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Old 02-13-2020, 10:15 PM   #1
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10 gallon tank - high ammonia

I had a 5 gallon tank previously and never had an issue with ph/ammonia. About 2 months ago I got a 10 gallon tank and before/right after adding fish all levels were fine (I have 2 danios, a mickey, and a molly). About 2 weeks ago the ammonia spiked to around 2.0.
I did a 50% water change, the next day it was still 2.0. So the next day, I used a gravel vacuum, did a 30% water change, and used ammo-lock. Still 2.0. I took all the decorations, plants, and gravel out and cleaned them with hot water, did another 30% water change, and it was still at 2.0. Next day, I used the gravel vacuum again and went to feeding every other day and a 20% water change. I'm worried about continuing water changes and hurting my fish...but I'm also concerned about the ammonia level.

I'm at a loss. Can anyone help me?

PH- showing between 7.2-7.6
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 0
Ammonia - 2.0
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Old 02-14-2020, 03:45 AM   #2
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If you are doing water changes and seeing no drop at all in ammonia after the water change then you have either a bad kit or ammonia in your tap.

Do you see a drop in ammonia right after a water change? Does your treated tap have ammonia. If so how about distilled water (to test the test kit; should read zero)

Fish showing any stress?
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Old 02-14-2020, 08:06 AM   #3
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My blue lobster been acting weird he be walking up n down n sometimes try to escape idk if itís Bc the water change I did or itís Bc I have other fishes there with him if u guys could help me out !!?
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Old 02-14-2020, 10:14 AM   #4
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You should start your own thread with your own tank parameters and details so people can help you out there, donít want to get off subject in someone elseís thread!
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Old 02-14-2020, 10:22 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by libertybelle View Post
If you are doing water changes and seeing no drop at all in ammonia after the water change then you have either a bad kit or ammonia in your tap.

Do you see a drop in ammonia right after a water change? Does your treated tap have ammonia. If so how about distilled water (to test the test kit; should read zero)

Fish showing any stress?

I never even thought about ammonia in my tap water. I actually thought I may be getting a bad read from my test kit, but I tested with both strips and the drops that you add and shake. There isn't even a slight drop after a water change, so I will test regular tap water tonight and see!
My fish aren't showing any behavior changes. They're all swimming around, chasing/playing, and eating like normal which I also thought was odd with an ammonia reading that high.
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Old 02-14-2020, 10:25 AM   #6
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I don't think the water changes will hurt anything. That's just new water. If anything they should be happy for that much new water added to the system so routinely. The only hitch in that is if what libertybelle suggested and there's ammonia in the tap water. You should do a control test on your kit to make sure the measurement you're getting is correct.

Did you fully cycle your tank or use the old filter media to quick start or anything like that?
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Old 02-14-2020, 01:26 PM   #7
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I don't think the water changes will hurt anything. That's just new water. If anything they should be happy for that much new water added to the system so routinely. The only hitch in that is if what libertybelle suggested and there's ammonia in the tap water. You should do a control test on your kit to make sure the measurement you're getting is correct.

Did you fully cycle your tank or use the old filter media to quick start or anything like that?
I didn't. I actually didn't know about cycling until after I added my fish. The plants I have in the tank currently are actually fake ones. Do you think that could be an issue or that it would help by adding real ones?
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Old 02-14-2020, 01:35 PM   #8
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I didn't. I actually didn't know about cycling until after I added my fish. The plants I have in the tank currently are actually fake ones. Do you think that could be an issue or that it would help by adding real ones?
Then it sounds like you're probably at the start of the cycle. Real plants will help a bit but you're just going to have to go through the process to grow the beneficial bacteria that takes care of the ammonia either way.

This guide will help get through the process: https://www.aquariumadvice.com/i-just-learned-about-cycling-but-i-already-have-fish-what-now/
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Old Yesterday, 12:28 PM   #9
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But do also check your tab before and after adding your dechlor.

Even if there is no ammonia in the tap if there are chloramines in your tap water it will get broken down into ammonia (which is detoxified by your conditioner before being processed by your beneficial bacteria).

So it’s not a problem if you see it; it’s just good to know exactly what level of ammonia is in the tap from the breakdown of chloramines.

If you’re still seeing ammonia in your tank for anywhere between a few hours to a day or longer after a water change than you are still cycling and don’t have enough beneficial bacteria yet. If you see ammonia right after a water change but a few hours later it’s gone that’s a normal thing in a cycled tank with chloramines in the tap.
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