water ammonia levels too high Help

  1. krsbuilt Initiate Member

    I received this 10 gallon aquarium complete with fish filters and everything else i need. unfortunately it needs to be re-cycled due to some factor i can't figure out. the thing is is that i got a crab and a female blue gourami with the tank, and the tap water (we use a well) has outrageous ammonia levels in it. i noticed that the first test of water i did came out with 8.0 ppm before putting the fish back in. i'm wondering if i should get one of those solutions that "speed cycle" my tank.

  2. Lucy Moderator Moderator Member

    About the only product members have had luck with is Tetra SafeStart.
    However, a reading of 8.0 of ammonia would kill the product.

    What's in the tank now and where is the crab and gourami?

    If you could fill in your aquarium it would be very helpful.

  3. krsbuilt Initiate Member

    the crab and the gourami are in the tank now, for the water that they were in was getting rather warm. and i will get to filling out the tank info right now... what do you mean: "where are the fish now?"
  4. Lucy Moderator Moderator Member

    I didn't realize the gourami and crab were in the tank.
    Will wait for the aqaurium info before advising further. There's a couple of directions you could go in, depending on the pH, nitrites and nitrates.
    However, a water change is in order, how much depends on if your pH is the same from tap to tank.
    If you can get some Prime, it'll detox the ammonia and nitrites for 24hrs.
    Many members have had luck using Tetra Safe Start, however with a reading of 8 for ammonia, TSS would fail.

  5. krsbuilt Initiate Member

    info posted
  6. Lucy Moderator Moderator Member

    Thanks! That helps a great deal.
    Sorry, I edited my post (#4) while you were responding.

    Do you use tap water? What's the pH of your tap water?
    I'm wondering why you don't use a water conditioner. Chlorine, chloramines and other heavy metals found in tap water can kill the gourami and crab.
  7. krsbuilt Initiate Member

    i don't have any conditioner on me at the moment... as i said before (i think) i was given this by a friend. i went and got a test kit, but i guess i overlooked the conditioner. and the tap water is that of a well, so i don't worry about the chlorine and stuff like that, but i'm not so sure about the heavy metals being in there.

    the ph of the tap is somewhere between 7.8 and 8.0.

  8. Meenu Fishlore VIP Member

    When you go get the conditioner, may I suggest Seachem Prime. It's very highly recommended by the users of this site. It will do everything a regular conditioner does PLUS it detoxifies ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate for 24 hours.
  9. krsbuilt Initiate Member

    ok, i'll have to look into that...
  10. Lucy Moderator Moderator Member

    Can you go to the store and get some conditioner?
    Prime or ammo-lock will work to detox the ammonia and nitrites for 24 hours.
    After you get the conditioner, I'd suggest doing a 25% water change now and 25% tonight. That should get the ammonia down to 4ppm.
    I'm afraid a 50% would shock the fish/crab.
    Tomorrow, do the same thing (2 water changes of 25%).

    If you can get some Tetra SafeStart, (don't be fooled by products with similar names or others that claim to quick cycle a tank) many members have had luck quick cycling a tank with it.
    However, read this info about high ammonia and conditioners that detox:
    Q & A With Tetra about Tetra SafeStart

    If you can't find TSS (Most chains stores don't sell it)
    On the 3rd day you can switch to 50% daily water changes until the tank cycles.
    Be patient cycling can take up to 6 weeks.
    Your readings will be 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites with some nitrates showing.

    One other thing, the crab and gourami are not compatible. The crab will sooner or later get the gourami.

  11. krsbuilt Initiate Member

    ok, thanks for the advice, i'll try to find some somewhere. and i'll be sure to do something with the crab.
  12. Lucy Moderator Moderator Member

    I know it's all so confusing. Hang in there and good luck!
  13. krsbuilt Initiate Member

    might i ask if using well water would effect your instructions at all, would it?
  14. Lucy Moderator Moderator Member

    I don't know much about well water. But, as far as I know it's not treated with chlorine and chloramines.
    You might not need to use a water conditioner, except of course if you're needing to detox ammonia and nitrites.

    You might want to wait to see what others who have well water have to say.
  15. krsbuilt Initiate Member

    an off brand ammonia de-toxifier would work ok, right?
  16. erk419 Member Member

    You can get tetra Aquasafe at wallmart thats what I use. Seeing how you also live in Ohio I know your walmart will carry it.
  17. Meenu Fishlore VIP Member

    I use Tetra Aqua Safe as well. It treats for chlorine, etc., but does NOT do anything for ammonia, nitrites, or nitrates.

    As far as a generic brand, I'd suggest thoroughly reading the bottle. See exactly what it does. Maybe find out what the store carries and then google reviews on it before purchasing/adding to your tank?
  18. Lucy Moderator Moderator Member

    I've never used an off Brand. You sure can try if it says it detoxifies (not removes) ammonia and nitrites.
    I don't think Aquasafe detox's, it's a plain water conditioner (removes chlorine and heavy metals).
    Prime removes chlorine and chloramines as well as detox's ammonia, nitrites and nitrates.
  19. krsbuilt Initiate Member

    so i got the ammonia levels down, and it turns out that the nitrogen cycle was already there, but i think the ammonia levels were to high for it to be effective. my current ammonia levels are around 0.25 and the nitrite levels are around 0.25 and the nitrate levels are at about 10. the solution i used to get the ammonia levels down was called "API Ammo-lock". i was wondering if with ammonia levels down to where they are, should i try one more dose of the ammo-lock or should i just wait for the bio-load on the filter to catch up?
  20. Lucy Moderator Moderator Member

    Ammo lock should just detox the ammonia (a good thing) not get rid of it.
    That along with daily water changes should get the the tank fully cycled.