Ammonia won't go away, help!!!! - Page 3 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #21 of 29 Old 03-03-2012, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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Byron, the tap water readings don't matter, I say this because I don't use my tap water; I use purified water that is not distilled. I tested that water and the ph is low but everything else is perfect. My tank looks gorgeous right now, but I'm working on the levels. I don't want to add too many chemicals so I'm trying to let it run it's corse. Let me know if I should be doing something different!
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post #22 of 29 Old 03-03-2012, 07:37 PM
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Thank you, Byron :)

Hmmm... I haven't added any ammonia. I'll test the tap water and see if it's there. It is also possible it's from the substrate. I used what had been in our previous tank, rinsed the heck out of it, near boiling water etc, but it's possible I didn't get everything. Also, it is possible we misread the test kit in re the ammonia.

Not sure why, but I ALWAYS get acidic and basic mixed up. Fortunately not to any explosive ends yet, I manage to always match like to like, but that's about it.

We'll test the tap tonight (I did run the tap water through our drinking water filter before filling the tank). The city water site wasn't much help in re hardness etc. So I'll have to check for a kit to test that too.

*edit* Sorry, Holly, I seem to have hyjacked your thread! So sorry!
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post #23 of 29 Old 03-03-2012, 07:44 PM
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Thank you, Byron :)

Hmmm... I haven't added any ammonia. I'll test the tap water and see if it's there. It is also possible it's from the substrate. I used what had been in our previous tank, rinsed the heck out of it, near boiling water etc, but it's possible I didn't get everything. Also, it is possible we misread the test kit in re the ammonia.

Not sure why, but I ALWAYS get acidic and basic mixed up. Fortunately not to any explosive ends yet, I manage to always match like to like, but that's about it.

We'll test the tap tonight (I did run the tap water through our drinking water filter before filling the tank). The city water site wasn't much help in re hardness etc. So I'll have to check for a kit to test that too.

*edit* Sorry, Holly, I seem to have hyjacked your thread! So sorry!
If you have a reliable fish store, they may test the GH and KH for you; buying a test kit for one test is best avoided if you can. If the store will test, make sure they give you the actual numbers, otherwise we will be back to zero.

I doubt anything in the gravel could cause ammonia. I've never had this. But regardless, my earlier point which I didn't explain was that live plants assimilate a lot of ammonia/ammonium as their preferred source of nitrogen. With sufficient plants, even when fish are introduced at first, you will not see ammonia above zero with our test kits. So, if it is testing above zero now, it has to be coming from somewhere and major, if the plants cannot handle it. I'm suspecting the tap water, so let us know that test result. Test it before it goes through the filter if you can, and test it after the filter. There is a possibility the filter is doing something.

Did you use a dechlorinator (water conditioner) when you filled the tank? And if yes, which one?

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 #24 of 29 Old 03-03-2012, 07:46 PM
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Byron, the tap water readings don't matter, I say this because I don't use my tap water; I use purified water that is not distilled. I tested that water and the ph is low but everything else is perfect. My tank looks gorgeous right now, but I'm working on the levels. I don't want to add too many chemicals so I'm trying to let it run it's corse. Let me know if I should be doing something different!
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Fine, the pH test kit to use then is the one that accurately gives the true pH of the source water. If the other kit is used, it will be completely unreliable since you won't know what is happening, if that makes sense.

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 #25 of 29 Old 03-04-2012, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
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Alaina its fine! No need to be sorry. I tested this morning and the ammonia levels seem to be gOing down. I will keep testing and doing water changes. My corycat seems very happy right now but now in struggling with how to feed it. It's a bottom water so I'm not sure what to do. Thanks for everyone's help!
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post #26 of 29 Old 03-04-2012, 11:02 AM
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Alaina its fine! No need to be sorry. I tested this morning and the ammonia levels seem to be gOing down. I will keep testing and doing water changes. My corycat seems very happy right now but now in struggling with how to feed it. It's a bottom water so I'm not sure what to do. Thanks for everyone's help!
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Sinking foods are needed for substrate feeding fish like corys, loaches, many catfish. There are several kinds, those made by Omega One, Hikari and New Life spectrum are said to be the best. Variety is the best, 3 or 4 different types. Shrimp-based pellets are usually welcomed by these fish, and one should be veggie-based (algae, kelp or spirulina base). My corys really like Nutrafin's tablets so I use this brand as one of the 4 or 5 I have.

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 #27 of 29 Old 03-04-2012, 11:24 AM
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Checked the ammonia levels in the aquarium again, the tap and the water in the filtered drinking water. No traces of ammonia at all. I have the feeling that when I checked the ammonia before there was something affecting the color a little bit, a reflection or something like that to make it look in between 0ppm and 2.5ppm so I erred on the side of more than less. Anyhow, that problem solved. The ph is at about 8.0 in all three though. We have some pretty hard water here, so looks like I need to soften it up a bit, but I still need to check to find out the specific GH/kH numbers. Someone suggested the pet store being able to do the test, so I'll call them today to see if they can/will. We live on an Island with some 100 sources of water, so there's no one source to go to that has all of the water stats readily available. Anyhow, making progress!
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post #28 of 29 Old 03-04-2012, 12:25 PM
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Checked the ammonia levels in the aquarium again, the tap and the water in the filtered drinking water. No traces of ammonia at all. I have the feeling that when I checked the ammonia before there was something affecting the color a little bit, a reflection or something like that to make it look in between 0ppm and 2.5ppm so I erred on the side of more than less. Anyhow, that problem solved. The ph is at about 8.0 in all three though. We have some pretty hard water here, so looks like I need to soften it up a bit, but I still need to check to find out the specific GH/kH numbers. Someone suggested the pet store being able to do the test, so I'll call them today to see if they can/will. We live on an Island with some 100 sources of water, so there's no one source to go to that has all of the water stats readily available. Anyhow, making progress!
Sounds good. Make sure the fish store gives you the numbers for GH and KH, this is critical. Then we can consider safe methods to lower them if necessary for the fish species.

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 #29 of 29 Old 03-04-2012, 01:20 PM
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ph? temp?

Havn't read all previous replies but ...

When I cycled my first tank my ammonia levels stayed at 5 for over 2 weeks until I was informed that the beneficial bacteria have optimum conditions.
ph between 7.4 and 8.4
temp 29C
After achieving these conditions the ammonia dropped to 3 in 24hrs!

Patience is key also. As stated above, please stop cleaning everything. The beneficial bacteria live on the substrate, decorations, plants etc.

(This is of course easier to achieve when doing a fishless cycle as the fish don't have to handle the, less than perfect, conditions.)

Last edited by aau06139; 03-04-2012 at 01:24 PM.
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