NO idea why i still have ammonia Important

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by jerilovesfrogs, Mar 18, 2010.

  1. jerilovesfrogsFishlore VIPMember

    :;fru hi everyone...... i just do not understand why i have ammonia in my "cycled" tank. i would then suppose it's not truly cycled..ok why. here's the story......

    2.5g, one betta, used tetra safestart. after a week i tested the water and amm and nitrite were 0. but then after that....the ammonia levels have been staying at .25 (have done several water changes, and two light gravel vacs). NOW today it's .50!!! what? :eek: and just yesterday i did a 25% changes and light vac.(i am using prime also) am i going through some mini cycle? and if so why? did i over-clean something? i know i rinsed the filter (in old tank water) because it was really dirty with "dirt" from a java fern. it had waaay too much dirt around the roots. was it bad of me to rinse the filter this early? it's just one carbon filter in an aqueon mini-bow.

    this is really a bad time for freddie to be going through this b/c he is battling finrot. (another story) well i suppose since i have this ammonia i should do another water change right? til i can get it balanced again. i'd really appreciate any :helpsmilie: thanks
  2. TanaValued MemberMember

    If you're using Prime, I can give a reading of ammonia due to the ammonium conversion. I believe the instructions say to test 24 hours after adding? Rinsing the filter in old water is okay, so that shouldn't have added to the increase. I would continue doing small daily water changes until the ammonia reads zero. My fingers are crossed for your freddie.
  3. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

  4. AlyeskaGirlFishlore VIPMember

    Usually when you are cycling a tank it's best not to do anything with the filter as that is where most of the nitrifying bacteria will establish. Rinsing it too soon after using TSS might of thrown the tank into a mini-cycle. I did something like that about a year ago while using TSS and messed things up or something happend. Just continue to do daily water changes with Prime.

    As for the finrot the cause is usually bad water quality or his fins got snared on something. Getting the tank cycled, some good gravel vacs and possibly boiling his ornaments later will help take care of it if you can't get rid of it the way you are doing it. I have Angels that get it here and there so I have been reading up on it alot lately. Found some great articles on it.

    Goodluck with your little guy! Be patient. :)
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2010
  5. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    It's the same story - the finrot is a result of the water quality.

    I agree with alyeskagirl about not fooling with the filter.

    Tana is right about the ammonium. Prime converts ammonia to ammonium, which is more or less safe for the fish. Prime ALSO converts chloramine (chemical found in most water supplies - a derivative of chlorine) to ammonia, which is then also converted to ammonium. Ammonium does not stay ammonium forever, and reverts back to ammonia after about 24 hours - which is why daily water changes are needed when cycling with fish.
  6. jerilovesfrogsFishlore VIPMember

    i use api water test kit.

    yes i know finrot comes from bad i started in fishkeeping was all wrong. got the betta, was in a bowl, then got the 2.5g, still wasn't aware of cycling, ammonia was up to 8ppm....he was doomed. so i took him out and put him back in the bowl while i waited for my tss to come. i did monitor the water very closly...but it wasn't heated, and i think he was mad and stressed.

    and NOW i've messed it up, again, by messing with the filter media :;fru

    ok so now i will do daily water changes, 25%? until i get a 0 ammonia. poor little guy....and i do think he snagged himself on a rock i had that was tied to a java fern....and now his dorsal fin is falling off. i'm thinking it was a combo of the rock and finrot. he's still happy and eating....and i am giving him maracyn. i definately wanting him to make it! thanks all for the advice. :;f
  7. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    25% should be fine. I am not sure about the maracyn. I know one of the meds is unsafe for bettas, but I think it is melafix.

    Clean water is great for fixing fin rot. So with your daily water changes, you'll fix your ammonia problem and also get rid of the fin rot. good luck!
  8. bolivianbabyFishlore LegendMember

    Don't be so hard on yourself. Most of us have been where you are right now. You're doing a great job learning about the nitrogen cycle and all the other things that the LFS don't tell people.

    We're behind you all the way!
  9. jerilovesfrogsFishlore VIPMember

    i looked on the betta sticky about meds before hand....the maracyns were on it. pimafix, melafix and bettafix aren't "approved". so i hope the one i have is ok! and i hope it works! :party0011: let's do a cheer for freddie getting better! lol.

    bolivianbaby: thank you for your kind can get very frustrating, which is probably why there is a frustrated hair-pulling smiley! lol. well i'm staying with the 25% a day change....til i can get it under control :yinyang:

    To anyone: so when would my next gravel vac and filter rinse be? i vacuumed yesterday, and rinsed 4-5 days before that. i really nervous about over-cleaning again.
  10. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    I am definitely cheering Freddie on.

    I think a gravel vac once a week is fine, but only after the tank is done cycling. Until then, just leave the tank alone. I hope this mini-cycle is really really fast. If it seems like there is a lot of debris and it is making the tank worse, then feed less, and do a very light vac to get up the debris.

