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Old 07-11-2009, 09:53 AM   #1
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Ammonia with surfactants?

Yesterday i had just set up a 20 gallon aquarium, when i had bought the ammonia i didn't know that you shouldn't put in ammonia with surfacants in the aquarium, should i siphon out all of the gravel and clean everything and add new water back into the fish tank? Will it be harmful to my fish after the cycling process? I plan on buying pure ammonia today with no surfactants. Thanks for your help.
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Old 07-11-2009, 11:11 AM   #2
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You are not going to like the answer. We have seen this more than once and the remedy has never been an easy one.

The situation you have is somewhat equal to putting a squirt of dish soap in your tank. If you want to keep your substrate and decor, it is going to take a LOT of rinsing. Actually it may take an insane amount of rinsing. It can be done though. You have to get that soap off of everything, including the filter. The hard surfaces like the tank and filter should be easy enough, the tough part is going to be the more porous things like substrate and any rocks you had in the tank.

How much ammonia did you add?
Did you get bubbles at the surface of the tank?

Don't freak out. Like I said, you are not the first person to do this, and are by no means going to be the last. Rinse Rinse Rinse.....
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Old 07-11-2009, 11:40 AM   #3
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Sparky nailed it. Rinse, rinse rinse.
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Old 07-11-2009, 11:53 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SparKy697 View Post
You are not going to like the answer. We have seen this more than once and the remedy has never been an easy one.

The situation you have is somewhat equal to putting a squirt of dish soap in your tank. If you want to keep your substrate and decor, it is going to take a LOT of rinsing. Actually it may take an insane amount of rinsing. It can be done though. You have to get that soap off of everything, including the filter. The hard surfaces like the tank and filter should be easy enough, the tough part is going to be the more porous things like substrate and any rocks you had in the tank.

How much ammonia did you add?
Did you get bubbles at the surface of the tank?

Don't freak out. Like I said, you are not the first person to do this, and are by no means going to be the last. Rinse Rinse Rinse.....
Thank you so much, i put in 12 drops of the ammonia into the tank and there was no bubbles at the surface of the tank. Today i plan on rinsing off everything and scrubbing the gravel and all of the accessories really good, rinsing off the tank, filter, and filter media. Do you think the filter media is ruined, will it be fine if i wash it off with tap water? Thankfully i just figured out and that i wasn't near the end of the cycle!
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Old 07-11-2009, 12:49 PM   #5
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I also have another question, when the Nitrites read 0, will ammonia read 0 too or can they be different? I'm wondering this because i bought 5 in 1 test strips and they don't have ammonia on them so i was wondering if i really had to buy the ammonia test strips because they are pricey.
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Old 07-11-2009, 01:04 PM   #6
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Get liquid test kits like the master test kits. Although ammonia should be zero, a spike that is unseen could kill your fish.
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Old 07-11-2009, 01:25 PM   #7
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Yes, get the liquid test kits, the test strips are inaccurate and pretty much useless. I'd dose your ammonia to about 4-5ppm during the fishless cycle. I'd suggest reading up on the nitrogen cycle to understand how it works. Also, there is a good article on here about how to speed up your fishless cycle.

Nitrogen Cycle:
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articl...le-/Page1.html

Speed up your fishless cycle:
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articl...cle/Page1.html

Hope it helps, good luck!
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Old 07-11-2009, 05:19 PM   #8
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Some one else can jump in here too.
I think it would be wise, when you rinse, to be using Seachem Prime in it's prescribed dose. This will definitely help with the ammonia and, I think, to help neutralize the soap as well.

Rick
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Old 07-13-2009, 06:51 AM   #9
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When I cleaned all of my tanks, filters, heaters etc prior to use I used a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and warm to hot water as far as the substrate is concerned I used a kitchen strainer and straight hot water after a couple hour soak in a plastic tub. Ruadh's recommendation sounds like a good one as well, maybe as a final rinse.
Good test kits and due diligence will be your key to success.
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Old 07-13-2009, 07:04 PM   #10
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Sorry to hear that, but your not alone. I did the same thing about two months ago. The bad news is you do have to remove everything and rinse rinse rinse. Whatever you decide to put back in the tank, I would test it by letting it soak overnight in another container and see if you can make bubbles by thrashing the surface. I threw my gravel, airstones and plastic plants away. Not saying you have to, but I did not want to take a chance again. The last thing you want to do after a complete teardown is to do it again. The good news is you can recover with a little effort and patience. I am now 4 weeks into my fishless cycle and am nearing the end of my nitrite spike. Good luck to you!

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