High Ammonia Levels That Will Not Go Down

Ctcudda1

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I started a 30 gallon tank a week and a half ago, I added 2 gouramis one died yesterday. I have been checking the ammonia levels and been doing a 15% water change every day for the last 5 days but the ammonia will just not go down. A friend told me to take one of my filter pads from my other tank that I have had running for 4 years and put it in the new one and that should jump start the cycling process, I added the filter pad yesterday and the ammonia is still really high 2ppm. Should I stuff the filter pad into the new filter on the tank or just let it sit inside the tank? I use seachem prime every time I do a water change but nothing seems to be working. My other gouramis ( the one that's still alive) seems to be doing fine, he has a healthy appetite and doesn't seem to be sluggish or gasping for air. Any input helps, its been frustrating.
 

Claire Bear

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HI and welcome. A 30 gallon with two fish should have little ammonia. The ammonia is produced from the fish waste and then is converted to nitrite and finally nitrate. This process is called cycling and all is part of the nitrogen cycle.
I would put that media into the media basket/area inside the filter rather than in the tank loose.
I would like to ask a few questions about the media (filter material) and what you are using.
1, The filter media you pulled from your established tank was this foam?
Or something else and if so what.
2. What size tank is the material from that you moved and how long had that media been in your other tank.
3. What test are you using to test your water?
4. Were there any other signs of illness from you Gourami?
Sometimes, the issue is several things-dwarf gouramis, imo, are not always healthy and may not make it in a newly set up tank.
Hope this helps.
 
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Ctcudda1

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Thanks for the info! I put the biobag filter from my 55 gallon tank in there, I run 2 filters on my 55 so I had a filter bag to spare, the only problem with putting the used floss in the new filter is I got an aqua clear and there's no room for it unless I cut it up and stuff it in there. My gouramI that died was sitting on the bottom alot, seemed like he was gasping for air, and when he was swimming he was floating sideways. I use the API master test kit and ammonia kit for testing.
 

Claire Bear

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Sounds like you are doing the right things and I am not sure why the ammonia is not lowering unless something is leaching in the tank. Any possibility there is another source for the ammonia?
 

CindiL

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I would do a couple of large water changes, back to back if necessary to get your ammonia down. Take out the new bio-max in the aqua clear and replace it with the bio-bag from your established tank. This really should give you an instant cycle. 2.0 is a lot of ammonia to deal with, especially with what you're moving over. My guess is that the bio-bag will be able to establish your new colony once you do this.
 

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