New Tank (week 4) ammonia issues on tests

Misschiwa

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Hey there

I am a newbie owner in week 4 of new tank and lost 3 fish (2 guppies, 1 marble molly). A week now following advice on here and remaining fish (1 Siamese fighting fish, 1 marble molly and 8 diamond neon tetras) all doing well.

Invested in various test kits and still showing high ammonia - but using API quick start and AquaCare tap water on water change. Occasionally using Ammo-lock if the fish look like they are doing odd things and sparingly Tetra Easy balance.

Ammonia readings still high though. Not sure if my supplements are sabotaging results!

HELP!
Thank you!
 

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e_watson09

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First, STOP using the tetra easy balance and ammo-lock. Those "quick fix" products almost ALWAYS cause more problems than they actually fix. They're really worthless products that companies sell just to make money, not because they actually help. All they do is make your tank unstable. An unstable tank is much more deadly than a tank with ammonia.

I would start doing 50% water only changes daily (dose the water with a good water conditioner or Prime). This will help the fish survive until your tank finishes cycling. Depending on how you answer the question above me will really determine roughly how much longer you'll be cycling but the daily water changes will help the fish survive the ammonia and hopefully stabilize your tank from the added products.
 
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Misschiwa

Misschiwa

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e_watson09 said:
First, STOP using the tetra easy balance and ammo-lock. Those "quick fix" products almost ALWAYS cause more problems than they actually fix. They're really worthless products that companies sell just to make money, not because they actually help. All they do is make your tank unstable. An unstable tank is much more deadly than a tank with ammonia.

I would start doing 50% water only changes daily (dose the water with a good water conditioner or Prime). This will help the fish survive until your tank finishes cycling. Depending on how you answer the question above me will really determine roughly how much longer you'll be cycling but the daily water changes will help the fish survive the ammonia and hopefully stabilize your tank from the added products.
 

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Misschiwa

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Ok I have Prime. I had quick start recommended as a new tank. So you think I should change 50% daily and just use prime (60l tank, nothing else no other dechlrorinator?) just a bit worried as lost fish :( during this set up so when the look a bit inert during say I get panicky and pop in a little ammo lock in case it’s the ammonia!
 

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Misschiwa said:
Ok I have Prime. I had quick start recommended as a new tank. So you think I should change 50% daily and just use prime (60l tank, nothing else no other dechlrorinator?) just a bit worried as lost fish :( during this set up so when the look a bit inert during say I get panicky and pop in a little ammo lock in case it’s the ammonia!
My understanding is Prime is also a declorinator. I personally don't use it just due to cost alone but I know a lot of others do and really like it. You don't need to add any other chemicals to your tank. You're in the middle of your cycle. A nitrogen cycle is very hard on fish so the water changes are just to make it easier on the fish. The ammo-lock and other products really just hinder your cycle.

The cycle will finish over time.
 
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Misschiwa

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e_watson09 said:
My understanding is Prime is also a declorinator. I personally don't use it just due to cost alone but I know a lot of others do and really like it. You don't need to add any other chemicals to your tank. You're in the middle of your cycle. A nitrogen cycle is very hard on fish so the water changes are just to make it easier on the fish. The ammo-lock and other products really just hinder your cycle.

The cycle will finish over time.
Thanks - I don’t mind the wait I just don’t want any fishies to die so I get a bit PANIC when they start behaving like the ones that died!
 
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Misschiwa

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Misschiwa said:
Thanks - I don’t mind the wait I just don’t want any fishies to die so I get a bit PANIC when they start behaving like the ones that died!
Also quite like doing the water change - quick advice on that: should I not clean the filter every time but every other time? I was somewhere good not to change it every time so you hinder good bacteria?
 

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Misschiwa said:
Also quite like doing the water change - quick advice on that: should I not clean the filter every time but every other time? I was somewhere good not to change it every time so you hinder good bacteria?
The ammo lock will hurt your fish more than help them. Its not beneficial to them.

As for water changes. In cases like this I do water only changes daily. So no cleaning gravel or anything. Then once a week I do my normal gravel cleaning. I usually rinse my filter media in dirty tank water to get the gunk off and put it back in. If you're just using sponges you NEVER have to replace them. This won't hurt your cycle.

