Ammonia Present In Established Tank

Libra

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I have a 30 gallon tank that has been cycled for months now. Within the last month, ammonia has given me so many problems. I have not taken out any filters. I did remove all of my gravel in hopes that it would make cleaning easier, but I have been told that the BB in gravel in negligible. I replaced some of it, so there is a small layer across the bottom. But this was over a month ago and there are still ammonia levels of .50-1 ppm daily. Nitrites are 0, nitrates are 5-10. I fasted my 2 goldfish (who don’t seem to be affected by it since I’ve dosed with Prime and done water changes daily) for 2 days to see if I was feeding them too much. Still 1.0 ppm ammonia. There are no dead fish in the tank. I’ve only ever had 2 goldfish. I only use fake silk plants in the tank so there is no decaying matter. I also do gravel vacs when doing daily water changes to remove fish waste.

Please help me! I’m losing it and my boyfriend hates doing water changes everyday!
 

Jenoli42

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Hi & sorry your having problems hopefully we can help.

have you tested your tap water ammonia level directly outta the tap?
 
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Libra

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Sorry I forgot to mention there is no ammonia in my tap! I’ve tested that many times as well

No snails, NavyChief!
 

Jenoli42

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Libra said:
Sorry I forgot to mention there is no ammonia in my tap! I’ve tested that many times as well

No snails, NavyChief!
hmmm... the plot thickens!

did you say you removed your substrate? if you haven't, stop gravel vacuuming. there's not much BB in there but it sounds like you need every little bit you can get for some odd reason at the moment.

what's your tank pH & pH straight outta your tap?
 

mattgirl

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NavyChief20 said:
You dont have any snails do you?
Kinda off topic but I am wondering why you asked this question. I really don't think snail add much to the bio-load but I am always willing to learn something new.
 

NavyChief20

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mattgirl said:
Kinda off topic but I am wondering why you asked this question. I really don't think snail add much to the bio-load but I am always willing to learn something new.
So,
you're absolutely right as far as bioload they are a drop in the bucket. However, snails hide alot and if one hides and dies.....boom ammonia bomb. Its just like putting freshwater clams in a tank. Those burrow and then die and you have an ammonia bomb.

what filter do you have and what is your tank temperature?
 

mattgirl

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NavyChief20 said:
So,
you're absolutely right as far as bioload they are a drop in the bucket. However, snails hide alot and if one hides and dies.....boom ammonia bomb. Its just like putting freshwater clams in a tank. Those burrow and then die and you have an ammonia bomb.
Ah Ha, very good reason to ask the question. Thank you
 

Tesla

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Hi Libra - Substrate definitely has BB on the surface of gravel - after filter media probably the second biggest surface area for BB. I am guessing that removing your substrate caused a mini cycle and if i continue my guessing game a bit it could be due to lack of enough media in the filter. Try adding matrix / biohome to your filter if it has space - these are excellent homes for BB. If there is no space to add any media then get a sponge filter and add it to the tank, that should do the trick.
 
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Libra

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In the picture attached, the first set is my tank water (regular pH and high range pH). The second is my tap. I seem to have misplaced my color chart so I just provided the picture instead of incorrectly measuring it.

I have two whisper filters- one for a 30 gallon and one for a 10 gallon. The 30 gal filter has a carbon filter and the foam media it comes with. In the 10 it has two fine nitrate reducing media filters and an emptied carbon filter. I can’t tell you the temperature of the tank because I don’t have a thermometer- I think. I’ll look around for one and let you know. All I know is it’s probably a little colder than room temp.

Tesla- my next step was to add more media for the BB. That’s all I could think of to do!
B7DDC0B3-3FD1-4E22-923A-DA30FFCC765A.jpeg
 

NavyChief20

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Ok,
pull the carbon cartridge out of that whisper filter and put some lava rock in it. just plop them in or in a media bag. Alternatively you can put some store bought ceramic media. Just so you know lava rock is like $7 for a 10 lb bag at Home Depot.

This will bump up your biomedia with a fury. The other filter let run as isfor a week or so then do the same trick. This accomplishes two things.
1. Increased filter bioload capacity
2. Lowers your spending on those pesky carbon filters which dont do much
 
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Libra

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Thanks for the tip!! I usually don’t use carbon filters but it came with the filter so I figured I might as well use it until it expires!
 

NavyChief20

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Yeah carbon has it's uses but unfortunately alot of people are not aware of what it does and doesnt do. I posted a member article on filtration and carbon today in fact
 

Carbeo

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Any additives? I've heard of the product stability spiking ammonia. Like zero ammonia, add stability, test spiked.
 
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