10 Gallon Tank 4.0 Ammonia I can’t bring it down.

CatBird580

I’ve had this 10 gallon betta tank that has gotten an ammonia reading of 4.0. I’ve been trying to bring it down for weeks by doing water changes daily for a week, which didn’t really work. I also added some Bacteria(Marineland Bio-spira freshwater bacteria) and a new plant to the tank and that kinda worked for a bit but just went back up later. I’ve added Seachem Prime as well but so far that hasn’t worked either. I literally had just a betta and some snails that stuck to the plants that I bought.
Ammonia 4.0
Ph 7.4 (I’ve recently added some almond leaves to bring it down) it’s kind of went up with the ammonia.
Nítrate 1.0
Nitrite 0
Temp 75 (for some reason it kind of fluctuates. I DO in fact have a heater set for 78-79).
It was cycled for a bit but the ammonia kind of just spiked again.
 

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Ghelfaire

Teat your tap water. Maybe something got into the public water.
 
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AquaticQueen

I’ve had this 10 gallon betta tank that has gotten an ammonia reading of 4.0. I’ve been trying to bring it down for weeks by doing water changes daily for a week, which didn’t really work. I also added some Bacteria(Marineland Bio-spira freshwater bacteria) and a new plant to the tank and that kinda worked for a bit but just went back up later. I’ve added Seachem Prime as well but so far that hasn’t worked either. I literally had just a betta and some snails that stuck to the plants that I bought.
Ammonia 4.0
Ph 7.4 (I’ve recently added some almond leaves to bring it down) it’s kind of went up with the ammonia.
Nítrate 1.0
Nitrite 0
Temp 75 (for some reason it kind of fluctuates. I DO in fact have a heater set for 78-79).
It was cycled for a bit but the ammonia kind of just spiked again.
Your profile says you do not know about the aquarium nitrogen cycle. Please read up on it. It's very important.
Your tank was not cycled before so right now you are going through a fish-in cycle. Make sure to use that Prime. Without it, your betta will die.
Keep doing water changes and dosing with Prime until you get readings of:
0ppm ammonia
0ppm nitrite
Some nitrates
 
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CatBird580

Your profile says you do not know about the aquarium nitrogen cycle. Please read up on it. It's very important.
Your tank was not cycled before so right now you are going through a fish-in cycle. Make sure to use that Prime. Without it, your betta will die.
Keep doing water changes and dosing with Prime until you get readings of:
0ppm ammonia
0ppm nitrite
Some nitrates
Sorry, i don’t really know how to change my account to knowing about the nitrogen cycle. I promise I do know about it and have researched about it a lot. I do already have a different tank that is cycled. But how often should I do water changes?
 
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CatBird580

[QUOTE="CatBird580, post: 4773198, member: . I promise I do know about it and have researched about it a lot. I do already have a different tank that is cycled. But how often should I do water changes?
[/QUOTE]
 
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StarGirl

Test your tap water to see if there is ammonia in it. You may be just adding it every time you change water.
 
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DrogJustDrog

Going off of what StarGirl said I did hear from someone that water conditioners can create ammonia after treating water (chlorimanes are to blame for this). This person suggested zeolite if that is the case. I'd suggest looking into that, mind you I do not know much about zeolite outside of it being used to bring down ammonia levels.
 
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StarGirl

Going off of what StarGirl said I did hear from someone that water conditioners can create ammonia after treating water (chlorimanes are to blame for this). This person suggested zeolite if that is the case. I'd suggest looking into that, mind you I do not know much about zeolite outside of it being used to bring down ammonia levels.
I have never heard this. Tap water conditioners remove Chlorine and Chloramines. They do not create ammonia.
 
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DrogJustDrog

I have never heard this. Tap water conditioners remove Chlorine and Chloramines. They do not create ammonia.
I think it has to do with the chloramines getting broken down. Again, this is just what I've heard.
 
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Demonskid

Like suggested, test your tap water for Ammonia.

Another suggested Zeolite. I second this suggestion as you said Prime isn't helping. I recently got some and it works. Just make sure to rinse it thoroughly as it can cloud up the water. I got Marinland's White Diamond (Clinoptilolite Zeolite) from amazon, if you want to look into it.

If the ammonia is coming from your tap, I found through my tests, it's best to treat the water with Prime first to get rid of the chlorine before filtering it through the zeolite. The chlorine seems to protect the ammonia from the zeolite for some reason. At least that's what happened with me when I did a "Fresh out of the tap" test and a "Fresh out of the tap with Prime" test. It's a bit of extra work but worth it. I did a lot of tests these past few days before putting it in my tank.

