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Ammonia Ammonia Ammonia Ammonia

Discussion in 'Tropical Fish Emergencies' started by MamaPish, Apr 8, 2003.

  1. MamaPish

    MamaPish Member

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    Previous posts....
    Ammonia Spikes

    Did a 50% water change this morning..........lowered ammonia to .5-1.0 (that is what it tests out of the tap).................but now about 8 hrs later, it is back where it was... up to 3.0-4.0.
    All other water testing is perfect...

    Should I keep doing large water changes once a day? 2x's a day?
    :hyper: What???? :hyper:


    :look: Could it be due to the fact I have added several live plants over the last week?
    the plants are doing fine......
    Also added a large piece of driftwood? :look:

    :crazy: I am about ready to through in the dip sticks! :crazy:
     
  2. semper fi

    semper fi mrs southeast michigan 2005

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    how long has this tank been set up? if you are doing the large water changes at the cycling stage then large water changes will prolong the cycling. frequent large water changes after the tank has been established can cause the tank to crash. meaning the enough of the biological filter has bween removed from the water changes that it is back to the cycling stage.

    maggie
     
  3. Angel Lady

    Angel Lady Pet of the Month Leader

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    get some jungle ammonia decreaser it will take it down I dont know if it will prolong the cycle or not but that is what i done and my tank seems to be doing fine.Except for the nitrite and nitrates
     
  4. MamaPish

    MamaPish Member

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    tank has been set up 2 months...................just got through treating w/ maracyn & maracyn 2....
    I have 6 adult angels and 5 juveniles......5 corys 1 small pleco in a 55 gal, added a few breeder guppies yesterday, to supply my angels w/ food.......was supposed to have 10 gal ready for them, but the LFS doesn't have my other 3 tanks ready yet.
    I am seriously trying to keep my angels from harm.............I am raising them to breed, and I have a bit invested here, I don't need to loose any more....(lost 3 when tank was new, my bad!).....do I need to keep doing large water changes to keep my fish alive?
    In a couple of days I will have 3 fully cycled tanks I bought from a fish shop...they have been set up for 3 years...., when they get them drained, I will go pick them up....they are leaving the gravel and UGF in place.
    I just need to know what to do to keep them from getting sick again.....or dying..... til then.

    Today was the largest change I have done........I normally do about 20-25% weekly.
    Nitrates are safe
    Nitrites are 0
    pH is at a steady 7.0

    Fish are acting very healthy, hungry, and pairing up.
    Thanks

    I have tried some kind of ammonia detoxifier....can't remember what now......but it didn't work.
     
  5. Angel Lady

    Angel Lady Pet of the Month Leader

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    that jungle is the best stuff I have ever used. how easy is angel fish to take care of I am dying for me some how does the ph and stuff like supposed to go.
     
  6. reg2k2

    reg2k2 Member

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    If I'm not mistaken, those products (Amm-Lok, etc) simply 'lock up' the ammonia so that's it's safe for your fish, but don't actually remove it, so tests will show positive.
     
  7. sgtbirch

    sgtbirch Member

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    Yes I believe req is right and just water changes will eventually get them out. NO harm to fish but still show up!
     
  8. MamaPish

    MamaPish Member

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    Ok.....ammo-lock 2 was what I used...............I added some more since I did a large water change today......thanks so much for your help.....
    I couldn't understand why the fish acted so great, but the reading was all messed up.......that explains it!

    How do I get an accurate ammonia reading?
    Or do I just need to throw in the dip sticks, and just "read" the fish!?!



    THANK YOU :flowers: THANK YOU :flowers: THANK YOU :flowers:
    :flowers: THANK YOU :flowers: THANK YOU :flowers:
     
  9. Doohic722

    Doohic722 Member

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    ok,, now I am confused on cycling a tank though... I was told by gadazobe that when cycling a tank (using the ammonia method) once it is cycled you changed 90% of the water and your done. I thought all of the bacteria lived in the gravel?

    Or in MamaPhish's case, was her tank not fully cycled and thats why large water changes are bad?
     
  10. Fishsmurf

    Fishsmurf Member

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    Doohic722:

    From what I can gather from reading this there are two different methods of cycling being used here. You are doing a fishless cycle right? In which case Gadazobe was spot on with the 90% change at the end of the fishless cycle. Also right is your belief that the majority of the bacteria is "lives" in the substrate & filter housing with a small percentage actual in the water itself.

    Again from what I can gather from reading the other posts in this thread is that MamaPish is doing a Fishie cycle (or has for some reason experienced a mini cycle) which is a completley different ball game. In this case the large water changes are required to keep the ammonia / nitrIte levels down to make safer & less stessfull enviroment for the fish involved in the cycle......

