Please Help, Ammonia problem!
So first off, I'm new here this is my first post, but from browsing around already I will definatley be posting and reading here alot. I hate to just jump right to the problem but I must...
So I have a 30Gal tank, I've had it up and running for roughly 4 months - everything has been fine.
I recently purchased some new tank ornaments (one fake plant was also added), I let them soak in water as normal. I then added them to the tank.
Now a little while after adding them, roughly a day... I noticed the tank was starting to get cloudy, so I did the normal water test for ammonia, nitrate level, ph and that.
The nitrate level came back High, so did the ammonia level. so I then preceded to do a 20% water change - yes I did condition the water.
I left that water sit. The next day I went and purchased a new Canister Filter (Fluval 305).
I then again did a water test, and the levels were still very high so from reading I basically came to the conclusion that another water change would be needed, possibly a 50% one... so Idid that, I did a 50% water change.
Then yesterday I tested the water, and STILL the ammonia is reading high.. at this point, my angel fish were showing signs of poisoning. I did yet another 20% change (as I was told this may need to be done every other day or so). SO here I stand now.. the ammonia is still high, and I lost 2 angel fish and 2 red eye tetra's. I am stuck at what I can do... I added an ammonia pad to my filter to try and reduce some of the levels, but it does not seem to be helping. Please help if you can... I appreciate it.
what kind of filtration system do you have? (under gravel / power filter / canister, etc)? if you have a power filter (the kind that usually hangs on the back)- do you regularly change the inserts? changing them too much, could temporarily spike ammonia- also not changing them enough will do the same, as debris caught in the mesh or foam begins to decay and break down, and is then released back into the water. also- over feeding can cause this problem. tell me a little bit more about your typical maintenance. how often do you vac the gravel? how often do you change filter / clean filters? also- not a bad idea to do a control test on your water source, occasionally, tap water will have unexpected issues. the fact that you put some new decorations in the tank may just be a coincidence.
I have a Fluval 305 its a canister filter, like I said it was just purchased, it is basically 3 days old now.
I vacum the gravel every other week or so...
I also did a test on the tap water, and yea it was rather high in ammonia, but like I said I conditioned the water before I put it in the tank...
Im starting to think that having a new filter may be a bit of the problem due to the biological filtration not being on the media in the canister yet?
also forgot to add....
I changed the inserts on the old filter right before I got rid of it - this filter was a power filter.
Sounds like some sort of mini-cycle. Did something die, or some food get stuck somewhere? It's also possible when you moved around the decorations it stirred up a bacterial bloom and it went downhill from there?
I have three suggestions.
1) Algone. Natural product to remove bacterial bloom and help keep the tank in "balance" if you will. I use it all the time when there is any sort of issues. Only available at LFS or mail order.
2) BioSpira. Immediately add this. I should've put this first on the list. I've cycled each of my tanks with this amazing (also natural) product. BioSpira will literally remove the ammonia overnight. It's another awesome product- but although it will magically get rid of the ammonia, it is done with nitrifying bacteria, so you will have nitrates. Just make sure you are testing every day and do water changes as necessary. It's only available at a LFS and make sure it's refrigerated.
3) Are you testing with strips or liquid? Liquid is the way to go for the most accurate reading. Also, you can try to bring a sample to your LFS and see what they say.
Good luck, let us know what happens. The 2 products I've mentioned have always worked for me.
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