Never ending ammonia issue

Shan98

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Problem is we keep getting ammonia spikes, we changed water daily and it went good now it’s back to crap. Today the worst it’s been since sitting at 4.
Question is I currently have the fish in a 100L tank. But I also have a spare 25L tank. Should I start cycling this tank, if so how long before I should temporarily move the fish into there?

I can then cycle the big tank. How long would I do this for?
We have lost fish, and just want to get it sorted. We have guppy fry which seem to cope with it. But have lost guppies, and catfish. We haven’t lost our gourami or any of our neon tetras. We have probably 13 fish left and 6 guppy fry. Would moving them into the small tank be overcrowding?
Help so over the ammonia and buying different stuff.
 

wasmewasntit

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Basics first....

What is the test result on the water supply that you are using before it goes into the aquarium?

How long has the troublesome aquarium been running for?

How soon did you start adding fish after setting it up?

Can you give the full test results of the aquarium as it stands currently please...a full aquarium photo will be useful too, along with what is in there apart from the fish....such as wood...if there is wood, what sort is it, where is it from (many woods cannot go into aquariums, woods picked up from gardens etc can harbour animal waste etc...all of which can contribute to bad water chemistry)
 
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Shan98

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Basics first....

What is the test result on the water supply that you are using before it goes into the aquarium?

How long has the troublesome aquarium been running for?

How soon did you start adding fish after setting it up?

Can you give the full test results of the aquarium as it stands currently please...a full aquarium photo will be useful too, along with what is in there apart from the fish....such as wood...if there is wood, what sort is it, where is it from (many woods cannot go into aquariums, woods picked up from gardens etc can harbour animal waste etc...all of which can contribute to bad water chemistry)
How can we test the water?
Levels are 6.6 ph (was 6 last night), 4 ppm ammonia, nitrate and nitrites 0.

there is no wood. We have a couple live plants, caves and other decorations. Sorry for bad photo my partner is doing a water change as the ammonia is making tank cloudy.
 

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Byron

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How can we test the water?
Levels are 6.6 ph (was 6 last night), 4 ppm ammonia, nitrate and nitrites 0.

Presume you are asking how to test the tap (source) water. Test a fresh drawn sample on its own for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate (if you have these tests). Also pH, but for this you need to ensure any CO2 is out-gassed, so let a glass of water sit 24 hours then test pH (only needed with tap water, not tank water).

One good thing is that with an acidic pH (below 7) any ammonia will be basically ammonium which is harmless. Though one still should find out why it is elevated, but at least you do not need to be moving fish which is further and significant stress. Adding some live plants, especially floating species which are fast growers, will help.
 

Bruce Leyland-Jones

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What is the test result on the water supply that you are using before it goes into the aquarium?

How long has the troublesome aquarium been running for?

How soon did you start adding fish after setting it up?
@Shan98

Ammonia is, as I hope you know, extremely toxic to fish. It burns their skins and gills.
At 4ppm ammonia, your fish will likely die.
Fortunately, at the pH, your ammonia may well be ammonium, which is far, far less of a problem.

You need to change the water asap, being sure to use a water conditioner.
Keep testing and keep changing the water, as long as there's ammonia present.
If you change the water, you don't need to add stress to the fish by moving them.

Throw in some live plants, including some floating plants. These should help reduce ammonia levels.

NOTE that the cloudiness is not ammonia, it is either bacteria or organic waste matter. Ammonia, nitrites and nitrates are colourless.
 
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Shan98

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@Shan98

Ammonia is, as I hope you know, extremely toxic to fish. It burns their skins and gills.
At 4ppm ammonia, your fish will likely die.
Fortunately, at the pH, your ammonia may well be ammonium, which is far, far less of a problem.

You need to change the water asap, being sure to use a water conditioner.
Keep testing and keep changing the water, as long as there's ammonia present.
If you change the water, you don't need to add stress to the fish by moving them.

Throw in some live plants, including some floating plants. These should help reduce ammonia levels.

NOTE that the cloudiness is not ammonia, it is either bacteria or organic waste matter. Ammonia, nitrites and nitrates are colourless.
Presume you are asking how to test the tap (source) water. Test a fresh drawn sample on its own for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate (if you have these tests). Also pH, but for this you need to ensure any CO2 is out-gassed, so let a glass of water sit 24 hours then test pH (only needed with tap water, not tank water).

One good thing is that with an acidic pH (below 7) any ammonia will be basically ammonium which is harmless. Though one still should find out why it is elevated, but at least you do not need to be moving fish which is further and significant stress. Adding some live plants, especially floating species which are fast growers, will help.

so we have added more plants. Doing daily water changes and I will test our tap water, only just seen the comment so will let the water sit for 24hr then get back to you with results.

when we change water we add a good water conditioner. Also we are using ammo lock every few days, and also chuck in some good bacteria. We also got these tablet things to stabilise ph and ammonia. Since the adding of new plants to aquarium, ammonia has been getting worse. My partner is blaming the plants but I don’t think this is the issue?
No fish are dying at the moment, but I honestly don’t know how as this morning ammonia is 8ppm. Doing water change right now. (yes aware ammonia is toxic).
 

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itiwhetu

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Are you sure all of your testing equipment is clean. You may be getting a false test result.
 

Byron

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I have never had reason to use ammo lock so can't offer any advice, other members will I'm sure. Plants take up ammonia, and a lot of it, they do not produce it (unless they are dying).

The "tablet things" to stabilize pH are not good, whatever they are. Do not mess with pH; it is what it is as a result of the GH, KH, CO2 and whatever. Let it sort itself out, it will be stable and that is better for the fish.
 

Bruce Leyland-Jones

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so we have added more plants. Doing daily water changes and I will test our tap water, only just seen the comment so will let the water sit for 24hr then get back to you with results.

when we change water we add a good water conditioner. Also we are using ammo lock every few days, and also chuck in some good bacteria. We also got these tablet things to stabilise ph and ammonia. Since the adding of new plants to aquarium, ammonia has been getting worse. My partner is blaming the plants but I don’t think this is the issue?
No fish are dying at the moment, but I honestly don’t know how as this morning ammonia is 8ppm. Doing water change right now. (yes aware ammonia is toxic).
My post was an immediate rescue post.
Essentially, it appears you put fish into a tank that wasn't ready for them...it was not cycled.
You're now trying to pick up the pieces and are trying to do a fish-in cycle, (which is NEVER recommended, because of the stress and usual deaths amongst the poor fish).

You shouldn't have t keep using 'ammo lock', but as your fish are continually producing ammonia and you don't yet have enough bacteria to manage it...
Hopefully, your ammo lock will be one of the types that converts the ammonia into something that the bacteria can still use.

The plants are not making the ammonia and I strongly suggest you get your partner on with the crash-course education you're having to do.

Moving forward, keep on with the water changes and you NEED floating plants. All plants take care of ammonia waste and by-products, but floaters do a particularly good job and these need no input from you to do it. They just sit on the water surface and perform.
 

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