DARN AMMONIA-CYCLE

  1. angelfish Initiate Member

    Why isn't there anything that can just be added to water to totally remove ammonia?And if you do not do water changes, does this affect the cycling of the new set-up? Also if Ur tank becomes established for quite some time and all test results of the water are great,will the tank ever reach high ammonia levels that are dangerous again?
     
  2. Isabella Fishlore VIP Member

    I think there are commercial products that can remove ammonia. But the thing is that it is always dangerous to add any commercial products to alter your water chemistry. It's better to do things the natural way, which in your case would be to wait until ammonia goes away on its own.

    I actually don't quite know if it's necessary to do water changes when cycling a tank, but I'd like to find out, so if anyone knows ... :) When I cycled my 10 gallon tank some time ago, I did a water change once. The tank was cycled in less than a month. I did not use any commercial products.

    Angelfish, ammonia and nitrite cannot really be removed with water changes and that is why we wait until the water is fully cycled. (Or can these two be removed by water changes, anyone?) Nitrate, on the other hand is the end of the cycling process and it does not get converted into some other chemical substance. It is nitrate that we must remove by water changes. And that is why water changes are so important.

    Once your tank is established, the only way for ammonia to get high is when your tank is overstocked and there are not enough of water changes and gravel vac's. If you do regular water changes and clean the tank's bottom with every water change (and if your tank is not overstocked) then you should never have your ammonia rise.

    Another thing is to be careful when starting to stock your newly cycled tank. Buy only a few fish at a time. And buy hardy species first, and delicate species last. Do NOT buy all fish at once, as a new tank, even if it's cycled, does not yet have enough beneficial bacteria. If you put a lot of fish at once into the tank, then ammonia or nitrite can indeed rise very quickly and kill your fish or make them very sick.

    OK ENOUGH, lol :)
     

  3. whatsafish7 Member Member

    hey. I dont know that much about cycling and i have some questions on my own but i asked a guy at the pet store and he said not to change your water it might not make sense but thats what he said and he seemed pretty knowledgable.
     
  4. 0morrokh Fishlore VIP Member

    Water changes do remove ammonia and nitrites! Do not try to remove all of them using products, as this will stop your cycle and you'd have to start over. However, if the levels get too high, a water change will reduce them. A cycled tank will never have high ammonia/nitrite problems unless something goes wrong. And, weekly water changes no matter what are vital to the health of your fish.
    Wait...are you cycling w/ or w/out fish? If you're cycling without them, that's good, and then a water change is not necesary until right before you add fish. If you're cycling with fish, the water must be closely monitored.
    And...do not listen to people at pet stores they do not know a thing about fish who cares how 'knowledgable' they seem they are just hired to work at a store not because they know stuff about animals so ask people who actually have an aquarium!...I'm done now :p
     

  5. Isabella Fishlore VIP Member

    Thank you Omorrokh. I thought only nitrate can really be removed by regular water changes and that one has to wait for ammonia to get converted into nitrite. But I will remember this one. Actually was wondering about all of this. So when one is cycling a tank, he/she has to perform water changes as if it were an already cycled tank, right?
     
  6. whatsafish7 Member Member

    wow i just got served
     
  7. Jason Well Known Member Member

    LOL not all fish store people are dumb some could be long time fishkeepers with knowledge which rivals that of Butterfly, Gunnie and Dino
     

  8. whatsafish7 Member Member

    ok thanks. when i hear advice from someone at a petstore ill read up and research it to make sure it is true thanks everybody you have been a great help to me
     
  9. Gunnie Well Known Member Member

    There are 2 products called Ammo lock and Amquel plus that can help with ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate problems in your tank.  They can also be used as a dechlor, but that could get quite expensive.  I prefer the amquel plus when I'm having problems.  It neutralizes the ammonia and nitrites so they are still accessible to the bacteria but not harmful to your fish.  It's good to have this handy for emergencies. 

    Water changes are only done during the cycling process when you are cycling with fish, because the ammonia and nitrites reach toxic levels and you change the water to keep from killing them.  You don't do water changes when doing a fishless cycle until the tank is cycled and you are ready to add fish.  Once your tank is established, your ammonia and nitrite levels should always stay at zero.  Of course things happen and your bacteria sometimes gets wiped out.  This happens for a number of reasons, and sometimes you must go through the cycling process all over again depending on how much bacteria was killed off. 

    As far as your LFS, some of them out there are wonderful and give great advice.  There are some that are more interested in you being a successful fishkeeper than selling you fish every week, but those are pretty rare.  If you find one of those, buy as many of your supplies as you can from them, to help keep them in business.  If you don't have one of those, then just make sure you stay well informed and question everything you are not sure of.  The Baensch Atlas series of books are pretty much the standard recommended by hobbyists for information on species of fish, however, they are quite expensive.  If you are unsure about advice given by your lfs on filters, water quality products, foods, or stuff like that, that's where the forums are great because we are consumers like you, and the responses from other folks with experience on what you have questions about, can save you a lot of money and even your fish's lives.  We are not here to sell you anything, (sometimes you get a troll in there), we just want to share our experiences and help you enjoy the hobby.  And that doesn't mean you can't go to PetSmart or Petco just because of the sometimes bad advice you get there.  Once you get more familiar with the different species, it becomes a challenge to go to places like that and look for mismarked fish that should be sold at a much higher price, but they don't know what kind of fish it is. 

    J-Man is absolutely correct. You will also find that there can be more than 1 way of doing something, and that the way suggested might not be the best way for your situation. ;)