High Ammonia

Applescruff

Valued Member
Messages
90
Reaction score
13
Points
43
i am waiting patiently for my 20 gallon tank to cycle . It has been set up for about three weeks now. The water is crystal clear and looks great but I can’t get the ammonia level below 2.0. The fish all seem fine and I haven’t lost any.
I have been doing water changes every day or two, about 30 to 40 % changes. The level of ammonia spiked about a week ago from 0.5 to 2.0 . Will this ammonia level go down when the tank finally starts to cycle? I have vacuumed the gravel regularly and feed the fish once a day.
 

smee82

Fishlore VIP
Messages
5,650
Reaction score
2,007
Points
498
Experience
More than 10 years
Sounds like your almost cycked or already cycled but your filter cant process all the ammonia being produced.

What filter do you have.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #6

Applescruff

Valued Member
Messages
90
Reaction score
13
Points
43
smee82 said:
Sounds like your almost cycked or already cycled but your filter cant process all the ammonia being produced.

What filter do you have.
I have an aqueon for a 20gallon tank. My tap water shows 0.25 for ammonia.
 

smee82

Fishlore VIP
Messages
5,650
Reaction score
2,007
Points
498
Experience
More than 10 years
Is your ammonia currently 0.5 or 2.0.

When do you test before or after water change. If your testing right after then theres no time for your filter to process the ammonia from your tap.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #8

Applescruff

Valued Member
Messages
90
Reaction score
13
Points
43
Applescruff said:
I have an aqueon for a 20gallon tank
smee82 said:
Is your ammonia currently 0.5 or 2.0.

When do you test before or after water change. If your testing right after then theres no time for your filter to process the ammonia from your tap.
I just tested water right out of the tap and it is 0.25. I tested the tank water right before the water change and it was too high, about 2.0
Should I be buying the water they sell at Petco? Maybe put a filtration system on my tap water ?
 

smee82

Fishlore VIP
Messages
5,650
Reaction score
2,007
Points
498
Experience
More than 10 years
Dont buy petco water its a waste of money. Id try adding a small spong filter for added filtration or adding mote biological filtration to your filter.

Also What fish do you have you could be overstocked
 

GuppyDazzle

Well Known Member
Messages
1,048
Reaction score
928
Points
148
Experience
More than 10 years
Something's producing the ammonia. It's impossible to say exactly what's going on. It's a matter of narrowing down suspicions. If you're showing ammonia and nitrates, but no nitrites, your tank could be cycled, but the cycle is not handling the influx of ammonia. Possible causes could be overstocking or over feeding. What fish do you have in the tank? Overfeeding is something almost everybody does when they start out.

Another possibility is if you're using cycle starter additives. Some people swear by them, but I see lots of people using the bacteria in a bottle and tearing their hair out with confusing water readings and tanks that won't cycle properly. I've always cycled without any additives other than Prime for the replacement water and 25% water changes every other day. Sometimes the additives will speed the cycle along, but often they're more trouble than they're worth. Letting nature take its course might take a while longer, five to six weeks, but it progresses well and is a very reliable means of cycling.

Applescruff. That's not a George Harrison thing is it?
 

leftswerve

Well Known Member
Messages
1,444
Reaction score
382
Points
128
Experience
More than 10 years
Applescruff said:
Liquid test
Make sure you're reading the test in the outside light. 0.25 ppm is really inconsequential, is the ammonia coming down to 1.0 with a 50% water change? Earlier you said you did a 40 but it didn't come down, that's not really how that works.

WhoKnows said:
Something's producing the ammonia. I
The op said : "The fish all seem fine and I haven’t lost any. " Isn' that where the additional ammonia is coming from?
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #14

Applescruff

Valued Member
Messages
90
Reaction score
13
Points
43
WhoKnows said:
Something's producing the ammonia. It's impossible to say exactly what's going on. It's a matter of narrowing down suspicions. If you're showing ammonia and nitrates, but no nitrites, your tank could be cycled, but the cycle is not handling the influx of ammonia. Possible causes could be overstocking or over feeding. What fish do you have in the tank? Overfeeding is something almost everybody does when they start out.

