High Ammonia, Zero Nitrate and zero Nitrates - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 20 Old 02-21-2011, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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High Ammonia, Zero Nitrate and zero Nitrates

Is that even possible? I have a 50gal tank and I test my water frequently and I've had this problem for a while now. I started to add a product called "Prime" made by Seachem. It is suppose to remove ammonia and detoxify nitrate and nitrites.

Could it be that my ammonia is detoxified but still shows up on my tests? It's always around 4ppm. Here is a link to my tank with real plants.

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post #2 of 20 Old 02-21-2011, 05:18 PM
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Hi there, the ammonia has been changed to ammonium but most test kits will pick this up as an ammonia reading, be careful though as a lot of these ammonia neutralising products only work for around 48 hours so your ammonia will start to rise again. It almost sounds like your tank is either not cycled or is just starting the cycle process, could this be possible? If it was cycled has something happened in your tank to kill your exsisting bacteria? For the ammonia/ammonium problem I'd water change, water change, water change!
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post #3 of 20 Old 02-21-2011, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
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The only thing I can think of is me cleaning the mechanical part of my filter. I tapped some of the tank's water out into a bucket where I squeezed it a couple times to get the debri out from my live plants. I left the biological and chemical filters in the tank while just cleaning the mehchanical part.

I usually add about 2 gal a week as my water evaporates so quick that I almost had to keep adding more. I've had this tank for about 3 months so I'm sure it's been cycled already. I've done two 30% changes so far. Thanks for any input.

I've read that there are bio chemicals you can use to increase the good bacteria that should neutralize the ammonia levels and that's probably the next thing I'm going to try. I thought that adding live plants would also help neutralize the ammonia. They have only been in there for about 2 weeks. My fish seems to be very happy though and they donts seem to be stressed or sick at all.

I've taken my water to the local pet shop and they say all my parameters seem to be perfect but they didn't test ammonia though. My water also seem to stay very clear as well.
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post #4 of 20 Old 02-21-2011, 06:55 PM
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It is possible your ammonia test kit is not accurate (not sure of the time exactly but they do have a shelf life and if more than a year old I would question it). Odd the store won't test ammonia, that is rather basic to know.

Have you checked your tap water for ammonia? This may be the source.

Prime is a water conditioner, so it should only be used at water changes, not more often as some sort of "fix it." Just so you know.

The plants will grab ammonia/ammonium. And Pufferfish22 was correct on that issue.

Before any decision to put more products (buffers, ammonia things...) in the tank, the source of the ammonia should be ascertained.

Not related, but evaporation of 2 gallons ever week from a covered tank is not natural. Are you sure it is this much? That is quite a lot of water, like a pail full.

Byron.

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 #5 of 20 Old 02-21-2011, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
It is possible your ammonia test kit is not accurate (not sure of the time exactly but they do have a shelf life and if more than a year old I would question it). Odd the store won't test ammonia, that is rather basic to know.

Have you checked your tap water for ammonia? This may be the source.

Prime is a water conditioner, so it should only be used at water changes, not more often as some sort of "fix it." Just so you know.

The plants will grab ammonia/ammonium. And Pufferfish22 was correct on that issue.

Before any decision to put more products (buffers, ammonia things...) in the tank, the source of the ammonia should be ascertained.

Not related, but evaporation of 2 gallons ever week from a covered tank is not natural. Are you sure it is this much? That is quite a lot of water, like a pail full.

Byron.

I live in an apartment without a humidifier attached to the furnace and I see that kind of evaporation all the time because the air in my apartment is so dry. I would say that my 20gal evaporates about 1.5gal a week and my 10 loses about 1 gal, both are covered. I don't know if that is the issue for him, but it is definitely possible.
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post #6 of 20 Old 02-21-2011, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, my tank is open in the back because I was experimenting on where to put my filter for optimum water movement. So in doing that I misplaced the plastic covers that goes in the back. Our air is pretty dry in the winter, but yeah maybe it's closer to 1.5 gal a week.

When I first tested the tap water the first three weeks before any fish was added, it read zero for ammonia but I'll test it again to find the source. Thank you very much for all the comments and informaton!
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post #7 of 20 Old 02-21-2011, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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I just tested my tap water and it is completely free of ammonia so that's good.
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post #8 of 20 Old 02-22-2011, 08:51 AM Thread Starter
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I just realized i put this in the wrong section, can a mod please move this thread to the Aquarium sections instead of the fish section?
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post #9 of 20 Old 02-22-2011, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Sloppy View Post
I just realized i put this in the wrong section, can a mod please move this thread to the Aquarium sections instead of the fish section?
I hadn't spotted that previously, thanks. Has been moved. Byron.

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 #10 of 20 Old 02-22-2011, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Sloppy View Post
I've had this tank for about 3 months so I'm sure it's been cycled already. I've done two 30% changes so far. Thanks for any input.
Am I reading this correctly? Only two water changes in three months??

If you don't stand up for something you'll fall for anything...
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