Ammonia 8 Ppm + No Matter What I Do.

BlueLobster

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29 gallon tank with HOB filter that runs at 220 GPH. It's been set up since January 14th. I have 1 red crayfish 2 inches, 1 blue crayfish 4 inches and 1 angelfish 2 inches. creatures in the tank show NO SIGNS of distress. I can drain 80% of the tank water twice over the course of 2 days and testing 5 minutes later the ammonia reads 8 + PPM after replacing 80% of the water. I use API ammo lock, my county uses chlormine in the water so I have to use something when the chlormine breaks down to ammonia. if I test straight out of the tap for ammonia it registers 0 PPM. Ammonia is always 8 + PPM 0 Nitrites 0 Nitrates PH is 7.4. I live alone so over feeding is impossible. The crayfish eat 6 sinking food sticks a day and are always consumed. The Angel is fed twice a day once with a few blood worms and the other with a small amount of fish flakes.

I'm at a complete loss.
 

Mick Frost

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AmmoLock will cause your Ammo reading to be high, as it's only binding to the Ammo until it can be nitrified. An 80% WC was probably just a shock to your bacterial colony (hopefully a stall and not a crash). Keep the AmmoLock going and retest tomorrow. Either it will have gone down, or gone up.
 
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BlueLobster

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I've been adding ammo lock since March 2nd. The tank won't cycle with ammonia above about 3 PPM. The beneficial bacteria can't take hold, but that's whatever. I cannot get the ammonia down. It will not go down, unless I take a hammer to the tank and wash my hands of the whole thing. I have a 200 hundred dollar water filtration system that removes the chlorimine as the water is coming out of the tap, it's the last thing i can possibly figure before i grab the hammer.
 

AquaticJ

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Does your system also remove chlorine? What are you using to test your water? I'd suggest using Seachem Prime, because on top of eliminating chlorine and chlorimines, it also renders ammonia, nitrite, AND nitrate nontoxic. My suggestion would be getting a stronger filter. What brand is it? You likely don't have enough surface area for the BB, and crayfish produce a lot of waste.
 

Gypsy13

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And just a thought guys. I had the same readings constantly. I bought the SeaChem Ammonia multitest kit and found out because of the high chloramines in my tap water, I had a n abundance of ammonium not ammonia.
 
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BlueLobster

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I bought all fish months ago (February) The angel was a .25 inch. the blue cray was 2 inches and the red was .50 inches. The ammonia will not go down. I even ran my filter system off the tap during an 80% water change and the result was 8 PPM ammonia. That's without ammo lock or any water conditioner. The fish didn't bat an eyelash without the ammo lock protection or the massive water changes, they just see me and want more food. The reading cannot be right! 8 PPM since mid February would have killed them all several times over by now. The API test kit isn't expired. it's good till 2021. This isn't my first rodeo. It's my third tank in a different apartment, but the readings CANNOT be right. I'm really partial to my blue lobster who sees me and comes charging out when i walk by the tank to be fed and I would hate it if it were to die because of this nonsense I'm not smart enough to figure out. Fish tanks aren't this difficult, but this one is.
 

Gypsy13

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BlueLobster said:
I bought all fish months ago (February) The angel was a .25 inch. the blue cray was 2 inches and the red was .50 inches. The ammonia will not go down. I even ran my filter system off the tap during an 80% water change and the result was 8 PPM ammonia. That's without ammo lock or any water conditioner. The fish didn't bat an eyelash without the ammo lock protection or the massive water changes, they just see me and want more food. The reading cannot be right! 8 PPM since mid February would have killed them all several times over by now. The API test kit isn't expired. it's good till 2021. This isn't my first rodeo. It's my third tank in a different apartment, but the readings CANNOT be right. I'm really partial to my blue lobster who sees me and comes charging out when i walk by the tank to be fed and I would hate it if it were to die because of this nonsense I'm not smart enough to figure out. Fish tanks aren't this difficult, but this one is.
Did you read my post? I use the API master test kit. My ammonia stayed at 8ppm. I got the Seachem ammonia multi test kit and discovered my ammonia was 0. It was the ammonium giving me false readings. Ammonia toxic. Ammonium not. Worth checking into? Doesn’t cost much.
 
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BlueLobster

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I've changed 80% of the water multiple times. I've tested the water in the 5 gallon bucket after it's been put in there from multiple chlorination filtration. 0 PPM AMMONIA. I then dump that bucket and 3 more into the tank (19 ish gallons) The AMMONIA READS 8 + PPM WITHOUT AMMO LOCK. That's 20ish gallons of fresh water into a 29 gallon tank, run through multiple filters that register 0 PPM AMMONIA and magically when it's put into the tank, it's above 8 PPM AMMONIA according to the API test kit. This is all WITHOUT AMMO LOCK.

