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Old 07-19-2004, 11:11 PM   #1
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Ammonia in my qt tank

Well my fish (see below) are in my 40 gallon qt tank and I have begin hyposalinity. My big problem now is ammonia jumped to 1.5 8O
I did an 8 gallon water change and then another 4 gallon and this brought it to 1.0.
Opinions of water change frquency considering my bioload. I was thinking 2 a day until its under control and then switching to once (if I can get away with it. Would love to get a larger tank, but thats won't happen.
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Old 07-19-2004, 11:14 PM   #2
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BTW, I started running carbon and added a sponge from my main tank sump, since I am not using copper, this should also help..right?
Also my ph is running 7.85 (due to the ammonia?) Should I buffer, or wait/see.
Thanks
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Old 07-19-2004, 11:38 PM   #3
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Buffer the water slowly until you get the pH over 8.0, you'll find that water changes will not be that effective and pH will need to be monitored at least daily.

With hyposalinity it is not harmful to the biofiltration and should strengthen quickly depending on how you seed it. The carbon will also be helpful.

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Old 07-19-2004, 11:47 PM   #4
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Yes the sponge has been in my sump from day 1. I just cut a piece from the sponge that helps with the splashing from my skimmer, so it should be well seeded. Hopefully this will help. Won't do much good to treat them for ich if ammomia kills them first.
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Old 07-20-2004, 11:33 AM   #5
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Well I buffered last night and the ph was back up to 8.1 this AM.
My ammonia is still high 1.0 (but on the lighter side, so there was some improvement). I added a second seeded sponge from my main and did another water change. My spg is down to .019 now, will do another when I get home tonight. Any other ideas with the ammonia? Hopefully the bacteria will kick in and bring it down.
The parasite is in full bloom this morning, my angel was covered. She seemed OK otherwise but I need to hurry this along. Was tempted to fw dip her, but I think she has had enough stress the last few days.
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Old 07-20-2004, 11:43 AM   #6
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You can still do water changes to bring down the ammonia some, just be sure if off the schedule you set for salinity reduction that it match's the current salinity of the QT. The seeding part will still take a bit of time for the bacteria to catch up, especially with the amount of fish you have. Be sure when possible you also try to syphon out as much detritus and uneaten foods after each feeding.

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Old 07-20-2004, 12:36 PM   #7
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Sounds like a winner Steve, thanks for your help. If it doesn't come down in a day or 2, I will add another piece of sponge from my sump. Thank goodness its a large sponge.
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Old 07-20-2004, 10:21 PM   #8
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well it was back over 1.0 tonight, probably about 1.5. I did my regular 8 gallon spg reducing water change, waited a while and did another 5 gallon change which was spg adjusted. This brought it down to only 1.0. Also I readjusted the ph back to 8.0 from 7.9.
In addition I added another piece of seeded sponge (3 total) and 5-7lbs of LR from my main. I hope this does it.
Any other ideas. And ammonia reducing chemical is not an option.
Thanks
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Old 07-20-2004, 11:16 PM   #9
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Keeping the pH low (under 8.0) will make ammonia unharmful...well if kept within a safe range. I believe that if the ammonia is under 1.25 and pH is under 8.0 then it is harmless. Higher than 1.25 or higher than 8.0pH will lead to toxin ammonia.
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Old 07-20-2004, 11:18 PM   #10
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"The presence of ammonia in aquariums can be a source of many problems. Generally, the amount of ammonia should not exceed 1.2 mg/L. Levels up to 1.2 mg/L in very alkaline water (above 8.0 pH) are quite toxic to aquatic organisms."

Ammonia can be present in two forms. Ammonia NH3, which is a toxic gas, and ionic ammonium NH4+, which is much less deadly. The pH of the water is the major factor that determines the ratio of NH3 and NH4+. When the pH is high, the ammonia is in its toxic form. Toxic ammonia will increase exponentially with increasing pH levels and temperature. A pH value of over 8.0 causes a corresponding rapid increae in the toxic ammonia component." - Hagen Ammonia Test.

The fishs should be fine in the lower pH if kept above 7.8, usually when an aquarium is new the pH is low and fishs seem to appear okay. Inverts and Corals on the other hand need the pH to be around 8.2.
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Old 07-21-2004, 12:20 AM   #11
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Thats interesting info. But I am nervous about letting the PH drop. There is no question that when the PH was lower, they were more lethargic.
Getting total ammonia down is my game plan. I have ran a qt several times before, just not with this bioload.
We'll see what happens, I may have to get another tank....my wife will shoot me.
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Old 07-21-2004, 12:31 AM   #12
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Heh, understood. You could always toss in some LR w/ algae on it. I believe algae eats up nitrates (if there is any right now) and that will eventually contributes to a higher pH. Something about the algae helping out with oxygen and CO2.
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50 Gallon Acrylic Tank (36x15x20)
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Old 07-21-2004, 10:22 AM   #13
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What luntiz says is quite true and a common practice used in fish transport from collectors. You do need to be absolutley careful of what you are doing though. Prolonged exposure to low pH will cause acidosis which will eventually lead to hemoraging in the fish and can cause death.

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Old 07-21-2004, 11:01 AM   #14
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Thanks guys. I added 10 lbs of rock last night as well as another seeded sponge. Did a water change this AM (spg is almost there 0.012) and the ammonia is still 1.0
What do you all think of that bio spyro (sp), does it work?
If I can't get this resolved soon, I may have to set up my 10 gallon and move several of them. I really don't want to do that, after the ich clears up, I was going to get another fish and start the qt process in the 10.
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Old 07-21-2004, 11:07 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quarryshark
What do you all think of that bio spyro (sp), does it work?
Never used it myself so I can't give you an opinion. Most (if not all) of these types of bio-starters aren't worth the packaging. That said though, there have been a few post concerning Marine Bio Spira that have had possitive results.

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Old 07-21-2004, 09:12 PM   #16
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Well got home tonight and the ammonia was 1.5
I did the water change and got the spg down to 0.010.
Getting desparate I added the Marine bio spyra. I really hope it helps. If not, I will have to get another tank set up. Its been like this for 3 days, although they look OK, I don't know how much of this ammonia they can take.
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Old 07-21-2004, 11:08 PM   #17
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Another Idea, what do you all think?
I have a 30 gallon garbage can that I use to mix SW. What if I get some kind of pump and use it for a makeshift sump to add water volume?
Any idea on pumps for this?
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Old 07-22-2004, 12:28 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by quarryshark
Another Idea, what do you all think?
I have a 30 gallon garbage can that I use to mix SW. What if I get some kind of pump and use it for a makeshift sump to add water volume?
Any idea on pumps for this?
The idea's sound, the only problem will be you need an overflow as well as a return pump. If the mixing container can be elevated above the QT, then you can simpley make a hole in the side of the mixing container, plumb a bulkhead and let gravity do the work. Then all you need is the return pump or possibley a canister.

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Old 07-22-2004, 12:35 AM   #19
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Well, I have a skilter 400 filter on my tank. Since it has 2 chambers, I was thinking of a low flow pump to bring the water "down" to the sump and a slightly stronger pump to return?
I cannot place the sump higher.
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Old 07-22-2004, 12:44 AM   #20
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That would be quite risky. If either one quite or became blocked, you'd have a very large mess. A gravity feed or overflow to the sump is about the only safe way to do it.

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