I Give Up! Ammonia Issue

mattgirl

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Algonquin said:
I think she said it was still at 1.0 - it's not super clear, but I'm reading that as she tested it this morning when she tested the gravel bucket?
I thought that is what it meant but since she said the gravel is at .25 and the haunted house was at one I didn't know if that meant it is still in the bucket and she ran the test again and was still seeing just one. We will just have to wait for clarification.
 

Johnnybelfastboy

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Trice said:
My 29 gallon tank is two weeks old & I've been battling ammonia since day 1. I have done 4 water changes using BOTTLED WATER, which I tested before putting in the tank. The ammonia of the bottled water was 0. Yesterday I did a 75-80% water change using bottled water & the ammonia is still at 8 !!!!! Where is this ammonia coming from? Also yesterday I restarted the tank using Seachem Prime & Seachem Stability. I have two very small blood parrots & a very small cat fish in there. I’ve also tried using Ammo Lock & Ammo Chips plus water changes. I’m at my wit’s end!!! Yesterday I also cleaned out the filter & put in a new cartridge & cleaned the ornaments & plants. How can it have an ammonia of 8 with new bottled water in it? I’m losing my mind!!!
Your tank is more than likely still cycling if its only 2 weeks old hence ur high ammonia this will eventually convert to nitrites then nitrates.... the nitrogen cycle..
But seeing as u have fish in there u will have to do some water changes the next few days and add some kind of ammonia detoxifier to bring ut ammonis down as this is a highly toxic reading for your fish.
 
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Trice

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mattgirl said:
Is the haunted house still sitting in the bucket? If it is have you tested the water to see if it has gone up more since yesterday?
No I couldn’t leave it in there bc I wanted to test the gravel...which is clearly not the problem. It was only 0.25 after sitting overnight in clean water.
 

mattgirl

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Trice said:
No I couldn’t leave it in there bc I wanted to test the gravel...which is clearly not the problem. It was only 0.25 after sitting overnight in clean water.
Now that we know it isn't the gravel I am thinking since the HH raised the ammonia up to 1 in 24 hours you may want to put it back in the bucket and see how high the ammonia goes over a period of several days.

Edited to add: You may want to run an air stone or just a piece of airline tubing hooked to an air pump in the container holding the haunted house. You want to try to replicate the tank conditions as close as you can. This is the only way you can know for sure that it is causing this problem.
 

Algonquin

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Umm... I don't know. It seems strange to me that 'inert' gravel is causing your ammonia to rise at all, sitting in a bucket of clean water. The ammonia reading should be 0.
I also find it interesting (and not in a good way), that it appears that both the gravel and the HH decoration are causing your ammonia levels to rise. They are from totally different manufacturers (i will assume) and are made of different substances.
 

mattgirl

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Trice said:
So after 2 nights of the gravel sitting in fresh water, the ammonia has gone up to between 1 & 2. What do u guys think about the gravel? Safe to clean & return to the tank?
All of this is the strangest thing I have ever seen. It appears both the haunted house and the gravel is leaching ammonia. Something just isn't right here. I just can't imagine what it is.

If the gravel is leaching ammonia then no, I wouldn't put it back in the tank. It may eventually stop what it is doing but it is anyone's guess as to how long that will take.

I am just assuming that you have already put the haunted house back in the tank and since it too raised the ammonia level your ammonia level in the tank will just keep going up.

Something just isn't adding up here but I don't know what it is..
 

SeanyBaggs123

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Personally I still think it is plausible that:

  • You're test kit is faulty (expiration dates are great, but if the reagents were stored, transported, or left sitting in extreme conditions) they could still be affected.
  • the chemicals you have used (I counted 4 or 5 so far) are throwing your results out of whack
  • You're ammonium was so high that an 80% water change didn't bring it below 8ppm
Couple of questions:
  • You said your tap water had a decent amount of ammonia in it. So, whilst testing the ornament and gravel in buckets, What water were you using? Tank Water? Tap Water? Did you rinse them before filling and testing? If so, with what?
  • How's the fish seem?
 

Algonquin

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SeanyBaggs123 said:
You said your tap water had a decent amount of ammonia in it. So, whilst testing the ornament and gravel in buckets, What water were you using? Tank Water? Tap Water? Did you rinse them before filling and testing? If so, with what?
I believe the OP said she had a 0.5 ammonia reading with her tap water, and that's why she filled the tank with bottled water. The bottled water, once in the tank, consistently read at 8ppm. Also, the issue with the tap water was since fixed, and her tap is now testing at 0 ammonia (OP please confirm that's accurate?)

