started (20%) to use R/O water in my 55 gallon tank. The PH has dropped from 7.8 to 6.8 which is what my PH controller is set at. Prior to these changes, ammonia level was at zero. Now it is between .5 - 1.0 PPM. Do any of these changes affect the whole system in a way that would cause a rise in ammonia?

02-18-2011, 05:40 AM
What kind of fish are in the tank? any dying plants or rotting material in the tank?

What are you using to test the ammonia? Free ammonia or total ammonia is at 1.0 ppm?

02-18-2011, 05:47 AM
I'm not sure what is difference in the types of ammonia. I'm using an API ammonia test kit. The tanks has 4 large angelfish , 3 roseline sharks, and 4 rainbow fish.

02-18-2011, 05:51 AM
I don't know what caused the rise in ammonia, but I know you need to get it down.

Recently bought the seachem test kit which tests for free ammonia (this is what damages fish and is toxic) and total ammonia (almost harmless ammonium). Adding a dose of prime converts the ammonia to ammonium, so that would eliminate the threat to the fish as you find the source of the problem. Also, ammonium (NH4+) is eaten by the BB, just like the ammonia (NH3), so no fear of starving your BB.

Lady Hobbs
02-18-2011, 01:10 PM
Cleaning the filter too much might have removed some ammonia. I assume you have added none of those fish recently and you did not change your substrate?

You need to get rid of that ammonia tho and get it to around .25. Not thinking your 4 big angels will get along well together, either, but that's another matter outside of this topic.

02-20-2011, 11:27 PM
The drop in pH probably caused the biological filter to work less efficiently, so needs time to increase the population to process the same amount of waste the current populations processed. Optimal pH for the bacteria is ~8.0 and temps 77-82. It will recover in time but treat the tank like it's cycling all over again, performing frequent water changes and monitoring the ammonia/nitrite/nitrate levels until it recovers.