Ammonia through the roof

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Hazcop

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So I have been monitoring my levels over the past week, and the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels have been doing what they are supposed to do.  The ammonia was comming down (down to .25)  nicely, the nitrites were at 0, and nitrates were at 5.  I checked the water on Friday, and the ammonia was up to 8, nitrites were up, and the nitrates were down.    (I am at work so I don't have the exact numbers for nitrite and nitrate, but remember the ammonia).  So I grab the bucket and siphon, and take out about 70% of the water.  (75 gal. tank).  I replaced the water, conditioned it as it was flowing back in, and tested it about 12 hours later for ammonia only.  Still up at 8.  There are 10 fish in the tank right now, I used bio-spira about a month ago when the tank was set up, and it looked like things were going well.  I put ammo lock in the tank for now and plan on doing another big water change tonight.  Any thoughts on what sent the ammonia so high?

p.s.  I will post the exact numbers when I get home and pull them off the spreadsheet. 

p.p.s. Here are the rest of the numbers...Ammonia 8.0, Nitrites 2.0, Nitrates 5.0, ph 6.4, High range ph 7.4. The ph is unusually low for this tank as well. It is "normally" around 7.2 with a high range around 7.6
 

susitna-flower

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Sorry you are having problems, sounds like you are on top of it! If it started cycling, it should have been able to accommodate a fish or two, how long have you had all eight in? It could also be an indication there is food going uneaten....Just a thought. Good Luck

Fish in the Frozen North
 

Gunnie

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It looks like your tank is in full cycle mode. What type of tests are you using? Test strips and the liquid test that goes from yellow to orange will give you false positives when using ammo lock.
 
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Hazcop

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I am using the API test kit with the liquid drops. I think there might have been a fair amount of uneaten food. When I vacuumed the gravel, I did pull up alot of crud. On that note...it seems that when I feed them, all the food gets pushed right to the bottom from the force of the filters. Great for my pleco, not so hot for everyone else. When I open the lid to do the tests, it is like a feeding frenzy at the top of the tank. All the fish rush to the top and almost leap into my hands. Should I stop the filters for a min or two until after they eat? Also, I am planning yet another water change for tonight, and think I am going to lay off the ammo lock and see what the readings are in a day or so.
 

Gunnie

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Yep. Try doing a large water change without the ammo lock. Can you possibly get some amquel plus? I have had good results with the amquel plus. I've always had mixed results with the ammo lock. Sometimes it appears to work well, and other times the ammonia seems to be unfazed by it.

You can definately turn your filters off for a few minutes when you feed. You can also try a feeding ring.
 
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