I'm So Done With This Ammonium Problem

Lauradesu

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As some of you may know I did two fish in cycles with my 50 gallon and my 15 gallon. My 15 gallon is cycled but my 50 gallon is giving me a hard time. Ammonia is at 0.02ppt but that's easily delt with. I have two ryukin goldfish in the 50 gallon along with a small but growing bushy nose pleco. I have three moneywort plants and one hornwort plant in there the nitrites are 0ppm the nitrates are 0ppm ammonia 0.02ppt but the bloody ammonium Is above 6.0ppm I've done water changes several times as far as 80% twice!! Is there any other way to get rid of this ammonium other than water changes!?
 

r_e_g

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Help me understand please: Ammonia is almost zero but ammonium is 6 ppm? I take it you have a low pH. Can you move some filter media from your cycled 15 gallon? (As an aside, this is the first time I've heard of someone testing for ammonia and ammonium separately. I'm intrigued.)
 
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Lauradesu

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Sadly the 15 gallons filter media would get lost in the 50 gallon. And the ph on both tanks is 7.4 where it should be for guppies and ryukins so I've read. The 50 gallon is troubling me so much. Also seachem free and total ammonia test is amazing it can tell you just the free ammonia and then the ammonium and ammonia together which is how I know the ammonium is so high.
r_e_g said:
Help me understand please: Ammonia is almost zero but ammonium is 6 ppm? I take it you have a low pH. Can you move some filter media from your cycled 15 gallon? (As an aside, this is the first time I've heard of someone testing for ammonia and ammonium separately. I'm intrigued.)
 

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Re test: That makes sense, also pretty useful to know when you need to add a product like prime to protect the fish.

To answer your question, until your BB develops enough to process the ammonia and ammonium in the tank, you are going to need to do water changes to keep the levels low.
 
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Lauradesu

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Mazeus said:
Re test: That makes sense, also pretty useful to know when you need to add a product like prime to protect the fish.

To answer your question, until your BB develops enough to process the ammonia and ammonium in the tank, you are going to need to do water changes to keep the levels low.
We test twice a day my fiance did 50% water changes twice a day all weekend I just did one and my lord its STILL at 6.0ppm THERE HAS TO BE ANOTHER WAY. The ammonia drops all the time keeps on dropping there are no nitrites or nitrates and the fish are as healthy as ever! No over feeding nothing rotting I'm almost pulling my hair out trying to get this tank to work!!!
 

mattgirl

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I am sure you have but just in case ... Have you tested your source water to see if this ammonium is coming from there?

Personally I would slow down on the water changes. It is very possible that you aren't leaving enough ammonia in there to grow and feed the bacteria you need. I would let it get up to at least .25 or even better up to .50 and use prime to neutralize it. The ammonia will still be there and will still show up on your test but it will be rendered safe for the fish.

Have you ever registered any nitrites or nitrates? If your profile is up to date you just started this tank about 3 weeks ago. It normally takes twice that long to fully cycle a tank unless you used some kind of bottled bacteria.
 
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Lauradesu

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mattgirl said:
I am sure you have but just in case ... Have you tested your source water to see if this ammonium is coming from there?

Personally I would slow down on the water changes. It is very possible that you aren't leaving enough ammonia in there to grow and feed the bacteria you need. I would let it get up to at least .25 or even better up to .50 and use prime to neutralize it. The ammonia will still be there and will still show up on your test but it will be rendered safe for the fish.

Have you ever registered any nitrites or nitrates? If your profile is up to date you just started this tank about 3 weeks ago. It normally takes twice that long to fully cycle a tank unless you used some kind of bottled bacteria.
I do use bottled bacteria, the nitrates havent been around and the nitrites just dropped it's been like this for a few days where the nitrites and nitrates were high the just slowly dropped and now the ammonia (just tested) is at 0ppm how I dont know but it is but the ammonium is....just there. Also the ammonium is not coming from the source water at all. Like there is nothing in the water my apartment building is weird.
 

