Ammonia spike over

Discussion in 'Aquarium Water' started by Snow slider, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. Snow sliderNew MemberMember

    Last night I checked the ammonia in the tank it it read 1.0 with liquid test. Added 6ml of prime

    Check the tank this AM and the plecko died.

    Tested water and ....
    ammonia is 4.0
    nitrite between 0-.25
    nitrate 0

    I am going to do a 50% water change right now.

    I bought carbon and am wondering if I should add it to the filter media.

    From what I take from this is the tank cycling now??

    This was the first time I used Prime had been using Ammo Lock and the Plecko last night was doing great before I went to bed.

    Some of the fish are showing signs of heavy breathing. Should I put the prime back in the tank after the water change or go back to ammo lock? I have both on hand.

    I have an aeration stone running now as well. tank temp 78 degrees.
  2. Shawnie

    ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    carbon is fine to add but remember to change it out every 3 weeks or so..otherwise it can only absorb so much and then it leaches back into the tank

    the tank is cycling and I wold use prime every day with 30% water changes to keep the other fish are not at the beginning of a cycle but you are definately not done yet...good luck and find some patience as it takes awhile...I hope the rest of your fin babies do ok!!!!!!! and im sorry for the loss of your pleco :(
  3. OP

    Snow sliderNew MemberMember

    How much Prime would one add? bottle says you can go up to 5 times in an emergency. That would mean 25ml?? Should I go this high on a does?

  4. Shawnie

    ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    with a reading of 4ppm , I would...but if you did a 50% water change, that should be lower.....if later tonite its still really high, do another 25% water change with some more prime..that should get you abit lower where you dont have to double dose....I think your major issue was maybe the pleco ..they have a ton of bioload and can mess up a tank fast..especially one still cycling...again im sorry for the loss of him :(
  5. OP

    Snow sliderNew MemberMember

    We are sad about the pleco but more than anything I wish the pet stores would handle setting up tanks from the stand point that a person should really cycle the tank before adding fish. A learning lesson for sure.

    I am finishing up on a 50% water change right now and will add 10 ml of Prime and check it later tonight. I will also tonight remove and add new carbon to the filter media.

    Thanks for the help on this. I knew it was coming after joining this site so at least now we are educated on what is actually going on which helps greatly.

  6. Shawnie

    ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    good luck! and remember, ALLOT of us have been where you are....its a hard lesson learned and I so agree, I wish we could make ALL the pet stores liable for the poor fishies lives lost....but unfortunately, that day wont ever happen soon enough !!!( if it even happens at all)
  7. OP

    Snow sliderNew MemberMember

    I replaced the carbon in the filters. Is it absolutely necessary to get every little bit of old carbon out? It really gets imbedded in the filter fibers.

    Also after doing the carbon (rinsed it first) the tank is very cloudy? I have some stuff to put in it to clear that but not sure if I should.


    Ammonia is around 3.0 now. Will do a 25% water change and add more Prime tonight.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2009
  8. Shawnie

    ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    no leaving a few pieces wont hurt it ..and no dont add anything to clear it will be gone in a few was probably just residue from food and waste that flushed back in...:)
  9. OP

    Snow sliderNew MemberMember

    test ammonia 10 minutes ago and it still is at 4.0 25% water change and added 15ml of prime.

    If the tank is cycling how long does this normally go on for? When I was adding ammo lock it seemed to stabilize the tank but maybe now it is ramping up if cycling. Should I go back to putting ammo lock in instead of Prime or is there really no difference.

    I am not adding any other products to the tank other than new charcoal. Which bring me to my next question. Is there any reason you can not just pour some rinsed charcoal in the base of the filter housing rather than in the filter bags themselves to help keep from bothering the filter media?
  10. Meenu

    MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    If you are more comfortable with ammo lock, I think it is fine to use it while you have ammonia. However, you'll need to use the Prime as soon as you start showing nitrites, as (I think) ammo lock won't detox those.
  11. callichma

    callichmaWell Known MemberMember

    Just read through this thread. Prime converts the ammonia so it won't harm your fish but it is still available for the developing bacteria. Some ammonia tests still show positive even when the ammonia is converted. Could this be what is going on with your tank? How are you fish acting?
  12. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Good morning. Sorry to hear that you lost your Pleco. I suggest keeping the carbon in a filter media bag. You don't want to pour it directly into your filter without it. It may cause damage to your impeller. Let's see what other responses you get on this.
  13. OP

    Snow sliderNew MemberMember

    I tested the ammonia this morning and it still is holding at 4.0 Should I do daily water changes at 25% and hope for the best with adding prime.

    The larger dose 15ml had no effect on ammonia levels that I can see.

    I have to live plants in the tank as well. Should I not gravel vac. When I have I do notice a lot of gunk coming up from it.

    If I do water changes daily do I add prime in only once a day?


    Fish are hanging in there for now but wonder if it will spike even higher.
  14. bettafish2816

    bettafish2816Fishlore VIPMember

    go ahead and do a 50% water change with the prime, but add enough prime to dose the whole tank this time.

    you definitely want to do a gravel vacuum, some of that gunk decomposing is going to add to the amount of ammonia in your tank.

    add the prime directly to any new water that you add into the tank with every water change, which you should do every 24 hours because that's how long the prime will keep the ammonia neutralized.
  15. Shawnie

    ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    the prime will not remove the just detoxifies will still have the well as prime causes a positive reading for ammonia when used with the api test dont test after adding prime without waiting 24 test tomorrow right before you do a water change not after.....but im concerned with the ammonia being the same after a water change...did you test your tap water yet to make sure there isnt any in there? or are you testing after adding prime? id also stick with the prime as it does both ammonia/nitrites....
  16. platyfishValued MemberMember

    I would drive to your LFS with a sample of your water, and let them test it (almost always free of charge). Maybe you have a defective test kit, or your chemicals are contaminated? It sounds very strange that after all these water changes and additions of prime, that the ammonia is still SO high?

    have your fish experienced any of these symptoms?

    Fish gasp for breath at the water surface
    Purple or red gills
    Fish is lethargic
    Loss of appetite
    Fish lays at the bottom of the tank
    Red streaking on the fins or body
    Ammonia poisoning can happen suddenly, or over a period of days. Initially the fish may be seen gasping at the surface for air. The gills will begin to turn red or lilac in color, and may appear to be bleeding. The fish will being to lose its appetite and become increasingly lethargic. In some cases fish may be observed laying at the bottom of the tank with clamped fins.
    As the damage from the ammonia poisoning continues, the tissues will be damaged as evidenced by red streaks or bloody patches that appear on the body and fins. Internal damage is occurring to the brain, organs, and central nervous system. The fish begins to hemorrhage internally and externally, and eventually dies.

    Also I could suggest to lower the pH slightly, it seems to reduce temporary stress.

    What does everyone else think?
  17. Shawnie

    ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    IMO LFS use strips and will be much more unreliable than his test kit....if he is using his test kit with prime newly added, the ammonia will ALWAYS be high...testing about 24hours after adding prime, will get more accurate readings...dont mess with the will stablize itself when the cycle is completed
  18. platyfishValued MemberMember

    Haha ok, just writing what i read online.

    Also, Shawnie- why does it say "Fish Bum" under my name, thats not very nice IMO.
  19. Shawnie

    ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    the title comes and changes with the amount of posts you have...if you look at each members amount of posts, the higher the post the name changes....;) its not to you personally
  20. platyfishValued MemberMember

    Ok, thanks for that information... I was worried for a moment. :eek:

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