Ammonia won’t go down please help!

acefortheW
Member
Hello! I really needed some help so to give you guys a little background about my tank first.

29g tank. Temperature 82 degrees. Nitrate testing 0ppm. Ammonia is around 2ppm. Ph around 6.6. Nitrate 0-5ppm.

My main and only problem right now seems to be very high ammonia levels. I have been doing everything I see online about getting the ammonia down as far as waiting a few days after my big about 70% water change then 30% water changes every 2 days, changed one of my filter media’s in my bio wheel marineland 150 filter and put fluval biomax in there. I have an eco block in there. I did make the mistake of feeding my fish a day after that big change. But would usually feed a day after. And only 1 tome a day. Using ammo lock. Have the API test kit. Using API quick start. I use the Aqueon water conditioner when putting new water in as well as stress coat. Used stress zyme last week as well. I just don’t know what to do anymore. It’s really driving me crazy. I just read online that I should do water changes all day if I need to get it to the correct levels. Should I do that even if everything else is testing right? Is there good ammonia and bad ammonia or is it all bad?

I was afraid I would be getting rid of the good bacteria if I did that but I don’t know anymore. The ammonia has been high for over a week now but I haven’t noticed a change in behavior in my fish just yet. I know usually when I do it’s too late. Btw

I’ve had the tank for about 1.5 months and I know my other major problem is too many fish. I have 2 angelfish, 4 guppies, 3 Dalmatian Mollys, 2 petricola catfish, 1 German blue ram. I would have never gotten those fish but my wife took my son to the pet store and they got it without me knowing that messed me up big time too but they couldn’t understand that we couldn’t have more. Anyways right now I neeed their ammonia down. Water has stayed cloudy for over a week as well. Tomorrow will be 5 days with no feeding the fish also.

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Nugs
Member
I recommend taking your fish out and cleaning your entire tank.
 
mattgirl
Member
Welcome to Fishlore :)

The very first thing you need to do is stop using ammo-lock. Second put all the other products on the back shelf and get a bottle of SeaChem Prime. Unlike ammo-lock it doesn't lock up the ammonia so the bacteria can start clearing it out of there.

The good thing about your pH being as low as it is it isn't as toxic at this level. The bad thing about it being this low is it slows the cycle down.

Please take a few minutes and fill out this template. The more you can tell me about this tank to better I will be able to help you get it cycled. Nitrogen Cycle Template | Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle Forum | 494741
 
JettsPapa
Member
Welcome to the forum. Have you tested your source water for ammonia?

Also, I haven't used Ammolock, but I've seen reports that it can cause false test readings. I'd suggest not using it any further. If your ammonia is high then, assuming your source water doesn't have ammonia, water changes will lower it. If the first water change doesn't get it down below 1.0 ppm then do another one.

I don't know why Nugs recommended cleaning your tank, but I'd hold off on that. If you've already lost some of your beneficial bacteria colony by switching filter media you'll lose more with cleaning.

Also, the next time you want to add new filter media I'd suggest leaving the old media in the filter for a few weeks to give time to seed the new stuff.
 
  • Thread Starter
acefortheW
Member
Thank you very much for the swift replies. Great advice about the filters. I just called my local fish store and he told me the tank is 90% chance going through it’s regular nitrogen cycle and not to change any water for at least a week, then if it’s still there start the water changes. I will definitely no longer be using ammo lock and will be buying Prime today and perhaps stability for stock. Last time I did that big water change to get the ammonia levels down, I lost a ram the next day, so I hesitate to do it again. Water is coming from my refrigerator filtered water fountain, I did test it and it has just about 0ppm(better than the tap) so I use that. The fish do look like they enjoyed the 30% water change today. I read somewhere to do 30% water changes every 2 hours until it goes down so I’m pretty lost right now. How do you guys feel add Prime and if I wait at least 5 days before doing any more water changes bc like fish store guy said it’s going through regular cycle and I will see spikes for a couple days? Open and very appreciative for all the advice.
 
JettsPapa
Member
acefortheW said:
Thank you very much for the swift replies. Great advice about the filters. I just called my local fish store and he told me the tank is 90% chance going through it’s regular nitrogen cycle and not to change any water for at least a week, then if it’s still there start the water changes. I will definitely no longer be using ammo lock and will be buying Prime today and perhaps stability for stock. Last time I did that big water change to get the ammonia levels down, I lost a ram the next day, so I hesitate to do it again. Water is coming from my refrigerator filtered water fountain, I did test it and it has just about 0ppm(better than the tap) so I use that. The fish do look like they enjoyed the 30% water change today. I read somewhere to do 30% water changes every 2 hours until it goes down so I’m pretty lost right now. How do you guys feel add Prime and if I wait at least 5 days before doing any more water changes bc like fish store guy said it’s going through regular cycle and I will see spikes for a couple days? Open and very appreciative for all the advice.
I think you got bad advice from the store owner, but you can do what you think is best. Everything I've read says that almost all the beneficial bacteria is in the filter media and on other surfaces, with very little in the water, so water changes will have minimal impact on your cycle's progress, and leaving high ammonia water in the tank will harm your fish.
 
