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'Toxic' levels of ammonia, fish are fine?

This is a discussion on 'Toxic' levels of ammonia, fish are fine? within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by beaslbob What happens one adds the ammonia lock, locks up the ammonia, panics and adds more ammonia lock and still measures ...

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'Toxic' levels of ammonia, fish are fine?
Old 11-06-2012, 02:23 PM   #11
 
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Originally Posted by beaslbob View Post

What happens one adds the ammonia lock, locks up the ammonia, panics and adds more ammonia lock and still measures ammonia. All the while the ammonia lock is also locking up oxygen and can suffocate the fish. Which you luckily have not reached.

From what you say I'll bet a poped pop corn kernal the ammonia is all locked up and safe.

So I would basically do nothing. Stop the water changes and just top off what evaporates.
Careful.

Conditioners like Prime will only lock Ammonia for up to 48 hours, it is by no means permanent. That's enough time for plants/bacteria in a cycled tank to process any ammonia in the tap water, but no where near enough time in an un-cycled tank.
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Old 11-06-2012, 03:18 PM   #12
 
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1/3-1/2 water changes per week and adding more fast growing stem/floating plants should help stabilize the ammonia situation. You still need to find out what is causing this problem. The feeding suggestions are good and overall tank maintenance in the form of vacuuming and checking the filter for too much solid waste could help also. When you discover a lot of solid waste, swish the media around in the old tank water during water changes.
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:28 PM   #13
 
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The ph of my tap water is actually really high. It's around 7.6, I actually never knew how much of a difference there is between my tap and tank water. I guess the driftwood is causing it to become to acidic? Should I be more careful during water changes and do a slow drip to acclimate them to such a different ph range?

I added a few more plants today to help with the ammonia, is there anything else I can do?
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:30 AM   #14
 
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The ph of my tap water is actually really high. It's around 7.6, I actually never knew how much of a difference there is between my tap and tank water. I guess the driftwood is causing it to become to acidic? Should I be more careful during water changes and do a slow drip to acclimate them to such a different ph range?

I added a few more plants today to help with the ammonia, is there anything else I can do?
Caution is needed with water changes or you could have dead fish very quickly. Tap water pH of 7.6 is not all that high in itself, but if the tank were suddenly to shift above 7 the ammonia that is now ammonium (harmless) would immediately be toxic.

First, let's find out what's happening to lower the pH. Do you know the GH and KH of the tap water? You can get this from the water supply folks, they likely have a website. The pH is closely related. I will suspect the GH and KH is probably low, but we need the numbers to be sure as there are other factors involved.

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Old 11-08-2012, 02:14 AM   #15
 
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I actually have a GH/KH test kit that my mother bought a few days ago. I just ran the tests and the KH of my tap water is 53.7ppm (3 drops), and the GH is 71.6 (4 drops). The test is worded kind of oddly, I hope I did it right.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:19 AM   #16
 
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Also, thank you for all your help. I'm constantly amazed by how much information and knowledge you have. I just can't thank you enough, I really do appreciate you taking the time to help me :)
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Old 11-08-2012, 11:31 AM   #17
 
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The KH is fairly low, and that is a buffering for pH, so being low it means the natural biological actions in the tank will cause the pH to fall as the water acidifies. This is normal, not a problem as such, unless you have livebearers or other hard water fish. Your fish mentioned earlier are soft water, so this is fine.

However, I would get on a regime of weekly partial water changes of 1/3 the tank. But first, begin slowly; change 1/4 of the tank daily for the next few days. Test pH just prior to the water change to see what it does. It should slowly rise. Test the ammonia too. I am expecting it to disappear, but as I have warned earlier, if it remains and the pH rises above 7, danger. So go slow. Try to do the WC's at roughly the same time of day, and this should preferably be early rather than late; disrupting fish in the morning to give them time to settle before dark is preferable. Also, pH should be tested at the same time each day because the normal diurnal fluctuation willnot impact the readings.

If this goes as I would expect, the ammonia will disappear and the pH will slowly rise. Once the ammonia is gone, back to once a week water changes, 1/3 of the tank. Again, test pH just prior to the WC until it seems fairly stable week to week.

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Old 11-13-2012, 01:47 PM   #18
 
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Well ammonia seems to be slowly going down, ph is staying the same as far as I can tell. Maybe climbing a bit, but I'm not very worried about it being low, since all my fishies are soft water. Unfortunately I guess either stress or something caused my male pearl to die :( I try to make the water changes as peaceful as possibly but all my gourami get very scared, although the other fish seem to almost come out and play in the new water.
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