Ammonia Level Not Dropping

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Lieutenant Bubble

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Hi all,
  • 21 litre (about 5 gallons) cold water tank (sitting around 19-22degrees Celsius)
  • Feeding the fish only what they can eat within about a minute, 2x daily.
  • 0.5ppm ammonia (constant for 7 weeks)
  • One small spike in nitrites (after feeding block while on holiday for a week)
  • Adding Stability everyday (about ¼ of cap, as advised by pet shop)
  • Adding Prime with every water change (to the tap water not tank directly)
  • Have used a gravel siphon to remove ‘stuff’ -> no change in parameters.
  • Why is ammonia still present, with no change, and why is the nitrite and nitrate level not changing? It appears the tank is not cycling?
Any help or ideas/tips would be much appreciated, we are confused about what we are doing wrong Thanks!


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More than 10 years
Hmm, that's a very small tank for them. What kind of filter do you have on your tank, and what kind of media do you have in it? Have you changed the media yet?

To get your ammonia down, you'll need to do a much larger water change. You could do 75-90% as gently as possible to avoid freaking out your fish. Another idea would be to go ahead and use some Amquel Plus directly in the tank. You wouldn't have to do the full dose--just half. Also, have you tried taking a reading on your tap water? Some areas end up with ammonia right out of the tap, so it's always a good idea to check that out. We had a nitrate spike in our water a few years back while I was setting up a new tank. I thought I was losing my mind, and then I took a reading right after a 90% water change, only to get a bright red color in the test tube. So now I use Amquel Plus all the time as Prime only helps for about 24 hours.
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