Can Anyone Explain This To Me? Api Ammonia Readings

Ejcsw

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Need help. Problem with ammonia levels. todays reading are PH - 6.0. Ammonia - 6.0, Nitrite - 0 and Nitrate 5.0. I have just finished thoroughly cleaning both tank (50) and rebuilding my fluval 305. It has been couple of days no fish in tank. Why is ammonia out of whack? What can I do. How long for cycle to do it's thing?

My second tank 5 gal. (which is where O put my angelfish while redoing the 50 gal. it readings are - PH - 6.0. Ammonia - 8.0+, Nitrite - 0 and Nitrate 5.0. I have been doing a 25% cleaning every other day. As you can tell I have a bigger problem with the ammonia.

I have used API Ammo Lock in the past with no luck.
API Tap Water Conditioner, API Quick Start I have on hand but have not used this time around. I have API Ph UP and DOWN.
 

david1978

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You should do some back to back water changes to get the ammonia down. 8 is very unsafe for fish.
 

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You need to really really do like 2 70% water changes on each tank. Those are some bad levels for your fish and can be lethal if left that way
 

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Wait, first of all do you have any fish in there right now? If so what kind of fish and how many? Ammolock won’t make the Ammonia readings go away. But if will convert Ammonia to ammonium. Which is not toxic to fish. The nitrifying bacteria still can convert it to nitrates. And if you test you will still get Ammonia readings when using ammolock. Ammolock only locks Ammonia in the form of ammonium not remove Ammonia. Hope it is clear now.
 

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What have you done to your 305 filter? If it's been cleaned too thoroughly you may òf lost your BB and need to cycle the tank again
 
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Ejcsw

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I know I need to cycle my tank. that is what I am doing. The lower Ammonia tank is the 50 gal no fish in since I did in the clean about a week. Everything is new in it except the Bio circular stones. They are 3 months old. I have never had this problem before this last spring. the high of the two 8.0+ is a 10gal tank, but I have just 6 gal of water in it, that I have my only angelfish. I have been doing 25 % water changes every other day. The water will go down to about 6.o then the next day is is back in the * plus range. I have tried Ammo Lock. no luck Quick Start. no luck and Tap water conditioner. no luck. The filter for the little tank is a Eclipse made for a 20 gal. I did not want to fill the 20 gal thinking it would be a week or two. then the angel would go back to the 50 gal. My water out of the faucet shows high ammonia. I have let the water set for a few days. I have tried store bought water. This is why I got on line to get help. I have had fish for over 40 years. Never had this problem that would not correct itself. I do not know if it is safe to do a 25% - 50 % water change each day. Would this be too much stress on the angel?

Sion said:
What have you done to your 305 filter? If it's been cleaned too thoroughly you may òf lost your BB and need to cycle the tank again
I went on youtube and looked through several videos. Then I found this one,
and decided to give it a try.
 
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Ejcsw

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I am about ready to throw in the towel! Todays readings are 50 gal - ph 7.2 up from 6.0, Ammonia 2.0 up from 1.0, Nitrite is still at 0, Nitrate is at 0 was 5.0. I added Ammo Lock yesterday. NOW my tank is cloudy!!! no fish or plants in tank. Small tank readings are ph at 6.0, Ammonia 4.0 Nitrite at O and Nitrate at 5.0. Clear as can be. I have one angel in this tank while trying to cycle big tank. I changed out 5 gals of the 7 gals with RO water from store yesterday. Plan to do so again when Hubby gets home. What am I doing Wrong?
 
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Ejcsw

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I am about ready to throw in the towel! Todays readings are 50 gal - ph 7.2 up from 6.0, Ammonia 2.0 up from 1.0, Nitrite is still at 0, Nitrate is at 0 was 5.0. I added Ammo Lock yesterday. NOW my tank is cloudy!!! no fish or plants in tank. Small tank readings are ph at 6.0, Ammonia 4.0 Nitrite at O and Nitrate at 5.0. Clear as can be. I have one angel in this tank while trying to cycle big tank. I changed out 5 gals of the 7 gals with from store yesterday. Plan to do so again when Hubby gets home. What am I doing Wrong? Changed out 5 gal of water in small tank waited 1 hour. Ammonia is still at 4.0 will test tomorrow. This water is RO. What would happen if I changed out all the water? Would the angelfish die?
 

