Ammonia for 2 months..

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by Jupiter Jack, Jul 10, 2015.

  1. Jupiter Jack

    Jupiter JackValued MemberMember

    I have a 20 gal. Tank with 10 juvenile corys and 3 otos. Almost 2 months ago I rehomed 6 tetras to make Room for the baby corys. At that point my tank was cycled and running for approximately 5 months. During that process, I stirred up a lot of gravel and have had ammonia ever since. Ammonia is usually at .25ppm but can go up to .5 if I don't do a water change at least every other day with prime.

    So basically, I'm completely frustrated with this tank. I have been doing 50% water changes daily or every other day but it's been like 55 days and I can't continue to do water changes like a maniac. I use prime as a water conditioner to detoxify the Ammonia.

    The tank has a fluVal 50 gal filter with 2 air stones. PH is 7.4 which wouldn't cause the bb to die, but that's exactly what it seems like happened. It's almost like something is preventing the bb from being able to grow and process the ammonia. I thought maybe it was lack of oxygen so I added a bigger air pump..

    If anybody has any solutions, you'd be my hero. Please help me return to loving this hobby like I once did...

    I should add that I've cycled a tank twice before and I realize it takes time, but I don't even have nitrites or nitrates. I don't have any ammonia in my tap water either.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2015
  2. Jenbug0901

    Jenbug0901Valued MemberMember

    I had a similar problem and ended up adding ammonia chips to my filter. I also use compressed clay balls (usually used in aquaponics) to the back of my filter to increase my bioload (this is also helpful for setting up a new tank because you can just move some balls to the new filer.) I do know that instead of so many water changes you can add a bit more prime every other day and do the water changes on the 3rd or 4th day. I only offer this as a very temporary solution, but maybe to help you keep your sanity as you try beefing up your filter. Prime is pretty awesome and you can safely use up to 500 times the dosage. The only other thing to know about the prime is that after you add it you might still get high ammonia level reading because it doesn't get rid of the ammonia, but it does render it harmless.
  3. Dom90

    Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    500 times? Even the bottle states Prime can be dosed up to 5x the normal dosage in emergency situations...

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  4. Bijou88

    Bijou88Well Known MemberMember

    5 times yes, 500, nooooo. It's pretty hard to od on conditioner but that'd probably do it.

    Are all of your fish accounted for? Just making sure one didn't accidentally get buried... that's odd that it's still that high with no nitrites or nitrates.

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  5. Jenbug0901

    Jenbug0901Valued MemberMember

    That's what I was told by a very reliable biologist friend of mine. Not that it's recommended at all, but from the information I was given, it would take about that amount to really start hurting the fish. A regular dose should totally take care of the ammonia.

    I'd also do a thorough gravel cleaning because is right, you may have something in there.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 11, 2015
  6. jdhef

    jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    Hmmm. that is odd that your ammonia will not zero out. I'm not sure what happened, but if it were me I would add a bottle of SafeStart
  7. OP
    Jupiter Jack

    Jupiter JackValued MemberMember

    I actually added a bottle of beneficial bacteria but it wasn't tss. I had tried that once and didn't feel it did much of anything.

    Yes all my fish are accounted for. I stopped using carbon over the past month but there shouldn't be a real need for that right ?

    I feel like somehow the bb in my filter have died and can no longer survive. I just don't know what would cause this. I'd really like to not add ammo chips but maybe I'll do a little more research about that..
  8. Dom90

    Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    What bacteria product did you use? Is it Seachem Stability? I can vouch that it works. I've cycled quite a few tanks with it in the past. In fact, I'm cycling two tanks at the same time right now with it. Ammonia's already dropping and its only been one day...
  9. pji2100

    pji2100New MemberMember

    I had the same issue. I used fluval cycle at petco. My tank was stuck with .5 ammonia and high levels of no2(5ppm) no3 (100ppm) after a 100% water change re tested [a .5 no2 .1 no3 0 then putting in 10ml of cycle then 24hrs later

    The levels zeroed out
    ammonia 0
    nitrite .5