Ammonia level way up 6.0

Discussion in 'Aquarium Water' started by mitchgmace, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. mitchgmaceValued MemberMember

    Need help. I was testing my tank today and ammonia level way up! So I changed 1/3 of water and filters (cleaned tank). What causes this? I change about 1/3 of water once a month with about a 1/6 water change every other week.:;fru
  2. sknr03New MemberMember

    If your nitrate and nitrite levels are low and the only problem is ammonia than you might want to try a ammonia removing filter additive. I have used them and the levels drop quickly without a need for a drastic water change if any.
  3. bolivianbabyFishlore LegendMember

    Hello, Mitch.

    You have some high waste producing fish in your tank. Do you still have the oscar listed in your aquarium information? He would probably be the main cause of your ammonia spike.

    Also, you might want to consider weekly water changes of 25-50%.

    To get you through the mini-cycle, the best advice I can offer would be daily water changes with Prime or Amquel+ based on your ammonia levels.

    Your aquarium info says you're not aware of the nitrogen cycle. Is this correct? I'm asking because you've been a member for a few months.

    I hope this helps.
  4. AlyeskaGirlFishlore VIPMember

    Great advice from Bolivianbaby.

    Do you have adequate filtration?
  5. mitchgmaceValued MemberMember

    Thanks for advice! Yes my son added an Oscar. That Oscar is growing fast! I do like to watch the fish. Everything in the tank seems to get along.

    So, I was looking and one of those filter systems that ( stand-a-lone). Not to up on this stuff. But I would like to get one soon. Any pro's or con's on these? I have the kind that hangs on the top edge of tank. It is rated for 100 gal. But I'm not sure ut's all that good. Does it hurt to run two different filters on a tank?
  6. jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    Only when the electric bill arrives.
  7. LyndaBFishlore LegendMember

    I completely agree. You're not changing out enough water.
  8. mitchgmaceValued MemberMember

    OK, thanks guys. I will be doing bigger changes and more often. Also add a better filter system.
  9. flyin-loweWell Known MemberMember

    I noticed in the first post you said you cleaned the filter and the tank. The filter houses most of the good bacteria that your tank needs. The charcoal in the filter is only good for about 2 weeks. That's why a lot of people don't use it. The other filter media should not be replaced like the manufacturer usually suggests. They are just trying to sell more filter media. Drain some of the water from your tank into a bucket and clean your filter in that water and put it back in. If you replace the filter media or clean it with chlorine water you will loose the bacteria and go into another cycle. Tell us what specific filter you have and how you have been cleaning it.
  10. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    I do 50-60% changes weekly. A large wc every week will be fine. However, your ammonia level is so high that I would do 25-50 percent daily, with one now that is at least 60 percent.

    A canister would be awesome, but they are expensive. I really think you need one, though, if you can afford it. They filter the water more efficiently than the hobs.
  11. gcdjNew MemberMember

    I went through the same prob ... if your tank is going thru a cycle mode ... and it doesn'tfix it self soon i suggest getting Tetra safe start ... you can look up my other posts that catalog my first use of this product ... i have sucessfully cycled 4 tanks with this product and feel comfortable suggesting it .
  12. gcdjNew MemberMember

    if you decide to get the safe start i will happily guide you on what to do because the direction are a little vague but remember do somthing quick ammonia is VERY toxic to your little friends
  13. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    With much respect for the above poster and also the product, I am going to disagree.

    In your situation, I would strongly suggest you not use TSS. Your ammonia level is so high that it will quickly kill off the TSS. When you use TSS, you don't do water changes for about 10 days. I think that with the TSS dead, and no water changes, you're likely to end up with dead fish.

    TSS is ideally used to start a tank. It can be helpful when adding new fish or to get a small ammonia problem under control, but only if the ammonia level starting out is less than 1.0, ideally 0. It is a great product - in fact, if you look at FL magazine this month, the article of the month is about it.

    I am afraid that with your tank, you really are going to need to go with the changes.
  14. mitchgmaceValued MemberMember

    I have been changing about 35 gallons a day now and use prime. Fish are looking and acting good. Tomorrow [I will retest. So far So good. No dead fish yet.

    The washing my filter out with sink water is what I do. Is that wrong?
  15. bassbonedivaFishlore VIPMember

    Never rinse your filter media with tap water. Swish it around in the bucket with the tank water you've removed. Rinsing your media with tap water can put the chlorine and such that your water conditioners take out straight onto the media and will kill the beneficial bacteria on there.
  16. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    Yeah, that's probably part of the problem. Chlorine and fish tanks don't mix.

    I am inclined to think your main problem, though, is the big bioload. Even when you up your water changes, I think you'll still battle an ammonia problem, at least a small one. You may have to do 2-3 water changes weekly to keep the problem at bay. Adding additional filtration will help you a lot, I think.
  17. mitchgmaceValued MemberMember

    wow, thanks for info. I did another test and then change. 1.5 on ammonia today. tomorrow pet shop for better filter. Then I get to start all over. Think my tank will cycle again?
  18. outlawWell Known MemberMember

    Just add the new filter to the tank. Don't remove the old one. Removing the old one before the new filter has established that bacteria will cause another cycle.

    If you want to remove the old one, depending on your choice of new filter, add the media from the old filter to the new filter. This way you won't lose the bacteria again.

    Good Luck!
  19. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    I agree, you should run both together for at least a month, even if what you get it big enough for the tank without needing the old one. And yes, absolutely, your tank will cycle again. :)
  20. mitchgmaceValued MemberMember

    Ok, This weekend will be new filter setup day. Fish are still doing good.