Still have ammonia reading - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-29-2014, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
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Still have ammonia reading

Why do i still have a slight ammonia readings in my 75 gal planted tank. I use the API master test kit and i almost always have .25 ammonia. I do water changes with 2/3 RO and 1/3 tap and treat with prime. Cascade 1000 and a clean it out every week with water changes of approx 40% and rinse out the sponges with tank water. All fish seem fine but i think it's why my plants are stalling and not growing as much. Any help would be great, thanks.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-30-2014, 12:58 AM
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I think Ammonia is suppose to be helpful to plants since they can pull nitrogen from its composition.

How old is your tank? What are your water parameters? How strong is the light and are you injecting C02?


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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-30-2014, 02:42 AM
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Test the tap water. You most likely have chloriminated tap which means .25-.5 ppm of NH3 will be present.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-30-2014, 02:57 AM
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I also see traces of ammonia.
API tests, Prime dechlor.

Plants are growing like crazy, trace of ammonia is not a problem for the plants, if it is really there.

I think it is locked up by the Prime (My tap water tests 1 ppm chloramine, so 1 ppm ammonia) and the test kit just shows it that way.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-30-2014, 07:22 AM
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Could also be that you disturb your filter too much my rinsing it every week. Some of the filter bacteria is removed each time you rinse, especially if you treat the biomedia carelessly..

Humans may rule the world...but bacteria run it..
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-30-2014, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by PortalMasteryRy View Post
I think Ammonia is suppose to be helpful to plants since they can pull nitrogen from its composition.

How old is your tank? What are your water parameters? How strong is the light and are you injecting C02?
My tank is probably about 4 months old. 6.8 ph(co2) .25amonia/ 0 nitrite/ 10pp nitrate/ gh 5/ kh 6. I use the Build My Led light which is super powerful. I inject Co2 (Milwaukee Regulator/ 10lb.) Everything seems to do fine once it gets acclimated but when i first put in plants they just melt. I guess it is what it is.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-30-2014, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
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Could also be that you disturb your filter too much my rinsing it every week. Some of the filter bacteria is removed each time you rinse, especially if you treat the biomedia carelessly..
I'm fairly new to the hobby but i've jumped in pretty quick and deep. How often should i clean up the canister filter. What i do is i'll just take the stages out to get to the bottom and rinse that out. Then depending on how dirty they are i'll replace only one stages floss and maybe rinse one in some old tank water. What do you mean by mistreating the biomedia?
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-30-2014, 11:58 PM
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Every surface in the tank is part of the biological filter including the inside of the canister. Removing the bio-media may allow it to dry out some. It should never dry out.
I know two people who have Aquaclear filters and one is about 2 years old and the other is about well more than 4 years and neither have ever had the filter washed
out on the inside or the bio-media removed. One of them rinses the sponge every other week and the other rinses the sponge every month(an established tank usually has less
particals suspended in the water and the sponge doesn't get dirty as much).
People usually say to rinse the bio-media once or twice a year though.
The media in my 2.5 year old tank has never had the bio-media out of it and the one established in 11/10 has only had the bio-media out once. It went directly into a bowl of tank water for a while till I did a sub change in there. Water looked like weak chocolate milk for 12-14 hrs.
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You should not clean the inside of the glass at the same time you do a filter cleaning.
I would just take out the sponges and rinse them once every two weeks unless they are obviously clogged which they could be in a tank that new.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-31-2014, 01:34 AM
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+1 for everything Raymond said.

I don't know why you clean your filter every week... this does more harm than good. I clean my filters like every 3 months (which is literally just rinsing the media for 2 seconds and squeezing the sponges out in tank water) and my tank is always at 0 ammonia / 0 nitrites. Some people do more but whatever it works for me. In short do not tamper with your filter media. If you have to rinse them make sure you do it in water from your tank (not tap water or RO as it can kill the bacteria) and you do NOT let them dry out. Your tank will go through cycles again and that = bad.

As for the issue with your plants dying it is probably not due to your ammonia / filter but rather CO2 / fert imbalances with your BML light.

Are you dosing / what and how much? Do you have CO2?


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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-31-2014, 05:37 AM Thread Starter
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+1 for everything Raymond said.


As for the issue with your plants dying it is probably not due to your ammonia / filter but rather CO2 / fert imbalances with your BML light.

Are you dosing / what and how much? Do you have CO2?
I'm dosing using the EI method i believe with the ferts from the Pro fert package from Green Leaf Aquarium. I do run CO2 through my inline Atomizer.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-06-2014, 01:11 PM
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You can clean your filter, glass, and every surface of the tank every two days if you like doing 100% water changes, and not do one bit of harm to any biofilter

Agreed, don't let them dry out.

Rinsing mulm deposits out of bio filters removes mulm and leaves plenty of bacteria as long as you don't treat the filters with an antibiotic action, rinsing is not. Leave planted substrates alone, but if you have filters so junked up that servicing them causes spikes of ammonia thats not good.

Sure you can leave a filter to accumulate waste for years and a planted tank will tolerate it. However, if you clean them regularly they still run fine and aren't a source of huge risk on power outages. Dirty filters are massive anoxic risk buckets when problems arise. Long as your hardware runs well they can be messy and no problem.

My old planted tanks are highly serviced everywhere except for the substrate, relying on the fact keepers don't control bacteria like we think we do.

In summary, cleaning every single part of an active filter to remove mulm doesn't harm the biofilter it enhances it by opening up formerly blocked channels for water.

Regarding the .25 ammonia
Google this: API always shows .25

small old reef tank:

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