Riddle me that.
 

Jenoli42

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BlueLobster said:
I've been adding ammo lock since March 2nd. The tank won't cycle with ammonia above about 3 PPM. The beneficial bacteria can't take hold, but that's whatever. I cannot get the ammonia down. It will not go down, unless I take a hammer to the tank and wash my hands of the whole thing. I have a 200 hundred dollar water filtration system that removes the chlorimine as the water is coming out of the tap, it's the last thing i can possibly figure before i grab the hammer.
First Welcome to fishlore mate.

second I appreciate your sense of humour in a stressful situation. but ...settle down. if your fish are fine then you're not gonna take a hammer to your spendy set up just cuz your readings are apparently insane, right? (if you do, though, can you please film it so we all have a gif of what that feels like because we've all been there & that gif would be gold )

I think gypsy may be onto something.

however your nitrates bother me. did you say if your tank is planted? if not - and please don't think I'm treating you like it's your first rodeo - did you shake the **** outta nitrate test bottle #2 & the tube after adding the drops?

if you're not planted & you shook the daylights outta the right parts of the nitrate test, then I only have 2 ideas.

1. gypsy is right & the high ammonium is stalling your cycle (is that possible?) but not hurting your fish; or

2. your fish are zombie fish. they have already died in ridiculously toxic ammonia & you're going you make a fortune breeding them.

ps: i don't mean to be flippant. genuinely intrigued. which country are you in?

EDIT. Sorry was writing this and didn't see your post. scratch the ammonium thing. your fish may be zombies..?

BlueLobster said:
I've changed 80% of the water multiple times. I've tested the water in the 5 gallon bucket after it's been put in there from multiple chlorination filtration. 0 PPM AMMONIA. I then dump that bucket and 3 more into the tank (19 ish gallons) The AMMONIA READS 8 + PPM WITHOUT AMMO LOCK. That's 20ish gallons of fresh water into a 29 gallon tank, run through multiple filters that register 0 PPM AMMONIA and magically when it's put into the tank, it's above 8 PPM AMMONIA according to the API test kit. This is all WITHOUT AMMO LOCK.

Riddle me that.

ok. I'm hooked.

tell us everything in your tank. everything. substrate. brand. decorations. everything. pls?
 
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BlueLobster

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I used to raise illegal red belly piranha that fed on first, alive then dead, gold fish carcasses. Leaving the dead renominates in the tank for 3 days straight didn't screw with my cycle and ammonia was never above 2 PPM in a 20 gallon tank. This tank that I'm dealing with now is either possessed by demonic creatures from **** or I'm now living on an ancient Indian burial ground. Changing 80% of the water ALWAYS LOWERS THE AMMONIA. IT ALWAYS LOWERS THE AMMONIA FULL STOP. It doesn't lover mine with or without ammo lock and with or without ammo lock my fish don't care. What the **** is going on here? The 8+ ammonia levels cannot be correct or my fish would be dead. They would be dead almost instantly. Any Ideas?

I used to raise illegal red belly piranha that fed on first, alive then dead, gold fish carcasses. Leaving the dead renominates in the tank for 3 days straight didn't screw with my cycle and ammonia was never above 2 PPM in a 20 gallon tank. This tank that I'm dealing with now is either possessed by demonic creatures from **** or I'm now living on an ancient Indian burial ground. Changing 80% of the water ALWAYS LOWERS THE AMMONIA. IT ALWAYS LOWERS THE AMMONIA FULL STOP. It doesn't lover mine with or without ammo lock and with or without ammo lock my fish don't care. What the **** is going on here? The 8+ ammonia levels cannot be correct or my fish would be dead. They would be dead almost instantly. Any Ideas?

Water's clear and my creatures are out looking for food like they always do.
 

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Gypsy13

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My last two cents. I would get the Seachem ammonia multitest kit to see exactly what my free ammonia is. The fish are doing well. The water is clean. It takes 30 minutes to run the test. At least then you’d KNOW what your actual ammonia level is.
I’m sorry if I’m stepping where I’m not wanted. Don’t mean to. Wishing you and your fish well.
 

