I Give Up! Ammonia Issue

Galaxsy556

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Trice said:
I’m CERTAIN it’s the ammonia test. Believe me when I tell u I am losing my mind. My tap water is now reading 0. A couple weeks ago it was .50 & I reported it to the apartment manager who called the water company so they must have fixed it! Either way, the ammonia in the tank is still thru the roof after doing 3-4 water changes. Idk to do at this point. I’m beside myself. I’ve had fish tanks before & have NEVER seen anything like this in my life!
Quick question, whats the exp date on the bottle for your test kit? And what brand of test kit are ya using?
 
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Trice

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It is API test kit, exp 06/2024
Galaxsy556 said:
Quick question, whats the exp date on the bottle for your test kit? And what brand of test kit are ya using?
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Trice

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Skavatar said:
pH 6.5 which means most of it is the less toxic ammonium.
I’m sure from using Ammo Lock. Without it the ammonia was 8!

PascalKrypt said:
What did you use to cycle the tank? Any decorations/driftwood/plants etc in there? What kind of substrate do you have? If your ammonia is that high just after a water change, chances are there is something in your tank continuously leeching ammonia into your water.
There’s a couple plastic? decorations in there & fake plants. The bottom is blue stones for aquariums. I’ve since taken everything out but one decoration she likes to hide in. No driftwood. Exactly tho...what on earth can be holding that much ammonia?

The stones are still in the tank & I vacuumed them every time I did a water change
PascalKrypt said:
What did you use to cycle the tank? Any decorations/driftwood/plants etc in there? What kind of substrate do you have? If your ammonia is that high just after a water change, chances are there is something in your tank continuously leeching ammonia into your water.
atom


I used Seachem Stability & Seachem Prime to cycle the tank

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PascalKrypt said:
What did you use to cycle the tank? Any decorations/driftwood/plants etc in there? What kind of substrate do you have? If your ammonia is that high just after a water change, chances are there is something in your tank continuously leeching ammonia into your water.
Could it be the stones????
 

hanra85

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You likely have high level of chloramines in your tap water or something then... Usually happens this time of year. Chloramines break down to chlorine and ammonia, which Prime should neutralize both so maybe you didn't use enough or you did but it'll still count towards the total ammonia even though it's been neutralized.
I know ammo lock acts that way, it'll lock the ammonia but it'll still show up the same in water tests as if you haven't, that's my theory at least.
 
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Trice

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hanra85 said:
You likely have high level of chloramines in your tap water or something then... Usually happens this time of year. Chloramines break down to chlorine and ammonia, which Prime should neutralize both so maybe you didn't use enough or you did but it'll still count towards the total ammonia even though it's been neutralized.
I know ammo lock acts that way, it'll lock the ammonia but it'll still show up the same in water tests as if you haven't, that's my theory at least.
This is y I purchased & used bottled water for the last 3 water changes, yet the ammonia was an 8 right after doing the water change. I did a 75-80% water change.
 

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Hmmm, strange. I'm not familiar with that substrate though. As it is pretty much the only thing in there, certainly the only thing of a volume to get your levels up so high that quickly, and your water source has no ammonia (I'm assuming it is just regular bottled water? No other additives that could lead to a chemical reaction that releases ammonia?) it would be my prime suspect.
The only time I've ever measured ammonia levels higher than yours was when I put fertiliser (as in, soil fertiliser, not for aquariums) in one of my plants-only tanks. Even that stabilised after a week or two.
 

StarGirl15

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I totally understand your frustration....Lets try something different. What decorations, substrate, plants do you have? Idk im trying.
 
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Wow! I am so lost. I have never seen such a mess. This is not my first tank. I did of course rinse the stones thru a strainer before putting them in the tank to get any dust & stuff off. This Pure Water Pebbles brand has a ton of colors & reviews & no one has reported it causing high ammonia. What do I do? Take them out? Is there something safe I can clean them with to get the ammonia out of them?
 

hanra85

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Take a sample to your lfs, have them test it with their kit and check the results against your own. Another thing I might be curious to do is use the bottled water to fill your test vial and add your test solutions, shake it up, should read zero, then add a few drops of the ammolock or whatever conditioners or additives you were using to that test to see if it alters your result.
 

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I have read time after time where folks are getting an ammonia reading that no matter what they do it still registers 8. The common denominator is the addition of ammo-lock.

Do your water changes and stop adding ammo-lock. It actually locks up the ammonia so it is no longer available for the bacteria. Prime will detox low amounts of ammonia but doesn't lock it up. The bacteria can still use it for food.

You say you have ammonia in your tap water. How high is it?
 