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With your pH at 6.0 all the ammonia is in a form called ammonium which is not toxic to the fish. By bringing the pH up (through water changes or pH increasing products) all that ammonium will be turned into ammonia which is likely to overwhelm any bacteria that might have started to grow in the filter. Bacteria tends to die off at that low pH though so your cycle, if it ever did start, has probably died.

Stop using RO water! Unless you have a very good reason and a solid grasp of aquarium chemistry and are prepared to remineralize the water you're putting in your tank don't do it. It's going to be a lot of extra work to keep your tank environment stable. Why are you using RO anyway?

And yes, if you changed out all the water, the angelfish would likely die. ESpecially if you used RO water because it doesn't contain any of the minerals or salts that your fish needs to maintain osmotic pressure in its cells.
 
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Aquaphobia said:
With your pH at 6.0 all the ammonia is in a form called ammonium which is not toxic to the fish. By bringing the pH up (through water changes or pH increasing products) all that ammonium will be turned into ammonia which is likely to overwhelm any bacteria that might have started to grow in the filter. Bacteria tends to die off at that low pH though so your cycle, if it ever did start, has probably died.

Stop using RO water! Unless you have a very good reason and a solid grasp of aquarium chemistry and are prepared to remineralize the water you're putting in your tank don't do it. It's going to be a lot of extra work to keep your tank environment stable. Why are you using RO anyway?

And yes, if you changed out all the water, the angelfish would likely die. ESpecially if you used RO water because it doesn't contain any of the minerals or salts that your fish needs to maintain osmotic pressure in its cells.

I tried tap water, tap water filtered through a human water filter. Both show very high ammonia to begin with I even tried to let the water set for a few day before adding. All show high levels of ammonia. We tested store water RO and it showed low ammonia levels. That is why I started using RO water. So what do you suggest?

I agree I think all the good bacteria is dead. How long does a 50 gal take to cycle with no fish? And how do I get rid of the cloudiness after adding Ammo Lock to get rid of the ammonia? Is there anything I can do?
 

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How much ammonia is in your tap water? If you use RO water, get a remineralizer to go with it. Which means testing your KH/GH as well.
 

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HI there. I am confused about something though. Are you cycling your tank with fish or without?

What happened was that with your pH dropping to 6, your bacteria died. Your pH crashed. Doing water changes brought your pH back up, but it didn’t solve the problem. You most likely have a low mineral content. A low kH. This will cause your pH to drop. You need to stabilize your kH and pH to keep your tank cycled. This is easily done with adding a buffer. Such as crushed coral or seashells to your filter. 1 cup per 40 gallons, and within 24-36 hours your pH will stabilize. Usually somewhere around 7.6-8.3. Limestone, aragonite, or baking soda will also work as a buffer. It adds the necessary minerals to your water to stabilize your pH.

If you have fish in your tank, you need to drop your ammonia. I suggest using Seachem Prime. But if you want to use ammo-lock you can too. It just isn’t as good. Once you stabilize your pH, then you can get your cycle back on track. You do need to drop that ammonia level ASAP though. Follow this formula to get your cycle back on track. Add some bottled bacteria to the tank too, to boost your cycle. The cloudiness could be from a bacteria bloom, not from the ammo lock.

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

Your goal with the water changes is to drop the ammonia and nitrites to below 0.5ppm. You may need to change more than 50% to achieve this. I recommend using Seachem Prime because it detoxifies not only Ammonia, but Nitrites and nitrates as well, up to 1ppm for 24-48 hours. Ammo lock doesn’t do that. Just changing 8 gallons in a 50 gallon tank, just isn’t enough to change water chemistries. You need to be changing 25 gallons to get anything to move.

