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Old 12-25-2003, 08:09 AM   #1
KLN
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How much ammonia "spike" is tolerable?

When adding a fish to the tank, how much can ammonia increase before it is a concern to other fish, a starfish, shrimp, snails and various live rock critters?
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Old 12-25-2003, 08:50 AM   #2
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It honestly depends on the fish. Some species can tolorate 10 X the ammonia that other species can tolorate. If your tank is established an ammonia increase of .01 is intolorable. If we are talking a brand new tank then use an alternate cycling method so you dont have to put fish thru the trama of living in a sewer.
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Old 12-25-2003, 09:03 AM   #3
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I don't understand how to measure that small an ammonia level. My test kit -- the Saltwater Master from Aquarium Pharmaceuticals -- measures in parts per million, with the first measurable level being .25. How does one test for .01?

Doesn't an increase in the biological load cause a mini-cycle when a fish is added to an established tank?

If no ammonia increase is permitted, should I use "Prime" to negate it? Would that not prevent the establishement of the proper level of bacteria to naturally handle the load?

Thanks for your help, and Merry Christmas!
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Old 12-25-2003, 10:58 AM   #4
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If you have enough "good bacteria" in your tank, there will not be a measureable ammonia spike as the bacteria will "eat it" before it can really add to the tank. IF your tank is established, there is no need for chemicals to assist. Patience is the key.
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Old 12-25-2003, 08:45 PM   #5
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Different test kits have different ranges of accuracy. Seachem kits for example will measure in .01 incraments where as some other kits might measure at levels of .05 or .10 or as you describe .25

I never really bought into bactera additives. An established tank should be able to manage a new fish with no increase as Hara pointed out. If you add to many fish or to large of a fish for the size tank then yes you could have ammonia issues.
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Old 12-25-2003, 09:04 PM   #6
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This is not intended to step on anyone's toes, so I hope it is not seen as such. Prime is a product that detoxifies ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, which allows for easier removal by the already established aquarium biological population. It also removes chlorine/chloramines and adds a protective slime layer. So, while Prime is a temp. solution to high levels, it will only really save fish in an established aquarium, as pointed out already. It's not really economical to keep adding prime to the tank that's not anywhere near cycled. Plus, and I may be wrong, but I know that some of the slime-layer enhancing products make skimmers go insane. If the tank is already established, it's a great product. It saved my little african cichlids that had a medication crash their tank's bacterial populace. And now with nightmarish flashbacks to that, I'm off to watch Finding Nemo.
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