Just another post looking for tips to reduce my ammonia levels!

Sheabo

New Member
Member
Messages
6
Reaction score
3
I've done lots of research about how to keep your ammonia levels at a minimum level during the tank's cycling process. My 10 gallon was not fully cycled when I added my fish- shame on me I know- but I am currently doing my best to keep these guys as comfortable as can be.

I've been doing daily partial water changes (50-75%) and adding the correct dose of Prime each time. I've also been doing tests every day, before and after water changes. My ammonia levels seem to stay fairly high despite these efforts.

My water is very clear, does not have an odor, and I never feed excess food. The few pieces that do fall down are taken care of by my catfish. I'll attach a picture of my most recent test results which show the pH level, ammonia levels, nitrate, and nitrite levels. My pH and ammonia levels are what concern me most.
Does anybody have any tips?
IMG_20200412_150042.jpg


3 guppies
1 killifish
2 panda Cory catfish
 

Joshaeus

Well Known
Member
Messages
1,499
Reaction score
790
There are products - such as seachem stability or tetra safe start - that add the nitrifying bacteria directly to the tank; those would be helpful. Also, aquarium plants will eagerly devour ammonia; even bare root houseplants (with only their roots in the tank, of course) will do so. Of course, I wouldn't stop your large water changes and prime dosing until ammonia and nitrites are zero, and nitrate is not zero...have you tested your tap water for ammonia? PS...welcome to the forum :)
 

flyinGourami

Well Known
Member
Messages
2,797
Reaction score
4,005
Location
Nvm I live in the US.
Experience
Just started
I would get some floating plants to suck up the excess nutrients. Your ammonia looks pretty high, levels at that aren't really helped a lot by prime. I would stick to daily 75 percent water changes, same temp, with prime, get some giant duckweed or hornwort, and reduce feedings to every other day or really small feedings each day.
 

Mongo75

Well Known
Member
Messages
1,324
Reaction score
1,438
Location
Lancaster, CA
A 75% WC should bring your ammonia (as shown above) down to .25 ppm. Daily testing and water changes, to keep your combined ammonia and nitrites less than 1 ppm is the best medicine you can use right now. Using Prime will also detoxify ammonia for 24 to 48 hours.
 

Travisb1297

Active Member
Member
Messages
96
Reaction score
27
Experience
1 year
I could be wrong but I think the api test doesn't tell tell the difference between the ammonia and ammonium(NH4+/the stuff prime turn ammonia into). Don't quote me though
 

flyinGourami

Well Known
Member
Messages
2,797
Reaction score
4,005
Location
Nvm I live in the US.
Experience
Just started
Travisb1297 said:
I could be wrong but I think the api test doesn't tell tell the difference between the ammonia and ammonium(NH4+/the stuff prime turn ammonia into). Don't quote me though
I think you are right.

StarGirl15 said:
Dont worry about the ph.
The ph doesn't usually matter, but a stable one does..
 

Mongo75

Well Known
Member
Messages
1,324
Reaction score
1,438
Location
Lancaster, CA
Travisb1297 said:
I could be wrong but I think the api test doesn't tell tell the difference between the ammonia and ammonium(NH4+/the stuff prime turn ammonia into). Don't quote me though
No, it doesn't, but that's ok. Ammonium is far less harmful to the fish, and the BB can still feed on it and convert it to nitrites, which is what we want. Products like AmmoLock, bind the ammonia, making it harmless to fish, but BB can't feed on it in the bound form and will starve.
 

flyinGourami

Well Known
Member
Messages
2,797
Reaction score
4,005
Location
Nvm I live in the US.
Experience
Just started
Mongo75 said:
No, it doesn't, but that's ok. Ammonium is far less harmful to the fish, and the BB can still feed on it and convert it to nitrites, which is what we want. Products like AmmoLock, bind the ammonia, making it harmless to fish, but BB can't feed on it in the bound form and will starve.
I'm probably incorrect, but doesn't AmmoLock and stuff like prime bind the ammonia so its in the form of ammonium???
 

Mongo75

Well Known
Member
Messages
1,324
Reaction score
1,438
Location
Lancaster, CA
bgntoc said:
I'm probably incorrect, but doesn't AmmoLock and stuff like prime bind the ammonia so its in the form of ammonium???
Prime converts ammonia to ammonium from 24 to 48 hours then it reverts to ammonia. AmmoLock binds it, but doesn't convert it to ammonium.
 

Travisb1297

Active Member
Member
Messages
96
Reaction score
27
Experience
1 year
I'm still a bit hazy on the details of what prime does but it does affect the accuracy of the ammonia test( but not really because the test does tell tell you it tests for both). So your ammonia levels might not be as high as you think because it's in the non toxic form but as long as you keep up the water changes and the prime, you're doing everything right. I'm no chemist of course, so I could be wrong
 

flyinGourami

Well Known
Member
Messages
2,797
Reaction score
4,005
Location
Nvm I live in the US.
Experience
Just started
Mongo75 said:
Prime converts ammonia to ammonium from 24 to 48 hours then it reverts to ammonia. AmmoLock binds it, but doesn't convert it to ammonium.
Oh, okay. Lol for some reason i thought AmmoLock was basically the same as prime(in terms of binding ammonia).

