Brutal Amounts Of Ammonia

NeonZebraSpots
  • #1
Ok I'm here again for guidance if someone would be so kind.

Last time I posted it I was having an issue from switching gravel to sand. 3 days after the switch and my test results were Ammonia 2.0 Nitrites 2.0 and Nitrates 40 ppm. I did the water changes and added chemicals (water conditioners, ammo lock and such.) now my results are more like ammonia 4.0 nitrites 0.0 nitrates 0.0 and it has been that for days. I've added beneficial bacteria boosts, ammo lock I've even tried this ammonia remover and what not but no matter how many water changes that are done, or things that I add it doesn't seem to help and I'm at like my wits end. I don't know what to do and I have a lot of fish in there and I do not want them to die. (That's another thing I've done, I've also withheld feedings for a couple of days and still no improvements on ammonia and no nitrates or nitrites... ZERO) Remember, I am somewhat new at this fish thing, so some terminology I may not understand but I will try to keep following this to get anyone's suggestions. Thank you!
 
AWheeler
  • #2
How many fish are we talking here? What size is the tank? Are you using Prime at all, and do you have the ability to buy it? How often are you doing water changes, and have you tested the ammonia levels in your tap water? What kind of bottled BB have you been using?
 
Lunnietic
  • #3
What are all the chemicals you added to the tank? And do you have a filter on it?

And have you tested your tap water? For its parameters?
 
Hunter1
  • #4
On the surface it would seem you lost your cycle.

Great questions above, and necessary to try to answer your questions.
 
NeonZebraSpots
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Ok, I don't have Prime at the moment, though I could buy it here in a few days. I'm using Quick Start and Stress Zyme I think is the actual name of it. My husband does it. He was doing water changes daily for a few days of like 20%. Our tap water does have ammonia, its at approx . 25 ppm - . 50 ppm. We have a 55 gallon set up with two filters, we also have quite a few live plants. We only have a few of various types of fish, we wanted some variety, so we ended up with 6 Guppies, 6 Neon Tetra, 3 Platies, 2 Dwarf Frogs, 3 Panda Cories, and a few different Snails. I added these pictures just to make it easier so I didn't have to type out all of the names
 

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Hunter1
  • #6
Buy the API Master test kit.

Test for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates.

If your ammonia is over .5ppm or nitrites over 1ppm, do a water change and treat the water with the tetra safe to remove the chlorine in your tap. I like Prime better but the Safe should work. I know Prime lowers/removes ammonia and nitrites under 1ppm and since you have it in your tap, this is my suggestion.

You are waiting to see nitrates, the by product of ammonia and nitrites.

Once you show nitrates and 0 ammonia or nitrates, you are cycled and the hobby gets easy. Just need to Taylor your water changes to your nitrate level.

I have one overstocked tank that I need to do 30% water changes 2Xs a week. The other tanks get 25% water changes weekly because that’s how long it takes for my nitrates to reach 40ppm.
 
Lunnietic
  • #7
Tetra Aqua Safe Plus only removed chlorine and chlorimate. It does not remove or help the fish with the ammonia found in your water or nitrite if there is any in there. I would highly recommend buying prime because it will help make these nontoxic to the fish for 24 hours (as long ad the nitrite and ammonia in the tap combined are lower than 1ppm).

I do not habe experience with the ammonia remover you are using, it could be doing what prime does with ammonia. I would just double check and make sure its decent to use with the Aqua Safe. Both of those together could give you close to the result of prime until you are able to buy it. Again, no experience with either product you will have to research on your own.

You have enough chemicals there to have your own company. I highly suspect that the pure amount of chemicals you are adding is causing your tank to have issues. I got my tank to cycle by just using prime during water changes and testing every 24 hours..
 
AllieSten
  • #8
HI there. So it does appear you have lost your cycle.

