High ammonia problem - The Planted Tank Forum
 16Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-18-2018, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
Newbie
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Northwest Arkansas, USA
Posts: 3
Unhappy High ammonia problem

I have a 90 gallon fresh water tank, moderately planted and moderately stocked with fish. Eheim canister filter, full back wall air bubbler and now a standard DIY CO2 generator setup. It's been up about 2 months. Everything was fine until we had a meltdown that we believe was caused by a faulty CO2 generator. Caused milky water and released some black, oily residue into the water. Lost some cardinal tetras but nothing else. After major cleaning we got the water cleared up beautifully. We've probably done enough water changes over the last week or so to completely change the water at least twice, so any additives we used to help save the fish should be gone. We have added Start Up to help reestablish the bacteria in the tank. Our problem is a terribly high ammonia level every time we test. Using the API master test kit and getting 4ppm results. NONE of our fish, snails or shrimp are showing signs of distress however so I'm stumped on what's causing the high ammonia and how to fix it. Nitrite and nitrate levels are back to 0.

Thanks for any ideas.

Kauri
Kauri is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-18-2018, 04:43 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Apple Valley, CA
Posts: 1,738
Something happened to wipe out all of your bacteria. Did you clean the filter as well? Do you have another healthy, established tank you could steal some bacteria from?

FWIW I read on multiple forums that Tetra Safe Start yields great results and uses aquatic species of nitrifying bacteria so itís stable. Iíve never personally used it so YMMV but if youíre desperate, itís definitely worth a shot.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
varanidguy is offline  
post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-18-2018, 05:00 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Discusluv's Avatar
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Elk Grove, California
Posts: 4,872
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kauri View Post
I have a 90 gallon fresh water tank, moderately planted and moderately stocked with fish. Eheim canister filter, full back wall air bubbler and now a standard DIY CO2 generator setup. It's been up about 2 months. Everything was fine until we had a meltdown that we believe was caused by a faulty CO2 generator. Caused milky water and released some black, oily residue into the water. Lost some cardinal tetras but nothing else. After major cleaning we got the water cleared up beautifully. We've probably done enough water changes over the last week or so to completely change the water at least twice, so any additives we used to help save the fish should be gone. We have added Start Up to help reestablish the bacteria in the tank. Our problem is a terribly high ammonia level every time we test. Using the API master test kit and getting 4ppm results. NONE of our fish, snails or shrimp are showing signs of distress however so I'm stumped on what's causing the high ammonia and how to fix it. Nitrite and nitrate levels are back to 0.

Thanks for any ideas.

Kauri

How have you been doing the water changes? Daily, every few days, once a week?


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Amy
Discusluv is online now  
 
post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-18-2018, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
Newbie
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Northwest Arkansas, USA
Posts: 3
We did water changes 2 times daily the first couple of days because the water was so bad. Then once a day for a few days until it stopped clouding up again. We cleaned the filter canister, replaced all of the filters and one media and half of the other. The half we left in was rinsed well. I assume the Start Up is basically the same thing as Tetra Safe Start so we should have given the tank a good dosing of good bacteria to get it going again.

What puzzles me the most is I figure the 4ppm ammonia would be bothering the fish since it's been like this for about a week now.

Kauri
Kauri is offline  
post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-18-2018, 07:45 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Apple Valley, CA
Posts: 1,738
It sounds like you may have restarted your cycle by replacing and cleaning so much media. Very little bacteria lives in the water column so large changes shouldnít hurt much, so long as youíre properly treating the water with dechlorinator.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Discusluv likes this.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
varanidguy is offline  
post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-18-2018, 09:08 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Discusluv's Avatar
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Elk Grove, California
Posts: 4,872
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kauri View Post
We did water changes 2 times daily the first couple of days because the water was so bad. Then once a day for a few days until it stopped clouding up again. We cleaned the filter canister, replaced all of the filters and one media and half of the other. The half we left in was rinsed well. I assume the Start Up is basically the same thing as Tetra Safe Start so we should have given the tank a good dosing of good bacteria to get it going again.

What puzzles me the most is I figure the 4ppm ammonia would be bothering the fish since it's been like this for about a week now.

Kauri
How long has this tank been set up? If under 3 months it is still a newly established cycle and can easily be side-tracked. I doubt the cycle is lost, but you are going through mini-cycle.

You should be doing as many water changes in a day to get your ammonia to 0. This may mean back to back water changes everyday. That is how you get rid of ammonia in the aquarium. Use Prime to get you through each day.



What is your Ph.? The higher the Ph the greater the toxicity to fish. That is why saltwater fish and African cichlids cannot take much ammonia in system.

