I Give Up! Ammonia Issue

mattgirl

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Trice said:
The decoration is a haunted house purchased at PetSmart with all the other fish decorations. Every time I change the water I vacuum the gravel.
It may be fine. The only thing I can suggest is water changes to get the ammonia down.
 

DarkOne

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Most likely not the gravel. It's new and made for aquariums.

What are you using to test the water?

Are there any other fish in the tank? What are you feeding the BP? How much?

Don't panic and dump a ton of chemicals in your tank to try to fix it. That usually causes more harm than good.
 

Momgoose56

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Your tank is still cycling. That is the only reason you have ammonia persisting in your tank. A cycled tank will eliminate ammonia originating from the tap water or from fish waste. Bottled water won't make any difference in that case.
Ammolock and Prime do the exact same thing. They both dechlorinate and bind low levels of ammonia/nitrites into a form harmless to fish. You need to use one or the other but not both. Ammolock has to be dosed daily and to treat replacement water, Prime is dosed every 48 hours and to treat replacement water.
I think the ammonia reading of 8 ppm was an error. Your fish would have died within minutes with an ammonia level that high. What are your pH, nitrite and nitrate levels?
 
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Trice

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So yesterday I did at least an 80% water change. I added a whole bottle of Colony to get the cycling straight & Seachem Stability & Seachem Prime to protect my fish. This was yesterday. I have just used my API test kit to check the ammonia & it is at 8!!!! I cannot get rid of this ammonia! I hate to change the water again bc I added Colony to get the cycling moving. So if I change the water again I’ll be losing the good bacteria I just added. I tested my tap water prior to filling the tank back up & the ammonia was 0. Where on earth is all this ammonia coming from? While changing the water, I started at the bottom & thoroughly vacuumed the debris from the gravel. It’s practically a whole tank of new water & the ammonia is 8!!!! Please advise.
 

MrBryan723

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Tank size and population?
Could also be from the bacteria in a bottle. If it's dead(common) it will cause a spike.
Test your tap water to see what it reads.
Daily water changes are almost a must with fish in cycles, sometimes twice a day.
 
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Trice

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MrBryan723 said:
Tank size and population?
Could also be from the bacteria in a bottle. If it's dead(common) it will cause a spike.
Test your tap water to see what it reads.
Daily water changes are almost a must with fish in cycles, sometimes twice a day.
29 gallon, blood parrot, tap water ammonia 0
 

MrBryan723

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A single fish? Those do get pretty large so it could very well be producing it. Prime is a temporary fix you can use to keep it reasonable while you cycle. But definitely do the water changes. Bottle bacteria is useless in the water column anyways so I wouldnt worry about that. Next time you use it if you decide to use it, put it directly in the filter and turn the filter off for 30 min or so.
 

SeanyBaggs123

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Do you have a picture?
Maybe we can identify something you're not seeing...

I agree with @MrBryan723 though that bottled bacteria can cause funky water tests for a multitude of reasons including dead bacteria causing ammonia spikes.
Some bacteria's like tetra safe start plus wont work if you condition the water with prime.
They're all different and so many people have different experiences with them

I've never heard of Colony.
Did you precisely follow the instructions on the bottle? Does it say anything about using water conditioners or which ones can be used in conjunction with it?

How are the fish behaving?

Edit: I would also add that a Blood Parrot is, or will become, far too large for that size tank. To put things in perspective I cycled my 60 gallon tank with 1 tiger barb (3/4 inch in size) and then moved up from there. You're cycling a small tank with a large and messy fish. Hard to do.
 

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from your previous thread your pH is 6.5 which means a good amount of the ammonia is actually the less toxic form of ammonium.

is your blood parrot currently acting strange? stress? difficulty breathing?

with the API test, are you shaking the bottles very well?
 
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Trice

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My pH is finally up now for the first time! Yes, I’m shaking the bottles very well before running the test. The parrot since day 1 has been hiding from me. I had a large tank in the past w 3 parrots & I'm not used to them behaving this way. They’re usually friendly & mine used to take food from my lips. I never even get to see this fish

No, the bottle did not mention anything about using other conditioners. I found out about using Colony from another thread here that had a link to Amazon so I got it & used it yesterday. The bottle just said to shake vigorously which I did.
 

SeanyBaggs123

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The Blood Parrot's behavior is odd I suppose. Is he still eating? How long have you had him?

Also, @Skavatar brings up a really good point. Your test kit likely doesn't distinguish between ammonia and ammonium. The bacterial starter is probably the root of your test results if you tested the water the same day as the 80% water change. I'd probably give it a week or so and test again unless the fish starts showing obvious signs of illness.

I have successfully done fish in cycles twice now, but the uncertainty of test results when using bacteria starters is exactly why my reef build will be a fishless cycle
 
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Trice

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SeanyBaggs123 said:
Do you have a picture?
Maybe we can identify something you're not seeing...

