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Discussion Starter #1
My crowntail, Spike, had passed away. He was bright/active the entire time, just suddenly kicked the bucket with no outward signs of issues. So I purchased a new betta, a double tail dubbed GoJo.

Now I'm suddenly having issues. This tank is supposed to be cycled. Yet everyday I'm being forced to do a 100% water change because I am getting a reading of 1ppm ammonia. My betta is likely slowly dying and I can't figure out wtf is happening!

I was thinking that maybe there was waste trapped inside my sand and when the sand was disturbed the ammonia was released? As par the idea, I did atleast 5 100% water changes/vacuums. I disturbed the sand as much as possible to make sure I am removing all waste possible. I couldn't find anymore waste when vacuuming on my last water change.

I scrubbed down the walls, rinsed decor in hot HOT water, scrubbed down the housing of my filter. I've rinsed my media in decholrinated water. Added more media incase that somehow whatever the betta was producing didn't have enough room in the original media.

I just have no idea what is going on/what more I can do.

Specs:
Tank has been running with no prior issues for 5 years
5.5 gallons
HOB filter rated for 10 gallons/baffled with a plastic water bottle
Marineland filter pad for sponge media
sand substrate
live plants: anacharis, duckweed/slavina
fake plants
gator head from wally world(was purchased 2 years ago)

I've been doing daily 100% water changes, treating with Prime every time. Yet I am getting a reading of 1ppm ammonia everyday. The only inhabitant is my double tail betta.
 

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When you scrubbed all the walls, decor, and filter media you probably got rid of the majority of your beneficial bacteria, so now your tank is having to cycle again. All I can recommend are huge daily water changes until you can ride this out. Plants are going to help, add more if your can.

Do you have a cycled tank that you can take some media from?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
My issue is, where is all this ammonia coming from?!
Even before my tank was cycled and was very new, 1 betta fish would produce .25 ammonia in that very same tank in 1 week.
 

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When are you testing the water.... right before you change it? Try testing it right away after the change or at the tap, it's possible it may be in the source water already.

Jeff.
 

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Obviously it's coming from somewhere, but with the plants and established media and whatnot, perhaps you could let it go and see if it drops. If you are using prime (which does create ammonia when used initially) then the ammonia is rendered harmless for up to 2 days. The assumption is that the ammonia gets oxidized by the cycle or used by the plants and is gone in that period. The ammonia is produced when the prime breaks the chlorine into it's components.

I don't know how much is released but it would depend on how much chlorine is in the water initially. I would wonder why it is happening now if it never happened before, maybe the water supply has changed levels of treatment.

Jeff.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
hm
possibly
but it's killing my betta but not my angels? My betta is all clampy and labored in breathing. My angels are perfectly happy.
 

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I guess I missed a part, I don't think it's the ammonia that is the problem if you are changing the water frequently and treating it with prime, the ammonia shouldn't be an issue in that case.

Jeff.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
But that's all that is abnormal in my betta tank. Everything else is testing as it normally does. PH between 7-7.5 Nitrites 0, Nitrates 5, water is still soft. I'm just a bit confused as to why the ammonia is spiking like this.

I'm only doing daily 100% because OF the ammonia. Otherwise I'd do my weekly 50%.
 

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Ok, try something, if you want. Keep treating with prime every two days but only do a 50% water change at the same time. Measure ammonia the day after the change and see what it is at. The prime keeps the ammonia from harming the fish.

Two things to watch for, see if the ammonia is actually being dealt with if it goes down or if it keeps goings up. If it goes down the trouble is not in your tank and if it goes up... somehow something in the tank is the trouble.

Jeff.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
does your tap water have ammonia in it? lol
I've already said I've tested my tap 3 times. 0 ammonia in my tap


I'll give that a try Jeff. Thanks.
 

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A little anecdotal bit. I'm playing with a jar to do a cycle with no filter, substrate or anything, just water and a glass jar and some fish food. What was interesting is that once I saw nitrites and then zero nitrites I filtered out all the food particles through a coffee filter. I thought that would be fine enough to remove enough ammonia producing food particles leaving the jar some residual bits that it could easily keep up with, and overcome the buildup, but it turns out I was wrong. The water is clear but ammonia still rides around 1ppm even though the cycle seems intact.

I think that, if anything in the tank can be blamed, it will be the sand. No matter your test results if you try that little experiment, don't disturb the sand, it's not deep enough to need to be disturbed. If there is anything in there to decay, letting it be under the surface will, or may, serve to at least slow down the process a bit. It just might take a while for whatever is there to process, but it will.

As far as sudden Betta passing or current stressed fish... I doubt this has much bearing... except maybe the new fish is stressing over a new home with you mucking about and fussing over him so much:roll:

Jeff.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well the new betta was doing great until I had a reading of ammonia.
I'm almost considering completely removing the sand. I still have lots of leftover gravel that's been sitting around.
 
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