Why won't my Ammonia and Nitrite levels go down? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 15 Old 07-28-2011, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
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Why won't my Ammonia and Nitrite levels go down?

Hi there,

Sorry I'm completely new to this forum but would really like some help in lowering my ammonia and nitrite levels as fast as possible.

Four days ago I had a happy tank with 5 Rummy Nose Tetras and a pair of Killifish (male and female)... then then next day all that was left was the male Killifish!

I've had the Tetras for just under a year, in the same tank, and introduced the Killifish about 5 weeks ago. Everything has been fine up until 4 days ago when I decided the plants were looking very tired and covered in algae so I decided to replace them - I added 2 more java ferns, and replaced the Dwarf Sagittaria for newer ones... then BOOM, the next day I woke up to dead fish.

After doing a water test I discovered that the ammonia levels and nitrite levels were sky high so I've been doing 50% partial water changes each day since then to bring the levels down... but they've stayed exactly the same!

The Killifish doesn't seem to be phased as he's acting no different since when I introduced him, however I really want to bring the ammonia and nitrite levels down as quickly as possible but the water changes don't seem to be having any effect.

Sorry if this is a bit vague, but can anyone suggest why this may have happened all of a sudden, and possibly why the ammonia and nitrite levels won't budge?

Also, if you need any further info then please let me know.

Cheers!
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post #2 of 15 Old 07-28-2011, 09:03 AM
did you test your tap water? try to get some ro water and add that in your next water change.put in some carbon and those white things (the name slips my mind ) it should hep lower the levels of aminia and nitrite in the tank

5x2x2 aro,highfin bat,fei feng,ST,albino tinfoil,c.perch
4x1.5x1.5 planted tetras,harlequins,
otto,WMM,2 types of celebes rainbows,rcs,amano, bamboo,red ramhorns,MTS
3.5x2.5x2 flowerhorn,pleco
3x1.5x1.5 russel's lion,blue cleaner,sixline and leopard wrasse,maroon clown pair,green chromis,scorpion,tiger cowrie,turbo,lyretail anthias,jewel,anemone,star polyp,marbled and giant green mushi,zoa
2x1x1 nano sw shrimps
22 May 2012
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post #3 of 15 Old 07-28-2011, 09:09 AM
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Is it possible you still have a dead fish in your tank somewhere?

Also did you throw out all your old plants? It may be that the plants were absorbing the ammonia and there wasn't any bacteria in the tank. The new ones might just take a bit to take up the slack.
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post #4 of 15 Old 07-28-2011, 09:13 AM
i just remembered if you stir up the gravel sometimes during re-planting you release some of the ammonia trapped in the substrate

5x2x2 aro,highfin bat,fei feng,ST,albino tinfoil,c.perch
4x1.5x1.5 planted tetras,harlequins,
otto,WMM,2 types of celebes rainbows,rcs,amano, bamboo,red ramhorns,MTS
3.5x2.5x2 flowerhorn,pleco
3x1.5x1.5 russel's lion,blue cleaner,sixline and leopard wrasse,maroon clown pair,green chromis,scorpion,tiger cowrie,turbo,lyretail anthias,jewel,anemone,star polyp,marbled and giant green mushi,zoa
2x1x1 nano sw shrimps
22 May 2012
kitten_penang is offline  
post #5 of 15 Old 07-28-2011, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
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Hey guys, thanks for the super fast responses!

No, I haven't tried testing the tap water as it's the same water I've been using all year. Will test it today though just to be sure.

There's also still a couple of the original plants in the tank, and the filter medium hasn't been changed in the last few months.
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post #6 of 15 Old 07-28-2011, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitten_penang View Post
i just remembered if you stir up the gravel sometimes during re-planting you release some of the ammonia trapped in the substrate
Ahhh... that could be it!

When removing most of the old plants I really went to town with sucking as much dirt out of the gravel as possible during the water change before adding the new plants. The thing is though, if this is what's happened, shouldn't the amount of ammonia and nitrite be reducing every time I do a water change?

Thanks again for your help - really appreciate it!
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post #7 of 15 Old 07-28-2011, 09:21 AM
not really i think you kinda started to cycle your tank again if thats what you did during the re-planting stage thats why the levels were so high.just have to add carbon and sit it out and wait for the tank to cycle again i guess

5x2x2 aro,highfin bat,fei feng,ST,albino tinfoil,c.perch
4x1.5x1.5 planted tetras,harlequins,
otto,WMM,2 types of celebes rainbows,rcs,amano, bamboo,red ramhorns,MTS
3.5x2.5x2 flowerhorn,pleco
3x1.5x1.5 russel's lion,blue cleaner,sixline and leopard wrasse,maroon clown pair,green chromis,scorpion,tiger cowrie,turbo,lyretail anthias,jewel,anemone,star polyp,marbled and giant green mushi,zoa
2x1x1 nano sw shrimps
22 May 2012
kitten_penang is offline  
post #8 of 15 Old 07-28-2011, 09:36 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitten_penang View Post
not really i think you kinda started to cycle your tank again if thats what you did during the re-planting stage thats why the levels were so high.just have to add carbon and sit it out and wait for the tank to cycle again i guess
Okay great, will do.

Thanks for the help! : )
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post #9 of 15 Old 07-28-2011, 09:37 AM
your welcome and good luck with it

5x2x2 aro,highfin bat,fei feng,ST,albino tinfoil,c.perch
4x1.5x1.5 planted tetras,harlequins,
otto,WMM,2 types of celebes rainbows,rcs,amano, bamboo,red ramhorns,MTS
3.5x2.5x2 flowerhorn,pleco
3x1.5x1.5 russel's lion,blue cleaner,sixline and leopard wrasse,maroon clown pair,green chromis,scorpion,tiger cowrie,turbo,lyretail anthias,jewel,anemone,star polyp,marbled and giant green mushi,zoa
2x1x1 nano sw shrimps
22 May 2012
kitten_penang is offline  
post #10 of 15 Old 07-28-2011, 10:33 AM
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I don't think we can jump to these conclusions. It is more likely the killifish killed the tetra [directly or indirectly] and this caused the ammonia increase. Adding two fish to an established planted tank will not raise ammonia, assuming the plants are photosynthesizing and the tank is balanced. We need to explore issues.

First, what size is the tank? What is the hardness, pH and temperature? What species of killifish? And what is the level of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate in your tap water, if any, and the pH?

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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