    As far as rinsing the media, I would personally rinse only when it is getting really gunky. On a HOB, I would say maybe 3-4 weeks. If you have a canister, then every few months. And yes, I do realize you wouldn't have a canister for a 2.5 gallon. ;)
  11. jerilovesfrogsFishlore VIPMember canister for freddie. it's not exactly a hob's more or less perched inside. it hangs on the edge, but inside. it's a mini-bow kit. i dunno....but .....i'll do the rinsing 3-4 weeks. what about the carbon thing? when would i want to cut it out? i'm trying to think how long it's been running. the tank has been running longer than just the beginning of march. i had it running when i was majorly messing up the tank....and that was jan sometime. hmmm.

    i also have a turkey baster that i can suck out visible debris without doing a vac. so i can do that in between vacs if i need to. :;bn
  12. Prince PowderWell Known MemberMember

    If you've had the carbon since January then it would be time to dispose of it now. Carbon should be replaced every 3-4 weeks. You will be fine without carbon if you just remove it as it is not really necessary, but if you want the carbon you can replace it. I personally use carbon in my tanks, but it is a personal preference. However since you are medicating I would recommend removing the carbon for now even though it is old enough to not mess with the meds now it is better safe than sorry. Once you're done medicating I would recommend replacing it some fresh carbon to help remove the medication. The turkey baster will be fine to remove the visible debris, I often use a turkey baster in between my regular gravel vacs as well. The use of the medication is most likely the reason for your mini cycle. I know the two of the Maracyns say they do not interfere with your biological filtration, but since the Maracyns are anti bacterials and your biological filter is bacteria I have always found that hard to believe. If I recall correctly, Maracyn I and Maracyn II claim they don't interfere with your beneficial bacteria and Maracyn+ warns that it does, but as I said all of them most likely do interfere with a cycle to a certain degree. Go ahead and finish your treatment, but keep up on your water changes daily until the mini cycle is over. Once the medication treatment is over, VitaChem is very good for helping regrow fins. Good luck to you and Freddie!
  13. jerilovesfrogsFishlore VIPMember

    hi prince powder....i have been using vita-chem....but then when i saw the dorsal fin status...i freaked and got the maracyn. so his treatment is over.....and i don't see anymore finrot, so at this point i'm waiting to see new growth.

    i cut the carbon out today.....i wasn't exactly sure how to handle it. b/c if i got a new cartridge, and threw out the old one, my good bacteria would be gone. so then if i let the cartridge i have now run til it falls apart...then i'll be forced to buy another once. so i guess either way, how to do prevent my tank going in a mini cycle?

    would i let the new one hang in there and "seed" while keeping the old one in? hmmm always stuff i think about! :;fb thanks for your advice!
  14. Prince PowderWell Known MemberMember

    I understand about the medicating. Fin rot can generally be cleared without medication, but when it is severe we are often left with no other choice. Now that you're done medicating, it would be wise to do a few extra water changes to help Freddie's recovery. If you normally do one w/c a week, try upping it to two for a few weeks. Fresh, clean water is often the best medication there is, particularly for fin rot. You should see that regrowth soon enough.

    As for the cartridge, just keep an eye on your cartridges when you do your regular water changes. When you see it starting to deteriorate then you can either hang a second cartridge in the tank directly or preferably, if there is room, stick a second cartridge inside the filter behind the old one. Then give the new cartridge at least 2-3 weeks to seed before removing the old one. You will still have to watch out for a mini cycle, but that's true regardless of what kind of filter you have. I have cartridges in two of my filters, but I have stuffed every available space in my filter with additional sponge material that is a bit more sturdy (I use Aqua Clear sponges to fill the gaps) so when the time comes to change my cartridges I will still have the seeded sponges to help prevent losing my cycle.
  15. jerilovesfrogsFishlore VIPMember

    :;co morning, for my 2.5g mini-bow, the filter is perched inside and is pretty i possibly could stack one on top of it......though i don't know if it would be too high for the water to flow properly over it. i guess if not, i'd just hang one in the water.

    but for my 20g, i'll be taking out my carbon filter and putting in an extra sponge. that one has an aqua clear 50.

    well as of yesterday i still had ammonia, so i'm still doing daily changes with prime. :-\ i'm going to be testing nitrite and nitrate today as well. i had been getting 0 isn't that sort of odd that i have ammonia, but not nitrite? and have been getting nitrate readings?
  16. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    Well, if your tank was cycled previously, so that you had some nitrates, and is now at the beginning of a mini-cycle, then it makes sense that the ammonia would be showing up... but following this logic, you should be seeing some nitrites soon enough.
  17. jerilovesfrogsFishlore VIPMember

    UPDATE: amm: between .25 and 0 (color is hard to tell), nitrIte: 0 nitrAte: 10 is ammonia dropping when i really haven't seen a spike in nitrIte? or will they?

    well i guess i'm glad the amm is dropping! going in the right direction :;sn

    UPDATE 3/27/10 well it's been about two weeks since this mini cycle appears to almost be over, but really? how long is it supposed to take???? i'm wondering if i will ever get it fully cycled? :confused:

    UPDATE 4/2 :;broccoli i don't want to celebrate too soon, but i think the mini-cycle is over! finally. if anyone is still reading this that is. i have no idea. now i'm afraid to do anything cleaning wise.....vacuuming, the filter(when i need to get a new one). but i don't think i'll be taking out the media for rinsing for a while. :clapping: yay. i'll be testing tomorrow to make sure the levels are normal.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2010