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Old 01-22-2020, 01:20 PM   #1
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Ammonia problem

I discovered Chloramine (which releases ammonia when I add my dechlorinater) in my tap water. The carbon filter removes it but not fast enough to keep my fish from being stressed and sick.
Can I dose the whole tank with Seachem prime and then put the water directly in or do I need to treat it in a bucket and then dump it in? (I hate doing it the bucket way). Any experiences in this?
Also, can ammonia poisoning be reversed?
Thanks!
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Old 01-22-2020, 01:46 PM   #2
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Chloramine

Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurenRebecca View Post
I discovered Chloramine (which releases ammonia when I add my dechlorinater) in my tap water. The carbon filter removes it but not fast enough to keep my fish from being stressed and sick.
Can I dose the whole tank with Seachem prime and then put the water directly in or do I need to treat it in a bucket and then dump it in? (I hate doing it the bucket way). Any experiences in this?
Also, can ammonia poisoning be reversed?
Thanks!
Hello Lauren...

The Seachem product detoxifies ammonia. It removes chlorine and chloramine. You can dissolve the product in a small pitcher of tap water and add it directly to the tank. Then, you can add the tap water to the tank. The product works on contact with the tap water. Actually, Seachem has a better product called "Safe". It's a powder and is much cheaper than Prime and works the same.

B
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Old 01-22-2020, 11:04 PM   #3
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You mention that it is not working fast enough to keep your fish from getting sick? Are you having some illness in the tank? If so you should look for another cause. Properly used (dose for the entire tank volume if adding tap water to the tank) the ammonia created is, as mentioned, detoxified, and a cycled tank will get rid of that ammonia quickly. In my tank after a large water change I get a positive for trace ammonia for several hours, but never more than 12 hours.

Prime will detoxify ammonia and nitrite for 48 hours so as long as your bacteria are getting rid of it before then it will not harm your livestock.

Are you sure the ammonia you are seeing is from the tap (so there is 0 ammonia before a water change and trace ammonia after)
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Old 01-22-2020, 11:41 PM   #4
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Sad tank

Yes, my tank is a tragedy.
It’s been running 4 years. Water levels are good (pH is a little high but my local fish store says it’s not a problem). Only have Fish that get along, water change every 1-2 weeks.
My fish are always sick and dying. I’m frequently treating for ick or parasites or bacteria. No one has any answer for what’s wrong.
I don’t currently use prime or any chemical to detoxify ammonia. I use stress coat but now plan on changing to prime.
I checked the ammonia in my tank, 0ppm. I checked the tap water itself after I added my dechlorinator, and it was 2ppm. my city adds Chloramine to the water and when I dechlorinate it it releases the ammonia. Eventually the Carbon gets all the ammonia out but my fish must spend enough time in the ammonia tinged water to be stressed. I actually looked into this because I have one showing signs of ammonia poisoning.
I’m going to switch to prime but was wondering if I needed to treat the water before adding it or if I could dose the tank and then add the water (like I do with the stress coat)
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Old 01-23-2020, 12:10 AM   #5
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Stress coat detoxifies ammonia so that’s not your problem.
Ph is almost never a problem.

And it’s not the carbon removing the ammonia. It’s bacteria. Are you familiar with the nitrogen cycle?

If you answer the questions in : http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...his-32451.html I have no doubt we could help you figure it out.

Chronic illness issues almost inevitably come down to water quality issues so we need to nail down what the issue is that is not letting your fish (and their immune systems) thrive!
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Old 01-23-2020, 12:38 AM   #6
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Yes, I understand the nitrogen cycle. I know the bacteria are taking care of the ammonia, I just thought my carbon was too. Guess not. My bacteria are obviously doing their job because when I check the tank water (several days after a change) thereís no ammonia.
I get the stress coat is supposed to detoxify ammonia but I took water from the tap, put it in a container, added stress coat then tested at and the ammonia was 2ppm. You donít think putting that water in my tank is stressing them out?
Would you like me to post about my ill Fish here or start a new thread?
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Old 01-23-2020, 01:50 AM   #7
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You can provide the details here.

Carbon doesn’t stay active long. Fresh carbon might help with a little ammonia but if it’s been in for a while it’s probably not doing much. I don’t even bother keeping carbon in my filter. I keep some on hand in case I ever need it to remove medication from the tank but it’s been sitting in my cabinet for like a decade since I bought the filter, lol.

Detoxified ammonia will still show up on liquid tests. I don’t know about stress coat but I do know prime detoxifies for 48 hours so as long as there’s no ammonia left by 48 hrs it shouldn’t cause a problem. If it’s taking longer than a day for your ammonia from a water change to go away that’s odd though.

Some species can be stressed by water changes for other reasons. Go ahead and give us the details from that thread and we can see if there are any red flags which might be causing your issues.
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Old 01-23-2020, 10:36 AM   #8
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About my set up:
75 gal freshwater, filter is aqueon quietflow 75 400gph using carbon and mechanical fliters set up for 4 years
Ammonia is 0 ppm, Nitrate is 0 ppm, Nitrite is 0 ppm, pH is 8.0-8.2, temp 80 degrees.
My fish have never been healthy, no matter what is in my tank at the time. I buy them from a very reputable fish store and they all get sick and die within a year. I am frequently treating for bacterial or parasitic infections (most often ick, fin rot). 4 years of this and I'm about ready to give up.
I do a 30-50% water change every 1-2 weeks, vacuuming every other time. I use stresscoat to treat new water.
I feed new life spectrum community fish food, 1-2 pinches a day and an algae wafer every other day, no recent changes to diet.
I did add new artificial plants in December but the fish were already looking sick before that. My fish are basically perma-sick.

