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Old 09-30-2008, 06:29 AM   #1
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Ammonia Blocking Products

Hi guys,

I'm struggling somewhat with relatively high Ammonia readings (1.0 – 2.0 ppm) at the moment and am doing a PWC of about 40% every couple of days to try and get it down. I don't really want to change the water any more frequently than this as I don't want to stress the fish (4 Dwarf Gourami and 2 Upside Down Catfish) although obviously I'll do it as frequently as necessary if there's no alternative.

It's possible that I'm overfeeding as I used to feed the fish on flaked food 3 times a day and so have now cut this down to a single daily feed. There's usually quite a bit of fish poo to be hovered up as well but I always do this carefully during the PWC – hopefully the decreased feeding will help to reduce this and have some affect on the Ammonia levels.

The tank is only 3 and a half weeks old at the moment so I'm expecting things to settle down a bit in another 2 or 3 weeks time when the filter is properly cycled. In the meantime however, I know that I could possibly up the amount of water changed each time or increase the frequency of my PWCs. BUT - I've read about adding something to the water that can turn Ammonia into a non-toxic form (Ammonium?) which won't harm the health of my fish but will allow the tank to continue cycling. Has anybody here used anything like this before? It seems too good to be true so I'm assuming there must be a drawback – any advice or ideas?

Many thanks for any help,
Dan
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Old 09-30-2008, 10:12 AM   #2
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Yep the product you're looking for is Prime.

You can dose as much as necessary to lock up the ammonia. Your test kit will still test that ammonia is present. Do you water changes just to keep ammonia at a readable level. You can also use this product to keep nitrItes down when they start to spike.

Prime is a dechlorinator so add it to any water you add to your tank during pwc's and top-off's. And continue to use it as such after the tank is cycled.
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Old 09-30-2008, 10:45 AM   #3
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I would up the size or frequency of your water changes high enough to keep both the Ammonia and Nitrite levels under 0.5ppm. As long as you are matching temperatures and it hasn't been overly long since your last water change, you can do very large water changes safely.
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Old 09-30-2008, 11:12 AM   #4
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You can easily do 50% PWC daily and it shouldn't be overly stressful to your fish. When you do your changes, attempt to siphon out every last bit of fish poop that you can--the poop is one of the larger contributors to your ammmonia.

Presuming your fish are healthy, you can actually cut down feedings to every other day until your tank is fully cycled. It will mean less fish waste, and thus less ammonia.

As Alaris said, Prime will lock up ammonia (0.8 ppm at the recommended dose). You might want to dose double or even triple to lock up everything. Just watch your fish and make sure there are no signs of stress; if there are, then cut down the dose. IIRC, Seachem officially certifies that Prime is safe at up to 5x the recommended dose, but it's always good to pay close attention at the beginning just to make sure your fish aren't more sensitive than average.
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Old 09-30-2008, 11:43 AM   #5
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Thanks for your comments guys; it looks like I'm going to be doing 50% PWCs every day for the rest of the week and cutting back to feeding every other day until the tank is fully cycled then...

I live in the UK and I haven't seen Prime anywhere over here although I have looked for it as I've heard it mentioned a lot. I use a water treatment called Nutrafin Aqua Plus whenever I add new water to the tank. This deals with chlorine, chloramine and heavy metals but I don't think it does anything with the Ammonia. I'll continue to keep an eye out for Prime.
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Old 09-30-2008, 01:04 PM   #6
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There are other producs that do similar things if you can't find Prime- I use AmQuel+. I think if you hopped to the fish store and looked for a product that is labeled as 'removing ammonia, nitrite, nitrates' or something like that you could find something that would work.

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