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Advice on bringing ammonia down? Frustrating...

Discussion in 'Aquarium Water' started by terp2318, Mar 16, 2010.

  1. terp2318 New Member Member

    10 gallon tank... only thing I have is ammonia..no nitrates or trites...

    been 4 weeks and all I got is ammonia 8+. Thinking of giving up, bottling the water and using it to clean my windows.

    I read different things here, 2 weeks ago I saw something here about ph being too low. Noticed mine was low, got some ph raising thing and raise into normal range. At the same time I read something about water temp, too low and bacteria won't form, turned it up to around 80.

    I changed out 60% of the water yesterday, I expected the ammonia to go down a little after that, so when I say 8+, it must be completly off the chart...maybe 80...

    Any advice, I got this so my little guy could have a little pet, patience running out, would have been cheaper and less frustrating to buy a glass bowl and a goldfish, and buy a new fish every 2 weeks...

  2. HOWsMom Well Known Member Member

    What are you using to cycle the tank ?

  3. terp2318 New Member Member

  4. HOWsMom Well Known Member Member

    No, you got it right the first time.

    The pros around here will chime in to tell you that StressZyme won't help you in the long run. Something about it being terrestial bacteria instead of aquatic, and that's why you have to redose it weekly, because it doesn't allow the proper bacteria to live and grow.

    Someone will chime in if I'm on the wrong track here, I hope.

    What kind of test are you using to test for ammonia ?
    Are you testing for anything else ? Nitrite or Nitrate ?

    They'll also tell you to avoid the pH modifiers, I'm sure - and I will not pretend to know or understand how those work or why they are not recommended here.

    I will commiserate - I've recently cycled a few tanks, two fishless (using ammonia), and two with fish (single male bettas). The ammonia adding cycle went quickest. The fish-in, having to change water daily is just a pain.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 16, 2010
  5. jdhef Moderator Moderator Member

    With an ammomia level that high, you are probably killing off the bacteria. Remember, many people use ammonia as a cleaning product.

    So I think you should do enough of a water change to get your ammonia to 4 or 5ppm. Sadly, I fear you are going to be starting from scratch once again, since the high ammonia probably killed all of the bacteria.

    It sounds like you are (rightfully) getting a little impatient. I think if it were me I would empty the tank, refill with new water and add some Tetra SafeStart and a couple of small fish. You will then be cycled in a week (and you'll have some fish in the tank).

    Additional, just in case you are unaware of this, you need a minimum of 20 gallons for one goldfish and 10 gallons additional for every additional goldfish.
  6. leeishom Valued Member Member

    I would start over.
  7. marina3 Valued Member Member

    I completely understand your frustration...and that is, not knowing what to do and getting so much info from different sources and on top of that, CONFLICTING info!!! But you are now in the right place, don't give up! but it will be a process... I second the previous posts, start over. Don't manipulate the PH...more important than having the PERFECT PH is to have a CONSISTENT level. Is easier to do a fishless cycling, but if you must have fish, you have to be ready to do daily water changes.
    I think your mistake was in using the PH (Down or UP) and doing such a big water change (60%) while going thru the begining of your cycle...I am a newbie, but I adventure to advise because it happened to me!!! Please use PRIME to condition the water, add a few hardy fish (if you must) and do your daily water changes. Check your levels, try to keep the ammonia below .25 if you don't want to loose your fish and WAIT...Patience and fishkeeping goes hand & hand...You can do it! Good luck!
  8. LyndaB Fishlore Legend Member

    What testing tools are you using to gather your numbers? If it's the strips, they're pretty useless. Get the API Master Kit (hopefully this is what you have). That said, sometimes if you don't shake the bottles enough before testing, you'll get erroneous results. Once, we just had a bad testing bottle and our numbers were all wonky. Replaced with a new bottle and voila!

    Good luck! I hate the cycling part. :;jaws
  9. Tana Valued Member Member

    With your ammonia testing that high, you need to perform daily water changes with Prime added to detox ammonia for 24 hours until your next water change so that your barbs can be safe.

    I'm still learning about the different species of fish, but from what I've read on tiger barbs, the recommended tank size is at least a 20 gallons so maybe their bio-load is more than your 10 gallon tank/filter can handle. Also, I don't know when your rainbow shark jumped out, but the recommended tank size for that was 55 gallon. Those fish combined may have contributed to your high ammonia readings on your uncycled tank. Someone with more experience with those fish will need to reply, but that's my best guess.