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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have had a Fluval EBI that has been running since December 2010.

It has been totally fine until the last 3 weeks. After I add new water I am getting an ammonia spike.

When I do weekly maintenance I take out about 1.5 to 2 gallons tops. The substrate does not get disturbed at all.

I stick the syphon hose into the top part of the tank and remove the water.

When I fill the tank I use an RO filter and it takes it 2 hours to drip those 1.5 - 2 gallons back into the tank.

The last 30 min of filling all the shrimp go to the top of the tank telling me something is wrong. I check ammonia and with master test kit it is in the .5 to 1 zone.

When this first happened I added some Prime and put a big bag of BioChem Zorb in their filter. I lost 2 shrimp and in 3 days all the shrimp were back to normal. I took it as a fluke.

Then the next weekend it happened again. I lost 1 shrimp and again they were back to normal in a couple days.

So this weekend I thought I would be more advised. I tested the water out of the tap for ammonia it was 0. I tested the water in the tank before the change it was 0. I tested water out of my RO filter and it was 0.

I changed ONE gallon of water and before the tank was topped off the ammonia went to .5 - 1 again.

I added an air stone and it brought the shrimp down out of the water lettuce and they are acting normal.

I changed the water at 1 PM it is now 8 PM and the test says there is no ammonia.

I have never had this happen before. I have 9 other tanks I am changing water on and this isn't happening in them. I have another EBI (set up a few months after this one) and it isn't having this problem.

What could be causing this?

The tank is planted heavy with mini water lettuce, narrow leaf java fern and fissidens.

Your thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Same container for all WC? Maybe it's contaminated? That's really wierd...and you're dripping it in too...

Same hose for all water changes in all tanks, but in this tank I am just taking water out with the hose not putting it in.

Same RO unit for both EBI tanks.

Does anyone think it could be the stratum substrate? I mean it seems strange but that is the only thing I can think of.
 

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Maybe...I hope not tho....cause I'm using stratum for one of my tanks...You'd think if anything the soil would be dead by now if it has been up since Dec 2010....

Empty the tank...if if there's any dead animals in there...unless you can see every square inch of your tank...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Maybe...I hope not tho....cause I'm using stratum for one of my tanks...You'd think if anything the soil would be dead by now if it has been up since Dec 2010....

Empty the tank...if if there's anything dead in there...

If there was something dead in there wouldn't the ammonia be high all the time? I have really been sifting through the plants looking for dead shrimp in case there is like a pile of bodies I couldn't see. But I am finding nothing.

I hope its not the substrate because I don't look forward to this happening to "team black" like it's happening to "team red".
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You might just have to add Prime from now until you figure out the culprit.

I always add Prime or Amquel to all my tanks after adding water.

But I would like to find out what is really wrong. I have never had ammonia happen after a small water change.

If it happens again I will tear down the tank and replace the substrate with some moon sand or something and keep the stratum from the tank to experiment on in an empty tank.
 

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1) Please use paragraphs. I can't even explain how hard it was to read this whole thing. I'm sure I missed something.

2) Obviously something is wrong with the source water, or you're causing huge disturbances. Since your flow rate is so slow, i doubt that. BTW, in 15 years I've never done a water change that slow. I fill ALL of my tanks with cold tap water, as fast as it will flow into my tanks. When I used RO, I used a mag drive pump to fill tanks.

3) What substrate do you have? Sifting through the plants is prob disturbing substrate and gunk more than anything else. This will result in higher ammonia levels.

4) Something is wrong with your tests kit or methodology. No way does a tank that size consume .5-1 ppm of ammonia in 8 hours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
1) Please use paragraphs. I can't even explain how hard it was to read this whole thing. I'm sure I missed something.
Sorry, I am enter key happy this evening.


2) Obviously something is wrong with the source water, or you're causing huge disturbances. Since your flow rate is so slow, i doubt that. BTW, in 15 years I've never done a water change that slow. I fill ALL of my tanks with cold tap water, as fast as it will flow into my tanks. When I used RO, I used a mag drive pump to fill tanks.
I changed the water on 10 tanks today and this is the only one doing this.
I caused no disturbance to the substrate. I don't have a container to run my RO water into so I just run it from the filter to both EBI tanks and it takes a couple hours per tank.



3) What substrate do you have? Sifting through the plants is prob disturbing substrate and gunk more than anything else. This will result in higher ammonia levels.
The substrate is the Fluval stratum they ship with the EBI tanks. The plants are mostly water lettuce that I lifted out or pushed to the side so I could see the floor of the tank. I did not move anything that would disturb the substrate.


4) Something is wrong with your tests kit or methodology. No way does a tank that size consume .5-1 ppm of ammonia in 8 hours.
It is a fairly new ammonia kit but I will get another tomorrow. I tested all my tanks today since I was on a testing rampage and none of them registered any ammonia except the one EBI.
 

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Fluval substrate will release some ammonia. But that should be constant. Did you do anything to your filters?

It might seem odd, but there is always another chance that it is completely coincidental. What kind of shrimp are these? How long has tank been set up?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Fluval substrate will release some ammonia. But that should be constant. Did you do anything to your filters?
The first time it happened I put a bag of BioChem Zorb in their filter (after the ammonia not before). Other than that nothing.

It might seem odd, but there is always another chance that it is completely coincidental. What kind of shrimp are these? How long has tank been set up?
Red crystals, the tank has been up since Dec 2010.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
OK so this weekend I did not take any water out of the crystal shrimp tanks.
I bought RO water and used it to top them off, each took half a gallon. The tank that has been having problems didn't show any ammonia after adding the store bought water. Could it be something in my RO unit? (even though I only had a problem with one of my RO tanks showing ammonia after weekly maintenance).
 

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Prime affects API ammonia test kits giving false readings this always happens no big deal. You have to use something like Seachem's ammonia test kit. I can remember reading something about it on some l websites it has something to do with the way the kits actually test for ammonia(remember prime converts ammonia to ammonium). Seachem's site had something on it about testing kits results and false readings as a result of using prime with other name brand kits. I'm sure if you shoot them a email about it they could explain in great detail as to why. IMHO I think you looked at the test results and freaked out I was doing to same until I goggled prime and false ammonia readings it's been a longtime but if you can't find any info on it I'll look it up when I get some much need rest. Good fishing! ;)
 
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