Ammonia spike on day 11
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Ammonia spike on day 11

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Ammonia spike on day 11
Old 01-08-2010, 01:00 AM   #1
 
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Ammonia spike on day 11

I need some suggestions on what else I can do with the ammomia spike in my daughter's 14 gallon tank. It is on day 11 and without getting into details of the history in the last 10 days (talked about that in my other post regarding cycling fishless), it is at 4.0 ammonia. I added ammo lock when it was going up above .25 a day ago. Today since it was reading a strong 4.0, I did a 35% water change and added just the right amount of ammo lock per new water. I also added the water conditioner. I was unsure if I should use both, but was afraid not to treat the tap water with the conditioner. As I studied today, apparently Ammo Lock gets rid of Chlorine, so I may have been able to just use the Ammo Lock. I do have Prime that I just got for my new tank (I have used this back in the past), but I have been using another conditioner for this small tank before I found the Prime. I did not want to change over to prime right now on this tank so just kept using the other one.

As far as I can read, I am supposed to add Ammo Lock every two days for seven days. Tomorrow will be the second day since the first main tank dose. The fish look ok as far as I can tell. Sometimes I have trouble reading the Tetras. They never seem to be as active as platties and other fish. They kind of flit around. They are all eating fine. Two of the Tetras a little more shy so they are not first to get the food....they have a pecking order established.

What else can I do right now? I did decrease the feeding. I was very careful not to overfeed. Should I do another water change tomorrow. I can't remember....does the live good bacteria thrive in the water as well? I think I read that they don't but to many or too large of a water change can upset the process.

Should I add Stability. I almost did this tonight, but thought I would ask. I am only using it in my 55 gallon and not the 14 gallon. I just got it.

I just want the fish to be ok and I want to be able to sleep tonight. Thanks.

~Holly

Last edited by HollyinWA; 01-08-2010 at 01:03 AM..
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Old 01-08-2010, 01:31 AM   #2
 
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Rather than mess with all of the chemicals, I think the most important thing to do is just to keep up with water changes. Ideally, when cycling with fish, you don't want the ammonia levels to get above 0.5ppm (0.25 is even better). If you're at 4.0ppm I would starting doing water changes as soon as possible, measuring ammonia levels after each change.

Practically none of your beneficial bacteria live in the water column itself. Most of them live on the surfaces in your tank, including substrate, decor and especially in your filter. A while back we had some discussion as to whether or not water changes during the cycle (intended to reduce ammonia concentrations) would, theoretically, anyway, have any impact on bacteria growth rates. Suffice it to say we were divided on the issue, but in the end it was pretty much a moot point when it came to cycling with fish. You'd rather have your fish survive than have your tank cycled a bit sooner, correct? If that's the case, then you definitely want to be doing those water changes, even if there's a possibility that doing so will lengthen the duration of your cycle.
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Old 01-08-2010, 01:05 PM   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamntbatman View Post
Rather than mess with all of the chemicals, I think the most important thing to do is just to keep up with water changes. Ideally, when cycling with fish, you don't want the ammonia levels to get above 0.5ppm (0.25 is even better). If you're at 4.0ppm I would starting doing water changes as soon as possible, measuring ammonia levels after each change.

Practically none of your beneficial bacteria live in the water column itself. Most of them live on the surfaces in your tank, including substrate, decor and especially in your filter. A while back we had some discussion as to whether or not water changes during the cycle (intended to reduce ammonia concentrations) would, theoretically, anyway, have any impact on bacteria growth rates. Suffice it to say we were divided on the issue, but in the end it was pretty much a moot point when it came to cycling with fish. You'd rather have your fish survive than have your tank cycled a bit sooner, correct? If that's the case, then you definitely want to be doing those water changes, even if there's a possibility that doing so will lengthen the duration of your cycle.
Thanks for the response. I am afraid to stop using the ammo lock when the ammomia is this high. I would think the fish would be dead by now with a level at 4.0 +. I could be getting a false reading. I did read again that these types of products can give false readings to where you do not really know when the tank has cycled. Not sure exactly what this means.....that it will not show the level at 0 even if it is at zero? I will have to wait and see. I am waiting for it to plummit back down. It is still high this morning. I did a 2 gallon water change this morning and it is a 14 gallon tank. I need to check my nitrites. It has never shown nitrites but has shown about the same nitrates for awhile now......low nitrates...in safe zone, not even to the first pink color. Today is day 12 that the tank has been with fish.

Do you know how long it usually takes for it to plummit back down after it spikes high in ammonia? It probably just depends on each situation.

Not sure what else I can do at this point. I am sure glad I chose to cycle my big tank without fish. I just hate the worry.
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Old 01-08-2010, 02:10 PM   #4
 
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keep in mind that ammonium will read as ammonia on most test kits, ammonium is not leathal to fish like ammonia is. i agree with iamntbatman inregards to the chemicals. when i cycle fishless i do 50% changes daily and only add the water conditioner. my very first tank i cycled with fish and it took about 3-4 weeks before i got all good readings.....
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Old 01-08-2010, 02:33 PM   #5
 
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Originally Posted by molliefan09 View Post
keep in mind that ammonium will read as ammonia on most test kits, ammonium is not leathal to fish like ammonia is. i agree with iamntbatman inregards to the chemicals. when i cycle fishless i do 50% changes daily and only add the water conditioner. my very first tank i cycled with fish and it took about 3-4 weeks before i got all good readings.....
Thanks Molliefan. That is what I have known...that ammomium will read as ammonia with the test kits. There is a test kit that you can get that will divide them up...show how much ammonia and how much ammonium. You have to order it online.

