Help Please! Urgent! Ammonia!

Prestoncichlids2029

I have just added fish to a tank that has been set up for two weeks, I have owned two aquariums already and I know what I am doing. However, I have a reading of .25 ppm of ammonia in the aquarium. After the 3 2” fish being in there for less than 4 hours. I have a filter in there with plenty of cycled mechanics AND biological media as well as a fully cycled bio wheel. I am very concerned. I am not sure what else to do, I have also dumped an entire 16 oz bottle of sea chem live bacteria in addition to the pre cycled media…please help!!
 

Azedenkae

If it is 0.25ppm you should be fine. Do you have Prime? Dose some if you want to be sure, though Prime detoxifies ammonia without removing it so you'll still register it.

Then keep calm and keep track of your ammonia reading. If it never reaches above 0.25ppm (without water change) then you are absolutely 100% fine and can treat it like a zero reading.
 

Prestoncichlids2029

I don’t have prime unfortunately, I use api “water conditioner” it doesn’t detoxify ammonia. I am just concerned that through the night it will increase concentration of ammonia.
 

Azedenkae

Hm. What size tank is it? What fish is it?
 

Prestoncichlids2029

It’s a grow out tank of 45 gallons with 2 black mystery snails, 2 green Severum (abt 2”) and 1 green terror cichlid (2”).
The starred word should say “with”
It’s a grow out tank of 45 gallons with 2black mystery snails, 2 green Severum (abt 2”) and 1 green terror cichlid (abt 2”)
 

OutsideFoodBlob

Even with seeding the new tank with media from another tank, it’ll take the tank some time to catch up with your fishes bioload. Don’t panic. If your fish are active and acting normally should be ok. Just monitor your ammonia reading. If you just added bottled bacteria give it a chance to do it’s thing. And when in doubt: water changes.
Could you share your tank size and what type of fish? That would help to give you the best suggestions and support.
Dis regard last. Just saw your update.
 

Azedenkae

It’s a grow out tank of 45 gallons with 2 black mystery snails, 2 green Severum (abt 2”) and 1 green terror cichlid (2”).
You should be fine until tomorrow at least. Check parameters tomorrow morning. But yeah if it's 0.25ppm ammonia still, nothing to worry about most likely.
 

OutsideFoodBlob

Had to look the Severum up, I’m not a cichlid keeper. If the breed is very sensitive to ammonia then you could look into getting a bottle of Prime and/or StressGuard both are Seachem products.
I mention sensitivity to ammonia because I stupidly cleaned both of the filters in my one tank a few days apart (post Xmas pre new year) and sent my tank into a bit of a mini cycle. The goldfish showed no outward signs that anything was amiss. I test my tank water right before water change: ammonia and nitrates. ! Ammonia 2ppm! Don’t know that I’d ever seen the test turn that color. Also to my fish: thank you for not dying or getting sick. But goldfish are hardy and I water changed the bejeezus out of the tank for the next week.

Anyhoo, just stay on top of the situation. If that means an early Thursday morning water change for peace of mind then so be it. That way you won’t stress about it the rest of the day if you are not at home.
Post some pictures of your fish sometime: cichlids are so very lovely fish eye candy.

Best of luck!
 

FishDin

45 gallons with 3 small fish and 2 snails. You will be fine overnight.
 

Revan

You should be fine, as everyone else on the thread has said. If it raises to a level like 0.5 ppm, then do a 50% water change. I'd assume you just added the fish too quickly, but its fine, 0.25 ppm isn't that bad. just keep it at that level with water changes, and you should be good.
 

Prestoncichlids2029

Thanks all! I took a reading this morning and it appears to be between 0-.15 ppm of ammonia!
 

Azedenkae

Thanks all! I took a reading this morning and it appears to be between 0-.15 ppm of ammonia!
You should be absolutely fine then. Treat it as a false positive reading and consider it to be zero.
 

Prestoncichlids2029

You should be absolutely fine then. Treat it as a false positive reading and consider it to be zero.
And now I took another reading and it’s pushing .50 ppm. Now I’m really stressed and I’m at work and don’t get off for 6 hours.
 

Azedenkae

And now I took another reading and it’s pushing .50 ppm. Now I’m really stressed and I’m at work and don’t get off for 6 hours.
Okay, there is now some concern. Not too much though. They hopefully will be fine for another six hours. Any chance you can get Prime or something similar asap?

Six hours should still be fine, but probably would then have to start doing water changes very soon.

Can I ask if you checked your cycling status prior to adding fish?
 

