Cannot lower my ammonia levels - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 12 Old 11-01-2013, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
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Cannot lower my ammonia levels

I have been running my tank for about 6 weeks and do weekly water changes of about 25%. My levels are the following using the API Freshwater Master Test Kit:
pH low: 7.6
pH high: 7.4
ammonia: 4.0 ppm
nitrite: 0 ppm
nitrate: 0 ppm

I have been changing the water of about 25% for the last 3 days to try and get the ammonia down, but it will not go below 4.0 ppm. It is at 4.0 even when I check it directly after the water change. I checked the straight tap water and it is .50 ppm. I add the API stress coat with every change. I have not added any additional fish to the tank.

What can I do lower the ammonia levels? I would prefer to do it without chemical but I'm open to suggestions. I have listed my tank specs below.

Type: Freshwater
Substrate: Gravel
Size: 50 Gallons
Inhabitants:
6 - Glofish Tetra
1 - Blue Gourami
1 - Bristlenose Pleco
Filtration: Tetra FS 30-60 Power Filtration System and Tetra Whisper 10i Internal Power Filter
Lighting: Marineland LED Aquarium Light with night light effect
Temperature: 78 F
Décor: Anacharis Plants, Anubias Plants, Driftwood, and Marimo Moss Balls
Food: TetraMin Tropical Flakes and Omega One Veggie Rounds
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post #2 of 12 Old 11-01-2013, 11:07 AM
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I would stop adding the stress coat or any other chemicals.

and stop adding food.

then see if the ammonia levels come down in a couple of days.

my .02

maintain Fw and marine system with a strong emphasis on balanced, stabilized system that as much as possible are self substaning.

have maintained FW systems for up to 9 years with descendants from original fish and marine aquariums for up to 8 years.

With no water changes, untreated tap water, inexpensive lighting by first starting the tank with live plants (FW) or macro algae( marine)

see: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/a...-build-295530/
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post #3 of 12 Old 11-01-2013, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
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How do I dechlorinate the tap water?
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post #4 of 12 Old 11-01-2013, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpospech View Post
How do I dechlorinate the tap water?
this is just a temporary 'fix'.

So stop doing water changes, just replace the water that evaporates.

I think you will find ammonia will drop down all the sudden.

then if you feel you absolutely must conduct water changes, resume with the dechlor.

But in the mean time stop adding food, stop doing water changes (just top off with untreated tap water), and stop adding the chemicals.

my .02

maintain Fw and marine system with a strong emphasis on balanced, stabilized system that as much as possible are self substaning.

have maintained FW systems for up to 9 years with descendants from original fish and marine aquariums for up to 8 years.

With no water changes, untreated tap water, inexpensive lighting by first starting the tank with live plants (FW) or macro algae( marine)

see: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/a...-build-295530/
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post #5 of 12 Old 11-01-2013, 01:19 PM
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You could do it that way as beaslbob(a little debatable how safe this way is.but it's working for him) The way I recommend dealing with it is daily water changes of 50% or even 80% till you're cycle is more on it's way .Then you can resume the 25% weekly changes once nitrAtes appear on your test and NitrItes are at 0(ammonia should be 0 by that point too). I find Seachem Prime to be a better water conditioner especially when cycling a new tank. And fast growing plants do help speed this process up.
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post #6 of 12 Old 11-01-2013, 01:56 PM
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I agree - stop feeding.

125 - BGK, chanchito cichlid, pictus cats, silver dollars, palmas bichir
125 - cichlids (severums, bolivian rams, chocolate), rainbows ( turquoise, red), loaches (angelicus, zebra, kuhli and horseface), plecos (BN, RL and clown), denison barbs, tiretrack eel, pearl gouramis, betta
90 - Congo tetras, african knife, upside down cats, spotted ctenopoma, kribensis, delhezzi bichir
2.5 - betta
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post #7 of 12 Old 11-01-2013, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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so how often should I be feeding them normally?

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post #8 of 12 Old 11-01-2013, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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So how often should I be feeding them normally?
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post #9 of 12 Old 11-01-2013, 04:08 PM
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Quote:
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So how often should I be feeding them normally?
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Every tank's is different.

You should feed enough so you don't get cloudy water, algae, and so on.

In my planted tank I feed once every day or two. But in a tank where I get direct sunlight it's once every 3-4 days.

When I go on vacation for up to three weeks I just leave. The fish are still there, and the tank looks cleaner and the fish are glad to see me back.


my .02

maintain Fw and marine system with a strong emphasis on balanced, stabilized system that as much as possible are self substaning.

have maintained FW systems for up to 9 years with descendants from original fish and marine aquariums for up to 8 years.

With no water changes, untreated tap water, inexpensive lighting by first starting the tank with live plants (FW) or macro algae( marine)

see: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/a...-build-295530/
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post #10 of 12 Old 11-01-2013, 04:09 PM
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If you mean during the cycling process your safe to go a week or two before feeding to get the ammonia under control. After the cycle that's all up to you. Normally feed 1 time a day enough to begone in minutes .. But then I skip a weekend here and there or a week sometimes


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