55 Gallon Tank Question about Water Changes


I have recently been dealing with an ammonia spike in my tank. I have tried everything including Nitrox, Ammo Lock, etc and I can’t get it to go below 1ppm. The lowest I have been able to get the reading was 2ppm with a Nitrite level of 2.0ppm and a nitrate level of 10ppm. My ph has been at a constant 7.6. My tank consist of a Jack Dempsey Cichlid(6 years old) a firemouth cichlid(very young) Mbuna Cichlid(very young) and a brushnose pleco. They all seem fine and active just worried about the water quality. I know I should be performing water changes but I am worried because my tap water(tested today) has a extremely high ammonia level(off the chart) so I am at a loss as to what to do. Should I go buy water from a store? Will treating the tap water work? Or will adding in water with even more ammonia reverse the progress.
I am new here and new to PROPERLY caring for my fish so all suggestions and criticism is welcome.
  • Moderator


Welcome to FishLore!

What size tank do you have? How long has the tank been set up and running? Was the tank ever cycled?

If you have tap water with off the charts ammonia, you should be buying bottled water for the tank, and for you. So yeah, you'll want to do some water changes with some bottled water to get that ammonia/nitrite level down under 1ppm. And by under 1ppm, I mean ammonia+nitrite combine less than 1ppm.

If you use Seachem Prime, you can detox that ammonia and nitrite level for 24 hours, since a standard dose of Prime will detox up to 1ppm of ammonia/nitrite for 24 hours. A strategy for getting the tank cycled would be to test every 24 hours. If ammonia+nitrite is less than 1ppp add enough Prime to directly to the tank to treat the entire tank volume. If ammonia+nitrite is greater than 1ppm, do a large water change using enough Prime to treat the entire tank volume. Keep this up until cycled.

Best of luck!


Your water co Might be using chloramine in the water. Google chloramine in tap water aquarium and you will find some interesting info. Some water conditioners change chloramine to ammonia for the test chemicals to measure the ammonia in the tank water.

Latest threads

Top Bottom