Prestoncichlids2029

Okay, there is now some concern. Not too much though. They hopefully will be fine for another six hours. Any chance you can get Prime or something similar asap?

Six hours should still be fine, but probably would then have to start doing water changes very soon.

Can I ask if you checked your cycling status prior to adding fish?
I have a DoorDash coming to my house with seachem prime…my brother said he’ll does it. Honestly, I thought that since I added precycled bio wheel and ceramic rings it will be great. Plus I thought it be even better since I dumped the bottle of bacteria in it
 

Azedenkae

I have a DoorDash coming to my house with seachem prime…my brother said he’ll does it. Honestly, I thought that since I added precycled bio wheel and ceramic rings it will be great. Plus I thought it be even better since I dumped the bottle of bacteria in it
Honestly this is very abnormal.

You used established biomedia, and while my worry may be it is not enough, really this is three pretty small fish in relation to tank volume as well.

Next time you do your reading can you show us what it looks like?
 

Prestoncichlids2029

Yes, I agree, I consider myself experienced, I have 5 successful tanks that have been running for 2+ years, so that is why this is so stressful. It’s a massive tank 3 very tiny fish. It hasn’t even been 24 hours. I will get off work in 3-4 hours and I actually have the results in my car so that I could read it after the 5 minute time that it needed to be accurate. I will send everyone the picture with the test tube next to the result sheet. And yes, I used plenty of established bio media from an African cichlids tank with 8 fish that I’ve had for about 3 years (very healthy/developed).
Does anyone know what does I should do for the .5 ppm of ammonia with seachem prime?
 

Dunk2

Yes, I agree, I consider myself experienced, I have 5 successful tanks that have been running for 2+ years, so that is why this is so stressful. It’s a massive tank 3 very tiny fish. It hasn’t even been 24 hours. I will get off work in 3-4 hours and I actually have the results in my car so that I could read it after the 5 minute time that it needed to be accurate. I will send everyone the picture with the test tube next to the result sheet. And yes, I used plenty of established bio media from an African cichlids tank with 8 fish that I’ve had for about 3 years (very healthy/developed).
Any decorations in this tank? Maybe post a picture of the tank?

And since you have other tanks, this probably isn’t the case but I’ll ask anyway. . . Have you tested your tap water for ammonia?
 

Prestoncichlids2029

Any decorations in this tank? Maybe post a picture of the tank?

And since you have other tanks, this probably isn’t the case but I’ll ask anyway. . . Have you tested your tap water for ammonia?
I can post a picture in a few hours when I get home…I do have quite a bit of the rock that is in this picture. I haven’t tested my water for ammonia, but I have not had a problem with ammonia in my other tanks that I do water changes on of course.
 

Azedenkae

Does anyone know what does I should do for the .5 ppm of ammonia with seachem prime?
It would be 1x dosage per 1ppm ammonia/nitrite. So for you, 1x dosage is fine.

On that note, did you know if you have any nitrite and nitrate?
 

Dunk2

Yes, I agree, I consider myself experienced, I have 5 successful tanks that have been running for 2+ years, so that is why this is so stressful. It’s a massive tank 3 very tiny fish. It hasn’t even been 24 hours. I will get off work in 3-4 hours and I actually have the results in my car so that I could read it after the 5 minute time that it needed to be accurate. I will send everyone the picture with the test tube next to the result sheet. And yes, I used plenty of established bio media from an African cichlids tank with 8 fish that I’ve had for about 3 years (very healthy/developed).

Does anyone know what does I should do for the .5 ppm of ammonia with seachem prime?
Use the standard dosing table here. . .
https://seachem.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/115000125454-Info-Seachem-Prime-dosing-instructions
I can post a picture in a few hours when I get home…I do have quite a bit of the rock that is in this picture. I haven’t tested my water for ammonia, but I have not had a problem with ammonia in my other tanks that I do water changes on of course.
The rocks are the only type of decoration in the tank?

This is a long shot. . . The rocks should’t produce ammonia, but dead organic matter in them could? Where did you get them, did you rinse them with very hot water and are they unique to this tank?
 

Prestoncichlids2029

It would be 1x dosage per 1ppm ammonia/nitrite. So for you, 1x dosage is fine.

On that note, did you know if you have any nitrite and nitrate?
Glad you asked that, this is also interesting…last night I took a reading of nitrate (to see if I had ANY bacteria for the nitrogen cycle) and I cannot remember rn what it was, but it was pushing the 3rd out of 6/7 boxes I believe, a light orange.
Hi
Use the standard dosing table here. . .
https://seachem.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/115000125454-Info-Seachem-Prime-dosing-instructions

The rocks are the only type of decoration in the tank?

