Elevated Amonia and Nitrate - Even after Partial Water Change...?
Tropical Fish

Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources » Freshwater Fish and Aquariums » Beginner Freshwater Aquarium » Elevated Amonia and Nitrate - Even after Partial Water Change...?

Elevated Amonia and Nitrate - Even after Partial Water Change...?

This is a discussion on Elevated Amonia and Nitrate - Even after Partial Water Change...? within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Been testing my water at the same time each day. My ammonia is reading right at 0.50 ppm on my API Test Kit. The ...

Check out these freshwater fish profiles
Dojo Loach
Dojo Loach
Julii Cory
Julii Cory
Like Tree1Likes

Reply
LinkBack Thread Tools vBmenu Seperating Image Search this Thread vBmenu Seperating Image
Elevated Amonia and Nitrate - Even after Partial Water Change...?
Old 02-26-2013, 07:24 AM   #1
 
Red face Elevated Amonia and Nitrate - Even after Partial Water Change...?

Been testing my water at the same time each day. My ammonia is reading right at 0.50 ppm on my API Test Kit. The Nitrate registers maybe between 5.0 and 10 ppm. My ph level was around 6.4 to 6.6 and my Nitrite was 0. I know that my tap water has Nitrate in it because I tested it last week. However, I did my partial water change yesterday having done about a 40% change using Bottled Spring Water. My numbers are the same. Is there something I'm missing? Are these numbers toxic to my fish?

Last edited by FishLover61; 02-26-2013 at 07:30 AM..
FishLover61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2013, 07:48 AM   #2
 
fish monger's Avatar
 
We aim for 0 ammonia. Anything above that will cause health issues. The nitrate is at acceptable levels. Did you test the spring water ? Fast growing stem plants take up ammonia quickly as a nutrient. How long has the tank been running ? How is it stocked ?
fish monger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2013, 09:06 AM   #3
 
At .5ppm ammonia any stock would be doomed. Sounds like something is generating excessive ammonia. Need to reduce the source of the ammonia and do water changes to reduce the existing levels.
AbbeysDad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2013, 03:08 PM   #4
 
Byron's Avatar
 
Fortunately you have acidic water, the pH is below 7, so ammonia will be largely ammonium which is basically safe to fish. But the source still should be found as this is not normal.

What is the nitrate level in the tap water? There may be better ways of dealing with this than using bottled water, which can cause other problems.

Byron.
AbbeysDad likes this.
Byron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2013, 04:35 PM   #5
 
It would make sense to do a complete test on the tap water...pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, gH/kH to see what it looks like.

Also, is the source water municipal or well water? If municipal, is there excessive chlorine?

The danger right now in using bottled water is that it could raise the tank pH enough so the ammonia becomes toxic.
AbbeysDad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2013, 12:24 PM   #6
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FishLover61 View Post
Been testing my water at the same time each day. My ammonia is reading right at 0.50 ppm on my API Test Kit. The Nitrate registers maybe between 5.0 and 10 ppm. My ph level was around 6.4 to 6.6 and my Nitrite was 0. I know that my tap water has Nitrate in it because I tested it last week. However, I did my partial water change yesterday having done about a 40% change using Bottled Spring Water. My numbers are the same. Is there something I'm missing? Are these numbers toxic to my fish?

What you're missing is using plants to keep things in line instead of water changes.

Ammonia, low ph, and presistent nitrates can all be corrected by adding thriving plants. Plants will consume ammonia preventing elevated readings even while the tank is cycling. Low pH is a sign of high carbon dioxide which plants consume raising the pH. Nitrates in a new tank can initially jump up as the plants are consuming ammonia for nitrogen. Then as the aerobic bacterial build up the plants are forced to use nitrates for nitrogen. So after awhile nitrates jump down.

Also chemicals like dechlorinators and ammonia locks can stll result in positive ammonia tests even though the ammonia is locked up and safe(r).

my .02
beaslbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2013, 04:47 AM   #7
 
I did a test of my tap water (ph, ammonia,nitrite and nitrate) and all were normal and safe except for nitrate which was at 5.0 ppm.

According to the above post, if my ph is low then it kinda offsets my higher ammonia reading. Is that correct? also, since I am using Prime as my declorinator, that might be making my ammonia reading higher. Is that right?

Finally, I have several plants that I've had in there for weeks. I don't know the name of them all but wisteria is one of them and I have several. I probably have 8 plants (bunches) in my tank. I plan on doing more as time and budget permit.

Thanks
FishLover61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2013, 08:34 AM   #8
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FishLover61 View Post
I did a test of my tap water (ph, ammonia,nitrite and nitrate) and all were normal and safe except for nitrate which was at 5.0 ppm.

According to the above post, if my ph is low then it kinda offsets my higher ammonia reading. Is that correct? also, since I am using Prime as my declorinator, that might be making my ammonia reading higher. Is that right?

Finally, I have several plants that I've had in there for weeks. I don't know the name of them all but wisteria is one of them and I have several. I probably have 8 plants (bunches) in my tank. I plan on doing more as time and budget permit.

Thanks
absolutely.

What happens is prime locks up the ammonia but that ammonia (with normal ammonia test kits) still tests as ammonia. Even though the ammonia may be safe(r). The danger is you add prime, still test ammonia, add more prime and so on. Plus prime also locks up oxygen so the fish can suffocate with almost exactly the same symptoms as ammonia poisoning. In fact, your low pH may also be because of the prime.

I would stop using the prime and stop doing regular water changes. Just replace what evaporated every other day or so. And stop feeding the fish for a few days. I think you will find your ammonia will drop to unmeasureable levels and you pH will rise.

I would also measure pH just before lights out. PH will rise after light on and drop after lights out due to the plants consuming carbon dioxide.

my .02
beaslbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2013, 08:47 AM   #9
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FishLover61 View Post
According to the above post, if my ph is low then it kinda offsets my higher ammonia reading. Is that correct? also, since I am using Prime as my declorinator, that might be making my ammonia reading higher. Is that right?
No, the acidic pH converts ammonia to ammonium so it is not toxic. If the pH was to suddenly rise to neutral or above, the ammonia would be toxic.
Both ammonia and ammonium test as ammonia. This is why large bottled water changes alone right now could create a problem if pH increases. However, if pH is slowly increased to neutral or above, plants and bacteria should process the ammonia/ammonium just fine.

To my knowledge, Prime detoxifies ammonia but does not cause it to increase.
AbbeysDad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2013, 08:53 AM   #10
 
jeaninel's Avatar
 
Never heard of Prime locking up oxygen.
Posted via Mobile Device
jeaninel is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
can I do a partial water change? redlessi Freshwater and Tropical Fish 3 08-27-2009 11:25 AM
Did my first partial water change... JackBauer Beginner Freshwater Aquarium 14 02-22-2007 03:38 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:21 AM.