Ammonia and nitrite Question

Discussion in 'Betta Fish' started by damprye, Apr 3, 2010.

  1. d

    damprye Valued Member Member

    I know that it is advised against to have ammonia and nitrites above 0 but when does it become fatal?

    When doing partial water changes (well adding water to my betta fry tank in this case) what levels should you expect before the filter can change the ammonia to nitrite and then the nitrite to nitrate?

    Is "Ammo Lock" a good product?
    When should it (if ever) be used/ under what circumstances?
  2. Lucy

    Lucy Moderator Moderator Member

    These toxins slowly do their damage, Although in a short time, you may see heavy breathing, gasping at the surface and reddened gills

    Part of what happens is as the fish tries to fight off the toxins, it weakens their immune system leaving them open to other illnesses and disease.

    Even small amount effects their breathing, burns gills and effect their blood. Look up brown blood disease in fish.

    If a fish makes it through the cycling, even though it may be unseen, damage has been done to their organs.

    So many times, someone will say that their fish made it through the cycle just fine but a few weeks or months down the road, that fish might seem to get sick for no reason.
    That fish's immune system had been compromised and possible long term damage has been done.

    Sorry, I think I'm being confusing. lol What I'm trying to say, is you may not always see the immediate effects.

    The filter it's self doesn't contain ammonia and nitrite. The bacteria that grows on the filter media and other surfaces.

    Here's a basic explanation of the nitrogen cycle:
    First your ammonia (from fish waste and left over food) will rise.
    In a few weeks bacteria will start to develop and you'll see the nitrite levels rise and the ammonia levels start to drop.
    After a few more weeks a different kind of bacteria begins to develop and you'll see the nitrate levels rise and the nitrite levels drop.
    Ammonia and nitrites are toxic to your fish.
    So until your cycle is complete, you need to keep the levels down with 50% daily water changes.
    If your pH differs greatly from tap to tank 2 25% changes a day would be safer.
    Using Prime as your water conditioner will detox the ammonia for 24 hrs between water changes.
    When you having readings of 0 on both ammonia and nitrites with some nitrates showing, your cycle is done.

    Adding water due to evaporation isn't the same as water changes.

    I don't use ammo-lock but it's my understanding that it will help detox ammonia.
    Many of us use Prime, it detox's ammonia for 24 hours between water changes.

    :) Sorry for the long post.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2010
  3. Jaysee

    Jaysee Fishlore Legend Member

    Not much to add to that :)

  4. Prince Powder

    Prince Powder Well Known Member Member

    Well I think Lucy has you covered on all that. One thing I would like to add is that Ammo-Lock is a good product for neutralizing ammonia, it does not neutralize nitrite. This is one reason I prefer Prime as it will work for both. Amquel+ also works on both ammonia and nitrite. For a cycling tank or a tank in a mini cycle I would personally prefer either Prime or Amquel+ over Ammo-Lock, but that's just my preference.
  5. Shawnie

    Shawnie Fishlore Legend Member

    and in fry tanks, even the smallest amounts can kill fast before you even see any signs :(
  6. OP

    damprye Valued Member Member

    I didn't add the water due to evap, they are to young to start water changes and on advice of MM I am adding 2ltrs a day. My Ammonia and Nitrites are usually at 0 but when I added the tap water it temporarily climbed. I have to add this water everyday.

    I understand peoples concerns but really, there is ammonia in tap water, this is a well known fact. What I really wanted to know is how long until the ammonia changes without using any chemicals.

    The Ammo Lock is because I was given it and it has not got clear instructions but I will look into getting prime.
  7. Shawnie

    Shawnie Fishlore Legend Member

    how about using ro or spring water for the small changes? that way no chemicals have to go in the tank..
  8. trinket

    trinket Well Known Member Member

    Everything was covered by the other posts, I just wanted to say it took my tank about 5 weeks to cycle, ammonia was at about 4 ppm for a few weeks, then nitrite slowly climbed to about 5 ppm for about 2 weeks before any nitrites showed.

    I was doing a fishless cycle though and did not do any water changes. It would take longer with the water changes, for the cycle to complete.

    Also keep in mind that your pH can effect how dangerous ammonia is in your water.

    Can you pretreat your water before adding it to the tank with something that removes the ammonia from your tap water?
  9. cajunfiberco

    cajunfiberco Well Known Member Member

    Everything has been said already, but not ALL tap water contains ammonia. Mine used to not have it, now it does and I have to use RO or spring water, and add trace minerals and pH up to make is suitable for fish
  10. OP

    damprye Valued Member Member

    the levels were Ammonia-0.25, Nitrite-0.2 and my Nitrates-5
  11. Shawnie

    Shawnie Fishlore Legend Member

    for some reason your tank is back at the cycling this the tank with betta fry?
  12. OP

    damprye Valued Member Member

    Yes the fry tank, I done the test as soon as I put the water in. Was I supposed to wait a little while first, if so how long?
  13. Shawnie

    Shawnie Fishlore Legend Member

    your best testing is right before you change your water...conditioning products can have an effect on the tests ....again, id find some spring/ro water for your fry dont change that much to where it wont be so expensive....otherwise, your fry could die or have some major issues with ammonia/nitrites always in the water....
  14. OP

    damprye Valued Member Member

    Ok I will test before my next W/C, thank you :)

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