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Old 08-28-2010, 06:55 AM   #1
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Ammonia in water

My 64 litre tank is cycled and has been going for about 8 months. During the past few weeks I have been detecting consistent levels of Ammonia in the tank between 0.1 and 0.25.

Apart from the obvious of increased water changes and checking filter operation which I have done what other action can I take to correct this situation?

I'm assuming it is because I am overstocked?
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Old 08-28-2010, 08:47 AM   #2
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I don't really see you as overstocked. What has your water change schedule been like? Is it possible that something died and has gone undiscovered?
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Old 08-28-2010, 08:58 AM   #3
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Generally 25% weekly. Something dead was one of the first things I thought of but all fish are accounted for.
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Old 08-28-2010, 09:13 AM   #4
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What species is "pigmy catfish"? Clean your filter media regularly? I'm kinda stumped too.
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Old 08-28-2010, 10:55 AM   #5
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Ammonia in the tap water! *gasp*

I lost a nearly a dozen tetras about a month ago and for the life of me I couldn't figure out why I continued to have ammonia in the tank after having removed the bodies and done several PWC's.

So I went to my local fish store. They were having the same problem, but for them it was about $500 in fish loss. The problem, there was ammonia in the tap water that had not been there before. The fish store was testing about .75 ppm right from the tap. I went home and sure enough .5ppm ammonia with no nitrites and minimal nitrates in the tap water.

I called up several of my friends around town who also keep fish, all the local tap water had picked up this ammonia. It's been a month, and the problem has not gotten any better. I've been pretreating my water with prime until the problem subsides.

Check your tap water, could be the issue.
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Old 08-28-2010, 11:14 AM   #6
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0.1 or so of ammonia can be a false positive as well.

Test your tap water - if it is positive right out the tap, you have ammonia in the tap water.

If not, test tap water with dechlor - if that is positive at 0.1 or 0.2, that is from the chloramines they add to the tap water as disinfectant. Chloramines breaks down to ammonia + chlorine with dechlor. The ammonia is bound, so is harmless, and should be gone from the tank within a day or so.

If the tap water is fine, then something is in the tank causing the ammonia. Perhaps there is a lot of MULM accumulated? Do a through gravel vac & see what you get out. Also check that your filter is not clogged & water is still flowing through the pads & there is no bypass.
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Old 08-28-2010, 12:36 PM   #7
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The tap water is fine. Both that and the water from the guppy tank test as zero.
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Old 08-28-2010, 04:06 PM   #8
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I generally squeeze out the filter pad in tank water
about once a month. It is unchanged since December but it's perfectly intact.

Haven't cleaned the sand for a while but I did that last night and we'll see if that makes any difference.
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Old 08-29-2010, 02:44 PM   #9
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Glad to hear it is not your tap water.
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Old 10-11-2010, 06:16 AM   #10
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Well I got that cleared up. But now, a couple of months down the line I'm seeing a new ammonia spike . I saw the fish were acting stressed so tested the water and gave a result of 2+!

Obviously I've immediately started daily 50% water changes and it's hovering around 0.2 at the moment. But that's only because I've been doing changes!

This started when we added a new balloon molly into the tank, I know new fish can cause a mini-cycle, but not to this degree!

I've ordered a new and bigger internal filter, in case my current filter is being overwhelmed, but of course the tank won't be able to use that filter on its own for a month or so yet.
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