Tank Help - Filter And Ammonia Problems

martin R

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Hi folks,

So Ammonia in my tank is still way too high. (4ppm) and the filter (Fluval U2) is still causing a white scum to form. What’s more if I change the water flow (it has top, middle spray and bottom) a huge amount of white **** spurts out.

I’ve lost two Otto’s today and a few of my guppies seem pretty miserable.

I did water changes yesterday and today, as well as cleaned the filters again (in tank water).

At a loss as the tank is well established. Water parameters are all fine apart from Ammonia.

Thanks
 
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martin R

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I do but it’s treated before use and it’s only the last few days I’ve had ammonia readings like this and the tank (100L) is established. Stocking is Ottos, guppies, tetras and barbs!
 

ValerieAdams

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I do but it’s treated before use and it’s only the last few days I’ve had ammonia readings like this and the tank (100L) is established. Stocking is Ottos, guppies, tetras and barbs!
Treated how? Have you added anything recently?
 

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Just tap safe and filter active after the water change! Also a plant food - tetra plantamin.
So far as I know, no product will remove ammonia if it's present in your water. Products like Prime only cause free ammonia (NH3) to protonate to ammonium (NH4+) (less toxic to fish), but total ammonia (NH3 and NH4+) will test the same regardless.

Sometimes ammonia levels do spike in tap water, especially due to storms, flooding or infrastructure repairs.

You ought to test your tap water to see how much ammonia it's contributing to your tank.
 

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Do you have any bio media in your filter? If not, I would add some. That way you are less likely to disturb the balance when you rinse off your foam filters, and you'll have a large enough colony to deal with any ammonia spikes. I also agree that you should test your tap water. Dose with Prime until your ammonia levels off (drops to zero). I'd say do water changes too, but not until you find out if your tap water is to blame.
 
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martin R

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Thanks all. I’ll try testing it again. I do have bio media in the ciano filter, and carbon media in the Fluval. Wondered if the carbon was the culprit of the white stuff on the surface.

So the tap water is testing at .25 ppm for ammonia. So not sure at all what’s causing he spike to 4/8 ppm
 
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So the tap water is testing at .25 ppm for . So not sure at all what’s causing he spike to 4/8 ppm
Okay, so we can rule that out.

Regarding the white scum, is it a slimy, jello-like consistency? I have the distinction impression (although I could very well be wrong) that it might be biofilm of ammonifying aerobic heterotrophic bacteria.

That is, it's bacteria that takes nitrogenous waste (fish food, solid fish waste, decaying organic matter) and produces ammonia. Like algae, it can be highly opportunistic: once the conditions are right, it blooms and can be a real nuisance.

Bigger water changes, more aggressive substrate cleaning will restrain these nuisance bacteria. In addition, it might be worth thinking about using a chemical filtration media. Seachem Purigen is highly useful, as it binds nitrogenous waste (and to a smaller extent, it directly removes ammonia, nitrite and nitrate).
 
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martin R

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Okay, so we can rule that out.

Regarding the white scum, is it a slimy, jello-like consistency? I have the distinction impression (although I could very well be wrong) that it might be biofilm of ammonifying aerobic heterotrophic bacteria.

That is, it's bacteria that takes nitrogenous waste (fish food, solid fish waste, decaying organic matter) and produces ammonia. Like algae, it can be highly opportunistic: once the conditions are right, it blooms and can be a real nuisance.

Bigger water changes, more aggressive substrate cleaning will restrain these nuisance bacteria. In addition, it might be worth thinking about using a chemical filtration media. Seachem Purigen is highly useful, as it binds nitrogenous waste (and to a smaller extent, it directly removes ammonia, nitrite and nitrate).
Thanks for responding. Yeah it is, sirs like a film on the top and splutters out of the filter.

I also have a slight algae issue on the glass particularly so obviously creating super conditions for both.

Thanks to Amazon, I’ll have the Purigen here by Friday so hopefully that’ll work to improve tank conditions. Meantime I’ll increase volume of water changes and hope that helps somehow.

Thank you!
 
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