High Ammonia Levels - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-16-2012, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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High Ammonia Levels

I started a 4.2 gallon (10" cube) planted tank nearly two months ago, possibly even longer. I am using ADA Amazonia Aquasoil. I have read that it leaches ammonia, but the ammonia levels in my tank are ridiculous! They have constantly been at the highest level on the API Ammonia test kit (which is dark green). My tank specs are below. I've read that Biozyme is a good bacteria starter product. Does anyone have any experience with this stuff? Is it worth it?

Volume = ~4.2 gallons
Substrate is 2 in. deep at max, < 1 in. deep at minimum (too much?)
13 watt, 6500K spiral cfl (~6 in. above water)
10 pygmy chain sword
1 amazon sword
1 rhizome (~10 leaves) of anubias petite
~ 10 crypt willisii
5 small crypt wendtii "green" (or brown, don't really know)

As you can see, it's pretty well planted.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-16-2012, 08:59 PM
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the bacteria does not reproduce very well with ammonia above 4-5 ppm
and does best below 1.0 ppm ammonia.. change some water and keep the ammonia to lower levels if you want the bacteria to start growing

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-16-2012, 08:59 PM
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Water changes, water changes and more water changes, buddy. Pour some mucky filter water in it. It'll help handle that ammonia.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-17-2012, 03:20 AM
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Bio zyme does not have the right species of nitrifying bacteria.
Read labels and find Nitrospira species. Here are a few with the right species:
Dr. Tim's One and Only
Tetra Safe Start
Microbe Lift's Nite Out II
perhaps others.

Do enough water changes to keep the ammonia under 3 ppm.
The bacteria do not grow well when it is over 5 ppm, and too much will end up as too high nitrite levels when the bacteria get going.

The soil will keep on producing ammonia for a month or longer.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-17-2012, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies guys! I can keep doing water changes, but I've read (somewhere on this forum) that doing too many water changes can cause the aquasoil to loose its buffering capacity and what not. Is this true or should I not even be worried about that?
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