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BIG problem with Ammonia

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Jan Cavalieri

Jan Cavalieri

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Colin are you suggesting that I set up something like a kiddie pool in my house and run a power filter full of the chemicals you mentioned until the water in the pool is free from ammonia. (trying to think of where to put a kiddie pool), I read up on that a bit - primarily it just refers to using to detox your body from heavy metals - a claim I suspect is doubtful but if it makes people feel better than no harm done

That would be a very cool idea but I don't know how my landlord would feel about all that water so close to the floor. Many years ago my father(who owned and leased houses) had a tenant get in a fight with her boyfriend and the guy kicked in the 10 gal aquarium. After that my dad said "no more aquariums" - he also thought about adding "no parrots" after he saw the damage my parrot could do.

I read somewhere where a person asked why not keep one of these chemicals in your aquarium filter all the time? The answer was completely vague - basically saying "that might not be a good idea". But why not? It makes more sense to me - keep out ammonia all the time. Then find a chemical that removes nitrites and you never have to cycle another tank and only clean it when it gets dirty. You know being in the age of invention that we are - why have they not found a easier way to clean fish tank water?
 

seangee

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You know being in the age of invention that we are - why have they not found a easier way to clean fish tank water?
To be fair there is no easier way. That is why @Byron and others are trying to encourage you to let the filter develop naturally.
Ion exchange resins do not degrade gradually. When I used this for nitrates one litre of water I filtered would be 0ppm. The next would be 50ppm as soon as the resin was exhausted. 10 litres later it would be pumping out 100ppm as it started dumping out what it had absorbed.

By contrast I am going on a 2 1/2 week holiday next week. I will obviously not be changing water while I am gone. I am also 100% confident that I will not get an ammonia spike if a fish dies while I am gone or if we have a power failure that lasts 24 hours or less. I am also pretty confident that 2 of the 3 tanks would be fine if a filter pump failed totally. Now that I have thought about it I am going to add an airstone to the 3rd tank. This one has a low flow and a single pump, so even though it is planted I could have stagnant water for 2 weeks if the pump fails.

Please note that I never posted that to prove what a good fishkeeper I am, I don't believe that to be the case. What I am able to do is trust that those little bacteria living in my filter, in my substrate, and on the glass will keep doing their job as long as the water keeps moving. These will be assisted by the plants I have in all of these tanks - again as long as the water keeps moving. its kind of hard to see how we could invent something to improve on that.

So, as Byron suggests, if I did happen to do a water change with water containing 1ppm ammonia the tanks would have cleared it well within 24 hours, and the protection given by the Prime would be sufficient.
 

Colin_T

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Colin are you suggesting that I set up something like a kiddie pool in my house and run a power filter full of the chemicals you mentioned until the water in the pool is free from ammonia.
Not a kiddy wading pool, but a large plastic container of some sort. A plastic storage container, plastic wine barrel, anything that is safe for fish and holds water. You fill it with tap water and put a filter in/ on the container. The filter has Ammogon or Zeolite in and will remove the ammonia from the water. When there is no ammonia left in the water, you use it for water changes and recharge the Ammogon/ Zeolite.
 
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Jan Cavalieri

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That is an interesting idea - glad to know I don't need a kiddie pool LOL. So I could get a large plastic container and fill with fresh water and then treat it until there is no ammonia left in the water - then use that "pure" water for water changes so I wouldn't be adding more ammonia to the tank. Wow, quite a bit of work but if it works it would be well worth it.

Oh get this - Our city water is now testing at 2 ppm - so every time I do a water change I'm fighting a losing battle with ammonia - basically adding more than I'm removing. I know this is the case because the one tank that I HAVEN'T done a water change for a couple of weeks has 0 ppm Ammonia, while my other two tanks that I did water changes on several times (before I re-tested the city water) have Ammonia levels of 2 ppm to 4 ppm. I detox it with Prime and try to get rid of it with AmGuard which have minimal effect. Given that the fish are all alive I assume that I am successfully detoxifying the ammonia or many would be dead by now.

So your solution may be the best one I can find. It does seem like a huge amount of work to keep doing FOREVER since it appears the city is going to continue to add ammonia to their water. This is just so frustrating. I understand now why so many people give up this hobby after a year or so - it's complications like these that take all the fun and interest out what should be a wonderful hobby. I'm determined to not give up but it sure is frustrating.

So I really think the easiest thing is to just continue to do what I've been doing - adding the various solutions that detoxify the ammonia in the tank - I say that because I have not yet lost a fish even though the readings test very high for ammonia - given my disabilities I can't imagine trying to haul large tanks of water around - while the detox method (while frustrating since it still shows ammonia in the tank) is keeping my fish alive. I'm sure spending a lot on Prime though LOL.

Your response is definitely something to consider - especially once I get some strength back from doing water changes (best workout for me so far).

Thanks for your input!
 

Colin_T

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If you have ammonia in the tap water, you should be filtering this out before drinking it too, otherwise buy bottled water for drinking purposes. Ammonia is poisonous to people, birds, animals and fish, and if there is ammonia in the water, there could be other poisonous chemicals.

You might also want to contact your Health Department and inform them of the ammonia in the tap water.

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An option for you is to get double or triple tier stands. You have tanks on each shelf and the top tank is filled with tap water, which gets dechlorinated and filtered to remove ammonia. The bottom tanks have fish in.

When it comes time to doing water changes you simply drain the water from the top tank into the lower tanks. After the water changes you use a hose to fill the top tanks and start filtering the ammonia out.
 
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Jan Cavalieri

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Colin_T

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You might be able to order them through the pet shop.
Cabinet makers can make multi tiered stands from wood.
Mechanics, panel beaters or engineering places can make them from metal.
Most hardware stores sell metal stands that are in kit form and you bolt them together or they have slots that hold them together. Just look for stands that can hold twice the weight you want.

If you know a handyman or someone who can weld, they can make them from wood or metal.
 
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