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Old 10-07-2012, 01:03 AM   #1
Blue Falcon
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ammonia, *update post 60*


Alright TPT I need some expert help on this one. This has got me stumped. I have been keeping fish for years and have never had an issue with ammonia until now.

Tank is a 33.6 gallon Mr. Aqua. Substrate is a half inch deep of flourite black.
It has been set up since july (over 3 months now).
Lighting is 2 bulb t-5 suspended 12" above tank.
Filtration is aquaclear 30 with fluval prefilter (filter media is standard sponge, standard biomax, and a bag of borneo humic)
Also using a sponge filter ATI Hydro 3 (not the pro) with a whisper 40 air pump.
5 peices of cholla wood, 4 anubias nana, marimo moss ball, softball sized portion of java fern attached to mopani driftwood, and 8 large Hyacinth floating plants.
Livestock includes about 6 snails and 30 crystal red shrimp of assorted size.

Parameters are as follows. (checked with several different and new API test kits)

pH: 6.4
ammonia: .5 ppm
nitrite: 0
nitrate: 10 ppm
kh: 0
GH: 6
TDS: 140
temp: 73 F

water is with 100% RO/DI and remineralized with bee shrimp mineral GH+ (ro water has NO ammonia and is zero tds)
I have been performing 10 gallon water changes twice a week trying to keep the ammo and nitrate levels down.

What I dont understand is why there is ammonia present with such little bioload, so many plants with sufficient light, and IMO plenty of filtration (the HOB OR sponge SHOULD be sufficient by themselves for such a small bioload). Tank has been running for 3 months, but the filtration was pulled from a mature tank and has been cycled for years. I'm pulling my hair out on this one. Thing, is, the shrimp have been breeding like crazy and the shrimplets are surviving and growing quickly. I only feed a bb size piece of jakes veggie sticks once a week. I have identical filtration on several other tanks with much more bioload and there is zero ammonia in those tank. WFT!

Last edited by Blue Falcon; 10-09-2012 at 03:43 AM.. Reason: title change
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Old 10-07-2012, 01:07 AM   #2
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Run the ammonia test again. Check for dead/decaying matter.

For reference, I run an Aquaclear 50 on a 5.5 gallon tank. I really don't think a 30 would be good enough for a 33 gallon tank.
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Old 10-07-2012, 01:09 AM   #3
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Have you dosed any kind of medication or anything?
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Old 10-07-2012, 01:12 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluek24a4 View Post
Run the ammonia test again. Check for dead/decaying matter.

For reference, I run an Aquaclear 50 on a 5.5 gallon tank. I really don't think a 30 would be good enough for a 33 gallon tank.
Yeah, I run a aquaclear 50 on a 10 gallon tank, but thought it was too much flow for shrimp. But what I'm trying to get at, is ALOT of discus, angel, and shrimp breeders use ONLY sponge filters. The sponge filter alone should handle the bioload of a few tiny shrimp. I have run the ammo test several times a day for the last 2 weeks and am finally asking you guys cause I have no clue what else to do. I have even taken my water into work (I work at a LFS) and used the test kits we have there.

As far as decaying matter, I have 3 indian almond leaves in there, and a little bit of mulm that builds up under the cholla wood. Not much at all IMO.
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Old 10-07-2012, 01:13 AM   #5
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Have you dosed any kind of medication or anything?
No medication. I do use borneo shield once a week.
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Old 10-07-2012, 01:14 AM   #6
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There has to be something in the water in that tank that is giving a false positive. With such little bioload there should be no ammonia theoretically with no filtration at all.
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Old 10-07-2012, 01:17 AM   #7
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Its Funny because i just setup a new 75 gallon heavily planted tank with Flourite substrate and used 2 XP-3's from another established tank. Its taken a very long time for the Ammonia to come down. Im wondering if its anything to do with something in the Flourite ? Do you have any fresh Flourite to test ?
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Old 10-07-2012, 01:17 AM   #8
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My Aquaclear 50 is on my shrimp breeding 5.5 gallon tank. I don't think its too much flow to be honest.

Not much at all could be enough to explain a .5ppm reading.

Are you using Prime to condition your water?
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Old 10-07-2012, 01:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenjohn21 View Post
Its Funny because i just setup a new 75 gallon heavily planted tank with Flourite substrate and used 2 XP-3's from another established tank. Its taken a very long time for the Ammonia to come down. Im wondering if its anything to do with something in the Flourite ? Do you have any fresh Flourite to test ?
I have flourite in all of my other shrimp tanks. ammo is zero in them.
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Old 10-07-2012, 01:19 AM   #10
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I use Flourite in my tanks too, it wouldn't be that.
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Old 10-07-2012, 01:19 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluek24a4 View Post
My Aquaclear 50 is on my shrimp breeding 5.5 gallon tank. I don't think its too much flow to be honest.

Not much at all could be enough to explain a .5ppm reading.

Are you using Prime to condition your water?
Your shrimp dont get blown across the tank? And no, I do not use prime because I use 100% RO/DI water. Same water I use for all my planted tanks, reef tanks, and shrimp tanks.
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Old 10-07-2012, 01:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Your shrimp dont get blown across the tank? And no, I do not use prime because I use 100% RO/DI water. Same water I use for all my planted tanks, reef tanks, and shrimp tanks.
No not at all. They are just fine in there unless they swim up into the outflow.

Have you specifically tested the RO/DI water itself?
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Old 10-07-2012, 01:25 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluek24a4 View Post
No not at all. They are just fine in there unless they swim up into the outflow.

Have you specifically tested the RO/DI water itself?
Yes, all nitrogenous toxins are zero or undetectable
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Old 10-07-2012, 01:28 AM   #14
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So then it has to be something in the tank itself. How are the shrimp doing btw?
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Old 10-07-2012, 01:28 AM   #15
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I have 4 aquaclear 50's on my 55g planted tank, should I pull one of those off that tank and add to my shrimp tank just too see if that does anything? I should see results within a day if the problem was too little biological filtration right?
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