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STILL ammonia problems

This is a discussion on STILL ammonia problems within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> :D After reading the posts there is one question That I did not see answer to. How often is substrate or gravel vaccumed? I ...

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STILL ammonia problems
Old 06-10-2008, 04:02 AM   #11
 
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:D After reading the posts there is one question That I did not see answer to. How often is substrate or gravel vaccumed? I would Think a 50 percent water change and vaccuming one half of the bottom ,deep vaccuming followed by 20 percent water change the following day might be helpful. Then 25 to 30 percent water changes each week after and IF water conditions improve. In my opinion Size and frequency of water changes might need to be stepped up along with vaccuming.Pretty cheap way to find out or eliminate problems.
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Old 06-10-2008, 05:04 PM   #12
 
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Have you tested your tap water? I know your other tanks don't have an ammonia problem, but it's possible they can compensate for the ammonia better than this one.
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Old 06-10-2008, 07:49 PM   #13
 
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I have actually not tested my tap water in quite some time, though i did when I first had the problem and it was pure yellow (0 ammonia).

i graze the gravel with my vaccum when I do water changes every week (usually a 20% water change or so) but I really dont bury the vaccum into the gravel, as it will actually suck up the substrate. its aquariumplants.com's substrate. I always shake out all the plants to remove anything stick in there first, and then turn the tetra filter all the way up to remove the junk, then go to town on all visible areas of the gravel. every other week or so i take my time and get in between all the plants and scrape the diatoms off the glass.

I do vaccum the gravel pretty well but only the top 1/2 to 1" of it. occasionally I stir the gravel too, but only in one or two small spots because of the sediment cloud it kicks up.
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Old 06-11-2008, 05:09 AM   #14
 
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You say you have aquariumplants.com substrate yet you also say you are vaccuming the gravel. Did you add plant substrate on top of gravel? According to manufacturer of that product It does not break down, dissolve, or turn to mud. If your source water tests zero for ammonia then The cloud of sediment you described when vaccuming any deeper could be the problem .You also say other tanks are fine? What substrate are you using in them? I believe I will stick with original suggestion with all due respect. The evidence points in my opinion to decaying plant and or food trapped in the substrate and over time it is leaching into the water. The temporary lower ammonia reading after adding plants makes sense to me but the ammonia will not go away without finding the root cause.
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Old 06-11-2008, 02:45 PM   #15
 
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my 5g betta and 10g betta sorority tanks both also use it and both are just fine. the "cloud" thats kicked up is, i believe, just the nature of the substrate. not to knock the substrate but its very dusty by nature. i rinsed it before I put it in my 29g, and it took 3 days for the dust in the water to settle. I rinsed the living hell out of it before I put it in my 10g and its the same deal, just not quite as bad.

I dont have any gravel in my 29g, just the substrate. when I vaccum it, I just skim the surface so I dont suck up any of the substrate, then stir it up a bit now and again. the inch or so deep I go with the gravel vac I would think would be penty... the small size of the substrate bits I would imagine wouldnt let things get TOO far down. and again, I do stir it now and again.

right now the only tank I have that doesnt use this substrate is my 110g (regular gravel) and my 10g hospital tank.
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Old 06-11-2008, 05:41 PM   #16
 
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unfortunately, most of the really good planted tank substrates are rather messy. fluorite is a pain and don't even get me started on laterite! sounds like this stuff is no different, but it's probably really good for your plants!
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Old 06-13-2008, 04:35 AM   #17
 
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Well, I am at a complete loss. You have tried two different filters from established tanks, You have not treated the tank with any medications? Maybe you are doing too good a job at cleaning. Your source water tests zero for ammonia? Then were it me I might try Re-seeding the tank with substrate from a tank not affected. Put some in the toe of a pair of panty hose and push it into the substrate and leave it. Cut back on food and monitor the ammonia levels closely. Never had snail problem? I'm afraid i am grasping here$#!%@. :(
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Old 06-13-2008, 06:59 AM   #18
 
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ammonia levels are going down but EXTREMELY SLLlLOOoOoooWWWWw

tomorrow im going to retest the tank and then retest the source water, provided I have enough of the liquid test stuff left. Hell, at one time just for kicks i put BOTH of the filters from my 110g on the 29g (the 110 has been rock stable for several months now).... and the ammonia persisted, but that was a long time ago. I think its time I crank up the filters to max and stir the substrate like woah
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Old 06-17-2008, 01:15 AM   #19
 
I have the same problem with my 29 gallon tank. The ammonia is constantly at .25. I can't seem to get it to zero. I so vacuum the corel, about once ever three of four weeks. I add Prime to the water. Water changes. I don't know what else to do. I'm thinking it is the filter or the corel, but I dont want to clean either too much because I know there is good bacteria in both that keep my tank stable.

I'm looking to add more fish, but dont know if that is such a good thing now.
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