Yours low? Because an ammonia reading of 4 is lethal to most fish. So, your test is either inaccurate or your Ph is extremely low. But, keep in mind, ammonia toxicity can accumulate over time- there may not be visible effects to you, but any ammonia (which @ 4 ppm- your fish are still getting exposed to in excessive amounts regardless of ph) will lead to stress which lowers the immunity of fish.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Amy
Discusluv is online now  
post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-18-2018, 09:51 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 1,740
Also, make sure the test tube is not contaminated. I've read ammonia and it sent me into a tail spin until I cleaned the tube and retested.
DiscusStu likes this.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
ChrisX is offline  
post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-19-2018, 12:00 AM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 94
The Hach ammonia test (also salicylate method) mentions that the test is very sensitive to contamination and that the reagents can clean the tubes, giving accurate results the 2nd time.

The salicylate method is also subject to interference from a variety of amines. We see this most often with Ammo Lock which is an amine-based ammonia binder.
DiscusStu is offline  
post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-19-2018, 12:06 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Apple Valley, CA
Posts: 1,738
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisX View Post
Also, make sure the test tube is not contaminated. I've read ammonia and it sent me into a tail spin until I cleaned the tube and retested.


How did you clean? Soap and water or did you do something special?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
varanidguy is offline  
post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-19-2018, 12:53 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Maryland Guppy's Avatar
 
PTrader: (15/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Arnold
Posts: 3,690
I have a 50 tube rack and have been guilty of leaving tubes sit for too long.
NO2 blue reading and NO3 red will stain and contaminate a test tube.

Use HCl 38% as used in etching concrete or brick wash will clean them up.
Never use sodium hydroxide it will etch glass.

Sulfuric 92% will work, I don't know if nitric acid will clean it.

Other household options may be citric acid or vinegar.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Growing is not that difficult.
Maryland Guppy is offline  
post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-19-2018, 01:14 AM
Planted Member
 
KleineVampir's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 252
My answer (and probably my answer to a lot of things) is that you should get more plants and blast them with high light for 14 hours a day. If you get enough plant growth, it should help with your ammonia regardless of what you're getting on tests.
KleineVampir is offline  
post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-19-2018, 10:33 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 1,740
Quote:
Originally Posted by varanidguy View Post
How did you clean? Soap and water or did you do something special?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Dish soap and water.
varanidguy likes this.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
ChrisX is offline  
post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-19-2018, 12:24 PM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
slipfinger's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Burlington, Ontario Canada
Posts: 423
Quote:
Originally Posted by KleineVampir View Post
My answer (and probably my answer to a lot of things) is that you should get more plants and blast them with high light for 14 hours a day. If you get enough plant growth, it should help with your ammonia regardless of what you're getting on tests.
This sounds like sure fire way to creating an algae farm, especially in a unbalanced tank.

The adding more plants part I agree with, but blasting high light for 14 hours a day........... Gotta question this part of that statement.
Greggz and MCFC like this.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Last edited by slipfinger; 11-19-2018 at 05:43 PM. Reason: edit
slipfinger is offline  
post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-19-2018, 01:12 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Greggz's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Novi, MI
Posts: 5,033
Quote:
Originally Posted by KleineVampir View Post
My answer (and probably my answer to a lot of things) is that you should get more plants and blast them with high light for 14 hours a day. If you get enough plant growth, it should help with your ammonia regardless of what you're getting on tests.
Agree with @slipfinger, sounds like a recipe for disaster to me.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
---
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
---
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Greggz is online now  
post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-19-2018, 03:40 PM
Algae Grower
 
iMacg3's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Indiana, USA
Posts: 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by KleineVampir View Post
My answer (and probably my answer to a lot of things) is that you should get more plants and blast them with high light for 14 hours a day. If you get enough plant growth, it should help with your ammonia regardless of what you're getting on tests.
This will cause high amounts of algae growth. Adding plants won't hurt but "blasting" them with 14 hours of high light in a tank with 4ppm ammonia is a bad idea.

Personally, I would bump up the water changes to several times a day, enough to bring down the ammonia to 0ppm after your water changes are over...sounds like your tank is going through a "mini cycle".
Discusluv likes this.

~ iMacg3

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
iMacg3 is offline  
Reply

Tags
ammonia

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Need help about fishless cycle Master503 Fertilizers and Water Parameters 5 08-20-2015 06:39 AM
g65 cycling caique Equipment 9 02-07-2014 01:22 AM
Help-Nitrates and I cant get rid of them gmoses General Planted Tank Discussion 5 02-15-2013 05:04 AM
Why do I still have ammonia after over 2 months of cycling? ThatGuyWithTheFish Fertilizers and Water Parameters 8 10-27-2012 07:16 PM
Here's a great how to lorax Riparium/Terrarium/Vivarium 3 06-09-2009 12:24 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome