Can I do anything to help my ammonia go down quicker?

RedOnion

I have a 40g tank that I plan on having it filled with my fish from my 20g as well as move the filter over. Here is the issue, my water has a regular 1ppm ammonia in it and my 40g has been stuck at .25ppm for the past 2 days after filling it up. I know it isnt my test kit because my 20g tank shows a bright yellow 0 for ammonia. I have dosed prime 2x already and added some ammonia remover I had from a previous purchase as well as cycled media. I cant really do water changes or else my ammonia will just go up again. Should I just wait it out? Or dose prime again?
 

Dunk2

I have a 40g tank that I plan on having it filled with my fish from my 20g as well as move the filter over. Here is the issue, my water has a regular 1ppm ammonia in it and my 40g has been stuck at .25ppm for the past 2 days after filling it up. I know it isnt my test kit because my 20g tank shows a bright yellow 0 for ammonia. I have dosed prime 2x already and added some ammonia remover I had from a previous purchase as well as cycled media. I cant really do water changes or else my ammonia will just go up again. Should I just wait it out? Or dose prime again?

Prime does not remove ammonia. Only detoxifies it to an extent.
 
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RedOnion

Prime does not remove ammonia. Only detoxifies it to an extent.
So it would be pointless now to dose I would assume?
 
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Dunk2

Yeah, I think so. There’s no fish in the tank yet?
 
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Dechi

Just be aware that Prime gives false positives on ammonia when used with liquid tests.
 
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LowConductivity

So the fish and filter from the 20 are moving to the 40?
 
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RedOnion

Yeah, I think so. There’s no fish in the tank yet?
Nope no fish.
Just be aware that Prime gives false positives on ammonia when used with liquid tests.
Oh okay then I will stop.
So the fish and filter from the 20 are moving to the 40?
Yes both are moving, I wont be adding any new fish for a while so my my 40g filter can catch up, after that I will SLOWLY add fish so the BB can catch up.
 
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LowConductivity

Nope no fish.

Oh okay then I will stop.

Yes both are moving, I wont be adding any new fish for a while so my my 40g filter can catch up, after that I will SLOWLY add fish so the BB can catch up.
Given that most of your BB lives in the filter, id consider the 40 cycled when you move the filter over. Its not like your fish are going to poop any more than the current filter is used to dealing with....
 
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RedOnion

Given that most of your BB lives in the filter, id consider the 40 cycled when you move the filter over. Its not like your fish are going to poop any more than the current filter is used to dealing with....
Well I do plan on moving over most of the 20g water as well, so its not going to be that big of a change. Im only really worried about my shrimp. Should I leave them in a 5g bucket with some of the 20g water and an airstone till tests read 0ppm of ammonia?
 
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Broggy

slow down on the feeding for now, like every other day, or every 3 days. so yes, prime detoxifies ammonia, not get rid of it. but in its detoxified form the BB can still consume it, so it is benificial still.
 
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RedOnion

slow down on the feeding for now, like every other day, or every 3 days. so yes, prime detoxifies ammonia, not get rid of it. but in its detoxified form the BB can still consume it, so it is benificial still.
I havent fed my fish in the 20g today so the move can be easier on them, so it would be alright to move them over to the 40g?
 
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Dechi

Oh okay then I will stop.

You still need a water dechlorinator though. Use Prime until you have a replacement.
 
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RedOnion

You still need a water dechlorinator though. Use Prime until you have a replacement.
I know that, I meant I will stop adding extra to remove the ammonia, since its not really doing it.
 
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Dunk2

I know that, I meant I will stop adding extra to remove the ammonia, since its not really doing it.

Prime is fine, but adding extra is unnecessary. I’ve been using it for years without any false positives.
 
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RayClem

The 1 ppm ammonia in your tap water is an indication that your water supplier is using chloramine to disinfect the water. Check with them to confirm this is the case. They may use chloramine under unusual circumstances such as heavy runnoff. However, my community uses it routinely.

