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Old 01-02-2017, 11:51 PM   #1
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High ammonia level

I am new at fish keeping. Help !!
I just cleaned my 29 g. tank 2 days ago. I added prime and stability. Kept the same filter. Did not change that. I noticed today water seems to be getting a little cloudy. I checked my water, all I have were tetra easy strips. That came out in normal range. It did show hard water.
I did test water with a api ammonia nh3/ng4+ test kit.
It showed high 4.0.
I then tested my tap water.
Showed high ammonia, at
4.0. Fish seem fine. Everyone is eating.
How do I fix my problems?
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Old 01-03-2017, 12:10 AM   #2
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How long has your tank been setup?

What size tank?

How many fish and type?

Can you shake the ammonia test bottle very well and test both your tank and tap water again? A 4.0 level of ammonia is extremely toxic to fish, so if they are acting normal it seems like the measurement may be off.
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Old 01-03-2017, 12:24 AM   #3
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My 29 g. tank set up for about 1 yr now. I am probably overstocked from what I've been reading. 2 angels, 3 gouromi's, 2 young dwarf neon rainbow fish and 2 cory's. Oh, just added 4 snakeskin barbs 2 days ago.
I live in Chicago, so we get lake michigan water source. Could that be why my tap tests high for ammonia 4.0?
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Old 01-03-2017, 12:40 AM   #4
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Apparently after doing a little research, many water companies use chloramine in the water and ammonia is a by product. What do you use to treat your water during a water change? Seachem prime works really well, and it will break down chloramine.

Your tank may be slightly over stocked, but I'm still not sure how you have fish living with a 4.0 reading of ammonia. I would do a 25% water change each night and then keep testing the water. Definetly don't add any more fish until your ammonia reading is 0.

One more question, what type of filter are you using on your tank?
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Old 01-03-2017, 12:51 AM   #5
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Its a aqueon tank and filter. Hangs on back.
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Old 01-03-2017, 01:14 AM   #6
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Just keep an eye on your tank, things will go back to normal shortly. You may have just "over" cleaned your tank. Normally, I only clean half the substrate at a time and then when I clean the filter, I just hover the siphon over the substrate that way I don't disturb everything at one time.
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Old 01-03-2017, 01:30 AM   #7
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Thanks for advice. Last question. Should I worry my tap water has such a high ammonia reading?
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Old 01-03-2017, 01:35 AM   #8
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It is kind of strange, but I don't think there is much you can do with it. What I would do is fill a gallon jug with tap water, put a little prime in it, and wait an hour or so to see if the ammonia reading is 0. At least you'll know that Prime is neutralizing the ammonia.
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Old 01-03-2017, 02:03 AM   #9
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Actually, I believe Prime will:
1. Convert the ammonia into a less toxic state
2. This conversion is temporary
3. The ammonia is still detectable via testing
I used to have 1.0 ppm ammonia in my tap water. Pretty sure it was the chloramines the water company was adding. The Prime would break the chloramine down into chlorine and ammonia, neutralize the chlorine, and leave the ammonia in a safer state. At the time I continued to do water changes, but I kept them at 25-30%. This condition was temporary as things improved at the start of the next year.
You may want to contact your water company to obtain a water report.
You could also contact your local pet store and ask how they deal with it (assuming they are using the same water source).
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