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  1. #1

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    Default Problem with ammonia in well water


    0 Not allowed!
    I tested my well water when I first moved into my new house and it was fine. I have two tanks with fish and one with no fish yet. The one tank is a 20 gallon with two pea puffers, the other is a 4 gallon with a Betta. Both tanks have heaters, and big sponge filters. They both have plants as well.

    I had a mystery snail in with my betta and noticed it died. Then I realized I had an ammonia issue in the betta tank. So I started freaking out doing water changes and the ammonia wasn't getting better, even worse sometimes. So I tested the water coming out of the sink and sure enough it is about 1.0 ppm.

    My betta is showing signs of ammonia stress/poisoning. I have been detoxifying with Prime. My pea puffers are fine and their water tests fine. What should I do about this whole issue? I read online to just use prime but how will I know if that helps? How often would I need to do that? I'm just scare to cycle my new tank and not continue to have this amonia issue.

    Thoughts/Ideas?

  2. #2

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    A properly cycled tank will turn that Ammonia to nitrAtes in 24 hours or less, plenty of time for the prime to still be effective and protecting the fish. I would double dose prime during water changes and not worry..... It's also convenient to have Ammonia in the water while cycling as you really don't have to add much. And as I said prime will detox it until the BB eats it up.

    I'll assume your betta tank either isn't quite cycled or is having a spike due to a "recent" appearance of Ammonia in the tap. Prime will detox for 24-48 hours, I'd dose it daily single dose. And you should probably give your bettas filter a quick check to be sure it's clean and operating properly so that it can quickly catch back up to the extra Ammonia being introduced. Might even do a couple smaller water changes weekly rather than one larger one while it is getting caught up also.

  3. #3

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    Default


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    Thank you so much for the advice. My Betta has a sponge filter. Should I clean it? The tank was cycled but perhaps the snail dying threw everything off. Should I add some good bacteria to the tank like Dr Tims one and Only?

  4. #4

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    With that small of tanks, I would take 2-5 gallon buckets, fill them up, let them sit for 24 hours and add some prime before the water change.

  5. #5

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    2 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by leaveittoweaver View Post
    Thank you so much for the advice. My Betta has a sponge filter. Should I clean it? The tank was cycled but perhaps the snail dying threw everything off. Should I add some good bacteria to the tank like Dr Tims one and Only?
    If you have it on hand it won't hurt to add, but I would by no means go buy it. The cycle will catch up soon enough and doing smaller twice weekly water changes will prevent it from spiking in the future.

    As for the sponge filter next time you do a water change I'd give it a little squeeze either before you syphon or in the bucket of discard water just to make sure nothing is gumming it up. Don't squeeze the brains out just a little bit lol and try to do it at least once a month. :)

  6. #6

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    0 Not allowed!
    Good advice from sfsamm above.

    4G is a bit small for the betta alone. The snail dying probably caused the ammonia spike.

    You need nothing but the Prime, dose 1 ml at every water change in the 4G...this is about 2X the regular dosage for a tank that size.

    Check ammonia levels in the tank no sooner than 24 hours after a WC...the Prime will detox the ammonia, but it will still register on the test.

    I do hope you are using the liquid test kit; if not, get one ASAP.

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  7. #7

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    1 Not allowed!
    You can prepare your well water by filtering it first using ammonia chips. This will remove the ammonia. Do not use Prime first if you decide to do this since the ammonia chips will no loger work.

    You can use a simple funnel with coffee filter that contains the ammonia chips.

    How much is the ammonia coming from the well water?

  8. #8

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    Another option that you may or may not prefer... For reasonably small tanks you can cycle an extra sponge filter. Plop it in a 5G bucket for your next water change a few days later. It's not strictly necessary IMO, but I doubt aged water is ever a bad thing. If your well happens to be deep it may or may not have a very high concentration of CO2 when it leaves your tap. My LFS (in BIZ for 30+ years), swears it's an issue locally for large WCs. In any event, leaving water out off gases and comes to room temperature. All that said, my we'll is 374ft deep and I have noticed no problems, other than the fact it is glacier cold when it leaves the tap in all but summer temps. (Have to bypass the water softener and water heater unfortunately).

  9. #9

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I did not mention my new tanks size and plan. My new tank is a 125 gallon fish tank that I will be doing fancy goldfish in, so all the options as far as leaving buckets of water out aren't going to work as I want to change the water straight from the tap into the tank using the Python. I think from every option laid out here, using the prime sounds the most reasonable.

    I moved the betta into my 20 gallon in a breeder box so the puffers won't hurt him. But the water is safe in there. The ammonia has come down to .25 in the betta tank so hopefully it will be back to normal this week. I think it is unfortunately too late for my betta. He is missing scales and looks like he is suffering. Any other ideas for him? I've had him for almost two years now and feel bad as I know they can live longer then that. One of you mentioned his tank was too small and when I researched before it said 2.5 gallons minimum so I thought I was doing well by him with a 4 gallon filtered and heated tank. What do you guys think is actually appropriate for a betta?

    I am using a liquid test kit, the api one. And I have used two different kits to make sure my tests hadn't gone bad. I will have to check my pH, GH, and KH again as I haven't in awhile. I will post them sometime tonight or tomorrow.

    Any other ideas for my water issue or does the prime dosing sound like my best option going forward especially once my goldfish tank is cycled? I have not started cycling that tank, there is water in it that reads an ammonia reading still(I filled it over a week ago, and the ammonia must just be from the well because there is nothing else in there and I didn't add anything to the water).

    Thanks for all of your help guys!

  10. #10

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    0 Not allowed!
    For your large tank's frequent water changes, as you will be using water with ammonia as it is from your tap:
    Perhaps you might consider looking into the product Safe, also by Seachem. It is like Prime, but super concentrated. You will need special (very tiny) measuring spoons for it. Several of the members here who have the larger tanks use this product.
    If you wish to go in this direction after looking into it, you could start a separate thread asking any questions about the product or process that your research gives rise to. That way, members who are familiar with the regular use of this product have a better chance of seeing your topic and can chime in.
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