I agree with @MrBryan723 though that bottled bacteria can cause funky water tests for a multitude of reasons including dead bacteria causing ammonia spikes.
Some bacteria's like tetra safe start plus wont work if you condition the water with prime.
They're all different and so many people have different experiences with them

I've never heard of Colony.
Did you precisely follow the instructions on the bottle? Does it say anything about using water conditioners or which ones can be used in conjunction with it?

How are the fish behaving?

Edit: I would also add that a Blood Parrot is, or will become, far too large for that size tank. To put things in perspective I cycled my 60 gallon tank with 1 tiger barb (3/4 inch in size) and then moved up from there. You're cycling a small tank with a large and messy fish. Hard to do.
SeanyBaggs123 said:
The Blood Parrot's behavior is odd I suppose. Is he still eating? How long have you had him?

Also, @Skavatar brings up a really good point. Your test kit likely doesn't distinguish between ammonia and ammonium. The bacterial starter is probably the root of your test results if you tested the water the same day as the 80% water change. I'd probably give it a week or so and test again unless the fish starts showing obvious signs of illness.

I have successfully done fish in cycles twice now, but the uncertainty of test results when using bacteria starters is exactly why my reef build will be a fishless cycle
Yes, he does come out of the house to eat but does so reluctantly as he acts like he’s terrified of me. Not like any parrot I’ve ever owned before.

Oh! I’ve had him a couple weeks
 

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SeanyBaggs123

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The water looks cloudy... so that's a good sign.

If he's still eating after a couple weeks and looks fine I would do one of two things:

1. Stop using the beneficial bacteria. Perform 50% water changes every other day, and dose prime after the WC's until you're cycled.

2. Trust the beneficial bacteria you bought, stop testing for a week and re-evaluate at that time.
 

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Several threads have been merged to keep all the information is in one place & members can see what’s already been advised.
 
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Trice

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SeanyBaggs123 said:
The water looks cloudy... so that's a good sign.

If he's still eating after a couple weeks and looks fine I would do one of two things:

1. Stop using the beneficial bacteria. Perform 50% water changes every other day, and dose prime after the WC's until you're cycled.

2. Trust the beneficial bacteria you bought, stop testing for a week and re-evaluate at that time.
Ok ty! U only add the beneficial bacteria once & that’s already been done yesterday. I’ll use the Prime but should I also use the Stability w the water changes?
 

SeanyBaggs123

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Trice said:
Ok ty! U only add the beneficial bacteria once & that’s already been done yesterday. I’ll use the Prime but should I also use the Stability w the water changes?
I re-read my post and see how it could be confusing.

I propose you do one or the other of the two options above. Not both.

Either trust the bacteria and stop water changing/testing for a week.

OR

50% Water change every other day and dose prime until you're cycled.
 
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Momgoose56 said:
Your tank is still cycling. That is the only reason you have ammonia persisting in your tank. A cycled tank will eliminate ammonia originating from the tap water or from fish waste. Bottled water won't make any difference in that case.
Ammolock and Prime do the exact same thing. They both dechlorinate and bind low levels of ammonia/nitrites into a form harmless to fish. You need to use one or the other but not both. Ammolock has to be dosed daily and to treat replacement water, Prime is dosed every 48 hours and to treat replacement water.
I think the ammonia reading of 8 ppm was an error. Your fish would have died within minutes with an ammonia level that high. What are your pH, nitrite and nitrate levels?
pH 7.2, nitrites & nitrates 0. I have rerun the ammonia test & it’s still an 8 w practically a whole new tank of clean water!

SeanyBaggs123 said:
I re-read my post and see how it could be confusing.

I propose you do one or the other of the two options above. Not both.

Either trust the bacteria and stop water changing/testing for a week.

OR

50% Water change every other day and dose prime until you're cycled.
Ok ty!
 

jdhef

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If your ammonia level is 8ppm, there's a pretty good chance that it killed off the bacteria you added. But I can't figure out where all that ammonia would be coming from.

If it were me, I would not use both Stability and Colony, since they will be competing against each other.
 

mattgirl

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That one little fish is not producing all this ammonia. I have suggested before that the deco you have in there may be leaching ammonia. You won't know unless you remove all of it.

Although the pieces were sold as aquarium decorations they may not be tank safe. We can't know who made them or where they were made. Sadly it seems the almighty dollar is more important than the health of our fish.

More than once folks have come here with numbers that will not go down no matter what they do. The numbers just keep going up no matter how much water they change. They remove some things from the tank and the rise in ammonia or nitrites or nitrates (whatever the problem they are having is) go down where they are supposed to be.

The one that had me scratching my head the longest was a lady with high nitrites. Even daily 100% water changes wouldn't budge them. She removed the deco she had bought that was made for aquarium use. She did her water change and the nitrites zeroed out never to be seen again..

By adding this and that to the tank neither you nor we can know what is causing the problems. I highly recommend you remove the deco you have in this tank. Once done do a 75% or even more water change. Add nothing but Prime.

check the numbers the next day. If the ammonia is still high but is less do another big water change and again add nothing but Prime.

If doing all of this doesn't bring the ammonia level down at least some then I am at a total as to what is happening. Does anyone other than you have access to this tank? Just wondering, is sabotage is a possibility?
 
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