Travisb1297 said:
I'm still a bit hazy on the details of what prime does but it does affect the accuracy of the ammonia test( but not really because the test does tell tell you it tests for both). So your ammonia levels might not be as high as you think because it's in the non toxic form but as long as you keep up the water changes and the prime, you're doing everything right. I'm no chemist of course, so I could be wrong
Yeah, but if your tank is cycled the ammonium would disappear. I guess if you just did a water change and your tap has ammonia though, it would show on the api ammonia test.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
OP
Sheabo

Sheabo

New Member
Member
Messages
6
Reaction score
3
Joshaeus said:
There are products - such as seachem stability or tetra safe start - that add the nitrifying bacteria directly to the tank; those would be helpful. Also, aquarium plants will eagerly devour ammonia; even bare root houseplants (with only their roots in the tank, of course) will do so. Of course, I wouldn't stop your large water changes and prime dosing until ammonia and nitrites are zero, and nitrate is not zero...have you tested your tap water for ammonia? PS...welcome to the forum :)
Yes, I've used my safe start product that adds the beneficial bacteria a few times, but I'm not entirely sure the appropriate frequency to use that. Don't want to overdo it if that were to cause harm. I do have 2 live plants in there... so maybe they're just not doing their job or there aren't enough? And yes! I tested my tap water last night and ammonia was .25 ppm . Hopefully the readings are just high because they've been converted to ammonium. And thank you so much!! :)

Travisb1297 said:
I'm still a bit hazy on the details of what prime does but it does affect the accuracy of the ammonia test( but not really because the test does tell tell you it tests for both). So your ammonia levels might not be as high as you think because it's in the non toxic form but as long as you keep up the water changes and the prime, you're doing everything right. I'm no chemist of course, so I could be wrong
Everything you're saying makes sense to me! :) The prime turns it into ammonium for a period of time and my tap water does have some ammonia in it, so hopefully it's just reading that

StarGirl15 said:
Does your tap water have ammonia in it?
Just did a test last night. It has .25 ppm. Ugh. Hopefully that's why my readings are turning up high
 

flyinGourami

Well Known
Member
Messages
2,797
Reaction score
4,005
Location
Nvm I live in the US.
Experience
Just started
Sheabo said:
Everything you're saying makes sense to me! :) The prime turns it into ammonium for a period of time and my tap water does have some ammonia in it, so hopefully it's just reading that
Unfortunately, there is still some ammonia in your tank(I believe so, if i'm wrong please correct me). Your test readings suggest that you have .5-1 ppm of ammonia, which is more than .25. I would just work on cycling the tank. Good luck btw.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
OP
Sheabo

Sheabo

New Member
Member
Messages
6
Reaction score
3
bgntoc said:
I would get some floating plants to suck up the excess nutrients. Your ammonia looks pretty high, levels at that aren't really helped a lot by prime. I would stick to daily 75 percent water changes, same temp, with prime, get some giant duckweed or hornwort, and reduce feedings to every other day or really small feedings each day.
I do have 2 live plants in there right now. Does it make any difference if they're floating or not? I have the roots grounded under the gravel right now. Hopefully the high ammonia readings are just readings of ammonium, because there is ammonia in my tap water. Not a large amount, low enough for the Prime to detoxify it
 

LifeGivesYouLemonOscars

Active Member
Member
Messages
157
Reaction score
181
Location
PA
Experience
More than 10 years
Well obviously your tank has not cycled yet. Not ment to sound sarcastic either. The best way to do a fish in cycle without having the option of having a cycled tank for help is TSS. I just did it with my 125 in 3 weeks with 2 juvenile Oscars. You MUST follow the instructions exactly for fastest cycling time and DON'T use prime. I know its good stuff but use it after your tank cycled. And DON'T do any water changes. I know its scary but the TSS will keep the ammonia at a low safe level. In about 20 days you tank will cycle. I also used api stress zime at the start and I never had a nitrite reading if I had any it was a small and quick level. Make sure to get a water test of your tap to see if it has any nitrate in it you know when its truly cycled. Hope this helps if nobody has already covered this.
 

flyinGourami

Well Known
Member
Messages
2,797
Reaction score
4,005
Location
Nvm I live in the US.
Experience
Just started
Sheabo said:
I do have 2 live plants in there right now. Does it make any difference if they're floating or not? I have the roots grounded under the gravel right now. Hopefully the high ammonia readings are just readings of ammonium, because there is ammonia in my tap water. Not a large amount, low enough for the Prime to detoxify it
It matters since floating plants are better at sucking up nutrients(hornwort is really good).Also, is your tank cycled? If it is, there shouldn't be any ammonia readings unless you JUST did a water change.

LifeGivesYouLemonOscars said:
Well obviously your tank has not cycled yet. Not ment to sound sarcastic either. The best way to do a fish in cycle without having the option of having a cycled tank for help is TSS. I just did it with my 125 in 3 weeks with 2 juvenile Oscars. You MUST follow the instructions exactly for fastest cycling time and DON'T use prime. I know its good stuff but use it after your tank cycled. And DON'T do any water changes. I know its scary but the TSS will keep the ammonia at a low safe level. In about 20 days you tank will cycle. I also used api stress zime at the start and I never had a nitrite reading if I had any it was a small and quick level. Make sure to get a water test of your tap to see if it has any nitrate in it you know when its truly cycled. Hope this helps if nobody has already covered this.
You can use prime, prime doesn't harm the bacteria.
 

LifeGivesYouLemonOscars

Active Member
Member
Messages
157
Reaction score
181
Location
PA
Experience
More than 10 years
You don't want to get rid of ammonia when cycling a tank it's needed so why use prime and keep stalling the cycle every time you use it
bgntoc said:
You can use prime, prime doesn't harm the bacteria.
 

New Threads

Similar Threads

Follow FishLore!

FishLore on Social Media

Online statistics

Members online
235
Guests online
3,495
Total visitors
3,730

Aquarium Photo Contests

Aquarium Calculator

Top Bottom