Ammonia Still Won’t Go Down

Skyelar

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I have a ten gallon tank that has had an 8 ammonia for three weeks now. Three guppies died and a snail, now I have a molly, four shrimp, an African dwarf frog, and a mystery snail left. Motorists are at .25 and nitrates are 0. Ph was 8.2 for several weeks and has finally lowered to 8.0. We have been vaccuming the gravel weekly and have done a few 50% water changes with no difference in ph afterwards. We feed them every other day now. I did a tank flush last night and the ammonia was finally dropped to 2 but less than 24 hours, it is back between 4 and 8. Yes, I know I never cycled the tank before adding anything in there. Would it be wrong to just wipe the entire tank minus the filters and start with new water and cleaned gravel?
 

mattgirl

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What are you using to dechlorinate your source water? Are you adding any kind of product that claims to lock up the ammonia?

Answers to these questions will help me help you.
 
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Skyelar

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My source water has .25 ammonia. I was using an api dechlorinator but have switched to just prime from what I’ve read online. Sometimes I use acquarium salt.
 

mattgirl

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My source water has .25 ammonia. I was using an api dechlorinator but have switched to just prime from what I’ve read online. Sometimes I use acquarium salt.
Prime will detox the ammonia in your source water so for now it shouldn't cause a problem. The most important thing right now is keeping the ammonia as low as possible (in this case that would be .25) with water changes even if that means doing a water change daily until the cycle is complete. I am not saying daily water changes have to be done but that may be what it takes to keep the fish safe.

Doing them that often may slow the cycle down by a few days but right now the health of your fish is much more important than the speed of the cycle.

Salt isn't normally needed in a fresh water tank. If it were me I wouldn't be using it. Mollies can handle brackish water but I'm not sure your shrimp and snails are comfortable in salty water.
 
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