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Ammonia spiking

This is a discussion on Ammonia spiking within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by dj7984 Yes i have tested my tap water for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and the PH as well as 3 LFS. I ...

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Old 03-11-2012, 04:39 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dj7984 View Post
Yes i have tested my tap water for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and the PH as well as 3 LFS. I am using an API master test kit for home testing. I also confirm my result with one of my LFS and they get the same results which are as of today after a 30% water change
ammonia 2
nitrite 0
nitrate 0
ph 8

but give it 2-3 days and the ammonia will be back up to 7+

as your question about tank size as soon i get settled into my new house i am on the hunt for a 200g tank for the loaches and blood parrots
Stress Coat detoxifies ammonia by changing it to ammonium which is relatively harmless. [This would also occur naturally in acidic water, which is why I mentioned pH previously.] Ammonium will still show in tests as "ammonia." So I must assume this is the "ammonia" at 2-8. If not, the fish would be dead.

However, the fact that it is still present in whichever form is a concern. The plants and bacteria should be able to handle it. Plants use quite a lot of ammonium as their preferred source of nitrogen. And what they don't use would be taken up by nitrosomonas bacteria.

I should have asked previously, are any other substances beside the conditioner now going in the tank?
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Old 03-11-2012, 04:57 PM   #12
 
Nothing other than ammo chips which have been in the tank for a week now and a phosphate bag which I should have mentioned earlier. My LFS decided to test for anything he could and said phosphates were a little up last week

I am also getting ready to break the tank down due to a 200 mile move. any suggestions for when i set the tank back up.

Last edited by dj7984; 03-11-2012 at 05:13 PM..
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Old 03-11-2012, 06:24 PM   #13
 
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Originally Posted by dj7984 View Post
Nothing other than ammo chips which have been in the tank for a week now and a phosphate bag which I should have mentioned earlier. My LFS decided to test for anything he could and said phosphates were a little up last week

I am also getting ready to break the tank down due to a 200 mile move. any suggestions for when i set the tank back up.
The ammo chips are doing much the same as the StressCoat in detoxifying ammonia into ammonium, so that also is saving the fish.

At least we know why the fish are not dying. But that still leaves the ammonia source.
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Old 03-12-2012, 10:54 AM   #14
 
The ammo chips has been a recent addition no more than a week and half. prior to that it was just 20% water changes every few days. I have been dealing with this for 8 months and still have no resolution. I was also told that clown loaches are basically indicator fish and they will die at first sight of bad quality water, but all my fish could not seem or look happier. I have one blood parrot that will get black spots when the ammonia is high but after a water change he returns orange. I frequently check for any dead fish, stir or vacuum gravel every two weeks, I also check the charcoal filters to see if they are clogged and rinse as needed in tank water or replace. I do not know what else to do.
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Old 03-12-2012, 12:10 PM   #15
 
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I read back through this thread, and a couple things pop out.

Water changes should be more than 20%. I do half my tanks every week, and they are heavily planted. I would certainly suggest you increase the volume to 1/2 the tank weekly. And this leads into the second thing.

When you move, dump this gravel. I just spotted the post where you mention it sat for some time with turtles and whatnot. I would get rid of it. Go with a clean substrate, sand or fine gravel as you have plants.

It is possible for ammonia to prevent Nitrospira bacteria. Scientific studies have proven that the higher the ammonia, the slower Nitrospira bacteria develop and they can even be prevented altogether.

All of this may factor in.
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Old 03-12-2012, 01:01 PM   #16
 
I will try the 50% change, currently i am doing 20% daily to prepare for the move to try and eliminate all ammonia before bagging the fish. You are not the first to say dump the gravel The API chem rep for my LFS suggested that yesterday after hearing it is like 10yrs old and sat for years in a filthy tank. it is that cheap epoxy coated gravel, I dont even think it is real stone. I already thought this through and am going with river stones and sand using the stones to create air pockets under the sand to help with the build up of gases.

Still have no idea of where all the ammonia is coming from the biggest fish i have currently is a blood parrot that is about 2 1/2 inches.