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Lauradesu said:
I do use bottled bacteria, the nitrates havent been around and the nitrites just dropped it's been like this for a few days where the nitrites and nitrates were high the just slowly dropped and now the ammonia (just tested) is at 0ppm how I dont know but it is but the ammonium is....just there. Also the ammonium is not coming from the source water at all. Like there is nothing in the water my apartment building is weird.
so, if you had nitrites and they dropped to 0ppm, i guess the reason you're not seeing nitrates is because of your frequent water changes. i agree with @mattgirl - you might want to slow down on those pwc's. the only other way you would have 0ppm nitrate is through plants or if something has killed your cycle completely. but i'm picking the water changes...
 

r_e_g

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Lauradesu said:
Sadly the 15 gallons filter media would get lost in the 50 gallon. And the ph on both tanks is 7.4 where it should be for guppies and ryukins so I've read. The 50 gallon is troubling me so much. Also seachem free and total ammonia test is amazing it can tell you just the free ammonia and then the ammonium and ammonia together which is how I know the ammonium is so high.
Thanks for the info on the Seachem test. That's really interesting.

Stepping back from the numbers for a second-are your fish showing any signs of stress?
 

mattgirl

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Lauradesu said:
I do use bottled bacteria, the nitrates havent been around and the nitrites just dropped it's been like this for a few days where the nitrites and nitrates were high the just slowly dropped and now the ammonia (just tested) is at 0ppm how I dont know but it is but the ammonium is....just there. Also the ammonium is not coming from the source water at all. Like there is nothing in the water my apartment building is weird.
OK then. Since you had nitrites and now don't you really should never see nitrites again. I feel sure you are not seeing nitrates because of all the water changes. If the tank is cycled then you shouldn't register any ammonia either so it doesn't surprise me at all that the ammonia dropped to zero. I really think you will find that the bottled bacteria has done its job and if you will slow down the water changes the ammonium will be gone too. If I understand correctly ammonium it isn't as toxic as ammonia so at this point I wouldn't be so stressed about those numbers.

It sounds to me like it is time to relax a bit and start enjoying your tanks. You still need to keep an eye on the numbers and let them guide you as to when a water change is needed. I never thought I would say it but I really believe the main problem here is too many water changes.
 
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Lauradesu

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Jenoli42 said:
so, if you had nitrites and they dropped to 0ppm, i guess the reason you're not seeing nitrates is because of your frequent water changes. i agree with @mattgirl - you might want to slow down on those pwc's. the only other way you would have 0ppm nitrate is through plants or if something has killed your cycle completely. but i'm picking the water changes...
mattgirl said:
OK then. Since you had nitrites and now don't you really should never see nitrites again. I feel sure you are not seeing nitrates because of all the water changes. If the tank is cycled then you shouldn't register any ammonia either so it doesn't surprise me at all that the ammonia dropped to zero. I really think you will find that the bottled bacteria has done its job and if you will slow down the water changes the ammonium will be gone too. If I understand correctly ammonium it isn't as toxic as ammonia so at this point I wouldn't be so stressed about those numbers.

It sounds to me like it is time to relax a bit and start enjoying your tanks. You still need to keep an eye on the numbers and let them guide you as to when a water change is needed. I never thought I would say it but I really believe the main problem here is too many water changes.
The ammonium problem was present before the water changes but it does fluctuate. I do have plants in there and they have taken in the nitrates. I will go back to my once every 7 days water change on the 50 gallon. But the nitrates were gone two days after a water change and stayed down till I started obsessively changing the water. The fish are not stressed I've done so much reading on ryukins and the two i have in there are growing and getting stronger every day. My one ryukin the oldest Ryu he is even going through colour change which shows hes maturing he is more vibrant and his brother kou is becoming more vibrant too. We did loose two ryukins but apparently they were from the same batch and it was a bad batch, I had to call my LFS to question them a bit because the two ryukins died two days apart in perfect water conditions and were fed high grade fish gel food but both fell sick the same way even after putting them in the hospital tank (which is cycled) I couldnt pin point the sickness. It was suggested to me gill flukes since they both had swollen pink on the outside gills....but I question that because my two original ryukins show no sign of stress or anything. At this point I'm just going to continue to leave it be and just test it and see if it goes down on it's own like ammonia did my fiance questions the ammonium and ammonia since they are goldfish that it just naturally comes with the nature of having them. Believe me I have a billion questions that I Google or come here for to be answered and I take all of you guys input to heart and always practice it.

r_e_g said:
Thanks for the info on the Seachem test. That's really interesting.

Stepping back from the numbers for a second-are your fish showing any signs of stress?
No they are absolutely healthy. Both my ryukins and my pleco are active and happy. They even know when and how to guilt us to feed them every two days. They look like they are pouting
 

snowballPLECO

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People do too much water changes, i did fish in cycle took 3 weeks changed the water a couple times just used prime everyday and now i have a tank full of fish who are thriving. Let nature run its course.
 
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