Another possibility is if you're using cycle starter additives. Some people swear by them, but I see lots of people using the bacteria in a bottle and tearing their hair out with confusing water readings and tanks that won't cycle properly. I've always cycled without any additives other than Prime for the replacement water and 25% water changes every other day. Sometimes the additives will speed the cycle along, but often they're more trouble than they're worth. Letting nature take its course might take a while longer, five to six weeks, but it progresses well and is a very reliable means of cycling.

Applescruff. That's not a George Harrison thing is it?
I may be overstocked. It’s a 20 gallon tank. I have :
2 Molly’s
2 platys
2 Cory’s
2 ottos
3 neons
2 very small angels
1 guppy

The two Molly’s and two platys are med size, all the rest of the fish are pretty small. The guy at Petco sold me on the lliquid bacteria is a bottle but I haven’t added much .i won’t use any more. I feed them once a day but perhaps should try every other day.

Yes, Applescruff was a song by George Harrison. He is my favorite. That’s what he called the kids who hung out front of their Apple office. Been there, done that so I guess I qualify.
 

Mick Frost

Valued Member
Messages
482
Reaction score
157
Points
73
Experience
More than 10 years
Not overstocked for dirty water, but very close or maybe over for a clean tank.

Filters are normally sized for a range of tank sizes, and they tend to size by industry standard. If youre using a 5-20, for example, its actually sized for a max of 17 gallons of tank, with maybe 14 gallons of water. That filter would move maybe 60gph, which is not enough for a true 20 (tall/long). Good filters have the flow rating printed on the box. A good rule of thumb is water volume times 5.

Adding a sponge type filter ($5-$10 at a good LFS) will ensure that youre getting enough flow.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #16

Applescruff

Valued Member
Messages
90
Reaction score
13
Points
43
Mick Frost said:
Not overstocked for dirty water, but very close or maybe over for a clean tank.

Filters are normally sized for a range of tank sizes, and they tend to size by industry standard. If youre using a 5-20, for example, its actually sized for a max of 17 gallons of tank, with maybe 14 gallons of water. That filter would move maybe 60gph, which is not enough for a true 20 (tall/long). Good filters have the flow rating printed on the box. A good rule of thumb is water volume times 5.

Adding a sponge type filter ($5-$10 at a good LFS) will ensure that youre getting enough flow.
The filter says for up to a 30galln tank.
 

Alex Pasquale

Valued Member
Messages
82
Reaction score
36
Points
53
Experience
1 year
After reading all the comments and everything here's what I would do:
1. Do a large water change with a gravel vac (This is important)
you want to do a water change while gravel vac'ing because your ammonia spike may be coming from your gravel (uneaten food/etc) make sure you do this step good.
2. Pre-treat your water before adding it into your tank. Basically fill buckets of water up, use your conditioner in the buckets, then fill your tank with those
3. Rinse one side of your filter out with tank water from your water change
4. Give the tank a few hours to settle down, then re-test
 

Alex Pasquale

Valued Member
Messages
82
Reaction score
36
Points
53
Experience
1 year
Applescruff said:
Thanks for your advice. When you say large water change do you mean 50%. Or perhaps 75?
I would do more like a 75% yes. This way you know for a fact that it's not your tank water but it's also leaving just enough for your fish to stay acclimated to it. See if my steps work and let me know how it goes, feel free to message me anytime.
 

Mick Frost

Valued Member
Messages
482
Reaction score
157
Points
73
Experience
More than 10 years
With a 75% change, youll need to check PH and temp of the new water and get it as close as possible to the tank water.
 
Toggle Sidebar

Aquarium Calculator

Follow FishLore!





Top Bottom