High Ammonia right after water change?

peachsonas

Last night I did a 60% water change after getting a high ammonia reading. I used a new bottle of Prime I picked up (never used it before). Today, approx. 24 hours later, I test the water again and get another high ammonia reading. (around 1 ppm, which was last night's reading too).

What's up with that? I did very light gravel vacuuming because I'm still doing my fish in cycle, but it feels like several steps backward because my ammonia has never read this high.

Edit: There's no ammonia in my tap water.
 

Dechi

Are you cycling your tank ? What is your ammonia source and when was it fed to the tank ?
 
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peachsonas

Are you cycling your tank ? What is your ammonia source and when was it fed to the tank ?
Above I mentioned that I’m doing a fish in cycle, so my ammonia source is my fish and snail.
 
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mattgirl

What was the ammonia reading after the 60% water change? If we are talking about a 5.5 gallon tank it may take daily water changes to keep the ammonia down to a safer level. With a Betta and a mystery snail in this tank there will be higher levels of ammonia produced than there would be if it was just the Betta. I would try my best to get and keep the ammonia down to no more than .25

I would prefer to see zero ammonia after a water change but that is sometimes difficult to do. Keeping the ammonia down to negligible levels may slow the cycling process down a bit but is necessary. The cycle is important but the health of the fish/snail has to be our first priority when doing a fish in cycle. Keep in mind, you will never remove all the ammonia because fish and snail are constantly adding more.

The way you wrote it leads me to believe you think the Prime caused the spike in ammonia. I feel sure that isn't the case. When you do your water changes add enough Prime to treat the full 5.5 gallons of water. Once the cycle is complete and you are no longer seeing any ammonia or nitrites you can just add enough to treat the fresh water before pouring it in the tank.
 
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peachsonas

What was the ammonia reading after the 60% water change? If we are talking about a 5.5 gallon tank it may take daily water changes to keep the ammonia down to a safer level. With a Betta and a mystery snail in this tank there will be higher levels of ammonia produced than there would be if it was just the Betta. I would try my best to get and keep the ammonia down to no more than .25

I would prefer to see zero ammonia after a water change but that is sometimes difficult to do. Keeping the ammonia down to negligible levels may slow the cycling process down a bit but is necessary. The cycle is important but the health of the fish/snail has to be our first priority when doing a fish in cycle. Keep in mind, you will never remove all the ammonia because fish and snail are constantly adding more.

The way you wrote it leads me to believe you think the Prime caused the spike in ammonia. I feel sure that isn't the case. When you do your water changes add enough Prime to treat the full 5.5 gallons of water. Once the cycle is complete and you are no longer seeing any ammonia or nitrites you can just add enough to treat the fresh water before pouring it in the tank.
Thank you! The ammonia remained at 1.0 ppm after the water change, which baffled me. While I’ve experienced ammonia spikes, I’ve never had one this high so I wasn’t sure if any factor could alter that. If anything, the Prime should’ve detoxified it; but I checked 24 hours after I dosed it so it probably wore off.
 
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mattgirl

Thank you! The ammonia remained at 1.0 ppm after the water change, which baffled me. While I’ve experienced ammonia spikes, I’ve never had one this high so I wasn’t sure if any factor could alter that. If anything, the Prime should’ve detoxified it; but I checked 24 hours after I dosed it so it probably wore off.
Prime isn't going to remove the ammonia or change the reading. If you see 1ppm before adding prime the test will still show 1ppm ammonia after adding it. It will just be in a safer form.

If you have no ammonia in your tap water the 60% water change should have lowered the ammonia. If it didn't then I have to think your ammonia was higher than you thought it was before the water change. I would change out enough water to get it down to no more than .25.

It may take more than one water change to accomplish it. Just wait a couple of hours between water changes. Run the ammonia test before each water change to determine how much you need to change to get it where it needs to be.
 
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peachsonas

Prime isn't going to remove the ammonia or change the reading. If you see 1ppm before adding prime the test will still show 1ppm ammonia after adding it. It will just be in a safer form.

If you have no ammonia in your tap water the 60% water change should have lowered the ammonia. If it didn't then I have to think your ammonia was higher than you thought it was before the water change. I would change out enough water to get it down to no more than .25.

It may take more than one water change to accomplish it. Just wait a couple of hours between water changes. Run the ammonia test before each water change to determine how much you need to change to get it where it needs to be.
Okay. I'm back from work and the ammonia test is at 2.0ppm. I'm going to do a large change and gravel vacuum to remove as much food and poop as possible. I'm going to remove around 60%-70% of the water and test it again afterwards. I'll perform another water change in a few hours if needed.
Update: A large water change and vacuuming under some decor seemed to do the trick and get the ammonia down to 0.25ppm. I'll do a smaller change in a few hours to see if I can get it all the way down to 0.
 
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mattgirl

Okay. I'm back from work and the ammonia test is at 2.0ppm. I'm going to do a large change and gravel vacuum to remove as much food and poop as possible. I'm going to remove around 60%-70% of the water and test it again afterwards. I'll perform another water change in a few hours if needed.
Update: A large water change and vacuuming under some decor seemed to do the trick and get the ammonia down to 0.25ppm. I'll do a smaller change in a few hours to see if I can get it all the way down to 0.
Good job. It is possible you will have to do daily water change for a while. Maybe not though as long as there is no food left over in there.If there is leftover food then you are feeding too much. I know mystery snails have big appetites but along with a big appetite comes a lot of poop thus a lot of ammonia.
 
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peachsonas

Good job. It is possible you will have to do daily water change for a while. Maybe not though as long as there is no food left over in there.If there is leftover food then you are feeding too much. I know mystery snails have big appetites but along with a big appetite comes a lot of poop thus a lot of ammonia.
Very true! A vast majority of what I picked up in the change was from Ms. Olive (the poop machine in question).
 
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