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Thread: Ammonia problem

  1. Question Ammonia problem


    0 Not allowed!
    I have a 20 gallon freshwater tank that has been established over 5 years. I have never had a problem with ammonia but I tested it the other day with the API test and it turned dark green rather quickly. I have the ammonia alert in the tank and it never changed color. The other day I did a partial water change 25 %( cleaned gravel) and used stress coat in the water. I recently read that chloramines will turn to ammonia and may cause a spike. I also added some cycle.
    I have an aqua clear 200 with an ammonia removal cartridge (I recently change it when I got the spike) carbon and foam installed. I have 3 2-3 inch fish in the tank and I have also cut down on feeding.

    I decided to use the SeaChem multi test for ammonia and the free ammonia was zero and the combined was still high. My fish are acting normally and shown no signs of stress. I decided to do a partial water change today with water that I left out for over 24 hrs and I did not use any conditioners.

    The Ph. is 6.0 but I was told that if you have an ammonia problem you should keep it on the low side.
    Temp is 76 degrees- It is hot in the house today.
    Nitrites are zero but I do not have a test for nitrates at this time.

    Do you have a suggestions or am I being overly concerned?

  2. #2

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    If you replaced all of your filter media, than I would say that would be the mostly likely cause of the ammonia spike. practically all of the bacteria that we will grow in your tanks to keep the water safe will be found in the filter media

    I would suggest to handle this situation just as you would when cycling with fish. Complete water changes to keep the ammonia and / or nitrites at 0.25ppm. Just make sure you change enough water to keep it at 0.25ppm

    There is a link below in my sig to a thread here that explains how to cycle with fish in case you would like some more information.
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by twinsbur View Post
    The other day I did a partial water change 25 %( cleaned gravel) and used stress coat in the water. I recently read that chloramines will turn to ammonia and may cause a spike. I also added some cycle - What does that mean - you added cycle? Bottled bacteria maybe?.
    I have an aqua clear 200 with an ammonia removal cartridge (I recently change it when I got the spike) carbon and foam installed - What removes ammonia is changing the water to lower it. I have 3 2-3 inch fish in the tank and I have also cut down on feeding.

    The Ph. is 6.0 but I was told that if you have an ammonia problem you should keep it on the low side - it's best to not fiddle with the pH - that can stress fish out - after 5yrs your fish are used to your pH LOL - unless you have been fiddling with it all along.
    Temp is 76 degrees- It is hot in the house today. - temp in your house shouldn't affect ammonia in the tank
    Nitrites are zero but I do not have a test for nitrates at this time.
    +1 with Cliff - Please see my responses above
    46 gal fw tank with black skirt tetras, neon tetras, spotted corys, cherry barbs, otoclinus, snails & 4 amano shrimp - plastic & live plants
    5 gal QT
    Remember: Our job is to take care of the water our fish live in

  4. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks for the Advice.

    I added bottled bacteria to the tank. I do not change all of the filter media at the same time so the bacteria is not disturbed.
    I will do a partial water change tomorrow and see what happens

  5. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    there is still a question of how often you change the filter media. Most here never change it but instead occasionally rinse gently in old tank water (not tap water which would kill the beneficial bacteria)
    you stated you used water that was not conditioned that you let set for 24 hours. If your water has chlorine, even if you let the water set, you should still use a water conditioner such as Seachems Prime. Chlorine in your water will kill your beneficial bacteria.
    30 g FW planted:corys, ABNP, blue angel, harleys, zebra danios, nerites & mystery snails
    15 g FW planted: crown tail betta, neons, snails
    90 g FW semi planted: Blood Parrots, severum, Jurupari, EBJD, congos, kribs, clown pleco, snails
    90 Gal Journal: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ad.php?t=93939
    Fishless cycling: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ead.php?t=5640
    Cycling with fish: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ad.php?t=36492

  6. #6

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    Default


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    +1 to conditioner. Unless you have well water (which I don't think you do at a pH of 6), it's almost necessary to add a good water conditioner. You never have control over what the city is doing to the water in the treatment center. Have you tested your tap water for ammonia? It may be the source.
    Warning; Bulldog Pleco guarding my Sons tank now..

    Please remember; every keystroke has a consequence.

  7. #7

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Strider199 View Post
    +1 to conditioner. Unless you have well water (which I don't think you do at a pH of 6), it's almost necessary to add a good water conditioner. You never have control over what the city is doing to the water in the treatment center. Have you tested your tap water for ammonia? It may be the source.
    Its a very good point on the ammonia out of the tap. My ammonia levels are zero until I do a water change, I then see a small spike which is generally back to zero within a few hours. Your best bet none the less is water change, get rid of the ammonia (unless its from the tap). On my Fresh (75G) I do 50% a week. Until you track down the culprit, keep changing the water, pointless letting fish die when there's easy interim measures to take. Good Luck!
    Last edited by Surfdog; 06-22-2013 at 03:59 AM.
    Life is tough, it's even tougher if your stupid.
    If your not angry, your not paying attention...
    150G Cube FWLR (Morays) 75G Fresh (Bichers/Gourami) 24G Cube (Reef/Goby/Seahorse's/Garden Eels)
    10G Fresh (Beta)
    2 x 29G Breeders (cycling) to be ready for January 15

  8. #8

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    also your filter media does not have bio-max in it.
    ammonia reducer is pretty much useless IMO.
    carbon is not desigend to hold bacteria that cycles your tank, it is designed to remove impurities out of the water.
    and foam is to remove debris.
    none of them are intended to cycle your tank.
    BUT don't change the media now. they still will still hold bacteria but not as much.
    if you remove it now you will completely lose your cycle, wait till your ammonia is at 0 then change the ammonia remover with some bio-max.
    also is your test kit expired?
    i hear some people say, "i kept a goldfish in a bowl and it lived for a year."
    they don't know how lucky they were and all goldfish live at least 15 years in proper conditions.
    that is equal to saying my human lived in his closet for 5 years!

  9. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by vafa View Post
    also your filter media does not have bio-max in it.
    and foam is to remove debris.none of them are intended to cycle your tank.
    Just an fyi - some filters are not designed to hold bio max - particularly the smaller ones. the two 7 gallon filters on my 5 gal tank, for instance, only have the filter cartridges and no room for biomax and I cycled the tank with only those cartridges and a little extra foam tucked into the filters. So, you can complete and hold a cycle (BB will grow on foam and filter cartridge) without biomax with certain filters and in smaller tanks.
    but in this instance, I think Vafa is right. you could benefits from some biomax in your AC if you can find the room. If I'm not mistaken, the AC 200 should have come with biomax.
    Last edited by fishmommie; 06-22-2013 at 01:25 PM.
    30 g FW planted:corys, ABNP, blue angel, harleys, zebra danios, nerites & mystery snails
    15 g FW planted: crown tail betta, neons, snails
    90 g FW semi planted: Blood Parrots, severum, Jurupari, EBJD, congos, kribs, clown pleco, snails
    90 Gal Journal: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ad.php?t=93939
    Fishless cycling: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ead.php?t=5640
    Cycling with fish: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ad.php?t=36492

  10. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    thanks everyone for the great advice. the ammonia level dropped to 2 since I did the water change. I tested the tap water and there was no ammonia detected. I plan to do another water change today and see what happens.

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