    Hope that makes sense and is of some help...... :p
     
  11. semper fi

    semper fi mrs southeast michigan 2005

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    alright here goes again.....

    with the fishless cycle no fish are used (duh!) ammonia is created in the tank either by adding food to the tank or adding ammonia to the tank. ammonia has to be pure in form. if you shake the bottle and there are bubbles it is not pure. a few drops per five gallons of water is required. the benefit of adding the ammonia to the tank is that there is no waiting time for the ammonia to be created. it will shorten the length of the cycle.

    most people prefer the fish cycle so as not to have an empty tank set up. fish are used to create the ammonia in the tank. this process is very stressful on the fish and can result in fish loss.

    when cycling the tank, you want to avoid large water changes as they will slow the cycle process. it takes approximately 6 weeks or so to cycle a tank properly. once the ammonia level is elevated in the tank, you want to start doing water changes. 20 % water changes are efficient. this will help to lower the ammonia levels in the tank. ammonia is then broken down to nitrites. at this point the beneficial bacteria is created in the tank. this bacteria feeds on the nitrites helping to keep them low during the life of the tank. large water changes an crash the tank, removing the essential bacteria at which point the nitrites will overrun an established tank. this bacteria does not only live in the gravel but in every element of the tank. the filter, powerheads, etc... during cycling the nitrites will become elevated and the ammonia levels will lower. when the bacteria is created the nitrites will lower and the nitrates, the less concentrated and harmful of the toxins will increase. at this time plants can be introduced innto the tank. plants feed on nitrates. faster growing plants will requikre larger amounts of nitrates than slower growing ones. you do not want to do large water changes when cycling a tank! you will slow the process of the bacteria being created. once the toxins have peaked and lowered, the tank is considered cycled. some people will notice their water get slightly milky looking. this is called a bacteria bloom. signalling the end of the cycle.

    when you are using fish to cycle a tank, you want to use less expensive and hardier fish. not neccessarily the fish that you want to keep in the tank.

    also if you are getting a "cycled" tank from an lfs, make sure that you also get some of the water. the bacteria cannot live out of the water. used filters or sponges are also helpful to jumpstart a tank. try to get atleast 25% of the tank capacity in established water.

    if you have completed the cycling of the tank no large water changes are required to get the levels down after the end of the cycle. if you are still experiencing high levels, more than likely the tank is not properly cycled. once the levels have risen and zeroed out, you will want to maintain the zero levels. water changes will help with this. in smaller tanks you may find that you need to increase the frequency of water changes. larger tanks are more forgiving than the smaller ones. imo, larger tanks are easier to maintain than the smaller ones.

    hth

    maggie
     
  12. Doohic722

    Doohic722 Member

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    thanks maggie and fishsmurf, I knew most of that but you hit on a few points I didnt know so it was helpful. Thats why in my post I said

    "Or in MamaPhish's case, was her tank not fully cycled and thats why large water
    changes are bad? "

    I should have clerified myself better when I said that and added that because she was doing a fish cycle it was bad. But I have the full gist of it now.

    I will be doing a fishless cycle, actually I hope to go home and get the tank set up this weekend to start the cycle. Which works out great for me, I have 5 weeks left of college until summer brake, so hopefully when I get home the tank will be nearing the end of the cycle. :p

    I got some ammonia, it didnt say it was 100% ammonia, it was in the diluted form. (added water). So I assume I will have to add like a teaspoon per 5/10 gallons?
     
  13. gadazobe

    gadazobe Retired Moderator
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    Aslong as it's only water that has been added, you're ok. As you're doing a fishless cycle (good lad, good lad :D) you don't have to change any water during the cycle - only at the end. The good bacteria live everywhere in the tank - as semper fi said - so changing water during a cycle does not necessarily kill them all. The bacteria can live out of water for about 15 mins, but if the tank is left empty of water for too long, it can cause the cycle to restart once refilled. Good luck with the tank and keep us informed.
     
  14. MamaPish

    MamaPish Member

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    ok...thanks on the part about keeping water in the LFS tank...makes sense

    :S On my CRAZY tank cycle or whatever it is..........it did a complete cycle weeks ago, turned the milky color, and all the spikes and everything..... :S

    anyway I am just going to keep doing what I am doing, until the fish tell me different , if they are happy......I am ecstatic!!



    Also,
    One of the 29gal tanks I am getting from the LFS is set up for salt water...went by there yesterday, and it is still all up and going, no fish.
    How do I need to clean the tank to convert it to freshwater?

    :D
     
  15. semper fi

    semper fi mrs southeast michigan 2005

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    you only want to add ammonia if it is pure. even if water is added shake the bottle and make sure that there is nothing else added that is not stated on the bottle. pure ammonia will not bubble. perfumes to mask smells and dyes added to "color code" products are not reqwuired to be added to the product label.

    yes, you do need to do water changes while cycling a tank. it helps to get the high levels of toxins down and convert the toxins to lesser concentrations. no large water change is required at the end of a cycle though. water changes of 5-10% are enough for a cycling tank. once the tank is cycled and the fish are added and the load is increased on the biological filter, then you may need to increase the amount of water changes.

    converting a salt tank you should only have to scrub it out with water to rinse and remove any salt residue. only really neccessary for scaleless fish that are added. have to get a salt expert her to answer that one. great lakes would be a good one for that.

    maggie
     

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