Tank Water Readings Help

Jl1010joanne

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HI all,

So I posted a couple of days ago about my platys behaving weirdly. They have survived but I think there is definitely ammonia issues and they are still struggling.

Tank was cycled but we introduced two new loaches around 2 weeks ago and it's messed things up I'm guessing.

Here's my current readings:

Ammonia: 6ppm
Nitrates: 10
Nitrites: 0
General hardness: 16 o.d
Carbonate hardness: 20 o.d
Ph: 8.4
Chlorine: 0

All readings are ok apart according to test kit apart from ammonia (obviously very high).

This is my plan of action:

Change 25% water every day, syphon the gravel and continue to test. Is there anything else I can do? Or am I missing something?

Many thanks,
Joanne
 

Feohw

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Do you have prime? It detoxifies ammonia and nitrites. If people are having a spike it's usually recommended to add some prime until you can get it under control.

How big is the tank and what fish are in it?
 
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Jl1010joanne

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Thank you for replying

I'm not sure what prime is? I live in the UK. Is prime the name of a brand?

The tank is 17 gallons and has the following fish:

6 Danio
4 Platy
2 loaches

Thanks, Joanne
 

Feohw

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Seachem prime. I'm in Ireland and it's sold here, I'm sure it's over there too. It's a dechlorinator that also detoxifies ammonia and nitrites.

What are the loaches? Some can get really big and the usually do best in schools.
 
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Jl1010joanne

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Feohw said:
Seachem prime. I'm in Ireland and it's sold here, I'm sure it's over there too. It's a dechlorinator that also detoxifies ammonia and nitrites.

What are the loaches? Some can get really big and the usually do best in schools.
Excellent thank you! I'm searching for it right now.

I don't know what type of loaches they are. They are both the same...almost look like they have animal print on them.

Really appreciate your help.

When I'm doing my water change of 25%, does it matter that I'm adding colder water? Should I be leaving the treated tap water to get to room temperature? Sorry I'm totally new to all this.

Thank you again
 

GuppyDazzle

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6 ppm ammonia is extremely high. I would recommend 50% water changes daily using Prime until the level gets down to 1 ppm or less, and frequent testing to make sure the ammonia continues to drop. Yes, the replacement water needs to be very close to the temperature of the tank. It's fine to adjust your hot and cold water to achieve the temperature.

If your tank was cycled, something caused the cycle to fail. You need to figure out what that was. A cycle is a progressive thing, it's not actually a "yes" or "no" question. Your cycle could have been sufficient to handle the load you had before you put in the loaches, then with the additional fish, it might have been overloaded. In that case it could just be a matter of catching up, which would require frequent water changes to keep ammonia and/or nitrite levels at 1 ppm or below.

How long had your tank been set up? Did you do any cleaning of the tank just before? It's not uncommon for a big tank clean before adding new fish. That puts a double whammy on the cycle. Are you using test strips, or an API Master Test Kit or something similar?
 

grump299

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Jl1010joanne said:
HI all,

So I posted a couple of days ago about my platys behaving weirdly. They have survived but I think there is definitely ammonia issues and they are still struggling.

Tank was cycled but we introduced two new loaches around 2 weeks ago and it's messed things up I'm guessing.

Here's my current readings:

Ammonia: 6ppm
Nitrates: 10
Nitrites: 0
General hardness: 16 o.d
Carbonate hardness: 20 o.d
Ph: 8.4
Chlorine: 0

All readings are ok apart according to test kit apart from ammonia (obviously very high).

This is my plan of action:

Change 25% water every day, syphon the gravel and continue to test. Is there anything else I can do? Or am I missing something?

Many thanks,
Joanne
First hI and welcome to fishlore Joanne.
Now with 6 ppm ammonia reading you should start with 50% water changes everyday and if you can get it use prime but at least use a good declinator dose whole volume of tank twice recommended dose. Do not vacuum substrate as it will help build BB as well not as much as your filter but it does. Continue with this and test every day befor water changes. Monitor and wait for cycle to finish and you get readings of
Oppm ammonia
0ppm nitrites
10-20 ppm nitrates
 

Feohw

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Jl1010joanne said:
Excellent thank you! I'm searching for it right now.