You don’t have to remove the fish in your tank, if you have them. Just keep the ammonia and nitrites low with water changes, and using Prime will keep them safe.

You just need to keep testing the tank everyday until you are back on track with your cycle.


If you are doing a fishless cycle, then my above advice won’t work. You don’t need to use ammo-lock you just need to wait until your ammonia drops before doing anything else.

Hope this helps.

Edit: when you say your tap water ammonia is high, how high is that? If it is under 1ppm, I wouldn’t hesitate to use it. You get far more benefits from tap water than R/O or filtered water. In a cycled tank, the ammonia will be processed in less than 24 hours so it won’t be an issue, when using Seachem Prime. If your tap water has higher than 1ppm, then that is a different issue.
 
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Ejcsw

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To clarify I have one BIG (50) tank that I am trying to cycle with NO FISH in it. I have my angelfish in a temporary LITTLE (10) tank that has 7 Gals of water in it.

My tap water test out at 4.0 ppm and within 24 hours of being in the tank it goes to or pasts 8.0. I have not add water to the Big tank for about a week now the Little tank I have changed out 5 of the 7 gals out every other day. Because the ammonia is so High. I have done two changes this last week with the RO water from the store.

I also thought I was doing right, by adding more Ammo Lock to the Large tank. but today it is even more cloudy than it was yesterday. Can I use Prime if I already have two does of Ammo Lock in the tank?
 

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Are you sure your tap water has 4 ppm ammonia? That's really high. You'd be able to smell it at that level. Also, it shouldn't rise after being left out; if anything, it would fall if any bacteria was alive to convert it.

I'd just double check your readings if you haven't already done so. Test some bottled or RO water to ensure your test is working properly.
 
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Ejcsw

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RO came back O ppm. MY tap, filter and reg. bottle water are all 4 ppm or higher. My chemicals are good until 12/2018 But I am starting to wonder. I had my tap water tested at the store. She thought it was from my tank. And suggested I had too many fish in my tank. Until I told her the size and only one angelfish. She had no idea but Ammo Lock.
 

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Bottled water shouldn't come back with any ammonia. Something's not adding up. I'm increasingly suspicious of the test. Is it from the API test kit - add 8 drops from bottle #1, add 8 drops from bottle #2, shake, and wait five minutes?

I'd rerun the tests. Rinse the tubes and caps well first. Test RO, bottled, and tap waters right next to each other.
 
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Ejcsw

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Yes it is API Master test it. That is what I did. when I was trying to figure out why my tap water came back so High. I live in the Metro Cities area. I never had any problem before this year. Rinsed the tubes with tap water though.
 

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Ejcsw said:
Yes it is API Master test it. That is what I did. when I was trying to figure out why my tap water came back so High. I live in the Metro Cities area. I never had any problem before this year. Rinsed the tubes with tap water though.
Yuck!! If I were you, I'd call the water company people. I wouldn't want to be drinking water with 4.0 ppm ammonia! yeesh,

Where are you located in the twin cities? I have St. Paul water and my ammonia is approx. 0.5 ppm. A well cycled tank has no trouble processing .5-1ppm ammonia. I have done 100% water changes on my established tanks, and the beneficial bacteria in my filters processed it all in 24 hours.
 
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Ejcsw

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bizaliz3 said:
Yuck!! If I were you, I'd call the water company people. I wouldn't want to be drinking water with 4.0 ppm ammonia! yeesh,

Where are you located in the twin cities? I have St. Paul water and my ammonia is approx. 0.5 ppm. A well cycled tank has no trouble processing .5-1 ppm ammonia. done 100% water changes on my established tanks, and the beneficial bacteria in my filters processed it all in 24 hours.
NE Minneapolis. The reading is so high that it is more dark blue then dark green.
I have called the phone number a few times to see if they did something different. If it is bottled water is 1.0 and RO .5. Yeah I told me hubby Need to get one of those filters for the house water that connects into the basement pipes. He does not want to spend the money. I can try sending pics of how dark it is.

do you know if you can use Prime if you have already put Ammo Lock in the tank 24 hours ago?
 

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