slight ammonia in new tank - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 21 Old 08-27-2013, 05:25 AM Thread Starter
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slight ammonia in new tank

Hello everyone, need some advice, here's the story... I had a smaller tank (10G) and decided to go big so I got 55G tank and set it up. I made a newbie mistake (as I am still kinda new to the tropical fish) and used the sand substrate from my smaller tank without rinsing it before transferring it to the new one. So my new tank is slightly cloudy, I take a water sample to my local petsmart and have it tested and the guy there said all the water parameters are perfect except the PH is too high for my fish and I have slight traces of ammonia. Now what he told me to do makes absolutely no sense to me.... He told me NOT to do any partial water changes for at least 8 to 10 weeks and to cut down the feedings. I normally feed 2 times a day enough that they can all eat within a couple of minutes. The pet store guy said to underfeed them and cut it down to once a day and only what they can eat in 30 seconds!!!!! Does this sound right? I have 5 TigerBarbs 4 Angelfish and a rainbow shark, and it usually takes the angels a little longer to eat. Im afraid if I cut it back that much they will either starve or it will stunt their growth cause they are still juvenile. What should I do???????

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post #2 of 21 Old 08-27-2013, 06:09 AM
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Changing to a different tank is stressful for fish and you should cut back on feeding until you get your tank stable. Did you transfer your filter and filter media to the big tank? You should invest in a liquid test kit to test your water. Don't add any more fish. I think you should do water changes. How much and how often depends on ammonia. If you have ammonia, change water.

Consider the needs of your fish before acting on your desires.
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post #3 of 21 Old 08-27-2013, 11:18 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the advice I do need to get a master test kit I just gotta wait till payday , The fish seem to be fine and are very happy and active. I did not transfer the filter or media cause the new tank came with new and the old ones are way to small for the new tank. Sorry for the size of the pics I haven't quite figured out how to crop the size on here yet....

I also used safe start while setting up the tank, will I need to use again as I do the water changes?
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post #4 of 21 Old 08-27-2013, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by bknavasso View Post
thanks for the advice I do need to get a master test kit I just gotta wait till payday , The fish seem to be fine and are very happy and active. I did not transfer the filter or media cause the new tank came with new and the old ones are way to small for the new tank. Sorry for the size of the pics I haven't quite figured out how to crop the size on here yet....

I also used safe start while setting up the tank, will I need to use again as I do the water changes?
The old filter , no matter how small, had the needed bacteria that consumes ammonia. But now you just have to stay on top of the ammonia. I have no experience with safe start but for sure it can't hurt. I believe its effectiveness depends on how fresh it is.P.S. The reduction in feeding means less ammonia in your tank. I've heard that a hungry fish is a healthy fish.

Consider the needs of your fish before acting on your desires.

Last edited by marshallsea; 08-27-2013 at 11:33 PM.
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post #5 of 21 Old 08-28-2013, 09:18 AM
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The old filter , no matter how small, had the needed bacteria that consumes ammonia. But now you just have to stay on top of the ammonia. I have no experience with safe start but for sure it can't hurt. I believe its effectiveness depends on how fresh it is.P.S. The reduction in feeding means less ammonia in your tank. I've heard that a hungry fish is a healthy fish.
A very common thought. Add some chemical/treatement and it cant hurt.

I respectifully disagree. Chemicals, treatements, and what have do have very serious and dangerous side effects. For instance, common dechlorinators and ammonia locks also lock up oxygen while still testing positive for ammonia. So one can continue dosing and eventually the fish suffocate.

This is one reason I recommend so strongly plants to consume ammonia and condition the tank. With plants you actually reduce carbon dioxide and increase oxygen as opposed to the ammonia lock actions.


Still it all just 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 #6 of 21 Old 08-28-2013, 12:37 PM
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A very common thought. Add some chemical/treatement and it cant hurt.

I respectifully disagree. Chemicals, treatements, and what have do have very serious and dangerous side effects. For instance, common dechlorinators and ammonia locks also lock up oxygen while still testing positive for ammonia. So one can continue dosing and eventually the fish suffocate.

This is one reason I recommend so strongly plants to consume ammonia and condition the tank. With plants you actually reduce carbon dioxide and increase oxygen as opposed to the ammonia lock actions.


Still it all just my .02
I agree with you on chemicals but I was under the impression Safe Start was only bacteria in a bottle, no chemicals. I could have been wrong.

Consider the needs of your fish before acting on your desires.
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post #7 of 21 Old 08-28-2013, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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I added 3 live plants to the tank hopefully it will help. Also I still have the old filter and media but its been out of water for almost a week, could I still use it in the new tank or would the bacteria in the media have died already? I also read that with plants its best to cut oipen the bags and remove the carbon pieces, any thoughts on that?
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post #8 of 21 Old 08-28-2013, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by bknavasso View Post
I added 3 live plants to the tank hopefully it will help. Also I still have the old filter and media but its been out of water for almost a week, could I still use it in the new tank or would the bacteria in the media have died already? I also read that with plants its best to cut oipen the bags and remove the carbon pieces, any thoughts on that?
If the media dried, it died. IMO carbon is only helpful if you're trying to remove meds from the tank. And it may remove good stuff also. I don't use it.

Consider the needs of your fish before acting on your desires.
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post #9 of 21 Old 08-28-2013, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for all the advice marshall, I got the api test kit and the parameters all look good except the still fighting with a tiny trace ammonia...\

PH is between 7.4 and 7.6
Nitrites are at 0
Nitrates are at 0
and ammonia is at just under 0.5ppm
and no more cloudiness to the water.

This is all after the second water change.
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post #10 of 21 Old 08-28-2013, 09:48 PM
Have you checked if there is ammonia in your water supply?
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