I don't know what type of loaches they are. They are both the same...almost look like they have animal print on them.

Really appreciate your help.

When I'm doing my water change of 25%, does it matter that I'm adding colder water? Should I be leaving the treated tap water to get to room temperature? Sorry I'm totally new to all this.

Thank you again
Are they kuhlI or clown loaches by any chance? It's pretty important to know what they are as kuhlI loaches only get to around 4 inches while clown loaches can get to a foot long I believe.

Trying to match the temperature of the water changes is a must. It's a chore to do, but it's needed for the health of your fish.
 
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Jl1010joanne

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grump299 said:
First hI and welcome to fishlore Joanne.
Now with 6 ppm ammonia reading you should start with 50% water changes everyday and if you can get it use prime but at least use a good declinator dose whole volume of tank twice recommended dose. Do not vacuum substrate as it will help build BB as well not as much as your filter but it does. Continue with this and test every day befor water changes. Monitor and wait for cycle to finish and you get readings of
Oppm ammonia
0ppm nitrites
10-20 ppm nitrates
Thanks so much. I have managed to find a store that sells prime so I have ordered it on next day delivery. I'll get that in the tank as soon as it arrives.

I'll up to a 50% water change and test for ammonia levels again tonight. I will also leave the substrate. I'm pleased you said that as I was going to be doing that today.

Thank you very much for your help. Joanne
 

AvalancheDave

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6 ppm ammonia at pH 8.4 should be lethal. Are you using Ammo Lock or any other API dechlorinator?
 
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Jl1010joanne

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Feohw said:
Are they kuhlI or clown loaches by any chance? It's pretty important to know what they are as kuhlI loaches only get to around 4 inches while clown loaches can get to a foot long I believe.

Trying to match the temperature of the water changes is a must. It's a chore to do, but it's needed for the health of your fish.
Great thank you.

I've found the loaches...They are hillstream loaches....

AvalancheDave said:
6 ppm ammonia at pH 8.4 should be lethal. Are you using Ammo Lock or any other API dechlorinator?
Hi, thank you for your reply.

I know. I'm really worried about the fish. They are all behaving normally apart from the platys. But with readings like this, I'm aware it's a miracle they are still alive now.

We use a water dechlorinator to make the tap water safe. I have also ordered prime which will arrive tomorrow so I will get that going straight away. I'm going to do 50% water changes too.

Thank you, Joanne
 

JamieLu

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Everyone has their opinion but u should atleast sweep the gravel vac across the top of the substrate to get the excess stuff out of there. This can add to the ammonia/nitrates. It really shouldn't mess with ur bacteria colony. I wasn't vacuuming well enough because I heard this too and then I decided to do a better job and found moldy food and nasty stuff.
 

Feohw

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What water test are you using? Strips or liquid tests? The strips can be inaccurate so maybe it's giving you some of the wrong readings.

I always vacuum the surface of the gravel. Not deeply though. If you overfeed there could be food rotting on the substrate and fouling the water quality. I wouldn't think that two loaches would cause a spike like that.
 

mattgirl

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I agree with doing at the very least 50% water changes daily until you get this ammonia under control. I don't agree that deep vacuuming the gravel will be removing bacteria. The bacteria is clinging to the gravel. What you will be siphoning out of the gravel is just a waste product and needs to be removed during the water changes.

That waste could very well be what is causing this ammonia spike. It is also possible that you don't have enough media in your filter. Lots of times adding an air driven sponge filter can help. I both aerates the water and adds extra surface for bacteria to grow on.
 

AvalancheDave

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Jl1010joanne said:
We use a water dechlorinator to make the tap water safe. I have also ordered prime which will arrive tomorrow so I will get that going straight away. I'm going to do 50% water changes too.
Amine-based water conditioners (Ammo Lock is one example) will result in very high false positive readings with salicylate based ammonia tests.
 
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Jl1010joanne

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Thank you everyone so much for your help. I have conducted a 50% water change and tested the water again 4hrs later.

The ammonia reading is down to 3.0. Still very high, I know. But it has halved.

I will do another 50% first thing in the morning and I'm hoping my prime arrives tomorrow. I'll keep you all posted with an update.
 

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