I do think it's possible that there's a faulty test kit, but it looks to me that it's more likely something weird with the ornament and gravel. They're both causing the ammonia level of clean water to rise overnight... so that would, in theory, eliminate the 'additives' to the tank causing a weird ammonia reading (those additives were not in the buckets). Any chance the gravel and ornament were both somehow exposed to some kind of chemical, something spilled on them, before they went in the tank? I know that sounds iffy, but none of this is making much sense. :banghead: I know I'm frustrated over this, and it's not even my tank. I can't imagine how OP must be feeling!
SeanyBaggs123 said:
How's the fish seem?
Would also like to know how the fish are doing.
 

SeanyBaggs123

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Algonquin said:
I believe the OP said she had a 0.5 ammonia reading with her tap water, and that's why she filled the tank with bottled water. The bottled water, once in the tank, consistently read at 8ppm. Also, the issue with the tap water was since fixed, and her tap is now testing at 0 ammonia (OP please confirm that's accurate?)

I do think it's possible that there's a faulty test kit, but it looks to me that it's more likely something weird with the ornament and gravel. They're both causing the ammonia level of clean water to rise overnight... so that would, in theory, eliminate the 'additives' to the tank causing a weird ammonia reading (those additives were not in the buckets). Any chance the gravel and ornament were both somehow exposed to some kind of chemical, something spilled on them, before they went in the tank? I know that sounds iffy, but none of this is making much sense. :banghead: I know I'm frustrated over this, and it's not even my tank. I can't imagine how OP must be feeling!

Would also like to know how the fish are doing.
Operating under the assumption that it was clean water in the buckets... I agree.

That's why I'm asking about the water that made it into the buckets, and what (if anything) was done to the ornaments.
If the ornaments went straight from the tank to the bucket water isn't it plausible that the test result could be from whatever is in the tank? Sounds iffy as well, but the objects are being transferred to 5 gallons of water at most from 29 gallons... if they weren't rinsed/cleaned... whatever... I could easily buy into the idea that they carried the "ammonia" from the tank to the bucket.
 

Ben3721

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The ammonia isnt 8. You stepped over 7ph. Which is a extremely critical detail. Because harmless ammonium converts into deadly ammonia at that point. And your fish didnt react. So the ammonia isnt that high.

At 1ppm ammonia fish will have somewhat red gills, at 2ppm they will be very red and the fish may start flashing. At 3 or 4ppm their slime coat is gone and ammonia burns will blacken their scales and they will then die from either poisoning or infection. Over 5ppm beneficial bacteria will start to die... That is all based on having a ph over 7. You dont have any of these issues. Dont attempt to mess with your ph however, that will cause more harm than good.

These tests we all use are sensitive tests. They react to things on purpose to get a result, you have used many many many products that could alter a test. You have many products lingering in your tank that were labeled to effect ammonia. One is known to lock ammonia to 8ppm in many threads like yours.


You cant keep using a 5 gallon bucket for water changes on a 29 gallon tank, your killing yourself lifting that much water every day. You should find a easy way to do 50% water changes daily. Buy a small water pump, stick to just water changes with prime to the buckets water only. Your filter needs to have a proper bio stage. The plastic ones with holes in them are a sale gimmick, ceramic bio media is the way to go. Also gravel has good biological bacteria in it that handles 30% roughly of the ammonia once established. Until then the fish waste sits in it and brews ammonia, vacuum gravel a bit to help that. Lastly beneficial bacteria in a bottle/bag is most likely dead on arrival, there's a chance it isnt but you probably aren't getting real bacteria. Go to your local small fish store, no big box store, ask for some bio media from one of their tanks to kickstart yours, and pack it around the ceramic bio media after a large water change then keep up with those water changes daily. You should succeed after 5 to 7 weeks. No more artificial products to throw off your tank. Feed lightly. Also to read a tube test you go into a well lite room, hold the tube up to a white section of of test sheet with a quarter inch gap and then read it. If you hold it right to the paper or look downwards at the test tube it will appear much darker than it really is and will only scare you.

Also gh and kh test expire very fast. Well beyond their marked dates and will make your tests drift higher the older they get. Api's ammonia, nitrite and nitrate tests still work when expired, however their nitrate #2 bottle becomes crystallized if it's not beaten against a table for a solid minute every month.

You will succeed, you may have bumps in the road getting there but just remember we all started somewhere. I started the hobby the hard way with a goldfish at the fair 9 years ago. Rip.
 
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