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Old 09-12-2011, 12:06 PM   #1
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Exclamation Ammonia Levels...HELP

I test my ammonia levels every other day and they continue to be high. I do a partial water change and put in th e recommended amount of ammonia neutrilizer. I check my levels a couple of days after still high..so i repeat the process of doing a partial water change. My ph is a 7.0 and my nitrites & nitrates are normal. Doing a total water change is out of the question so I do not have a spare tank for my fish. Any advice on how to get my ammonia levels down would be helpful. FYI I used Terta safestart to start the cycle.
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Old 09-12-2011, 12:34 PM   #2
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You need to give more info for them to help.

Tank size? what fish?

You need to do water changes every day, or even twice a day to get the levels down. Most people also on the forums recommend not putting any chemicals in the tank except a good water de-chloro. If you already have the fish, they will create the ammonia for you and you'll have to do a fish-in cycle, which takes a long time and a lot of work.


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Old 09-12-2011, 12:36 PM   #3
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Welcome to the site .
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*steez beat me to it
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Old 09-12-2011, 02:31 PM   #4
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What are you using for dechlorinator? If you aren't using it, try Seachem Prime. It'll make the tap water safe for the fish and detoxify ammonia between water changes. Don't add any othe chemicals or ammonia removers or bacteria (as you can see they don't always work). HOw high is the ammonia now? You dont' need to do a total water change, but you can leave enough at the bottom for the fish to swim in and then refill. Nitrite and ntirate are normal now but during the cycling process they will rise; you'll be doing water changes for a while so read up on the guide that Eco and Steez linked, it'll help you. If you can return the fish and cycle the tank properly first I'd advise it.
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Old 09-12-2011, 02:34 PM   #5
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I have 20 gallon tank. I have 3 catfish, 1 black molly, 2 black fin tetras, 2 cardinal tetras, 2 blood fin tetras & 3 serpe tetras. Thirtee fish in all.
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Old 09-12-2011, 02:46 PM   #6
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That's WAY too many fish to add initially to a new, uncycled tank. To be honest, you're going to have one heck of a battle on your hands for quite some time. It's likely you're going to absolutely have to do large water changes every single day for probably a month and a half. My advice? Return at least most of the fish and do a reasonable fish-in cycle, or return all of them and do a fishless one. I don't mean to sound so doom and gloom...but there's serious trouble ahead for you and your fish if you keep all of them in there
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Old 09-12-2011, 02:56 PM   #7
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what ammonia neutrilizer are you using? some neutrilizers jsut make it harmless but it will still read on a test
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Old 09-12-2011, 05:40 PM   #8
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My fish are not dying, they are actually active. I believe I am using the Aquafin neutralizer. I have to look at the bottle to be sure.
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debart914
My fish are not dying, they are actually active. I believe I am using the Aquafin neutralizer. I have to look at the bottle to be sure.
How high is the ammonia climbing, and how long has the tank been set up? It will take some time for the ammonia to build up and start causing damage as the fish continue to make waste...but trust me, it will come...and it will hit hard with the # of fish you have in there.
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:30 PM   #10
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What did you do after adding the Tetra Safe Start. I've used it in 2 tanks and had no problems. However, the lady at my lfs gave me some advice for it that really helped. I used the advice for one tank and not the other and only on the tank that I followed her advice did it cycle. After adding the Safe Start, do not feed and leave the light off for 3 days. Basically just do nothing with it at all for 3 days. After that, test again and see it it worked.
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:18 PM   #11
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I have no problem with Tetra Safestart. I believe it is one of the few additives that actually contains the correct strains of beneficial bacteria.

That said...it is not designed (or capable) of pouring in a bottle, stocking the tank full to capacity with fish and calling it a day. There is much more that goes into it than that. Any tank which is set up whether it is using a cycling aid, seeded media, or just a straight forward fish-in cycle needs to be stocked lightly, slowly and responsibly. Anything else is a recipe for toxin spikes, tons of water changes and potentially dead fish.

I advise you to test the water daily with a quality liquid test kit, perform water changes as necessary to keep the ammonia and nitrIte levels as low as possible (preferably at or below .25), and use a quality water conditioner like Seachem Prime which also temporarily neutralizes ammo and no2.
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