So I Do A Water Change This Morning...

Discussion in 'Aquarium Water' started by Homeslice, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. Homeslice

    HomesliceWell Known MemberMember

    I got up, and my snails were acting funny, a lot of them were hanging near the top of the tank. Checked the parameters, all were high. Despite the fact that I did a water change the day before in the morning.

    I get home from work. I see they are at the top of the tank again. I check the parameters again. Here is what I see.

    [​IMG]


    WOW, I think. The snails have multiplied so much I literally have to a water change more than daily.

    So I do a water change again. I come back a little later. I see they are back to the top of the tank. I test the water again, this time only ammonia and nitrites. Here is what I see:


    [​IMG]

    So, in about an hour, my parameters have gotten substantially worse than when I did a water change ~one hour ago!!!

    Has anyone seen anything this narly? What on EARTH can be causing this? I used Safe, and measure the dosage with an electronic scale that can measure into the micrograms, so I used the correct amount for sure (overdosed very slightly to be safe). This is nuts!

    Thanks!
     
  2. BillCNC

    BillCNCValued MemberMember

    I also use SAFE with measured dosing spoon's I make myself. I'm not sure what that is but maybe your reading is what a fresh batch of safe would read like? Bottle's not shaken correctly causing the solution's to be off? Can you check the GH and KH?

    I don't think testing water that just had a water conditioner added to it would be to useful. Didn't the conditioner lock up the Ammonia your trying to test for?

    Regards
    Bill
     
  3. GuppyDazzle

    GuppyDazzleWell Known MemberMember

    Is your tank cycled?

    How often did you do water changes before you saw the current problem?

    Low ammonia, and high nitrites and nitrates would suggest a tank that is not cycled. If it was cycled already, something caused a spike.
     
  4. Donthemon

    DonthemonWell Known MemberMember

    Neeed another massive water change and Prime. Test your water source also.
     
  5. mattgirl

    mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    I don't know if this will work for you but I will tell you what works for me.

    I have a 2.5 gallon plastic jar. It is one of those huge pickle jars seen by the register in some convenience stores. It is home to the snails I allow to breed in so I can feed my assassin snails now that they have cleaned all the snails out of my tanks.

    This jar doesn't have a conventional filter. I run an airstone in it and have half a dozen Pothos stems growing out the top of it. The roots pretty much fill the jar now. The roots act like a filter. I never get an ammonia or nitrite reading in this jar but do get low nitrates.

    Folks recommend Pothos for keeping nitrates down but so far I've not experienced that happening since I still get nitrates in my snail jar. I never get an ammonia reading though so I have to think they eat most of the ammonia. By doing so there will naturally be lower nitrates.

    All this to say, If you don't already have an Ivy (Pothos) plant you may want to get one. Just take it out of the pot, rinse all the dirt off the roots and put it in your snail tank to control the ammonia/nitrite levels. Be sure the leaves are above the water line. You just want the roots in the water.

    Until you do this (should you choose to do so) daily water changes may have to be done. Or maybe every other day until the cycle is complete.
    Safe and/or Prime don't really lock up the ammonia. They just detox it. If ammonia is in there it will still show up when doing the API tests just as they would have had safe nor Prime been used.
     
  6. gorejusdesign

    gorejusdesignValued MemberMember

    How big is this snail tank and how many snails are we talking about? Any fish in there?
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Homeslice

    HomesliceWell Known MemberMember

    Thanks everyone. Just snails in the tank, which is 29 gallons. LOTS though. Below is pic of how they just now again bunched at the top (not all, maybe not even most, but a lot) after yet another water change where my nitrites were sky high, deep purple. And that is after changning my water last night.

    My other tank has nothing but snails, but a ton smaller snails and just a few total. Yet, it had the same super high nitrites (and elevated ammonia) as the first one, even though I did a water change last night on it as well!

    The first tank has cycled many, many times. Never had this problem - this is brand new. Something is rotten in the State of Denmark!!!

    My best guess is that somehow I did a water change one time and did not put in sufficient dechlorinator. That caused a mass bacteria die-off. Hence leading to the problems.

    Any further thoughts? This is so frustrating.

    Thanks!



    [​IMG]
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Homeslice

    HomesliceWell Known MemberMember

    How much Safe can I add, and how often, to detoxify the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate for a time? I ask because maybe the water is just coming in with too high ammonia - someone on this board told me before that Houston (where I am) has chloramine, and that gives a positive ammonia reading as that is ammonia attached to chlorine. And when I tested my tap long ago, sure enough, 0 nitrates, 0 nitrites, but some ammonia. Consitent with water having ammonia bound to chlorine. So let's say I want to quit doing water changes to stop the ammonia incoming and get all the converted to less lethal nitrates before I even think about doing another water change. The Safe instructions say to add 1.25 grams per 300 gallons. However, it says to neutralize ammonia use 1.25 grams per 75 grams. So that is like 4 times as much. Is this the amount I should use, or more or less? How often should I add it to try and neutralize the ammonia? Will it not neutralize nitrites and nitrates?

