Ammonia - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-06-2008, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
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Ammonia

Hey, Its been about 2 1/2 - 3 weeks since I've added ADA Amazonia II into my tank. I've been doing frequent 25-30% WC and the ammonia still stays at 4.0.
Is there anyway I can help decrease the ammonia at a faster rate? I added bio spira 2 weeks ago and used my old filter and sponge over the intake and still didnt help. I thought the bacteria would help boost the cycle time. Should I do water changes every week? or twice a week? How big of a water change also?
Any suggestions? Thanks!
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-06-2008, 10:06 PM
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You could put in a bunch of fast growing plants to suck up the ammonia

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-06-2008, 10:13 PM
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Why are you doing WC?

I agree, lots of plants and stop the WC, that will just prolong the cycle. Let the peaks happen and fall off on their own. The N-bacteria need to find their own equilibrium.





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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-06-2008, 10:27 PM Thread Starter
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I see, I thought doing WC will help remove ammonia. Ill just leave it alone. I have no fast growing plants as of now and I don't plan to purchase any because once the tank is cycled I wont be able to put those plants anywhere and dont want to go through the hassle to selling them. Geez, I always thought doing WC will help remove ammonia. So don't do any WC at all?
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-06-2008, 10:47 PM
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Doing WC will remove the ammonia- but you WANT the ammonia present when cycling the tank, b/c this is what triggers the growth of the N-bacteria that feed on it.

The only time you should remove the ammonia in a cycling tank is if there are livestock in the tank you're trying to keep alive through the cycle (which is a worst-case scenario; if it can be avoided, it should)





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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-10-2008, 08:00 AM
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I am so glad I saw this thread. Thanks..I am in the same exact place as you Phanizzle, and have been doing about the same, per other's recommendations.Only I have Amazonia, not type II. I have always had the same school of thought as you Lauralee, I think I would rather let it run it's course.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-10-2008, 12:51 PM
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As long as you keep the pH acidic, injecting CO2 will do this, the ammonia will actually be ammonium ions which are much less toxic to aquatic critters. So to 'cycle' the planted tank keep the CO2 flowing and let the plants and microbes take care of the ammonium.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-10-2008, 01:04 PM
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Well ..wc's will be needed at some point. The water is very amber colored.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-10-2008, 04:58 PM
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I thought doing water changes every other day when using Aqua Soil was the norm? You do want to establish beneficial bacteria, but you also don't want ammonia levels to be so high that it inhibits their growth.

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/su...-aquasoil.html

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-10-2008, 06:30 PM
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I guess it depends on how much ammonia is being released. I have recently read through some threads where so much ammonia was being released by the decomposing organics in the AS that the tank started stinking I would definitely do some PWCs then... Yellow water would probably also make me want to do a PWC, since that's got to be coming from quite a bit of tannins and the pH may be bottoming out (which would be counter-productive to establishing the N-bacteria colony).

4.0 ammonia peaks IME is pretty normal in a newly cycling tank even without using AS, though.

In general I try to avoid PWCs during cycling, but there are always situations where things start getting a little extreme...





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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-10-2008, 07:02 PM
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Exclamation

Water changes in and of themselves will not rob the tank of valuable nitrifying bacteria since these bacteria will colonize mostly on the substrate, filter material and even plants. If you set up a new tank and do partial water changes, even every 3 days, and don't touch the filter your tank will still cycle the same. I know this for a fact as I have monkeyed around with this. Also keep in mind that ammonia toxicity is a function of temperature and ph. Ammonia comes in two forms NH3(ammonia) and NH4+(Ammonium). Ammonia is toxic and ammonium isn't and is readily absorbed by plants. As per Data Guru's findings, ammonia is more likely to take the toxic NH3 form at higher PHs and temperatures, which is interesting considering ADA AS combined with c02 injection is likely to lower PH levels in light of ammonia leeching from the substrate.

Data Guru's findings on ammonia toxicity as a function of temperature and ph is quite interesting and based on first hand testing and observation(s).
http://www.dataguru.org/misc/aquarium/AmmoniaTox.html


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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-10-2008, 07:34 PM
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I haven't tested it, but it makes sense to me that in a heavily planted tank doing PWC to remove the ammonia may not affect the cycle to the same degree that it would in a nonplanted tank. Especially when you have such a heavy source of ammonia as AS? Most other substrates don't have such a heavy organic content...

I can say from experience that doing PWC on fish-only tanks can dramatically increase cycling time, however. The issue is that you remove the food source for the N-bacteria, and in a fish-only tank there is little else to rely on to feed and keep the bacteria reproducing.





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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-10-2008, 08:02 PM
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Keep in mind, that many test kits will pick up a false positive reading if you add declorinators before doing a test. In other words, the ammonia/Nitrite will be neutralized so not to harm fish but still your tank will cycle.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-10-2008, 09:16 PM
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It doesn't sound like phanizzle is 'cycling' his tank in the sense of setting up a new aquarium; he's just swapping out the substrate. If so, I'd just follow the instructions on the AS bag, which state to do water changes. I'd keep it up.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-10-2008, 09:36 PM
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50% water change every week is a safe method to make all things back in equilibrium. If you want to remove excessive level of ammonia, simply put a bunch of fast growing stem plants (cheaper one) into your tank and remove them when it reach to normal (acceptable level), then you could get what plants you prefer to have.

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