Thank you so much for all the assistance.

Any suggestion on setting up a deep sand bed when i get my new tank?
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Old 03-12-2012, 01:28 PM   #17
 
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Originally Posted by dj7984 View Post
I will try the 50% change, currently i am doing 20% daily to prepare for the move to try and eliminate all ammonia before bagging the fish. You are not the first to say dump the gravel The API chem rep for my LFS suggested that yesterday after hearing it is like 10yrs old and sat for years in a filthy tank. it is that cheap epoxy coated gravel, I dont even think it is real stone. I already thought this through and am going with river stones and sand using the stones to create air pockets under the sand to help with the build up of gases.

Still have no idea of where all the ammonia is coming from the biggest fish i have currently is a blood parrot that is about 2 1/2 inches.

Thank you so much for all the assistance.

Any suggestion on setting up a deep sand bed when i get my new tank?
As I mentioned, the ammonia is an issue that can have many factors, some of which we have referenced, but pinning it down is not always easy. Starting over is in this case certainly the best action in my view.

There are however some problems with the proposed plan. First, never combine substrate sizes. The sand will always filter down with gravity and normal water movement to the bottom, leaving the larger gravel/pebbles on top. Second, if live plants are intended, the substrate should be fine, and this can be coarse sand (play sand works fine and is very inexpensive and very authentic in appearance) or fine gravel having a grain size around 1-2 mm. Larger gravel such as pea gravel can work, but some plants do not do as well, and the larger the gravel the more opportunity there is for trouble in the realm of organics and bacteria issues. A darker hue is advisable both for the fish and appearance.

You can read more on substrates and bacteria here:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-74891/

Depth of substrate depends partly on the needs of plants, thinking of root systems. If you go with sand, a depth overall of 2 inches is adequate. This can be pushed deeper at the back using rock or wood (for the larger plants) and left shallower (1 inch or so) along the front. It will tend to even out as it shifts unless you construct terraces with sealed rock or other material that prevents sand seepage. But initially the plants will be in, and as the sand shifts it doesn't really matter.

Fine gravel can go a bit deeper, 4 inches max if necessary in the back. It too will shift over time.

Photo below is my 5-foot 115g Amazonian stream tank with a 2-inch substrate of play sand. This is one of the nicest substrates I have worked with, for fish, appearance and plants. I now have it in 4 of my 7 tanks.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 115g Feb 24-12.jpg (64.2 KB, 27 views)
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:20 PM   #18
 
Hey Guys sorry about t\taking so long to update you about my high ammonia. After the move I purchased sand for my substrate washed it really good and used 75% of my old water and now all is good. I do a regular 30% water change weekly and now my ammonia is at o and my nitrite is at 0 and my nitrate has been staying around 10, i have been having a problem with my ph being high but i have also added drift wood since i am breeding albino bristle nose pleco's. All fish survived the move and all seem to be happy. Thanks for all the help and advice
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:58 AM   #19
 
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Originally Posted by dj7984 View Post
Hey Guys sorry about t\taking so long to update you about my high ammonia. After the move I purchased sand for my substrate washed it really good and used 75% of my old water and now all is good. I do a regular 30% water change weekly and now my ammonia is at o and my nitrite is at 0 and my nitrate has been staying around 10, i have been having a problem with my ph being high but i have also added drift wood since i am breeding albino bristle nose pleco's. All fish survived the move and all seem to be happy. Thanks for all the help and advice
Glad to hear that is solved. On the pH, this may or may not lower (do not use chemicals to achieve this, they are stressful on fish and may not work anyway), depending upion the GH and KH of your source water. Do you know these numbers? And what is the pH of the source (presumably tap) water?

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Old 05-13-2012, 10:41 AM   #20
 
Hey Byron i miss typed in the earlier post my PH is low, which i assume is from the mopani wood. I have added some busted up shells i had from a previous tank which has seemed to help it stayes around 7.2 now. As for my tap water it has been a consistent 7.6. As for GH and KH i have no idea what that is, I have a master kit that tests for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and ph.
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