This is a long shot. . . The rocks should’t produce ammonia, but dead organic matter in them could? Where did you get them, did you rinse them with very hot water and are they unique to this tank?
The rocks are the only decor in the tank (other than sand ofc) all of it is unique to this tank. They are from my lfs, appear very clean and a light light color. I did not rinse them before putting them in the tank, I couldn’t imagine they’d have a negative affect on anything.
 

Azedenkae

Glad you asked that, this is also interesting…last night I took a reading of nitrate (to see if I had ANY bacteria for the nitrogen cycle) and I cannot remember rn what it was, but it was pushing the 3rd out of 6/7 boxes I believe, a light orange.
Just to clarify, this was with the API test kit right? I just presumed but figured I'd ask. What about nitrite?
 

Prestoncichlids2029

Just to clarify, this was with the API test kit right? I just presumed but figured I'd ask. What about nitrite?
Yes, API kit. I did not test nitrite, I will test when I get home in a few hours.
Glad you asked that, this is also interesting…last night I took a reading of nitrate (to see if I had ANY bacteria for the nitrogen cycle) and I cannot remember rn what it was, but it was pushing the 3rd out of 6/7 boxes I believe, a light orange.
The rocks are the only decor in the tank (other than sand ofc) all of it is unique to this tank. They are from my lfs, appear very clean and a light light color. I did not rinse them before putting them in the tank, I couldn’t imagine they’d have a negative affect on anything. I have never had a problem with any decor from the store.
Any decorations in this tank? Maybe post a picture of the tank?

And since you have other tanks, this probably isn’t the case but I’ll ask anyway. . . Have you tested your tap water for ammonia?
Here is my tank with the tiny Green Terror Cichlid and 2 Severums (2”) they are hiding in the back right
I just tested ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. I read the following results:

Ammonia: 0.30-0.50 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 0 ppm
Temp of tank: 73…I turned the heater up

I have now added API Stress Coat and Seachem Prime. The tiny green terror seems more active than usual…keep in mind I just got these fish 28 hours ago.

I am also having issues with getting 1/2 biowheels to spin. (It is the non-precycled one thankfully)
 

OutsideFoodBlob

Please help!
Ok I am going to press the don’t panic button.
Looks like even though you were trying to do fishless cycle the tank is not completely cycled just yet. You are probably looking at needing to do water changes until the tank catches up to your fishes bioload.
So having to fuss with the tank when you get home. If you do 25 to 50% water changes daily or every other day you and your fish should be fine. Just use the water test kit to help you decide how much and how often to do changes. In other words once ammonia is reading zero, test your water daily and can start to back off water changes if ammonia and nitrite holds at zero.

Again don’t panic. Your fish may not like the water changes (two of my fish go hide when they see water changes in a separate tank!) but it’s only in the short term.
I’d caution against raising the temp any higher. Until you get tank parameter where you need it keep temp on lower end of what your fish tolerate/prefer.
Best of luck!
 

Azedenkae

I have now added API Stress Coat and Seachem Prime. The tiny green terror seems more active than usual…keep in mind I just got these fish 28 hours ago.

I am also having issues with getting 1/2 biowheels to spin. (It is the non-precycled one thankfully)
Okay you will be fine now. We still don't know if the fish is more active simply because they are now acclimated or if it's coz of the chemicals, but anyways. XD

1x dosage of Prime detoxifies 1ppm ammonia/nitrite for 48 hours, so just dose a bit more than what your current readings are to be sure. For example, with 0.5ppm ammonia, dose 1x dosage Prime. If ammonia is at 1ppm, dose 1.5x, or even 2x dosage Prime. Prime is safe to dose up to 5x dosage, so even if you do 5x dosage each time, that's fine too, just will be using a lot more Prime than need be.

Then when ammonia/nitrite reaches close to 5ppm (I'd suggest 4ppm), then do a water change to significantly lower it.

But yeah nah, you are fine now.
 

OutsideFoodBlob

I agree you can use Prime to manage/render less harmful the ammonia between water changes but I’d stick to 1x dosage and alternate with water changes if possible.
 

Dunk2

I agree you can use Prime to manage/render less harmful the ammonia between water changes but I’d stick to 1x dosage and alternate with water changes if possible.
Agreed. Prime shouldn’t be used as a substitute for water changes IMO.

And maybe I’m confused, but why is an ammonia level of 5 ppm even being thought about? Aren’t we talking about 3 fish in a 45 gallon tank?

Ammonia levels in this tank should be easily managed with water changes.
 

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