Can't get rid of ammonia Help

Discussion in 'Aquarium Water' started by Arp123, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. Arp123Valued MemberMember

    Over the past few days, I have been having ammonia problem. I have lost 2 rummynose tetras and one neon tetra. I have a 20 gallon tank. The tank has been set up for about 8 to 9 months. Any tips on what to do ? I have heard some ideas of squeezing out used filter media and the pouring the yucky water in to the main aquarium. Also heard of changing water frequently. Need help ASAP.


  2. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    welcome to the forum

    What are you using to test and what are your readings?

    Ammonia in the water is a result of incomplete filtration - the water coming out of the filter has ammonia in it. First thing I'd do, after a water change of course, is to add more biomedia to your filter in order to house a larger bacteria colony. Then, all the ammonia should be consumed in one pass through the filter. Having ammonia get through the filter and back into the tank means that there's not enough bacteria to consume it.
  3. Arp123Valued MemberMember

  4. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    What do you have for filtration, and what do you have for media?
  5. Arp123Valued MemberMember

    I use a boyu filter supported by a sponge filter for biological filtration. The boyu filter has activated carbon and filter cloth with sponge(750 liters per hour).

    Also can I use tetra aquasafe to reduce the ammonia levels or should squeeze used filter and pour the dirty water into my tank. Got this from YouTube.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 9, 2012
  6. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    I'm not familiar with that filter. In any event, unless the test is wrong, ammonia in the water means more is being produced than the bacteria can handle. Is this a chronic issue or an isolated occurrence? If its chronic, that means that you have to provide more room for bacteria to grow. If its isolated, just do a water change and dose with prime (water conditioner), then check again the following day.
  7. Arp123Valued MemberMember

    How frequently should I do the water change and the percentage of water change?
  8. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    It's a good idea to change the water at least every two weeks, if not every week. How much? As much as you can. 30-50% is pretty standard. I change 80%.
  9. Arp123Valued MemberMember

    I went to my LFS and the asked the employee in the fish department to take some used filter media and the squeeze the water into a fish bag. I also got two red eye tetras temporarily. I poured the brown looking filter water into my tank. The fish look way better than what they were looking before. I am so happy. You should try this out. Every time you buy fish, you could ask for some of the filter water. This way is so much better than buying all the ammonia removing products and it is natural. Just be careful that you do not take the filter water from an unhealthy tank as it can cause problems to your other fish.
  10. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    I have to be honest, there is NO WAY that I am putting anything from the store, other than the fish, in my tanks. There is just so much that could go wrong with that. I don't even put water from one of MY tanks into another.

    I agree that you do not want to use products, but water conditioners which detoxifies ammonia, in addition to the chlorine and all, are necessary for most.

    It doesn't take long for the bacteria to take care of a mini cycle, provided there is enough real estate on the filter media to allow for growth. If you continue to have water quality issues, that's what you will have to fix.

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