Ammonia Spikes

didiwags

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Every since one of my guppies started having babies I have been fighting ammonia. It isn’t affecting the fish per say as in no one has died BUT I don’t want any to die. So for about a month now I have been testing it and using ammonia stuff to try and reduce it. Weekly water changes of at least 30%. Every couple water changes we try and do 50%. Using the API master test kit:
Ph 7.4
Nitrite .25
Nitrate 5.0
Ammonia 4.0 (guppie had babies last night).

Any suggestions on what to use or get to help with ammonia?
Thanks!
 

mattgirl

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If you are using ammo-lock it is locking up the ammonia. Bacteria can't eat locked up bacteria so it just keeps going up. As @david1978 has already said. Shelve or toss the ammo-lock and use Prime instead. Water changes should remove the locked up ammonia and Prime will detox the rest of it and your bacteria should start cleaning it up.
 

mattgirl

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Thanks guys and up to 5X the dosage? That is safe???
5X can be added in an emergency. Something like a high spike in nitrites but under normal conditions a normal amount should be enough.

Once you get the ammonia level down with water changes I feel sure a normal dose will protect your fish from the damaging affects of ammonia. Try to keep it no more than .5 Less is better but sometimes is difficult to achieve.
 

McFly

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Yes, it is safe, but not a fix, as in you don't want to
make it routine. It seems your biofilter needs an upgrade
to handle the extra tank mates... Adding more filtration
may be needed (as said). Over filtration has been my
mantra for decades ( yeah, I'm old....)
 
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didiwags

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So get a bigger filter? My current system says up to 20 gallons. Recommendations?

Btw I went and picked up some Prime and added a dose!
 
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didiwags

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Thanks for the link! I will add some bio media to my filter. I tried using a sponge filter but it didn’t keep the tank clean! I will add a bag of bio media to it!

Oh and my guppies started hanging out by the top of the tank. Not sure if they are just resting or what! Hopefully the dose of Prime wasn’t to much for them! I did 1/2 cap at first I didn’t want to do quite 5X the amount right away!
 

Skavatar

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probably b/c of the ammonia. i noticed mine were at the surface and tested the water, had an ammonia spike.

keep doing water changes, best to keep the ammonia below 1ppm.
 
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didiwags

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Uh oh now I think one of our shrimp isn't doing well! He looks pretty pale compared to the other one! Pale one is on the netted breeder box!
 

Skavatar

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i don't know too much about keeping shrimp, but from what i've read here, when they start getting opaque its not good. also in the head its turning red/orange, possibly ammonia poisoning.

you may have to do daily water changes to keep ammonia levels low.
 

mattgirl

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I am hoping you did a water change to get the ammonia level down before adding the Prime. If not that may be why your fish and shrimp are struggling now.

Prime is a good product but works best in fresh clean water with very low amounts of ammonia..
 
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didiwags

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The Prime did wonders and the ammonia today is at .25-.5, only bummer is my nitrates went down to in between 0-5.0. Nitirtes still at .25 and pH holding steady at 7.4.
I think the shrimp is dying. The guppies are all fine except the one who had babies is still hanging by the top. Hoping maybe she is just tired still.... She did come out and eat when I feed them so....
 

mattgirl

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The Prime did wonders and the ammonia today is at .25-.5, only bummer is my nitrates went down to in between 0-5.0. Nitirtes still at .25 and pH holding steady at 7.4.
I think the shrimp is dying. The guppies are all fine except the one who had babies is still hanging by the top. Hoping maybe she is just tired still.... She did come out and eat when I feed them so....
You may already know this but I need to point out that Prime doesn't remove the ammonia. I have to assume that you have done some water change. I am assuming since you've not let us know whether or not you have done any.

If there is ammonia in there it will still show up with the API test. The test doesn't know the difference between ammonia being detoxed with Prime and ammonia that hasn't been treated.

Hopefully now that you have stopped using a product that locks up ammonia your bacteria has kicked in and will start processing the ammonia and soon it will be at zero.

If you did water changes your nitrates will be lower. Lower Nitrates is a good thing and is certainly nothing to be concerned about.

A fully cycled tank will have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and normally some nitrates. With enough bacteria eating them the ammonia and nitrites should stay down to zero and you will keep the nitrates down with water changes.
 
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didiwags

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Yes I have been doing water changes. The one shrimp did die so I did another water change today! I think my guppie might have swimmers bladder though. I don't think she is releasing all her babies and I am not sure if that is what is causing her problem!!
 

mattgirl

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Yes I have been doing water changes. The one shrimp did die so I did another water change today! I think my guppie might have swimmers bladder though. I don't think she is releasing all her babies and I am not sure if that is what is causing her problem!!
Good job. That explains why your ammonia is down so low and the nitrates are lower.

I am sorry to hear that your shrimp didn't make it. I've never had shrimp but have often read that they are delicate creatures that need pristine water to thrive. Hopefully once this tank settles down you will have better luck with them.

I wish I knew what to tell you about your guppy. It is possible she will finish releasing her babies once this ammonia problem goes away. Unlike we humans where the baby comes when it is ready I think fish can hold fry until they are comfortable with their living conditions. I could be totally wrong about that though so please don't quote me on it.
 
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didiwags

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Good job. That explains why your ammonia is down so low and the nitrates are lower.

I am sorry to hear that your shrimp didn't make it. I've never had shrimp but have often read that they are delicate creatures that need pristine water to thrive. Hopefully once this tank settles down you will have better luck with them.

I wish I knew what to tell you about your guppy. It is possible she will finish releasing her babies once this ammonia problem goes away. Unlike we humans where the baby comes when it is ready I think fish can hold fry until they are comfortable with their living conditions. I could be totally wrong about that though so please don't quote me on it.
The shrimp have lasted longer then we thought! The lady at the pet store acted like they would die in a week!
I am kind of bummed for my guppie. She is my most colorful guppie!
 
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