RELIEF! Still having ammonia problems after laying MTS - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 06:36 AM Thread Starter
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Red face RELIEF! Still having ammonia problems after laying MTS

My ammonia has been out of control since putting in the MTS. I have to do 2 daily water changes just to keep it at .25. I know there is nothing else that could be causing this. Everything else is exactly as it was before adding it and my tank was fully cycled. I do not overfeed my fish. I have 2 female bettas, 3 cories and an apple snail in a 12 gallon planted tank running a 150GPH Biowheel filter.

Oh, I also added DIY CO2 to try and keep the pH down. And for the plants of course.

So my question is, if I made the MTS layer too thick could that be what's causing this? I think it's about 2" thick with a 1" layer of the original gravel on top. I'm ready to stick the siphon down there and see if I can suck out some of the MTS.

Last edited by ucantimagine; 01-30-2012 at 04:46 PM.
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 07:16 AM
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I'm not sure about this (wait for someone else more knowledgeable in this field), but doesn't pH levels affect how well bacteria grows/survives?


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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 07:19 AM Thread Starter
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Yes it does if it goes very low. My tap is 7.6-7.8. The CO2 brings it down to 7.0-7.2.
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 12:04 PM
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its happening because the soil wasnt completely mineralized before it was added to your tank

soil leeches ammonia as it breaks down

itll probably take about 3 weeks before the process is completed and your filter bacteria grow enough to eliminate the ammonia spike...

just keep testing your water and keeping your levels low so your fauna survive the process


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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 12:18 PM Thread Starter
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Well that sucks. This MTS was supposed to have gone through 3 dry-outs or whatever you call it and ready to use. I'm picking up some zeolite this weekend. I've gone through 4 bottles of water conditioner from all the water changes. lol
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 01:40 PM
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did you mineralize it yourself? or did you buy it "mineralized"?
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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I bought it from someone here on the forum.
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 01:47 PM
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if you dont mind me asking what did you pay for it?

I ask because i am mineralizing mine as we speak, and it is quite the PITA. I could NOt imagine doing this to sell to others. I mean i couldnt see it being worth the trouble. It takes SOOOOOO long, you need alot of space and it requires sooooo much attention.
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 01:51 PM
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There are 3 ways to deal with the issue:

>Flush it out with massive water changes a la ADA recommendations
>>Go "Chemical Ali" on the tank
>>> Organically, use an established filter and over load the tank with rapid growth plants like Hornwort, Duckweed, Water Lettuce

All will work. I used the organic approach in my Toxic Ten tank...if any tank should have been an ammonia nightmare it's that one. Yet, it wasn't.
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
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20 bucks including shipping for 2 gallon size zip loc bags about 2/3 full, and a small baggie of red clay, dolomite and ash or whatever it is...smelled like ash. It seemed like good stuff but I've never used or seen it before. Dark, clean, rich, no smell. It was very solid and just slightly moist.
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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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lol @ chemical ali. Well, I'll be using Prime to detox the ammonia and nitrites, and zeolite to absorb it and yea, I'm pulling some out with every water change. It's a 12 gallon tank, probably has 10 gallons with displacement. I'm changing 3-4 gallons once or twice every day and IF I manage to get the ammonia to 0, it's at .25 in a matter of hours and .50 by morning. This has been going on for 2 weeks!
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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 03:42 PM
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I'm pretty sure I know the source and he's a pretty good guy. I don't think he would misrepresent his stuff. The price is fair considering how much shipping is these days.

I sell my extra MTS to site local forum members for $20 a 5 gal pail, ready to use.

The only other thing you could do is up your planting and add floating plants. I mean like a stupid huge amt of floaters. I put in 2" thick layer of Hornwort that almost doubled it self in a few weeks.
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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ucantimagine View Post
20 bucks including shipping for 2 gallon size zip loc bags about 2/3 full, and a small baggie of red clay, dolomite and ash or whatever it is...smelled like ash. It seemed like good stuff but I've never used or seen it before. Dark, clean, rich, no smell. It was very solid and just slightly moist.

First off, do you have another tank that you could put the fish into until you get this cleared up? Are your fish showing signs of distress?

I really dont know why you would be getting so much ammo, Im assuming that you arent feeding too much, or dumping anything else into the tank. Are you sure your test kit is accurate? Also did you add anything else like osmocote or anything else in with the MTS?
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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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I have no reason to believe there is anything wrong with the product. I just was not prepared for the consequences! I don't have another tank right now. I just got a new test kit and both are measuring the same levels. There is nothing else in the tank. Just MTS with plain chain store type gravel on top. The same gravel I used before adding the MTS with no problems.

And yes, my fish are stressed. One of my female bettas is starting to get ragged fins.
I can't spend a bunch more money on plants to try and correct a problem that has already cost too much.

I'm going to chuck this whole dirt tank thing, it ain't for me. I'll get some eco complete which is what I was going to do in the first place. sighhhh Root tabs are WHOLE LOT easier than this.
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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 11:22 PM
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I have to wonder if the Chain store gravel Cap is source of the problem???

Most people use some type of sand Pool filter sand, Constucton sand, Black Diamond blasting grit. Maybe the sand works because holds/slowdown the release of any ammonia to a rate that can be better handled by the filtration process.
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