Ammonia problem

Guppylover:)

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Like another thread I saw, I've been cycling my tank since the middle of July. I was testing the water rental and there's a lot of ammonia and nitrate. I'm new to the hobby and have no idea how to address this. I did a 25% water change but I don't know what to do next
 

NannaLou

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Can you tell us what you exact readings are for the Ammonia, nitrite, nitrates, water hardness etc. Both from you tap water straight from the tap, and after it has been ‘stood’ for 24 hrs and in your tank?
Someone will be able to give you advice based on the size of the issue then.
 

Colin_T

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If you have fish, snails, shrimp or other life forms in the aquarium, you should do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate any day you have an ammonia or nitrite reading above 0ppm, or a nitrate reading above 20ppm.

Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it's added to the tank.

If you have ammonia in the tap water, then you probably have chloramine in the water supply and the water company stuffed up the ammonia/ chlorine levels when dosing the drinking water. If you have ammonia in the tap water, you should filter it out with Ammogon or Zeolite before using that water in an aquarium. If the ammonia level is low, then some water conditioners will bind with the ammonia and the filter bacteria in the aquarium should be able to use it.

If you have nitrates in the tap water (common in some parts of Europe), you can either filter them out with a pozzani filter. Or put tap water in a holding container with lots of floating plants and let the plants use the nitrates, then use the water in the fish tank. If the nitrate level in the tap water is less than 10ppm, don't worry about it.

If you have lots of live aquatic plants in the aquarium and they get sufficient light, they will remove some ammonia, nitrite and nitrate from the aquarium water.
 

Obsessed with fish

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When i had major ammonia problems, i vacuumed the gravel and did 3, 50% water changes. That always works. I would just do what colin_t said because he/she gives good advice, but would strongly recommend the 3, 50% water changes.
 

AbbeysDad

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@Colin_T has covered this well, but there is some concern since you've had the tank setup since July and on the surface it might appear to not be cycled. On the other hand, if your water is treated with chloramine, and you're using a conditioner, it will always test to having ammonia. Chloramine is bonded chlorine and ammonia. The conditioner breaks the bond and converts the ammonia into fairly harmless ammonium that still tests as ammonia. The bio-filtration (and any living plants) will process the ammonium into nitrites, then nitrates.
As to the nitrates, nearly every aquarium will have nitrates that beneficial bacteria have converted from ammonia and nitrites - this is in part why we do routine, periodic, partial water changes. I might suggest that you do 50% weekly water changes using the appropriate amount of a quality conditioner. Also, if you have gravel, as @Colin_T points out, you'll want to do gravel vacuuming on some routine basis to get the crud out. :)
 

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