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Old 04-18-2011, 06:37 PM   #1
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Super High Ammonia

As promised in my introductory thread...here I am asking for help.

So, my tank has been up and going for almost a month. (16 gallon bow front) I never cycled it. I thought I did the right thing by setting it up for a week before adding fish, and according to the dude at petsmart...that was good to go. After finding this place, I know that isn't the case and I want to do the right thing.

Fast forward to now...I have off the chart ammonia, 0 nitrites, and 0 nitrates. These readings were taken just now immediately after a 50% PWC. Fish have been in there for three weeks. I would think they would be dead with the ammonia levels...but they appear really happy and coloration is good. Gill function appears good, by this I mean there is no obvious damage and they're not sucking air at the top of the tank. They're very active, all the barbs are shoaling together and the cory seems happy too.

How do I proceed with getting some good bacteria going? There seems to be more than enough food for the little buggers. I bought some biozyme yesterday and introduced it into the tank. I put more in after my PWC this afternoon. I have no experience with it, not sure if it even works. Any help is appreciated. Thanks, in advance.



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Old 04-19-2011, 12:20 AM   #2
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First thing first. Your main objective right now should be to reduce the ammonia level. Keep doing 50%, twice a day if needed (morning & afternoon) to achieve no ore than 0.25 ppm of ammonia. Even if your fish look good today, we know that this level of ammonia will take a toll on them.

After that, nothing wrong trying any kind of supplements available in the market to speed up the cycle. But the best option is to try to get a cycled media ( filter, or ceramic, etc) from a friend or from a lfs.

There are some treads regarding cycling with fish that will help you.
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Old 04-19-2011, 12:22 AM   #3
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Yep, PWC is your best friend! Good luck! I had that exact same problem and was able to cycle without losing any fish!
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Old 04-19-2011, 12:40 AM   #4
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High ammo burns the gills of fish, so daily PWC are imperative to the long term health of your fish. When the no2 kick in, it'll be even more important because they're harder on fish IMO. Check out the stickie about "cycling with fish" if you haven't done so already.

Good luck and keep us updated please.
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Old 04-19-2011, 01:26 AM   #5
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don't be afraid to do a 90% PWC. only changing out half the water will only get rid of half of the ammonia. that means if you are at 8ppm ammonia, then you do a 50% PWC, you'd then be at 4ppm ammonia, which is still FAR too high. it will not hurt the fish if you do a larger water change. aim to get the ammonia down to .25ppm or less
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Old 04-19-2011, 08:49 AM   #6
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I did find the thread on the fish in cycling and it was very informative. I'm gonna be busy with the water changes...
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:36 AM   #7
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It is possible to cycle without losing a single fish. I just completed a fish in cycle myself and like Rosenweiss didn't lose a single fish. PWC will be your best friend.
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Old 04-19-2011, 04:27 PM   #8
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I'm wondering if I haven't gotten the bacteria because I've been using spring water from day one. With all of the water changes in my near future, I should switch to tap water. I have Prime at home. Should I put the tap water into a bucket and then add the prime and give it a few minutes to do it's thing before adding it to the tank? Or am I good to add the tap water and prime to the tank at the same time? I'll also be monitoring water temp, which should be easier with tap water. I was putting the water jugs in a warm bath to heat them to 78 before adding to the tank. Thanks for the help, folks. I feel encouraged that I can get this done without losing fish.
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Old 04-19-2011, 04:36 PM   #9
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Yeah, you can use tap, just treat it in a bucket with Prime, make sure that it is the proper temp, and pour it in! Some people are okay with putting both in at once, but it's safer to treat it in a bucket, then pour it in.
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Old 04-19-2011, 08:28 PM   #10
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Did a 90% PWC this evening and got the ammonia down to 2.0 ppm. So far everyone seems good to go. Gonna need a python...buckets suck.
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Old 04-19-2011, 08:29 PM   #11
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Haha, what, you don't like a little manual labor?
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Old 04-19-2011, 08:31 PM   #12
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lol...did enough for Uncle Sam and do enough at current job. I like easy at home.
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:18 PM   #13
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do another PWC. 2.0ppm means it is still burning their gills get it down to .25 or less for it to be safe
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommytron View Post
do another PWC. 2.0ppm means it is still burning their gills get it down to .25 or less for it to be safe
+1

At the very worst the ammo should be no higher than .50ppm, .25ppm or less is best. Are you testing for no2?
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:50 PM   #15
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Understood. How soon can I do another one?

Yes. I'm testing for nitrates too. They're at 0.
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:51 PM   #16
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Quote:
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lol...did enough for Uncle Sam and do enough at current job. I like easy at home.
Makes sense, haha. I was Just kidding. =]
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:57 PM   #17
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Me too. I need a sarcasm button on my phone.
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:59 PM   #18
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I'd suggest doing a big one right away if the ammo is still at 2ppm. That's really hard on a fishes gills.
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Old 04-20-2011, 12:22 AM   #19
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yeah, do it immediately (if you haven't already haha). you can never do too many PWC's, especially when it concerns high ammonia.
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Old 04-20-2011, 03:45 PM   #20
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Doing another PWC right now for high ammonia. I feel stupid though and have a confession to make. I never read my test kit instructions and have been doing the nitrAte test wrong. (not shaking anything)

I HAVE NITRATES!!! I'm at 10-20ppm. 0 nitrites. Will have ammonia fixed momentarily. Would I be correct in assuming that I'm cycled? I was just reading some other threads an someone mentioned lots of people doing the nitrAte test wrong and it got me to thinking and I went and tested again and I have nitrates. I'll be ****ed.
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