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mattgirl said:
You say you have ammonia in your tap water. How high is it?
A few weeks ago it was .5 but I contacted the apt manager & she contacted the water co & tonight it’s at 0 so they must have fixed it

mattgirl said:
I have read time after time where folks are getting an ammonia reading that no matter what they do it still registers 8. The common denominator is the addition of ammo-lock.

Do your water changes and stop adding ammo-lock. It actually locks up the ammonia so it is no longer available for the bacteria. Prime will detox low amounts of ammonia but doesn't lock it up. The bacteria can still use it for food.
Even using the Prime I was getting an ammonia level of 8 which will kill my fish.
 

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Trice said:
Even using the Prime I was getting an ammonia level of 8 which will kill my fish.
Yes it will. This just caught my attention because your reading is 8. That seems to be the magic number when ammo-lock has been used.

Were you using both ammo-lock and prime at the same time? Now that your tap water no longer has ammonia in it you may want to change out at least 75% of the water. That .5 shouldn't have been a problem as long as you were using prime to detox that small amount. Bottled water is alright in some cases but for most folks it is better to use their tap water if at all possible.

What is the PH of your tap water? A low Ph will slow down the cycling process so if the PH of your tap water is higher than the 6.5 you were seeing in this tank the water change will get it up there where it needs to be.
 
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mattgirl said:
Yes it will. This just caught my attention because your reading is 8. That seems to be the magic number when ammo-lock has been used.

Were you using both ammo-lock and prime at the same time? Now that your tap water no longer has ammonia in it you may want to change out at least 75% of the water. That .5 shouldn't have been a problem as long as you were using prime to detox that small amount. Bottled water is alright in some cases but for most folks it is better to use their tap water if at all possible.

What is the PH of your tap water? A low Ph will slow down the cycling process so if the PH of your tap water is higher than the 6.5 you were seeing in this tank the water change will get it up there where it needs to be.
The pH of the tap water is 7.2 but is lower in my tank

Trice said:
The pH of the tap water is 7.2 but is lower in my tank
I tried just using the Prime, but the ammonia was so high I panicked & added the Ammo Lock the next day. I did a 75% water change & immediately tested the ammonia & it was between 6-8! How is that possible when I used bottled water of ammonia 0? Where did all that ammonia come from to be so high upon just changing the water?
 

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I never used Ammo-lock, but my understanding is that it is for emergency situations, until you can do a water change - so, I would not use it regularly...

Keep up with the water changes, with the tap water, and use Prime 1ml/10 gallon for every 1ppm ammonia. It will bound/detoxify ammonia - which will show up during testing, but won't harm the fish - for 2 days, then do water change...

Start using some bacteria additives to establish the beneficial colony...
 

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Trice said:
The pH of the tap water is 7.2 but is lower in my tank
Do your water changes with your tap water and it should bring your PH to the same level.

Trice said:
I tried just using the Prime, but the ammonia was so high I panicked & added the Ammo Lock the next day. I did a 75% water change & immediately tested the ammonia & it was between 6-8! How is that possible when I used bottled water of ammonia 0? Where did all that ammonia come from to be so high upon just changing the water?
Lots of times when we panic we start doing things to fix a problem. We all do it but it is best to try to figure out where the problem is coming from and do our best to fix it. I know that is what you are doing now.

If this were my tank I would do a 50% water change every day until the ammonia drops down to less than one. I know you did a big water change and the ammonia didn't go down. I have to think some of the ammo-lock was still in there thus the continuing high ammonia reading.

I would normally recommend a much bigger water change for the first one but we don't want to shock your fish by changing out more than 50% of the water since the PH is higher in your source water.

The only thing I would add to the water is Prime to help detox the ammonia but you could go ahead and add the Stability. It may help. I have personally never used a bottled bacteria so normally don't add that to my recommendations.
 
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Trice

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Ok ty!
mattgirl said:
Do your water changes with your tap water and it should bring your PH to the same level.


Lots of times when we panic we start doing things to fix a problem. We all do it but it is best to try to figure out where the problem is coming from and do our best to fix it. I know that is what you are doing now.

If this were my tank I would do a 50% water change every day until the ammonia drops down to less than one. I know you did a big water change and the ammonia didn't go down. I have to think some of the ammo-lock was still in there thus the continuing high ammonia reading.

I would normally recommend a much bigger water change for the first one but we don't want to shock your fish by changing out more than 50% of the water since the PH is higher in your source water.

The only thing I would add to the water is Prime to help detox the ammonia but you could go ahead and add the Stability. It may help. I have personally never used a bottled bacteria so normally don't add that to my recommendations.
ty
 
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