Now if you have the cartridges you have to replace due to the carbon or cut the carbon out. Personally I just remove the cartridges and by cut to size filter pads and shove those in all of my filters (or I use actual sponge filters)
 
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Misschiwa

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e_watson09 said:
First, STOP using the tetra easy balance and ammo-lock. Those "quick fix" products almost ALWAYS cause more problems than they actually fix. They're really worthless products that companies sell just to make money, not because they actually help. All they do is make your tank unstable. An unstable tank is much more deadly than a tank with ammonia.

I would start doing 50% water only changes daily (dose the water with a good water conditioner or Prime). This will help the fish survive until your tank finishes cycling. Depending on how you answer the question above me will really determine roughly how much longer you'll be cycling but the daily water changes will help the fish survive the ammonia and hopefully stabilize your tank from the added products.
 
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Misschiwa

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Hey there

did a 50% water change yesterday and this morning.

Added prime and nothing else on both ocasions.

Water had become cloudy and ammonia levels super high - help!

Em
 

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QCAquaholic

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From what I have read Prime supposedly detoxifies ammonia by turning it into ammonium, which is not toxic to fish. Test kits cannot differentiate between the two so it'll show up. It is only good for 48 hours(ish) I believe.
 

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Misschiwa said:
Hey there

did a 50% water change yesterday and this morning.

Added prime and nothing else on both ocasions.

Water had become cloudy and ammonia levels super high - help!

Em
You're in a cycle, this will take time to regulate. Daily water changes (water only don't mess with the filter or gravel except when you'd normally gravel vac), this will help keep the ammonia levels down to help your fish survive. My understanding of prime is it temporarily locks the ammonia but if you have large amounts its not going to help that much and overtime it'll be released again. The fact you were using that ammo lock before means your tank hasn't build up the bacteria for the amount of ammonia you have to be turned into nitrates/nitrites. After using products like that its expected for the tank to get way worst because the tank was unstable before.

The cloudy water is also pretty normal, I wouldn't worry too much about it. It'll resolve on its own over time. Keep up with the water changes and keep testing.
 

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prime does neutralize the harmful effect of ammonia but it will still show up on test kits. As @e_watson09 sez the tank isn't fully cycled. The fishes have probably suffered some gill damage and a few might die but at this point you just have to be patient and wait for the cycle to complete.
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The bulk of the bacteria for breaking down ammonia into nitrate is found in the filter media so it is important to not wash it in chlorinated water and quite frankly until the tank is cycled i wouldn't touch it at all. If it gets brown and yucky looking - well that won't harm anything as long as it isn't clogging the filter and at least in my limited experience that 'yucky' stuff actually helps it cycle faster.
 
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Misschiwa

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e_watson09 said:
You're in a cycle, this will take time to regulate. Daily water changes (water only don't mess with the filter or gravel except when you'd normally gravel vac), this will help keep the ammonia levels down to help your fish survive. My understanding of prime is it temporarily locks the ammonia but if you have large amounts its not going to help that much and overtime it'll be released again. The fact you were using that ammo lock before means your tank hasn't build up the bacteria for the amount of ammonia you have to be turned into nitrates/nitrites. After using products like that its expected for the tank to get way worst because the tank was unstable before.

The cloudy water is also pretty normal, I wouldn't worry too much about it. It'll resolve on its own over time. Keep up with the water changes and keep testing.
Thank you!
 
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Misschiwa

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@e_watson09 @jake37 and @QCAquaholic - thank you so much. I did give the filter a rinse in the discarded tank water this morning but I will stop that now on each daily change until the water clears.

It's just so weird that it got cloudy all of a sudden. They keep appearing out of the gloom - it's like a horror movie!

I am just worried as I have lost 3 fish since I got the tank 15/6 (so it's a month cycling) and added fish 22/6 (after store gave me all-clear, didn't know about cycling, wish I had!). Lost guppy on 23/6 and last guppy and a molly on 7/6. No more fatalities since then I am pleased to report (I have now 1 Siamese fighting fish, 1 marble molly and 8 diamond neon tetras in a 60l tank).
 

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I rinse my filter media in dirty tank water maybe once a month or so. Whenever it gets yucky looking I'll just swish it around. It won't hurt your BB to do it on occasion. Now it is bad if its so gunked up the filter slows down, that will hurt your BB colony. Just monitor it. A new tank that's not being over fed you should be fine leaving it alone the whole cycle
 

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Did the store test your water before giving you the ok ? You might want to consider a different store if you have an alternative.
 

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