When you add a water conditioner to your tap water, it will break the chloramine bond releasing chlorine and ammonia. The conditioner will then reduce the chlorine to chloride ion which is harmless. The ammonia, however, is not harmless. You can do as you have done and use a conditioner like Seachem Prime that detoxifies the ammonia, but it does not remove it from the aquarium. Once your aquarium is fully cycled, there will be enough bacteria to deal with the extra ammonia.

Another way to deal with the ammonia is to use an ammonia absorber like Zeolite. This is a porous clay that will absorb ammonia and remove it from your tank. When the absorbing capacity of the Zeolite is consumed, you will either have to replace the Zeolite (easiest method) or regenerate the Zeolite using a strong brine solution (cheapest method). Zeolite is not effective in salt water aquariums because the salt concentration prevents the absorption of ammonia.


Another option is to use RO water as your source water rather than tap water. My tap water is also super hard and super alkaline, so it is easier for me to use RO to which I add back minerals to control the GH and KH without having to contend with the tap water.
 
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RedOnion

The 1 ppm ammonia in your tap water is an indication that your water supplier is using chloramine to disinfect the water. Check with them to confirm this is the case. They may use chloramine under unusual circumstances such as heavy runnoff. However, my community uses it routinely.

When you add a water conditioner to your tap water, it will break the chloramine bond releasing chlorine and ammonia. The conditioner will then reduce the chlorine to chloride ion which is harmless. The ammonia, however, is not harmless. You can do as you have done and use a conditioner like Seachem Prime that detoxifies the ammonia, but it does not remove it from the aquarium. Once your aquarium is fully cycled, there will be enough bacteria to deal with the extra ammonia.

Another way to deal with the ammonia is to use an ammonia absorber like Zeolite. This is a porous clay that will absorb ammonia and remove it from your tank. When the absorbing capacity of the Zeolite is consumed, you will either have to replace the Zeolite (easiest method) or regenerate the Zeolite using a strong brine solution (cheapest method). Zeolite is not effective in salt water aquariums because the salt concentration prevents the absorption of ammonia.


Another option is to use RO water as your source water rather than tap water. My tap water is also super hard and super alkaline, so it is easier for me to use RO to which I add back minerals to control the GH and KH without having to contend with the tap water.
Only reason there is this much chloramine is because Texas's water was recently unsafe due to the weather and many people said that once they put back the clean water it would be full of chloramine in the beginning due to the previous water unsafe thing. If it continues then I will probably get me some zeolite. I am pretty sure once the water systems are back to normal then my ammonia will go down again from my tap water, its only like that right now because of last weeks weather.
 
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RayClem

I suspected the chloramine might be a temporary measure. Hopefully, they will go back to chlorine only after things get back to normal. However, use of chloramine is becoming far more common as it is a more stable chemical that lasts much longer in the water pipelines. I do not like the taste of drinking water containing chloramine, so we use RO water for drinking, cooking and making coffee.
 
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RedOnion

I suspected the chloramine might be a temporary measure. Hopefully, they will go back to chlorine only after things get back to normal. However, use of chloramine is becoming far more common as it is a more stable chemical that lasts much longer in the water pipelines. I do not like the taste of drinking water containing chloramine, so we use RO water for drinking, cooking and making coffee.
Wow i never knew that. The water from the sinks smell like pools now its so weird. Ill have to test my tap every once in a while to make sure its still safe.
 
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RayClem

Wow i never knew that. The water from the sinks smell like pools now its so weird. Ill have to test my tap every once in a while to make sure its still safe.

The water should be safe to drink, but that does not mean that it will taste good.
 
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RedOnion

The water should be safe to drink, but that does not mean that it will taste good.
I mean safe to put in my aquariums. I dont want to be adding too much ammonia in every water change.
 
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RayClem

I mean safe to put in my aquariums. I dont want to be adding too much ammonia in every water change.

If your tap water contains chloramine, I would suggest using several small water changes (something like 10%) as opposed to a large water change (50%) so the inhabitants of the tank won't have to deal with a spike in ammonia.
 
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