Verifying Ammonia Levels

Mike Brown
  • #1
The picture with the 5 vials are from this afternoon prior to me putting in the Zebra Danios. The second is just from about 5-10 minutes ago. My eyes are a bit tired but I am curious to see

  • What is the ammonia level from earlier today?
  • Are they the same level?
The pH appears to be 7.4-7.6 and the ammonia is like .5 to maybe 1.0?
 

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Jenoli42
  • #2
Hmmm. your pH looks like 7.4-7.6 same in both. from the photos, it looks like the first one the ammonia is closer to 1ppm (i'd call that - .9) and the second looks slightly *lighter* oddly (maybe .75). which makes no sense after adding fish unless your BB are starting to work...

but the rule I use is to go with the "worse" reading, meaning your ammonia is 1ppm.

are you using prime to detoxify? prime works 24-48 hours on ammonia and nitrite levels below 1ppm. I suggest doing a large-ish water change (30% - 50%) and then adding prime to keep your levels closer to .5.

I assume you've chosen to do a "fish in" cycle?
 
Mike Brown
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
It could be my BB working. The fish have not been there for a while as I have stated. I will check in the morning again. I am doing fish in cycle yes.

I thought I posted this last night and didn't.

I did a quick test this morning and all seemed about the same.

I have been adding my beneficial bacteria in. I was told to do a full cap when I put my fish in and then 5ml every other day to help jump start the process.

I will do a test this evening and will do a better comparison between these that I posted and the results from tonight.
 
Jenoli42
  • #4
the reason I asked about conditioning your water (eg, prime, safe, stress coat) was to keep your fish more safe from your high ammonia levels & to remove chlorine from tap water (chlorine kills fish & BB).

If you're adding BB that can help cycle more quickly- how big is your tank?

just in case you weren't aware, adding Most BB but doesn't condition water...unless you're using a tetra product we can't get where I live

the reason I mentioned water changes is because ammonia is toxic to fish & they can start getting damage to their gills within hours of being exposed. our 7 Danio died overnight when our ammonia spiked just over 1ppm during our minI cycle disaster.

so you can reduce risk of harm to your fish by doing daily 25-30% - or every other day 50-60% - water changes & dosing with prime in between
 
Mike Brown
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Jenoli42

Thanks for the information. I am using stress coat. If I add any new water I make sure that I put in the dechlorination liquid first. I had 7 fish die in over two weeks not from the ammonia but from pH shock. I was overtreating. I am looking to keep it in check this time. I will be doing a full workup on the "labs" and posting here the results for input.

I have been told not to do the water changes during my cycle because of the BB that are there.

My plan per the LFS is the following

every 48 hours - feed small amount
every 48 hours (opposite of above) - put in 5ml of BB.
every 84 hours - personal water test
every 168 hours - LFS water test
 
Jenoli42
  • #6
hey again - thanks for clarifying about the conditioner. as long as it removes chlorine that's what I was concerned about.

the advice you've had on basically leaving your pH where it is naturally is almost always best because it's the pH swings that hurt fish not a stable pH that might be slightly out of their natural range.

but I'm concerned about the advice on water changes. your BB do not live in your water. they live on your filter media & about 1% in your substrate. if you were doing a fishless cycle, then I agree you don't need water changes (unless something gets stuck in cycling). but when you're doing a cycle with fish, you do need water changes to keep your fish safe & as long as you condition your water it won't affect your cycle much.

I've done inadvertent fish in cycles twice now & all 4 of our tanks are cycled. the lowest stress were the ones without fish because we weren't concerned about hurting them & didn't need water changes daily lolz.

if you've got a really good independent local fish store that you're inclined to listen to, great. but I tend not to agree with their advice on water changes with fish in the tank & I'd be testing ammonia & nitrite daily, nitrates weekly until they show up.
 
Mike Brown
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
hey again - thanks for clarifying about the conditioner. as long as it removes chlorine that's what I was concerned about.

the advice you've had on basically leaving your pH where it is naturally is almost always best because it's the pH swings that hurt fish not a stable pH that might be slightly out of their natural range.

but I'm concerned about the advice on water changes. your BB do not live in your water. they live on your filter media & about 1% in your substrate. if you were doing a fishless cycle, then I agree you don't need water changes (unless something gets stuck in cycling). but when you're doing a cycle with fish, you do need water changes to keep your fish safe & as long as you condition your water it won't affect your cycle much.