    Thanks!
     
  9. mattgirl

    mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    If it were me I would stop feeding the snails until you can get this cycle back on track. Less food means less poop thus less ammonia. Snails are pretty tough creatures.

    A few weeks ago I removed a filter from one of my small tanks. I just dumped the matrix I had in there into a container with just a small amount of water in it. Just enough to cover the matrix. A few days later I got around to cleaning it for storage. I started washing it and much to my surprise I found 3 assassin snails in there alive and well. No food and I had already run some water straight from the tap into the container so it was untreated water.

    I can't answer your question about the Safe since I've never used it. I considered it the last time I bought Prime but decided since Prime is so concentrated I would just stick with it. At least with Prime I know exactly how much to use.

    Back when I was getting back into this hobby so cycling my tank I was doing water changes daily when the nitrites spiked. It took 5 straight days to finally see that beautiful blue. It didn't go down gradually. After the 4th straight day it was still a deep royal Purple. After the 5th day it dropped to zero. That may be what it will take on this tank of yours.

    All this to say: Stop feeding and do no less than 50% water changes daily. 50% is good 75% is better. Snails can easily go without food for a week and daily water changes should put this behind you in that amount of time.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Homeslice

    HomesliceWell Known MemberMember

    Thanks mattgirl. I have been doing 75% water changes now last few days (multiple times a day). I will continue to do so. What I think I really need is some distilled water, because I worry that when I do my water changes I am putting in tap water that has chloramine, then when I add the Safe I think it temporarily detoxifies the chrloramine, but at some point ammonia is released, hurting the whole purpose for doing the water change. But I will continue to do so (and try to get some dechloronated water in the mix).
     
  11. mattgirl

    mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    I wouldn't go the distilled water route unless you have something like equilibrium or replenish to add in the necessary minerals. Safe like Prime instantly makes the water safe for your fish/snails whether you have just chlorine or chloramines in your source water.

    Once you get the cycle established the bacteria will take care of the small amount of ammonia formed by adding Safe/Prime to water treated with chloramine.

    I don't think the ammonia you are seeing is coming from the small amount of ammonia formed during the Safe treatment of the water you are using. Snails, 'specially as many snails as you have in this tank are the reason for high ammonia/nitrite levels. Stop feeding them so they stop producing so much ammonia.

    BTW: I would only do one 75% water change a day. Bacteria doesn't live in the water so doing them isn't removing it but I still recommend one water change daily. Give the cycle a chance to grow. It will happen. :)
     
  12. OP
    OP
    Homeslice

    HomesliceWell Known MemberMember

    Got it mattgirl, thanks! Oh I've cut back on feeding them big time. What gets me is there are only a very few snails in the 20 gallon, and there is very little food in there. But still in less than a day after a huge (75%+) water change their nitrite level was already in the deep purple. But I will just keep doing once a day water changes (assuming water tests do come out like they have been with high nitrites in particular) and see what happens and report back. Thanks!
     
  13. mattgirl

    mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    It seems the nitrite phase takes the longest to get through. Fortunately mine just lasted 5 days. I have to think the daily water changes is why it didn't last longer than that.

    I was cycling this tank fully stocked with fish so daily water changes during that time were critical. Thankfully all the fish survived and most of them are still with me 3 1/2 years later. :)
     
  14. OP
    OP
    Homeslice

    HomesliceWell Known MemberMember

    Good deal mattgirl! Yea, ammonia seems to get converted pretty quick, but it seems to take awhile for the bacteria to kick over into full nitrite production some time!

    If anyone know about how much Safe I should be dosing to keep the snails safe from high nitrite readings until they subsume I am all ears! Thanks.
     
  15. OP
    OP
    Homeslice

    HomesliceWell Known MemberMember

    So mattgirl, I got home, and was scared to death to check the water params. I was sure the nitrites was going to be dark purple again. But check it:

    [​IMG]




    [​IMG]
     
  16. OP
    OP
    Homeslice

    HomesliceWell Known MemberMember

    And the nitrites in the first one looks worse in the picture than it is in person - in any event it is much, much closer to normal that it has been for the last several nights. So my thinking is do NOT do a water change at least until I can test it again tomorrow evening, and maybe add a standard dose of Safe (maybe a little less) to help detoxify anything bad that is still in there? Retest tomorrow, and if it has not improved, maybe to a smaller water change at that time, with the idea to slowly let things improve and not introduce some unknown shock? Thoughts? Thanks so much!
     
  17. mattgirl

    mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    Yay!!!! I am doing the happy dance for you. Gotta love seeing that beautiful blue. It will really surprise me if you see purple again. Usually once it spikes and then goes down you don't see it again.

    Now just keep an eye on the nitrates and do water changes as needed and you should be good to go. :) You will still want to check ammonia and nitrites for a few more days to be sure they stay at zero but I don't think you will see them again.
     
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