Cant get ammonia down

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by dogstar, 24 Nov 2008.

  1. dogstar

    dogstar

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    Guys my tank readings have been stable for a long time now the problem is they have been stable with the ammonia reading 0.25 (nitrites 0 and nitrates <1) I haven't been able to get this down. Been like this for at least 3 weeks with no change.

    So last weekend i did a 10% water change and added a small piece of raw fish to give the cycle a kick. I also started to dose seachem stability.

    It looks like all the raw fish has decomposed, I test the water again on Friday, and no changes. Still ammonia reading at 0.25.

    What could causing this problem? Any possible solutions?
     
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  3. Jaak

    Jaak

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    Anything that's dying off in your tank will contribute to the level of ammonia in your tank. Especially a piece of raw fish that decomposed in your tank. I would do a couple of 10% water changes over a few days to see if it helps. Otherwise look in your tank and see if you can find anything that's dying off in your tank.
    Also check your test kit to see if it hasn't expired...
     
  4. dogstar

    dogstar Thread Starter

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    Thing is, the ammonia level has not changed for at least three weeks. Even after adding the raw fish, you would think there would be a spike, buts its stayed the same 0.25

    PS i tested my water at the lfs (TM kit), their reading was close to mine (red sea kit), 0.1 so i think my kit is okay.
     
  5. Jaak

    Jaak

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    How old is your tank?
     
  6. dogstar

    dogstar Thread Starter

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    Tank is cycling for 5 weeks of which for more then half of that time, my readings have stayed the same 0 nitrites, <1 Nitrates and 0.25 ammonia
     
  7. Jaak

    Jaak

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    I think you should just give some time as your tnak might not have enough good bacteria to break down the ammonia to nitrites, etc. It could also be one of your pieces of LR that adding to the ammonia levels. I would definitely give it some time especially after 2 test kits have given similar readings. Google Ammonia cycle and read what some of the links say... it can only help.
     
  8. dogstar

    dogstar Thread Starter

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    Sure will give it some more time.

    However having seen no change in my readings, and specifically no drop in the ammonia levels (despite dosing seachem stability, and adding a raw fish to create a spike) i am starting to worry that something is going wrong.
     
  9. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Have you been adding any cured/uncured LR to the tank recently?
     
  10. Alan

    Alan Admin MASA Contributor

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    I would have my readings checked against another test kit, your kit may be faulty.
     
  11. dogstar

    dogstar Thread Starter

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    Nope, havent added any more live rock. What i popped into the tank the first time is the only rock in there.

    I will test with another kit. I reckon my kit is off a little, but i don't think its completely out.
     
  12. Obi-Wan

    Obi-Wan

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    Crossroads

    Go either, or all ways.

    Your answer is surely a combination of below info.

    I suggest the test at error earlier.

    You added rock weeks ago, but didn't verify INITIAL NH3 - was LR cured?


    Seachem stability is more than capable of rapid NH3 metabolism, which shows by NO NETT INCREASE in NO2.

    Just Stability, WITHOUT raw fish/NH3 source , is prescribed approach.

    After all, you HAD NH3( your test showed), so you needed to minimise , NOT add to it.

    Do you use water conditioners?
    Aquasafe, etc.

    These items can cause FALSE POSITIVE results, in the method they yield endpoint. by either Nessler or Salicylate based methods.

    Try Seachem Ammonia, or Li'l Alert Mate, or Ammonia Alert they test for Free (toxic) Ammonia versus ionised NH3 (nontoxic)

    Below pdf, I couldn't really edit from website source

    Ammonia kits fall into three groups: Nessler’s reagent (yellow
    with ammonia); salicylate-hypochlorite (green to blue with ammonia);
    and hydrophobic sensors, Seachem’s Ammonia
    Alert™ and MultiTest:™ Free & Total Ammonia.
    Nessler’s reagent is a highly toxic mercury
    complex and should not be used. Nessler’s
    reagent is also very susceptible to interference
    from common aquarium products.
    Since both Nessler and salicylate tests are
    run at a pH of greater than 12, they measure as
    ammonia any substance which can generate ammonia
    or primary amine groups at high pH, including ammonia complexed
    to ammonia removing conditioners. The salicylate tests
    rely on the reaction of ammonia with hypochlorite or chlorine,
    and, consequently, any aquarium product capable of removing
    chlorine (dechlorinators and bisulfite based ammonia conditioners)
    can be expected to interfere with color development, even
    when ammonia is present. The latter is a convenient coincidence
    for some ammonia removal products, since it gives the appearance
    that the ammonia conditioner is performing much better
    than it actually may be. The hydrophobic sensor technology
    relies on the vapor phase of free ammonia and is, consequently,
    more specific for ammonia and less likely to be affected by contaminants
    in the sample. It has the distinct advantage of being
    able to differentiate free ammonia. Total ammonia can be measured
    by raising the sample pH. These sensors can measure true
    ammonia, even in the presence of ammonia conditioners. This
    technology is available exclusively from Seachem in its Ammonia
    Alert™ and MultiTest:™ Free & Total Ammonia kit.


    Another descriptive link.........
    Ammonia management

     
  13. dogstar

    dogstar Thread Starter

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    Just tested my water here are the readings:

    Temp: 29 (heat wave up here in jhb)
    sg: 1.026
    kh: 5 or 6 (may have been 1 drop to much??)
    ph: 8.2
    nitrate: <1
    Nitrite: 0
    Ammonia - as we know my kit is faulty since i tested fresh water and my tank water and they both read 0.25 i suspect i might be fine here but i will confirm at the lfs.

    I added 3 hermits yesterday, they doing great.

    Hows things looking?
     
  14. Alan

    Alan Admin MASA Contributor

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    All looks good so far.
     
  15. dogstar

    dogstar Thread Starter

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    safe to get 1 fish on sunday? Provided the ammonia reads 0 at the lfs?
     
  16. Mike

    Mike Retired Moderator

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    Take a sample to the lfs, it is quite possible your test kit won't register zero - a few don't, then let him test and off you go:)
     
  17. dogstar

    dogstar Thread Starter

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    Great to hear that. Must cross fingers. Hope the ammonia is zero.
     
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