I've done inadvertent fish in cycles twice now & all 4 of our tanks are cycled. the lowest stress were the ones without fish because we weren't concerned about hurting them & didn't need water changes daily lolz.

if you've got a really good independent local fish store that you're inclined to listen to, great. but I tend not to agree with their advice on water changes with fish in the tank & I'd be testing ammonia & nitrite daily, nitrates weekly until they show up.

Here are my findings from this evening
 

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Jenoli42
  • #8
right! that's much more clear that your pH is 7.4 not 7.6. it's really hard for me to tell because mine is the same - slightly more orange on the high pH is considered 7.6. sometimes I decide I'll split the difference and say 7.5 lol.

ammonia is about 1ppm, 0 nitites, 0 nitrates. in a normal cycle, your ammonia will increase, then your nitrites will appear. around that time, your ammonia will start to decrease and then nitrates start appearing. eventually your nitrites should come down then and your ammonia should be at a steady 0ppm by that stage. (nitrites can get stuck at 2ppm or higher sometimes, fyi).

the reason I was asking about partial water changes is if your ammonia goes up past 1ppm, prime will not detoxify and you can get get sick fish. the best way to keep it in check at that stage is partial water changes.
 
Mike Brown
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Jenoli42

A bit of the topic question - What kind of tank are the tanks with all the equipment hidden in a "hidden compartment" in the back of the tank?
 
Jenoli42
  • #10
hmmm.... do you mean breeder tanks?
 
Mike Brown
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
The equipment is hidden like the heater, filter, etc is what I am referring to
 
Jenoli42
  • #12
The equipment is hidden like the heater, filter, etc is what I am referring to
yeah try googling s of breeder tanks. they have separate panel for heater & filter but are often divided tanks
 
Mike Brown
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
I have seen other tanks that have that setup minus the divided tanks
 
Jenoli42
  • #14
yep that's probably right but sorry I don't know which makes or models
 
Mike Brown
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
I did a quick ph, ammonia and nitrite test this morning.
 

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Jenoli42
  • #16
can you take photos against a white background? sorry know that can be a pain
 
Mike Brown
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
I did a water test (pH and Ammonia) this morning and last night. Both show about the same. Not sure what happened. I did use properpH to start bringing up the pH as it was a bit lower last night. I think the issue was that the stress Zyme dried up and that caused issues. I will make sure that I clean those caps out after each use so that does not happen again. When I get home from work today I am doing a water change (30-50%).

My tap pH is about 7.4-7.6.
 

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TexasGuppy
  • #18
I would do a quick test on your tap water also, sometimes they also have high ammonia which means you aren't helping the fish as much with the water changes.
If so, you may have to mix in some spring,RO, or distrilled water, but then may require PH adjustments.
 
Mike Brown
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
My tap ph Is like a 7.4-7.6. I was told not to do water changes during the cycle by the lfs. I am planning on doing one tonight after work of 30-50%. I will decholorinate the water before I mix it in and I will put more beneficial bacteria in the water when I add the water.

I am schedule to head to the lfs tomorrow so that I can talk to the guy helping me and he will be doing a water test for me as well.

The fish seem to be okay I just do not want it to go too much too fast and I fear that this has all ready happened (two fast of a jump in a short window of time).

I would have done the water test this morning but I was running late for work and had to get in. I should be home in another 5.5 hours or so and will do it then, the first thing I do when I walk in the door.

Here was the readings prior to a water change. I did two pH tests, one ammonia and one nitrite test.

I am doing a 30-40% water change now. I will check the values after that as well.

So now this is what I am seeing. I did two pH test and 1 ammonia tests. I will be monitoring it through the next 24 hours as I go to the local fish store to get a comprehensive test done.

I just did another test and this is where I am sitting at right now.
 

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Mike Brown
  • Thread Starter
  • #20
I see a moderator combined both of my posts and I edit it to follow but I have added some additional information and would like your feed back to see what you have to say.
 
TexasGuppy
  • #21
It's hard to tell if you.edit older posts. Better to ask question with a new update.
 
Mike Brown
  • Thread Starter
  • #22
Here are my last few tests. They are all from today.

22:10 hrs
18:00 hrs
16:56 hrs

Thoughts on pH and ammonia
 

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Zach B.
  • #23
I haven't done a fish in cycle but I have done fishless cycles. I can tell you from my experience that water changes will not hurt your cycle in fact when I was stuck on nitrites a water change helped. I can tell you though your fish are feeling that ammonia right now even if you are treating the water based on your readings. I was told some insane things by my local fish store so I don't trust them all that much. I would strongly urge you to do a water change every time your ammonia is at or above 1ppm ammonia or nitrites.
 

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