Current livestock:
1 Bushy nose pleco - 4" he is my oldest fish being 3 years old.
1 Turquise rainbow - 2 1/2", I've have him for 9 months
1 angel fish - 5", had him for about a year
1 electric blue acara - 3", had him for about a year
1 yoyo loach - 2 1/2", had him for about a year
1 electric blue ram - 3/4", got him in November (Added paraguard to the tank when I added him)
1 assassin snail - had for a few months
lots of tiny trumpet snails

In October, fish had been symptom free for 2 months so I added the ram and an assassin snail to deal with my trumpet snails. When I added them I removed the carbon and dosed the tank with paraguard for 6 days. The rainbows (I had 2 at this point) and the acara had clamped fins and were paling in color, yoyo loach was also paling in color and the rainbows were swimming against the filter current at the top of the surface.
A week later I noticed ick spots on the acara and rainbows. One rainbow (the one who I still have) had his jaw stuck open from the lesions. I treated with ich-X doing the appropriate water changes and lesions dissapeared. Acara remained pale in color with clamped fins, rainbows improved in color but kept swimming toward the stop of the tank against the filter current.
Acara faded in color until he turned basically white and red at bases of fins and around gills.
A week later, one of the rainbows who had seemed to be improving died.
Remaining rainbow is dark in color but fins still clamped and swimming against filter current. Acara is white with red at base of fins and around gills, dorsal fin appears to be wasting away, he lays at the bottom on the tank and is not active, does not appear to be eating. He's been like this for 2 weeks. Angel, Pleco, Yoyo and ram seem fine.
Removed carbon and started paraguard 3 nights ago and did a 1 hr dip in paraguard for the acara. No improvement noted.
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Old 01-23-2020, 02:32 PM   #9
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No nitrates with that many fish seems highly unlikely. Are you using liquid test kits? Does your filter have media that stays the same and only gets rinsed in tank water or is it cartridge based or getting constantly changed out. When you take out your carbon to treat things you’re probably taking out a good chunk of your beneficial bacteria.

Medicines are stressful on fish; it seems like you’re doing a lot of just in case treatments and that’s probably really hard on your stock and on your bacterial filter. Ideally when you add fish you want to quarantine the new fish and medicate them if needed; not medicate the whole tank.

It sounds to me like you might be perpetually in a mini cycle due to changing out carbon and killing off bacteria with medications.

The thing to remember is that fish have immune systems just like we do and things like ick and fin rot... if your fish are healthy and unstressed they can usually fight them off. Think of ich like the common cold for fish. The bug is everywhere. But if your fish are healthy and unstressed their immune system can keep them well.

So our goal now is to reduce stress and keep things stable. Stability is better than medication sometimes! That means stay on top of water parameters, medicate only when necessary. And protect your beneficial bacteria just like you would any other tank inhabitant!
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Old 01-23-2020, 02:42 PM   #10
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It's only 5 fish in a 75 gallon. I have an API water testing kit and it consistently tells me 0 Nitrates. So I don't know what to tell you there.
It's cartridge based but I only change the cartridge every couple of months. I also have mechanical filtration in the filter that I don't change so there is definitely still bacteria in there even when I change the cartridges.
In the past when I've added fish and not put Paraguard in, several fish die, so I don't think doing that is unnecessary, and all the other treatments I'm doing are based on symptoms so I wouldn't call those unnecessary either.
What do you suggest I do at this point? What should I be doing differently?
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Old 01-23-2020, 02:52 PM   #11
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It’s not many fish but some of them are fairly large. I really would consider if that is plausible. Maybe it is but perhaps your nitrate test kit is old? Do you shake it hard when you test; bottle two is notorious for giving false negatives if you don’t shake really well. I literally slam mine on a table and will occasionally get zeros if I dont.

I’m not trying to badger/judge you. Clearly something is wrong because if it wasn’t your fish wouldn’t be sick and dying on you all the time. So we just need to find out why so you can have a peaceful stress free fish experience:P

The thing is, chronic illness, clamped fins, red gills, pale color. All of these read like classic unstable cycle or ammonia poisoning. Which is why I keep harping on the subject.
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Old 01-23-2020, 02:54 PM   #12
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First off; If the carbon is out now I wouldn’t bother putting it back in unless you need it for a short period of time to remove medication or something. Replace it with some form of high surface area bio media. (I use bio max, personally) As much as you can put in your filter. That will give your tank more cycle stability.
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Old 01-23-2020, 02:58 PM   #13
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Second ; are there any current ich spots? If so why the dips? Those are quite stressful on fish so if the ich isn’t there anymore there’s no need for them.

If there are no active signs of parasites and you’re just seeing general distress symptoms (listlessness, pale color etc) I would strongly suggest focusing on pristine water quality and letting your fish recover from both the illness and the medications.
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