mattgirl
Member
acefortheW said:
Thank you very much for the swift replies. Great advice about the filters. I just called my local fish store and he told me the tank is 90% chance going through it’s regular nitrogen cycle and not to change any water for at least a week, then if it’s still there start the water changes. I will definitely no longer be using ammo lock and will be buying Prime today and perhaps stability for stock. Last time I did that big water change to get the ammonia levels down, I lost a ram the next day, so I hesitate to do it again. Water is coming from my refrigerator filtered water fountain, I did test it and it has just about 0ppm(better than the tap) so I use that. The fish do look like they enjoyed the 30% water change today. I read somewhere to do 30% water changes every 2 hours until it goes down so I’m pretty lost right now. How do you guys feel add Prime and if I wait at least 5 days before doing any more water changes bc like fish store guy said it’s going through regular cycle and I will see spikes for a couple days? Open and very appreciative for all the advice.
When doing a fish in cycle Please don't follow that advice. This is my advice for doing a fish in cycle. Fish In Nitrogen Cycle Simplified | Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle Forum | 414083 By keeping the ammonia/nitrites down to negligible levels the fish will never be in any danger and the tank will cycle. The cycle is important but your first priority has to be the safety of the fish in this tank.

If you temp matched and added your water conditioner I can't imagine it being the water change that killed the fish.
 
StarGirl
Member
Was the water cold coming from your fridge? That would kill a Ram for sure. The water should be the same temp as the tank when you add it in.
 
loner556
Member
acefortheW said:
...Water is coming from my refrigerator filtered water fountain, I did test it and it has just about 0ppm(better than the tap) so I use that.
Are you temperature matching the water before adding it to the tank? For example, if your tank is 77F, you need to get the new water within a degree or two of the tank water before adding it. Temperature change shock can kill fish too...

All the other advise given here is solid except cleaning the tank. Don't clean anything and do water changes with Prime to keep the ammonia / nitrite levels safe. Seachem Flourish will probably help too.
 
  • Thread Starter
acefortheW
Member
So I wanted to give a little update after using prime and stability my German was saved and seems to be doing great today I have no idea how. I had an equal number or people tell me not to change the water as I did telling me to change the water so after I added those treatments and some beneficial bacteria and seeing the fish get better but ammonia levels not go down I’m not sure what to do maybe tomorrow morning around 6am I will do that big water change. What do you guys think?

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mattgirl
Member
acefortheW said:
So I wanted to give a little update after using prime and stability my German was saved and seems to be doing great today I have no idea how. I had an equal number or people tell me not to change the water as I did telling me to change the water so after I added those treatments and some beneficial bacteria and seeing the fish get better but ammonia levels not go down I’m not sure what to do maybe tomorrow morning around 6am I will do that big water change. What do you guys think?
This is great news :) As far as I can tell the only one telling you not to do water changes was someone at the store so yes, by all means do the necessary water changes. Our bacteria doesn't live in the water so doing a water change isn't going to be removing it.

Some recommended not cleaning anything in the tank but that doesn't mean don't change the water. Bacteria grows on all the surfaces in the tank so until the cycle is strong we don't want to disturb the things bacteria is growing on. As long as you add your water conditioner if you have chlorine in your source water and temp matching the water a water change can only be a good thing.

All this to say yes, do your water change. :)
 
  • Thread Starter
acefortheW
Member
Ok I will do a 50% water change. Pretty interesting I watched this video on YouTube and he contacted seaChem and they gave these numbers as far as how much Prime treats the water for ammonia.
 
mattgirl
Member
acefortheW said:
Ok I will do a 50% water change. Pretty interesting I watched this video on YouTube and he contacted seaChem and they gave these numbers as far as how much Prime treats the water for ammonia.
Prime isn't going to remove the ammonia. Water changes will or once there is enough ammonia eating bacteria the bacteria will. Prime simply detoxes the ammonia. It will still show up in the test tube if you are using the API liquid test.
 
  • Thread Starter
acefortheW
Member
I want to give a little update for anyone else encountering similar problems. Since my last post I have done 2 separate 50% water changes. 1 last night finished around 10pm and 1 this morning. I have posted all the test results the lightest ammonia test results(the one by itself) being from my last water change and darkest before the first 50% water change. I have done plenty of water changes before these. I have been using prime and stability. I’m pretty sure what saved my fish was adding just over a teaspoon of aquarium salt. As you go ya can see the ammonia levels are decreasing with every water change. I am not taking out the lava rock, wood, or artificial plants. On the 2nd change I did vacuum the gravel, first one no gravel. I have been paying close attention to detail to temperature matching the water before I put it back in. Since my tap water is showing a tiny bit of ammonia and my refrigerator filtered water isn’t I go with the refrigerated and raise the temperature for within a degree. Will keep you guys updated. Fish seem to be enjoying the new water.

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