High ammonia - what else to do?

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gabrielgalhano

gabrielgalhano

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Sorry...should've said Iberian peninsular! :oops:
No problem, it's a commum misunderstanding 😅

I'll second the Tropica plant recommendation.
I'll look into this as soon as I get home!

When you changed your filter, did you put the media from you old filter into the new filter?
I did not, but I kept the 2 filters running simultaneously for about a week... maybe it was a short period of time for the beneficial bacteria to grow in the new filter(?)
 

Bruce Leyland-Jones

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No problem, it's a commum misunderstanding 😅


I'll look into this as soon as I get home!


I did not, but I kept the 2 filters running simultaneously for about a week... maybe it was a short period of time for the beneficial bacteria to grow in the new filter(?)
It was too short a time.
Given the amount of bacteria in an established tank, out of the filter, there would be no problem putting at least half of the established filter media into the new filter. The old filter could then receive half of the new media.
When I set up my second tank, I was able to halve the cycling time, because I used old media and plants.
 

itiwhetu

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These are typical of the problems you get with running a sand base and why I prefer gravel with no vacuuming. In this system the whole base becomes inert so you are relying solely on the filter, that can be dangerous if the filter fails.
 

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These are typical of the problems you get with running a sand base and why I prefer gravel with no vacuuming. In this system the whole base becomes inert so you are relying solely on the filter, that can be dangerous if the filter fails.
Typically most gravel or sand substrates are inert.

But this makes little difference as bacteria will grow fine those surfaces anyway, just that sand has less surface area is all.

And vacuuming substrate won’t remove the bacterias anyhow has these BB are pretty much glued on surfaces with their protective clear coating.

In fact inert substrate is in many ways better for keepers as this helps maintain water parameters and avoids pH swings and suchlike.

The only substrate I don’t like is super fine sand or fine silica sand as this tends to lock or compacts tight making it harder for plants to grow and also surface of super fine sand can be stirred up easily by livestock.

But in reality most fish keepers use substrates that are inert anyway and I doubt this has much, if any, impact on the OPs ammonia level at all as bacterias will form on pretty much any surface on substrates.

In this case it could well be down to removing the internal filter and adding a new external filter without moving the old media to the new filter to encourage more growth of bacterias inside new filter housing.

Don’t think it’s conclusively just this but defintely played a factor in ops ammonia levels imho.
 

itiwhetu

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Typically most gravel or sand substrates are inert.

But this makes little difference as bacteria will grow fine those surfaces anyway, just that sand has less surface area is all.

And vacuuming substrate won’t remove the bacterias anyhow has these BB are pretty much glued on surfaces with their protective clear coating.

In fact inert substrate is in many ways better for keepers as this helps maintain water parameters and avoids pH swings and suchlike.

The only substrate I don’t like is super fine sand or fine silica sand as this tends to lock or compacts tight making it harder for plants to grow and also surface of super fine sand can be stirred up easily by livestock.

But in reality most fish keepers use substrates that are inert anyway and I doubt this has much, if any, impact on the OPs ammonia level at all as bacterias will form on pretty much any surface on substrates.

In this case it could well be down to removing the internal filter and adding a new external filter without moving the old media to the new filter to encourage more growth of bacterias inside new filter housing.

Don’t think it’s conclusively just this but defintely played a factor in ops ammonia levels imho.
And I am saying that a natural gravel is not inert. It can either be neutral ( acid ) or Alkaline based. And that will add to the aquarium as a whole. Sand tends to be Silica therefore adds nothing, and that is where the problem is.
 

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Typically most gravel or sand substrates are inert.

But this makes little difference as bacteria will grow fine those surfaces anyway, just that sand has less surface area is all.
Sand actually as way, way more surfaces than gravel! Each and every sand grain has its own surfaces...
BUT those surfaces are compacted together and, therefore, have much less flow of water and gases through them.

Formation of toxic gas pockets in sand substrates is a recognised issue and one that needs addressing by the maintenance regime.
I often wonder just how many of those 'mystery' deaths amongst fish might be down to the release of toxic gas bubbles.
 
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gabrielgalhano

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It was too short a time.
Given the amount of bacteria in an established tank, out of the filter, there would be no problem putting at least half of the established filter media into the new filter. The old filter could then receive half of the new media.
When I set up my second tank, I was able to halve the cycling time, because I used old media and plants.
How long would've been a good period, in your oppinion?
 
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gabrielgalhano

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These are typical of the problems you get with running a sand base and why I prefer gravel with no vacuuming. In this system the whole base becomes inert so you are relying solely on the filter, that can be dangerous if the filter fails.
I used to have gravel in this tank, but then my corydoras started to appear with wounded whiskers and I read that sand is the best substrate to have with corys.
 

itiwhetu

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I used to have gravel in this tank, but then my corydoras started to appear with wounded whiskers and I read that sand is the best substrate to have with corys.
Do you know what your Nitrate level was in the old system. Loss of whiskers can be because of high Nitrates.
 
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Well, I just got home from the weekend and one of my female swordtails is with a terrible aspect. She has some kind of fungus like material near her anal fin, and it's covered in some kind of white spots (similar to ich). Is this due to the ammonia problem or am I having some other thing going on here?? What should I do?

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Looks more like a sort of fungal or possibly flexibater columnaris or a bacterial infection, there are several varieties of columnaris to be fair so may be worth your while researching this and see if any of the pictures or symptoms match your swordtail.

Think for columnaris, its treated with salt, for a salt bath in separate quarantine/hospiatl tank normally one tablespoon to one gallon of water but if treating in main tank think its one tablespoon to 5 gallons as there may be other fish that might get affected by the salt, especially scaleless fish.

But, very important, definitely do your homework BEFORE giving any antibiotics, salt baths or treating tank to salt as there is nothing worse than giving treatments for something else entirely due to misdiagnosis and finding it did not work or made things worse.
 

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Not fungus AND ich?

I don't think so no, ich usually has the grains of salt signs on body and fins of fish, hard to tell from those pictures but it COULD be from the picture alone, I get the impression its more of a bacterial / fungal or columnaris type of illness.

We need a knoweldgable fish disease memeber on here..............sadly the best person I knew was a member of this forum, Wilder, sadly she left the forum a number of years ago, a much valued member tbh.
 

Bruce Leyland-Jones

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I don't think so no, ich usually has the grains of salt signs on body and fins of fish, hard to tell from those pictures but it COULD be from the picture alone, I get the impression its more of a bacterial / fungal or columnaris type of illness.

We need a knoweldgable fish disease memeber on here..............sadly the best person I knew was a member of this forum, Wilder, sadly she left the forum a number of years ago, a much valued member tbh.
It's another one of those situations where I think a better image is needed.
That first image made my think of ich...and then I noticed the fluffy growth underneath. Fungus there suggests that any fungus is also internal. :(
 
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gabrielgalhano

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It's another one of those situations where I think a better image is needed.
That first image made my think of ich...and then I noticed the fluffy growth underneath. Fungus there suggests that any fungus is also internal. :(
Do these ones help? I don't think I can get any better pictures than these 😅

I first suspected of ich, because I already had a case of ich in my tank about a couple months ago. However I didn't add any new fish to the tank recently and the spots in this swordtail are a little diferent from the ones on ich.
I also thought about some kind of fungus infection but I'm really not familair with any fish disease so I'm a little lost around here...

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