Jenoli42

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Gypsy13 said:
My last two cents. I would get the Seachem ammonia multitest kit to see exactly what my free ammonia is. The fish are doing well. The water is clean. It takes 30 minutes to run the test. At least then you’d KNOW what your actual ammonia level is.
I’m sorry if I’m stepping where I’m not wanted. Don’t mean to. Wishing you and your fish well.
I don't think you're unwanted! I think the OP is just mystified & frustrated.

@BlueLobster what substrate is that? it looks like smooth aquarium gravel but someone on this forum had used a product that had slag chemicals & leeched ammonia. I'm not convinced that's what is going on here because your fish are alive.

did you see my questions about nitrates?
 
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BlueLobster

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I have no idea what's going on here. no idea. The tank wont cycle because of the high ammonia and i can't get rid of the high ammonia, but the fish don't care. Ammo lock water, not a problem, water from 3 stages of filtration, the fish don't care. The one common denominator? 8+ PPM AMMONIA.
 

Jenoli42

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BlueLobster said:
I have no idea what's going on here. no idea. The tank wont cycle because of the high ammonia and i can't get rid of the high ammonia, but the fish don't give a s***. Ammo lock water, not a problem, water from 3 stages of filtration, the fish don't give a s***. The one common denominator? 8+ PPM AMMONIA.
I hear you. it's bizarre. but your ammonia cannot be 8ppm or your fish would be dead. like you correctly said. so what if something in your tank is leeching ammonium. like your substrate.?
 
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BlueLobster

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It's not possible. All my plants are fake and my 25 pounds of gravel was washed. This must be voodoo. Someone must have a doll sticking pins into my aquarium.
 

Jenoli42

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BlueLobster said:
It's not possible. All my plants are fake and my 25 pounds of gravel was washed. This must be voodoo. Someone must have a doll sticking pins into my aquarium.
what kind of gravel though? like what brand?

also. if you decide to get the test alert or kit gypsy suggested to test free ammonia, bring a jar of your tank water to the fish store & get them to test. it is possible your kit is off. it's not very likely since it shows 0ppm for your tap etc. but there's a larger possibility of a dud kit than voodoo, an ancient burial ground curse, demons from H E double hockey sticks or zombie fish.
 
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BlueLobster

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Petco and petsmart didn't have any idea of what was going on in my tank. They tested my water and asked how many fish I lost, I haven't lost any. All they said was, changing water always lowers ammonia and chems in the water. As soon as I said i have three live and thriving creatures in that tank with 8+ ammonia since early February, they said it was impossible. They would have died whiten 10 minutes and new fish would be dead inside 1 minute after freaking out and gasping for air the entire time.

All my fish creatures hanging out on a Wednesday in the same area begging for food.
 

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Jenoli42

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sorry to sound like a broken record here but like gypsy said, the api kit tests all ammonia including inert ammonium. which doesn't harm fish but might harm a cycle. I've tried googling that but can't find anything useful.

so while her theory that it came from the ammo lock doesn't work in your case, if it's somehow being released by something else in your tank, buying the SeaChem alert or multitest kit would help you figure out next steps.

something in your tank must be the culprit. given the amount you're seeing immediately after a big water change, I still suspect your gravel
 
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BlueLobster

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It can't be actual ammonia. That level would have killed my fish long ago, it has to be the less toxic variety, a bad test kit or my fish are immortal gods. I vacuum my gravel weekly, not that it matters given the fish to tank volume. I'm going to give this setup another 2 weeks before I sell everything off. I can't change 50% of the water every day anymore. It's ridiculous and and time consuming.
 

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Did I miss this somewhere? What is the ph of the tap after 24 hours and in the tank? I'm willing to bet its below 6.4 and I'm also completely baffled as to what you're actually reading in that tank.

If your ph is that low, put your fish in a separate container and remove all your water from your tank. Refill it, and then immediately test for ammonia. If you still get 8, put roughly 1 quarter a test worth of tank water in a tube and then fill the rest to the mark with tap water and see what it reads.
 

Neutral-Waterinos

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BlueLobster said:
It can't be actual ammonia. That level would have killed my fish long ago, it has to be the less toxic variety, a bad test kit or my fish are immortal gods. I vacuum my gravel weekly, not that it matters given the fish to tank volume. I'm going to give this setup another 2 weeks before I sell everything off. I can't change 50% of the water every day anymore. It's ridiculous and and time consuming.
Hey mate maybe you should bring in some of your water and let the folks at the Aquarium store test it ya know? They are using another API test kit so if their readings come out much lower than yours it has to be due with something with your test kit. Just trying to rule that possibility out : )
 
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