Ammonia levels are sky high even with water change

  1. cherryphoenix Member Member

    My ammonia level is really really high even though I did a 30% change this morning and put Prime and Cycle in the water. What gives? How can I make it go down?
     
  2. Machine11 Well Known Member Member

    What is the reading exactly? How big is your tank and what fish do you have in it? How long has the tank been setup? What filter do you have running? Do you know about the nitrogen cycle?

    Sorry for throwing so many questions back at you but it's the best way to give you the best answer for your question and best solution to the issue


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  3. ppate1977 Well Known Member Member

    Is this a new set up?
     

  4. Dolfan Fishlore VIP Member

    When using Prime your water will still show ammonia in the test. Wait 24 hours or more and try testing once the Prime "goes away". If you are still high, do another water change. Prime doesn't remove ammonia, it neutralizes it so it's not harmful to fish for about a 24 hour period. This gives your filter and plants time to remove it. Do a larger percentage if you still have high numbers 50-75% would help lower the numbers much better. Also, have you checked your source water, many people have ammonia, nitrates, etc in the source tap or well water.
     

  5. cherryphoenix Member Member

    I did a ammonia test on my tap water and it came back 0
    Yesterday, I tested my water (without prime) and it was 0.4
    Today I tested it with prime and the water just turned brown as soon as I put to chemical in the sample. My chart goes from white to orange so no clue what brown means. Probably a false positive from Prime?

    My aquarium is a new tank, I set it up last weekend. I do 20% water change everyday. My filter is the Marina S10 that came with my tank. It's a 5gal. I thought it would be easier but after reading online I realized that having a small tank makes things worst for a beginner.

    I think a lot of the ammonia comes from the that is in the gravel. I'll start giving 1 or 2 flakes per fish once a day from now on. I would have like to clean the gravel but from what I've read it's best not to do it before the tank is cycled.
     
  6. Bob Ellis Member Member

    I think what Dolfan is saying is that the presence of Prime in the water will cause a high reading on an ammonia test.


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  7. ppate1977 Well Known Member Member

    OK, since your set up is new this is understandable. It will probably take a while for your tank to cycle. As far as vacuuming the gravel; I think the benefits of cleaning it far outweigh the negatives. Most of your beneficial bacteria will established itself in your filter media. Your best bet is to keep the tank as clean as possible and continue with your water changes and dosing of prime... Once every 48 hours or so should help protect your fish (prime). Good luck!
     
  8. Machine11 Well Known Member Member

    What fish do you have?
    I agree with above, vacuuming the gravel will probably help bring the ammonia down abit. If they are unbeaten flakes in the gravel that will also cause ammonia. Plus if you aren't vacuuming the gravel than you aren't getting the waste that is faking between the gravel which will affect your ammonia levels as well.


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  9. cherryphoenix Member Member

    Thanks, I hope everything goes well :)
     
  10. Aquarist Fishlore Legend Member

    Good morning,

    I have moved your thread from Freshwater Beginners to Aquarium Water/Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle section of the forum.

    Agreed, wait 24 hours to test after adding Prime, if not, you may receive a false positive.

    Did you use Nutrafin Cycle to jump start the cycling process? If so, it may not contain the necessary bacteria needed to sustain or even create the cycling process. Check out the information in the link below:
    https://www.fishlore.com/fishforum/betta-archive/5616-nutrafin-cycle.html

    https://www.fishlore.com/fishforum/cleaning-maintenance/72393-opinions-cycle-product.html

    The most widely used and most successful Bacterial Additive by members on this forum (IMO) is Tetra Safe Start (TSS).

    https://www.fishlore.com/fishforum/aquarium-nitrogen-cycle/58116-q-tetra-tetra-safestart.html

    Ken
     
  11. ppate1977 Well Known Member Member

    I am a huge fan of finding a friend with an established tank and politely asking for a small piece of their filter media to get the cycle going! I have done this with at least a dozen aquariums, and it works like a charm everytime.