Ammonia off the charts

Discussion in 'Urgent Help Needed' started by Lemar, 14 Jan 2010.

  1. Lemar

    Lemar

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    Hi - PLEASE HELP WITH ADVICE

    This morning I noticed that the fish and corals weren't looking happy. I tested parameters and with shock got the following:


    Ammonia = 3mg (it's off the chart)
    Nitrate = 50mg
    Nitrite = 0.05
    Salinity = 1,025
    Temp = 26.5
    PH = 8.3
    Alkalinity = 9

    I have a 500l DT with 100l sump. My tank has been running smoothly now for 6 months. Started the tank in September 2008. no problems whatsoever in the last 6 months. I only test calcium and magnesium now and again as everthing is happy, corals look great.

    I decided to test mg and ca 6 days ago and this is what I got:

    Alk = 8
    Nitrate = 10
    Nitrite = 0.05
    Ammonia = 0.05
    PH = 8.3
    Salinity = 1,023
    Calcium = 350 (low)
    Magnesium = 950 (low)

    I dosed tropica marin bio-calcium 13.8 scoops which will in my tank lift calcium with 28ppm

    Last night I dosed 500g of espom salt for magnesium. I've done this before when i had problems with mg, and never experienced any sudden changes

    That's the only changes I did in the last week. And now suddenly my parameters has gone haywire

    What I've done so far:
    I've put in 3 air pump for extra oxgygen.
    I've dosed 25ml of seachem Am Guard that removes ammonia.
    I've just prepared 100l of salt to do a 20% waterchange. R/O is now finished, will have more for another 50l waterchange this afternoon.
    Skimmer is skimming wet

    What else can I do?
    +
    What might have caused this?
     
    Last edited: 14 Jan 2010
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  3. maj

    maj

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    Is all your LS still alive?
    mybe something died in your DT
     
  4. Lemar

    Lemar Thread Starter

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    Everything is still alive. all fish, invertebrates and corals. fish is in hiding, can see they are stressing. some corals still open, but leathers all look crumpled and stressed
     
  5. mnd123

    mnd123

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    water change water change water change.

    I dont think adding that much Mg would do the ammonia spike, but thats a lot of Epsom salts!
     
  6. Sentari

    Sentari

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    Water change and get some seachem stability. I swear by it when i see the tank is suffering! Only dose for 7 days.
     
  7. Lemar

    Lemar Thread Starter

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    In terms of the calculator 493mg of epsom salt will lift mg with 100. I have 600l of water. this was never a problem before. It boggles my mind
     
  8. crispin

    crispin

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    whats the tanks temp at the mo? watch that carefully as raised or lowered temp will increase stress drastically to the LS.
     
  9. Lemar

    Lemar Thread Starter

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    I have some seachem stability. I should switch my UV filter off when dosing, am I right?
    How much should I dose?
     
  10. Lemar

    Lemar Thread Starter

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    it's 26. I will put in another heater quickly. It's bacause of the WC. I didn't have time to get the temp the same.
     
  11. Anemone

    Anemone

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    Why did the salinity change so much in 6 days?
     
  12. Lemar

    Lemar Thread Starter

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    Human error - I didn't calibrate the refractometer before doing reading. After my initial post, i did it again. First calibrated it with R/O and then did the reading again. the salinity is 1,022
     
  13. Sentari

    Sentari

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    Switch off your skimmer also for 4 hours
     
  14. Lemar

    Lemar Thread Starter

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    Is this only after I dosed the stability? Is that everyday?
     
  15. Sentari

    Sentari

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    As you dose stability. ever day for 7 days.
     
  16. Lemar

    Lemar Thread Starter

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    Thanks for advice

    Ok so after the 100l WC, dosing amm guard and stability the ammonia is stil @ 3.
    Some corals look better but the fish seem stressed. What more can I do?
    Will do another WC tonight
     
  17. keyaam

    keyaam

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    Try to get some Microbacter 7 and add as recommended. Add this after the WC
     
  18. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Sorry to hear about this, Lemar. A couple of water changes one after another is the best bet to resolve the urgent issue at hand..... But, that is still not root cause. In the meanwhile you should still try and find out what the cause is.

    Dont you perhaps have die off in your tanks sump somewhere? Perhaps a moth/cocroach that died in tanks sump?
     
  19. vatso

    vatso

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    Do some of these ammonia products not convert the ammonia into harmless ammonia so you still get a high reading of ammonia?
     
  20. mnd123

    mnd123

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    Mark, what is harmless ammonia? Ammonia is NH3 - pretty nasty stuff in high concentrations. Ammonium (NH4) is a positive cation of Ammonia and part of the Nitrogen cycle. NH3 is oxidised by nitrogenous bacteria into NO2 (Nitrites) and then other bacteria (nitrobacter) break this down into NO3 (Nitrates)

    The anaerobic bacteria then do the denitrification and break this down into Nitrogen (N2)
     
  21. Lemar

    Lemar Thread Starter

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    Hi jacques. yes i'm shocked. everything was running smoothly for 6 months. no problems
    None of my LS has died also not any corals. Sump seems fine unless its die-off from the LR? we run a algae scrubber but everything there looks normal. this happened right after dosing epsom salt (dosed last night). I can't believe that this can be the cause.
    I measured the mg, it was 950, it's 1100 now. maybe to much for one day?

    I mixed 500g of epsom salt with R/o water and poored it into my sump. over the LR. could this cause die-off on rocks?
    should I maybe remove those pieces of LR from sump?
     
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