Ammonia won’t go down - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 4 Old 07-06-2019, 10:06 AM Thread Starter
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Ammonia won’t go down

Hello, so my 29 gallon tank was cycled at 0ppm ammonia 0ppm nitrite and 20 ppm nitrate. After adding in 6 cherry barbs, 3 at first and then 3 more 2 1/2 days later everything looked good. Then a week ago my ammonia spiked to 1ppm I checked my tap and it is also 1ppm ammonia. I added in some safestart after waiting 24 hrs after conditioning my water and it’s been a week and a day since that’s been added. However my ammonia is still reading at 1ppm, there’s been 0ppm nitrites but nitrates keep rising so some bacteria has to be working but why isn’t the ammonia going down? My tank is acidic at 6.4(this is intentional for the fish I want in it) so some of this should be ammonium but I’m not sure how much of it is and shouldn’t the bacteria be able to eat ammonium as well? The barbs seem fine and are even spawning but I don’t want to be stressing them out or hurting them and I can’t fogure out what’s going on. I have lots of plants, none of which are dying and there’s no dead fish. I also feed small amounts every other day so it’s not an over feeding issue and the tank isn’t overstocked with the 6 cherries.
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post #2 of 4 Old 07-06-2019, 01:50 PM
Ammonia is actually less toxic with a lower pH, however that's still pretty high. I would up the water conditioner as it seems the city has increase the chloramine. Consider RO water as a solution. You did the right thing by setting the water aside for a week. There's also a chance that you knocked the tank out of cycle as well since there's no conversion happening.
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post #3 of 4 Old 07-06-2019, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
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Since nitrates are still rising the bacteria are still up and running right? Or can nitrates ride on their own, the ammonia won’t go down but it isn’t rising either and the nitrates are, does ammonium get eaten by bacteria or do I need to remove it in some other way in case that’s what I’m reading instead of ammonia.
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post #4 of 4 Old 07-08-2019, 06:03 PM

(reread original post).

Are your plants live?

thriving live plants should result in high pH and low ammonia.

If you don't have some try some anacharis.

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)


Last edited by beaslbob; 07-08-2019 at 06:06 PM.
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