If the ammonia is caused by something in the tank, get a mesh bag, add the zeolite, and place it in your filter. This way you can control the ammonia while you search for what is causing this spike. This way your fish won't get sick while you search and after you find the cause and correct it, you can take the zeolite out. Don't throw it away, because you can recharge it with salt water and reuse it when/if you need it again.
 
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UnknownUser

Wait you have a second cycled tank. Does that tank use the same source water? Because if you are getting water for both tanks from the same source and only one tank has this issue, it is not coming from the source water.
 
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CatBird580

Wait you have a second cycled tank. Does that tank use the same source water? Because if you are getting water for both tanks from the same source and only one tank has this issue, it is not coming from the source water.
I don’t know if it makes a difference but I fill one tank with bath water and the 10 gallon with tap water from the sink. They should come from the same source but that does make sense. I’ll test the other tank for ammonia since I did a water change today for that.
 
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CatBird580

I don’t know if it makes a difference but I fill one tank with bath water and the 10 gallon with tap water from the sink. They should come from the same source but that does make sense. I’ll test the other tank for ammonia since I did a water change today for that.
Update to this, I don’t think it’s the tap water. The ammonia is 0 for my other tank.
 

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BlackOsprey

What kind of substrate are you using? High-nutrient stuff like aquasoils can bleed massive amounts of ammonia for a while.

Anyways, it's kind of weird that it's been this high for weeks on end and your fish isn't dead yet, or at least not sick. Also weird that it's spiking that high even with daily water changes, especially considering your stock is 1 betta and some small snails, unless it's a substrate thing. I guess your test kit isn't busted because it's showing different results for other water samples, so I'm honestly at a bit of a loss... that ammonia has to be coming from somewhere, especially if it's able to replinish itself even with daily water changes.

If nothing else, a sponge filter to the tank and, if possible, add some kind of floating plant like red root floater, duckweed, or azolla. It never hurts to have a sponge filter and might get your cycle back on track faster. Floating plants are nitrogen sponges due to their rapid growth and self-propagation.
 
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CatBird580

What kind of substrate are you using? High-nutrient stuff like aquasoils can bleed massive amounts of ammonia for a while.

Anyways, it's kind of weird that it's been this high for weeks on end and your fish isn't dead yet, or at least not sick. Also weird that it's spiking that high even with daily water changes, especially considering your stock is 1 betta and some small snails, unless it's a substrate thing. I guess your test kit isn't busted because it's showing different results for other water samples, so I'm honestly at a bit of a loss... that ammonia has to be coming from somewhere, especially if it's able to replinish itself even with daily water changes.

If nothing else, a sponge filter to the tank and, if possible, add some kind of floating plant like red root floater, duckweed, or azolla. It never hurts to have a sponge filter and might get your cycle back on track faster. Floating plants are nitrogen sponges due to their rapid growth and self-propagation.
Honestly I’m at a loss too. I have just your typical aquarium gravel for the tank. I stopped doing the daily water changes a bit ago due to some advice from my local fish store. As well as me messaging my mother about my problems and her pushing to not do a water change. I’ll visit the pet store/local fish store to buy some floating plants. I have a makeshift sponge filter so I’ll try that as well. Should i continue daily water change? Or every other day?

I forgot to mention that even with daily water changes at some point the ammonia went up.
 
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StarGirl

Do you have artificial deco in the tank? Sometimes they are no good and leech ammonia. Just grasping at straws here.
 
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kaquatics84

Honestly I’m at a loss too. I have just your typical aquarium gravel for the tank. I stopped doing the daily water changes a bit ago due to some advice from my local fish store. As well as me messaging my mother about my problems and her pushing to not do a water change. I’ll visit the pet store/local fish store to buy some floating plants. I have a makeshift sponge filter so I’ll try that as well. Should i continue daily water change? Or every other day?
You should stop with the daily water changes but instead stick to as even my local pet store near me said stick with a 2-3 week water change.
 
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Vivo

Do you have a quarantine tank you can put your betta in temporarily until U get your water straightened out? I am worried about your fish. It sounds like you crashed your cycle. Test your tapwater for nitrates that’s where the one could be coming from. It takes a lot longer to cycle your tank with fish in if u are using Prime, my understanding is it will still show ammonia The safe for 24 to 48 hours. There is a good article on fishlab.com regarding fish-in cycles. If you keep your fish in, you need to do water changes about 30% every other day and dose with prime for the full amount of the tank. The prime will lock up the ammonia to help the fish live. I would check your levels daily. Four is too high. You could start over and wash your media in tank water. At least your fish won’t be swimming in ammonia.
 
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