Ammonia level won't drop - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-18-2016, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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Ammonia level won't drop

The other night I tested my ammonia level and it was at a 4.0ppm so I did a huge water change probably about 80% due to the fact the water was cloudy. It had been this way for about 2 weeks. So now my water is perfectly clear no cloudiness, but my ammonia is at 2.0ppm. My plants in there seem to be doing great. My question is why won't it lower?

5gallon tank

Ph 6.8/7.0
Ammonia 2.0
Kh 40
Gh ... Between 25/75
I need to buy a new test kit for NO2/3 because I was getting inconclusive results from the strips I was using.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-18-2016, 07:16 PM
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What substrate are you using? Are you treating the water with a dechlorinator?

Just a noob


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-18-2016, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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I added fluval stratum and I have been using dechlorinator. I wanted to setup a shrimp tank for my apartment.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-20-2016, 06:01 AM
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How long has your tank been set up? It could be cycling still.
Have you made any big changes in the tank that would have affected colonized bacteria?
Moving stuff, removing stuff, overcleaning etc


----
heres what I just got done doing... I had a huge ammonia spike that ended up killing almost all of my fish (only my betta and 1 cory survived)... and my tank kind of needed to cycle again.
The ammonia was reading probably 8.0 ppm, something crazy like that. (another story)

Anyway, here's what I did (and am doing now):
  • immediately 50% water change and added AmmoLock to the tank (can also use Prime--basically these will neutralize the Ammonia)
  • for the next few days (5) I did 25% water changes and continued to go heavy on the Prime (the bottle says you can use 5x the dose for emergencies, so I ended up adding it to my tank after each change or heavy with the new water)
  • After about a week (and currently), the ammonia levels were definitely getting lower, about 4ppm, and I saw less fish stress.
  • I changed to every 2 days a 25% water change continuing to go heavy with the Prime or AmmoLock.
I think I showed 2-4ppm today so it's on the downward trajectory. The main thing about doing the water changes in the staged way 50% then 25% is that I'm trying to be sure the bacteria are colonizing properly. I'm afraid doing a huge water change 50%+ on an every day basis would just ruin the cycle.

Last edited by NotASpammer; 09-20-2016 at 06:39 AM. Reason: answering op question
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-20-2016, 10:00 AM
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What temperature is your water? Is it aerated/do you have good flow? Are the pH, KH and GH readings from your tank or from your tap?
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-20-2016, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotASpammer View Post
How long has your tank been set up? It could be cycling still.
Have you made any big changes in the tank that would have affected colonized bacteria?
Moving stuff, removing stuff, overcleaning etc


----
heres what I just got done doing... I had a huge ammonia spike that ended up killing almost all of my fish (only my betta and 1 cory survived)... and my tank kind of needed to cycle again.
The ammonia was reading probably 8.0 ppm, something crazy like that. (another story)

Anyway, here's what I did (and am doing now):
  • immediately 50% water change and added AmmoLock to the tank (can also use Prime--basically these will neutralize the Ammonia)
  • for the next few days (5) I did 25% water changes and continued to go heavy on the Prime (the bottle says you can use 5x the dose for emergencies, so I ended up adding it to my tank after each change or heavy with the new water)
  • After about a week (and currently), the ammonia levels were definitely getting lower, about 4ppm, and I saw less fish stress.
  • I changed to every 2 days a 25% water change continuing to go heavy with the Prime or AmmoLock.
I think I showed 2-4ppm today so it's on the downward trajectory. The main thing about doing the water changes in the staged way 50% then 25% is that I'm trying to be sure the bacteria are colonizing properly. I'm afraid doing a huge water change 50%+ on an every day basis would just ruin the cycle.
I would be suspicious of any test result's that revealed 2 to 4 ppm ammonia and fishes that were not belly up.
Would be more worried bout fishes than cycling process and might withhold adding fishes till the tank was cycled to begin with.?
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-22-2016, 03:11 AM Thread Starter
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The tank has been up and running for just over a month now. I just did about her ammonia test and its still at a 2.0. All my readings at from my tank and the temp is at 80f The most I've done to it is just adding a few plants here and there. The only thing I can think of is either the seachems flourish might be doing it or some of the dying leaves from the plants are breaking down from the new growth. But it's only a few plant leaves. I guess ill start doing daily water changes or every other day

And today I've noticed a snail or 2 on the glass. I've had my plants in there well over a month. Could they just now be starting the sprout up?
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-27-2016, 04:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadmaster View Post
I would be suspicious of any test result's that revealed 2 to 4 ppm ammonia and fishes that were not belly up.
Would be more worried bout fishes than cycling process and might withhold adding fishes till the tank was cycled to begin with.?
well all the fish died except 3... I thought the tank was cycled 1 month in but wasn't doing anymore tests to see
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-27-2016, 10:18 AM
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i use a powerhead on an undergravel filter. massive biological filtration. haven't had to deal with any filter problems for going on two years now.

To reiterate, I think you need more biological filtration.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-27-2016, 11:57 AM
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While it would be wise to stop using test strips, where are your nitrite and nitrate test results? There is no way to know if your tank has cycled or is cycling without those tests.
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