Let’s go through your chemicals. Ammo-Lock is similar to Seachem Prime. It is a dechlorinator. The only difference between Prime & ammo lock is that Ammo-lock does not detoxify nitrites and nitrates. Only Ammonia. You can use it, but you may see symptoms of illness in your fish, while getting your cycle back on track, if your nitrites get above 0.5ppm. Just be aware of this and you should be okay.

I wouldn’t use Stress Zyme, it has bacteria that competes with your beneficial bacteria for food. It really isn’t necessary to use with the fish you have. It is intended for those large waste producers like plecos or goldfish. If you choose to use it, I would wait until your cycle is back on track.

Aquasafe just isn’t necessary at all. It is a dechlorinator, but so is Ammo-lock. You are double dosing.

QuickStart, Stability, and biological booster are basically the same thing. They can be used interchangeably to help get your cycle going.

I have never used the imagitarium ammonia remover, so I have no advice about that. But it is probably just like the Ammo-lock. It would be a duplicate product.

To get your cycle back on track I would follow this formula. If you decide to get Seachem Prime, use that instead of the Ammo-lock.

Ammonia + Nitrites = less than 1ppm, add full tank dose of Ammo-lock and add bottled bacteria (QuickStart or stability). Recheck parameters in 24hrs.
Ammonia + Nitrites = 1ppm or more, do 50% water change, add full tank dose of Ammo-lock and bottled bacteria. Recheck parameters in 24hrs.

The goal with water changes is to drop the ammonia and nitrites to below 0.5ppm. So you may need to change more than 50%, to accomplish that.

Prime dose is 0.1ml or 2 drops per gallon. 1ml per 10 gallons.

I would do a 90% water change before starting the cycling formula. You need to drop your ammonia as close to 0 as you can to start. A 90% water change will get you down to about 0.5ppm. Which is a perfect place to start.

You will continue to test and add bottled bacteria until you get back to 0 ammonia, 0 Nitrites and +5 nitrates.

Oh and what is your pH? If it is below 6.5-ish it may affect your cycle. So this may be the cause of all your problems.
 
NeonZebraSpots
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
My pH right now and has always been 7.4-7.6.

The ammonia remover says it removes it and unlike ammo Lock it does make it a lot lower on the test. Seems to go back up very quickly, not sure if that's because of the product or because my ammonia is just on steroids. (I do have the master test kit btw)

My main issue is that for days now and by days I mean weeks (between water changes, ammo Lock, and Aquasafe) we have had 0 nitrites and 0 nitrates. Believe it or not my husband and I did some research on fish keeping trying to have at least basic knowledge on the aquarium. The short version from my notes is nitrites get rid of ammonia in your water and nitrates get rid of nitrites, correct? Even if we lost our cycle and started over shouldn't we have gotten some of that bacteria by now? My husband likes to change the filters often (every week or so he changes them) and from what I've gathered that's not good either?

Our water was perfect before the gravel to sand switch and now we are doing something wrong and we're not sure what it is. Something I think is keep nitrites and nitrates from being in there. The ammonia has been up for so long and 0 bacteria good or bad seems doesn't seem good. Should we do a 90% change, stock on Prime and Ammo Lock, and give it a chance to just fully cycle on its own? Our tap water has ammonia in it also .25-.50

Thanks AllieSten for the instructions gives me something geared towards my situation to go back and reference! Everyone here has been very helpful, it's great to talk with knowledgeable people about my specific problem. Can't do that with Google
 
sassymomma
  • #10
When I switched from gravel to sand it completely crashed my cycle too. It's not that you did something wrong per se- beneficial bacteria live in the gravel, and when you removed that, you removed the colony that resided there. You still have the filters, and you have liquid bacteria- so it's a matter of re-establishing your colonies now.

