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Old 12-24-2011, 09:14 PM   #1
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Help! Losing my mind with this ammonia

So, I'm very frustrated ! Having on going issues with ammonia in my FOWLR tank .
Here are the specs
-48G FOWLR
-2 clowns
-Not sure how many lbs of LR (got 2nd hand)
-2 filters currently an Aqueon 50 and aqua clear 50 (going to upgrade to a canister filter
-150W heater
- basic protein skimmer
-korlia 850

We are working on a sump. We have a CPR 300 overflow

We acquired this tank Nov 1st, 2011 and since then there has been ammonia. The water they came in was:
-ammo .0-1.2
- trates 0
-trites 0

When we filled the tank it was .6
Nov 2
Ammo 0.6-1.2
Trate 5
Trite 0.3
Ph 8
Salinity 1.022
Then on the 3rd of Nov , the ammonia dropped to 0 and I thought it was done and that the tank was going through a mini cycle from transporting the LR and that there may have been a bit of die off.
Then on the 4th the ammo is back
0.6-1.2
On the 6th I do a 50% WC and afterwards the ammonia is nearly 0
7th its back and it continues on in this fashion for quite some time .

Why are my water changes not having any effect ?
This tank was 4 years old and should be very well cycled .
I alone have had it almost 2 months and if it were needing to recycle should have by now .
Today.. Ammo 0.6
Trate 0
Trite 0.1-0.3
I did a huge water change 20G and with displacement of the LR there really wasn't that much room left for the clowns to swim . Test the water afterwards ... 0.6 how is this possible? *bangshead*
-I rinse my old filters in aquarium water
-I try not to overfeed
-I do pwcs
-I'm not overstocked
-I use declorinator (saving for RODI)

I want to get a CUC soon, but not until this ammonia can stabilize. I hate the thought of the clowns swimming in it so any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
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Old 12-24-2011, 09:25 PM   #2
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Have you ever checked your source water for ammonia? Perhaps your municipality uses chloramine.
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Old 12-24-2011, 09:29 PM   #3
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Yes I have , last week I considered it . There is nothing in the water
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Old 12-24-2011, 10:40 PM   #4
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something has killed your bb.

if you have a store that sells rodi try using that for your water changes and let it run for a while and see how that goes. hopefully you wont have to completely cycle again.
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Old 12-24-2011, 10:46 PM   #5
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No store here in Canada where I live that sells RODI , only 1 store here that even sells SW anything RODI unit is next on my list .. But still have no idea why or what could be causing this ammonia ?
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Old 12-24-2011, 10:52 PM   #6
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how about a grocery store? what kind of bottled water do they sell that may work?

this is just speculation but something in the tap water, who knows what, killed your bb that eats ammo. maybe all of your bb. just keeping fish in your tank is where the ammo is coming from... thats just my guess. wish i had more solid advise for you.
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Old 12-25-2011, 08:24 AM   #7
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I don't think it's the water . I have 4 fresh water tanks that I test weekly and just tested yesterday as no ammonia in any of them ... So I've concluded how could it be the water ? This is so disheartening , I'm at a loss .
Merry christmas everyone!
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Old 12-25-2011, 01:58 PM   #8
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If it was a new tank 3 days would not even start your cycle let alone complete it. If it was a used tank, the move probably created a lot of die off of bacteria. It would be struggling to catch up.
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Old 12-25-2011, 02:35 PM   #9
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It was a used tank that had been running for 4 years prior. That's what I initially thought that there was die off from. Moving the LR . However, ive had the tank since NOV 1st and surely if it needed to recycle or go through a mini cycle because of any due off in 2 months should have done this right ?
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Old 12-25-2011, 02:50 PM   #10
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how long was the rock out of heat and water circulation? ammo or nitrites posted really never where really off the charts.
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Old 12-25-2011, 03:41 PM   #11
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Not sure when the tool it out to drain the tank . When it got to my house it was in a rubber made container and the person I bought it from didn't fill it to cover all LR all the way . I would say maybe a few hours. This is why I figured there was die off and I had posted a thread when I got the tank to address this because I was concerned fr the clowns. The ammonia is steady at .6-1.2 on my liquid test kit and I know the test kit is fine , because I test other tanks and they have 0 ammonia. There was 1 ammonia spike (test kit looked that orange juice lol ) I freaked out , and did a WC this was Nov 21st. Usually though it's always the same the lowest on the test kit . I need 0 for piece of mind! I have racked my brain and considered everything I can think of
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Old 12-25-2011, 03:47 PM   #12
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What should I do ? Break the tank down and start again ? Salt is so expensive to do a fish in cycle with so many WC. From the looks of my media there has got to be BB on it ! I've been adding more media. To try and get it to spread . Both filters are packed and water flow is excellent. I've tried the liquid ammonia removing products (garbage don't do anything) and I've been putting in the wool that's supposed to remove ammonia because of what it's Coated in ... No luck . I ordered some purigen which is on its way because i know a few people on here using it and want to switch over in all my systems .
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Old 12-25-2011, 03:47 PM   #13
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What about getting some good quality cured live rock to help it along. When I set up my last tank I did not even go through a cycle with this stuff. Parameters have been spot on ever since. If you can't fit any more in maybe swap half of it. If it is good quality live rock that will definitely solve your problem.
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Old 12-25-2011, 03:56 PM   #14
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Old 12-25-2011, 03:58 PM   #15
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Have not thought about getting more LR as there are so many other things I want to get lol we have NO SW LFS here so I order everything online . Might have to look into it though.

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Old 12-25-2011, 04:13 PM   #16
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Wow, I think I see your problem! There does not look nearly enough live rock in there. How many kg of rock to litres of water do you have? 1kg of live rock to 10 litres is a general rule but I like to have more because the porosity of the live rock can often vary. I have about 14kg in my 110 litre/ 29g tank
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Old 12-25-2011, 04:29 PM   #17
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I'm not even sure how much LR is in there . I bought the setup second hand and the person I bought it from never told me how much was there and I never thought to weight it before I placed it into the tank . Duh . Correct me if I'm wrong but why would the amount of LR matter if you are using mechanical filtration as well on top of the LR filtration. Wouldn't it just be "extra filtration "?
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Old 12-25-2011, 04:50 PM   #18
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Ok sorry I didn't realise you had the other filtration. One thing I would say though is that those filters need regularly cleaning, once a week at least. You also need to change the media often too. If your not careful nasties can go back into the tank from them. Extra live rock will still definitely help the problem and personally i would only use an external filter as an extra to take away particles from the water rather than a home for your good bacteria. That's what the live rock does. And that's how your ammonia gets processed.
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Old 12-25-2011, 04:57 PM   #19
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I do clean the filters by swishing the old ones on aquarium water . I suppose getting more LR can't make anything worse and is worth a try. Will have to look into what it will cost to have it shipped here .
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Old 12-25-2011, 05:04 PM   #20
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Well let us know how you get on, good luck and merry Christmas!
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