Ammonia! - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 12 Old 05-18-2009, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by ambria View Post

I meant to say that I put in 2 bags (small bags) that are made for 50 gallon tank, not 50 gallon bags of it. I have taken one of them out. After I gave away my cichlids tank fish, i waited 1-2 weeks, doing a cleaning in that time with cleaning gravel and water change before I put these fish into it.

I was going to go to the lfs today but it has been non stop raining here. My tank is as clear as glass right now with the exceptions of some tannins from the driftwood I placed in there yesterday (yes, it was cleaned and soaked, but not boiled). I'm beginning to even wonder abut the PH kit now because it still shows high PH level.

My fish are all swimming and eating and content. I just bought both PH and ammonia kits (liquid test) so I have no clue how old it is. Non of my fish are in distress of any kind, so I am taking it the tank is fine now. I cannot even see any cloudiness anymore.

I just rinsed the filter and the filter is about 2 weeks or so old. I always use something for the chlorine etc. in my tap water. i treat the tap water before it enters my tank.

After I gave away my cichlids tank fish, i waited 1-2 weeks, doing a cleaning in that time with cleaning gravel and water change before I put these fish into it.

But yes, I was also puzzled over the ammonia reading 0 from my tap and then it being 2 in my tank. that was weird and still is. But I will be sure to take it to the lps soon to see what they come up with. if the ammonia levels are that high, these are some healthy tough fish.
A few things occur to me in reading through these posts.

Is the gravel in this tank the same as in your Aquarium photos? I see white gravel mixed in with the coloured...possibly the white is dolomite which will raise hardness and pH. ?? Do you remember the source for this gravel? Did you have African rift lake cichlids (1077 mentioned cichlids, I don't know this part of your background)? Do you know what the pH was before the cichlids were removed?

Leaving the tank without any fish for 1-2 weeks plus doing gravel cleaning plus filter cleaning would in my opinion remove much of the bacteria. Bacteria requires a constant supply of food (ammonia for nitrosomonas, nitrite for nitrobacter) or it will die off from literal starvation. After 2 weeks, depending upon what if any sources of ammonia might still be present in the tank, most of the bacteria would probably be gone, so introducing new fish after this period amounts to cycling a new tank, again depending upon how many of the bacterium managed to survive.

Regardless of this, I am still of the view that an ammonia reading of 2ppm in water with a pH of 8 would be lethal to any fish. I am inclined to think that the ammonia was present but not so high. Will be interesting to see what the lfs test shows. One last note on the test kits, we all buy them from a lfs, but how long might they have been on the shelf? Having said that, I have an API test kit that I bought in 1996 or 1997. I don't test for ammonia as I mentioned previously, but I do regular pH tests, and thinking this test kit might not be accurate I bought a new one and several times I have used both at the same time and remarkably (perhaps) the old one is bang on with the new one. I am using my old one to use it up, periodically checking with the new one to ensure continuing accuracy, as there must be some point at which the reagent no longer functions accurately. Interesting side.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #12 of 12 Old 05-19-2009, 04:18 AM
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I completely agree with Byron ,hence my query as to whether the tank had set for any length of time with no fish. The GOOD bacteria needed in all healthy tanks,, must have a food source to survive. The fact that the tank had no fish and or perhaps no other source of food..indicates the possibility that the bacteria needed,,had been depleted. I might be tempted to run some tapwater into a small bucket ,and allow it to sit for twelve to twenty four hours. I would then test the pH in this bucket and write down what it is. I then might scoop up some of the gravel from this aquarium (approx two cups) and add this gravel to the bucket of tapwater. After waiting another twelve to twenty four hours,, I would then test the pH in the bucket once again and write down the results. If adding the gravel from the tank ,increased the pH ,, Then you have your source for problem with rising pH.
You must ALWAYS use a dechlorinator such as PRIME,or AMQUEL+ during water changes for fish to remain healthy. These will detoxify ammonia,chlorine,and chloramines. If the water conditioner does not address all three of these,,then I would not use it ,,but hey,, Thats just me. I would in this case, perform three water changes a week regardless of what ammonia test indicates. I would NOT disturb or clean the filter for the next month. I would feed the fish once every other day and only what I actually see the fish eat in approx two min. I would NOT add any more fish for the next month. I believe there is a very good possibilty that the good bacteria needed for a healthy tank needs time to re-establish. And that which I have described will help keep the fish healthy while the maturing or (cycling) process runs it's course.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.

Last edited by 1077; 05-19-2009 at 04:20 AM.
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