Adding prefilter sponges would help a little, in addition to your cycling plan- adding more surfaces for bacteria to grow as your cycle progresses. That wide filter stream tells me that your HOB should have plenty of suface area. Do you have anywhere in there to add some bioballs?
 
smartfish24
  • #11
Add tablets for ammonia. It will keep it at right level.
 
mattgirl
  • #12
My husband likes to change the filters often (every week or so he changes them) and from what I've gathered that's not good either?
And each time he does that he is throwing away the bacteria necessary for a healthy tank since that is where most of the BB lives. Instead of replacing the filters he should be just rinsing them in some of the tank water he removes during a water change. When the filter cartridge gets clogged and the water isn't getting through easily then replace it but cut the fiber off of the old one and put it in the filter housing. Leave that fiber in there until it is time to change the cartridge again.
 
NeonZebraSpots
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Does anyone have any experience with this product (Zeolite Blend)

Link :
 
Sergeant Pepper
  • #14
I personally believe your problem s are two things. 1. Removing the filter cartridge every so often is removing all the good bacteria and restarting what little cycle your tank is trying to develop. Leave the cartridge and don't change it. They really don't need to be changed. Rinse them in declorinated tank water every few water changes and that's it.

2. I think you're adding way to many chemicals to your tank. Chemicals really aren't always the answer and could be your source.

I say stick with just Prime (Declorinater) and Stability to help start your cycle back up. That's it.
 
AllieSten
  • #15
My pH right now and has always been 7.4-7.6.

The ammonia remover says it removes it and unlike ammo Lock it does make it a lot lower on the test. Seems to go back up very quickly, not sure if that's because of the product or because my ammonia is just on steroids. (I do have the master test kit btw)

My main issue is that for days now and by days I mean weeks (between water changes, ammo Lock, and Aquasafe) we have had 0 nitrites and 0 nitrates. Believe it or not my husband and I did some research on fish keeping trying to have at least basic knowledge on the aquarium. The short version from my notes is nitrites get rid of ammonia in your water and nitrates get rid of nitrites, correct? Even if we lost our cycle and started over shouldn't we have gotten some of that bacteria by now? My husband likes to change the filters often (every week or so he changes them) and from what I've gathered that's not good either?

Our water was perfect before the gravel to sand switch and now we are doing something wrong and we're not sure what it is. Something I think is keep nitrites and nitrates from being in there. The ammonia has been up for so long and 0 bacteria good or bad seems doesn't seem good. Should we do a 90% change, stock on Prime and Ammo Lock, and give it a chance to just fully cycle on its own? Our tap water has ammonia in it also .25-.50

Thanks AllieSten for the instructions gives me something geared towards my situation to go back and reference! Everyone here has been very helpful, it's great to talk with knowledgeable people about my specific problem. Can't do that with Google

Your nitrogen cycle lives on and in your filter media. By throwing away your filter pads, you are throwing away your cycle. This is the reason you are not maintaining your cycle at all. So this needs to stop. ASAP. The very most you should do is rinse your filter media in old tank water or dechlorinated water once every few weeks. But not until you have been cycled for a couple of months.

You should use reuseable filter media.It is more efficient and will maintain your cycle. It is also cheaper in the long term. I will link you a couple of great videos on how to optimize your filter. I would use sponges, ceramic media, and filter floss. The filter floss can be changed out once per week, and the rest of the media will maintain your cycle. There is a thing as cleaning your tank too much. You need to let the bacteria settle in and get nice and populated.



 
NeonZebraSpots
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
Thank you!! That's what I needed, the tricks of the trade! You guys are great
 
AWheeler
  • #17
If I showed you the inside of my filters you might look at me strange lol. I've been using matrix pond rocks, and poly fil you use for stuffing animals for awhile now I also have a bit of just regular white filter stuff that I can cut out on my own to really just polish it all up good. Once that runs out i'm going to use some quilt batting that I have laying around.
 
sassymomma
  • #18
I have clay balls in one of my filters

At one point I used scrubbing pads, the green ones without anything added(some sponges are treated with an antimicrobal to reduce rot) and they were great. I’m currently using pillow stuffing, clay balls and aqua clear sponges.
 

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