It is the way they worded "false reading" regarding the use of the chemicals that is confusing. It made it sound like it was not so much that it will give you just a high reading even though the chemical changes ammonia to ammomium (will show because it does not take it away), but that it can give you a reading of ammonia even if the tank is cycled...will make it hard to deternine when it is cycled. This sure would be frustrating. That does not make sense to me.

I normally would not use chemicals unless I fear the life of the fish. I definitely will not use this with this bigger new tank because I am going to cycle it fishless. I hate this worry, but nothing I can do now...fish are there. I wish I had another tank that was mature that I can put them in.
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Old 01-08-2010, 03:40 PM   #6
 
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As noted previously, having the ammonia detoxify to ammonium is not going to harm your fish. If you had ammonia at 4 or 5 you would see a reaction from the fish, believe me. And they would all be dead by now. By the way, what is your pH?

That still doesn't answer the question of getting rid of the ammonia, but cycling takes time. I didn't notice here, have you tested your tap water? Some contains ammonia, some quite a lot.

Plants in the tank would eliminate these issues, or should; I can't remember when I last had ammonia or nitrite above zero in 15 years, and I set up tanks like my current 115g with 95 fish on day one; plants do the "cycling" instantly if they are sufficient for the fish load, and the bacteria just do their thing in their own time.

Byron.
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Old 01-08-2010, 04:41 PM   #7
 
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As noted previously, having the ammonia detoxify to ammonium is not going to harm your fish. If you had ammonia at 4 or 5 you would see a reaction from the fish, believe me. And they would all be dead by now. By the way, what is your pH?

That still doesn't answer the question of getting rid of the ammonia, but cycling takes time. I didn't notice here, have you tested your tap water? Some contains ammonia, some quite a lot.

Plants in the tank would eliminate these issues, or should; I can't remember when I last had ammonia or nitrite above zero in 15 years, and I set up tanks like my current 115g with 95 fish on day one; plants do the "cycling" instantly if they are sufficient for the fish load, and the bacteria just do their thing in their own time.

Byron.
Thanks Byron. The pH is a little below 7.8...most likely around 7.6. The total Alkalinity is within the ideal range on the test strip. I know that the pH needs to be lower than this to help with the toxicity of ammonia if chemicals are not used to help. I do have plants in there, but not as many as I will have later on. I think that is why it did not spike real high at all before it went to zero when I just had the three little tetras in. Maybe now having the three small platties (not fully grown yet), it just could not handle it. I have a back filter Marineland Bio Wheel 150 in the back. I may not have enough biological filtration to handle it fast enough right now. I did not want to crowd the tank with an inside spunge filter. This is one reason why I went up a size in the back filter. When I had fish before and they were gravel tanks I had undergravel filters as well as a canister or back filter. I know now that they have found that even though underground filters can give a great source of biological filtrations there can be some drawbacks. I of course never had the underground filter with my Ciclid tank after they moved into the 100 gallon with sand. That tank did great....2 sponge filters, biowheel back filter and a big Fluval. But, that was then.....7 years ago.

I will keep watch. Do you think I should still make small water changes everyday even using the Ammo Lock? I am with you....they would be dead by now if there was nothing to convert the ammonia into a non-toixic form. That is why I have to continue the Ammo Lock.

Thanks again for you help.

Last edited by HollyinWA; 01-08-2010 at 04:46 PM..
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Old 01-08-2010, 05:11 PM   #8
 
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PS: I am pretty sure our water here does not have ammonia in it. I will test it to see. When I first set the tank up it read zero ammonia even a few days after I put the fish in. Even if it does have ammonia in it, and if my water conditioner took it out (did not use Prime on this tank but think it only converts it anyway) why would there be ammonia from water changes because of the tap but not in the beginning? I hope that made sense. We are on an Aquifer. Not that it makes a difference but the water is great!

Last edited by HollyinWA; 01-08-2010 at 05:15 PM..
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Old 01-08-2010, 05:57 PM   #9
 
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Probably no ammonia in the tap water then, but doesn't hurt to test it again just in case.

I would continue to monitor things (fish behaviour), use the conditioner and ammo-lock with a pwc. Unless nitrites occur or fish show stress, I wouldn't over-do the pwc.

B.
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Old 01-09-2010, 11:13 AM   #10
 
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Originally Posted by molliefan09 View Post
keep in mind that ammonium will read as ammonia on most test kits, ammonium is not leathal to fish like ammonia is. i agree with iamntbatman inregards to the chemicals. when i cycle fishless i do 50% changes daily and only add the water conditioner. my very first tank i cycled with fish and it took about 3-4 weeks before i got all good readings.....

Hi again, did your tank spike pretty high for several days? If so, did the fish make it? Also, if it did spike real high, did you still do the 50% water change? The reason I am asking this is because there are divided opinions on PWC during the cycling period anyway and I noticed when I did a 35% water change it did not seem to help the ammonia much at all. If there is truth to bothering the bacteria growth during that much of a water change and if it really did not take the ammonia down enough to help the fish, then it could lengthen the time they have to be in it.

I could kick myself for cycling with fish. I guess from all the years of doing it in the past without too much trouble (except for a salfwater tank) I did not decide on the fishless route. I won't do it again. To tell you the truth, I did not know much about going the fishless route and I thought you had to buy a speical type of ammonia. I thought I would have trouble finding the right thing. Then I learned on here that you can use fish food or get straight ammonia from the store. With my luck for my 55 gal. I had my husband go to the store but they only carry scented ammonia. So, I am going the fish food route with the 55 gallon. I do not have any frozen shrimp (prongs you eat) yet to hang in a bag like someone suggested. I have never even bought shrimp to eat. LOL

Last edited by HollyinWA; 01-09-2010 at 11:17 AM..
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