How much Amonia is too much?

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by mupwi, 14 Jan 2011.

  1. mupwi

    mupwi

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    I woke up this morning to 4 dead fish and the rest gulping at the serface the pumps were all runing so I dont think it was lack of oxygen but testin gthe water I mesured .25ppm amonia it was fine last night would this be enough to kill the fish?

    would the gulping at the serface be an indication of this?

    I think it came from when I was setting up my new auto feeder and accedentaly dumped a lot of extra food in the tank last night which I thaught my hermits would have sorted out but unfortunately not.

    I vacuned up all the food still on the substrait and did a 10% water change and they started swiming around normaly again .

    going to do another 20% change tonight just to make sure just didnt have time this morning before work.

    if it was amonia are there lasting efects on the serviving fish should I be treating them somhow?
     
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  3. Trev

    Trev

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    Fish can handle 25ppm of amonia for short periods so I would say that it had krept up on you slowly and you hadnt noticed it, 50ppm where they die short term.

    If you ever have amonia problems be sure to check your ph as at a higher ph there is less damage to the fish from amonia, Also temptarure influences the toxic punch amonia has. The lower the temp the less toxic it is to the fish in the short term.

    How old is your tank now?

    Trev
     
  4. mupwi

    mupwi Thread Starter

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    it is about 2 months old now
     
  5. Trev

    Trev

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    Oh should have read further

    Yes do a nother 20% tonight that will help and yes it does affect the fish long term but it depends how long they were exposed to the amonia it will affect the digestive tract . But unfortunately the effects are permanent

    Lastly sorry for the bad spelling, in a bit of a rush right now

    Trev
     
  6. Trev

    Trev

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    Ok how many fish and also how long did the tank run before you introduced the first fish and how many fish did you introduce first?
     
  7. mupwi

    mupwi Thread Starter

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    tank was set up with live sand real not fron a shop and 1kg live rock/10l cured from marco this ran for 1 month then added 1 blemmy and one 2cm seargent major rhen about a week later added 2 more seargent majors about 1cm each last weekend added 2 more blemmys
     
  8. mupwi

    mupwi Thread Starter

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    while cycling I droped in small chunks of fish every douple of days and had a max amonia spike on .25 been testing amonia every second day or so since the begining and readings have been 0 since the initial spike in the cycle
     
    Last edited: 14 Jan 2011
  9. Trev

    Trev

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    Ok cool good info so from this I have to tell you that unfortunately I am 95% sure that your problems come from yourself and the most likely cause is poor husbandry and by this I meam that you arent doing a good enough job of keeping the degradable matter to a minimum and this matter has now caused a minicycle. The red light was when you mentioned having to vacume the food off the substrate. So thats the bad news the good news is that you can fix it and learn from it but I suggest you ask Marco if he has a product to supply you ether Prodibio Stop Amo or there is another one called Amoguard call him and ask him about these they will help you right now to remove the amonia from you system.

    Then start looking at the flow in your tank it could be to little, how often are you doing water changes and what skimmer are you using also what is your water volume.

    Regards
    Trev
     
  10. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    Sorry Trev, have to dissagree. Ammonia is more toxic at higher pH
     
  11. mupwi

    mupwi Thread Starter

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    there normaly isnt food lying around just was extra after acedentaly trigering the auto feeder while instaling and seting up I thauight the hermits would take care of the extra that sank but unfortunately they didnt or it was just too much it is a 100l tank and I do 25% water changes each weekend no skimmer at this point planing to add a 100l sump this weekend and another 10 or so kg's of live rock
     
  12. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    Can you please use commas and full stops in your sentences? Makes it much easier to read ;)
    Anyway, ammonia does not shoot up in one night, like Trev said it must have slowly went up. Maybe your test kit is faulty or expired? Did you double check with another kit?
     
  13. Trev

    Trev

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    Eish man you are dead right sorry I said I was in a hurry LOL low ph less toxic amonia ;)
     
  14. mupwi

    mupwi Thread Starter

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    will do not expird but maby faulty cant think of any thing else as nothing else has changed in the tank and they seemed happy last night unless there is somthing wrong with the food switched from flakes to pelets for the feeder
     
  15. Trev

    Trev

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    Ok I think you did everything correct and your dealing with a very good guy in Marco, but I would get a skimmer in there asap something like a TS1 should do well and yeah keep up the 25% water changes till you get that skimmer in and running.

    Good luck and I hope this is the last time you have to deal with amonia issue

    Trev
     
  16. Evo R

    Evo R

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    Also look at your fish's scales and eyes to see if they suffered amonia burn.
    Amoguard/amonia guard is a brilliant product!!!!

    And lastly.....this is what the experts/guru's mean when they say that things can go for a k@k VERY quickly in a nano tank!!!!
     
  17. mupwi

    mupwi Thread Starter

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    yip thats why I whant to get the sump in as quick as posable and double the water volume so they can hapen at half speed hopfuly and I can catch it before it becomes a problem
     
  18. mupwi

    mupwi Thread Starter

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    ok I am thinking the deaths were not due to amonia as when I got home from class last night I found them gaping at the serface again tested for amonia and there wasent enough to indicate on the test .

    on the otherhand I found that my main pump the only one runing at the time was cloged so almost no water circulation so I think that when the fan that blows across the tank whent off on the timmer both nights the o2 levels droped cousing the problems droped my battery bubler in and wthin a minut they seemed happy again and I creaned the fillters.

    I am going to get another ph to add to the tank today to limit the efects of single point faliers like this
     
  19. Alan

    Alan Admin MASA Contributor

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    95% of the time when fish gasp at the water surface it is due to a lack of oxygen in the water. The amonia that you are reading is also due to the lack of oxygen and is started by the bacteria dying off. The answer here sounds like the lack of water movement, what is the temp of the water? The higher the temp the less oxygen the water can hold and KZN has been hell hot this last week.
     
  20. Perky Pets

    Perky Pets Sponsor

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    Gasping at the water surface is also Nitrite poisening.
    gill damage from nitrite gives the same responce as oxygen low. amd unless the temp is very high, i doubt its oxgen low. red sea has a oxygen test for fresh water, does any one know of a marine test ?

    It usualy take about a week for the peak of ammonia to convert into nitrite, mayby you checked the ammonia on its way out into nitrite conversion.( so test nitrite again.)

    Try putting in a airator in the filter or sump as the bubbles arnt there just to put in O2, but to remove carbon dioxide, if there isnt enough surface movement , could be carbon dioxide poisening , rather than oxygen depletion , depending on water temp.

    As Trev said, good skimmer impotent, but to me , it will help allot with oxygenating and carbon dioxide removal bas well.

    O.K just read a bit more - no sump - would be great idea if possible!

    Good luck David
     
  21. Submariner

    Submariner

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    Reading the thread i think your problem comes from a tank that although it probably cycled your tank was just not capable of handling such a large amounts of food being dumped.

    Looks like murphy also had a finger in it.

    food dumped,return pump blocked and dead fish add them together and you have a recipe for disaster.

    Agree with Trev

    A good quality skimmer would have stopped all the problems you have now from ever happening.

    If you want my advice do a decent waterchange and go out and get a good skimmer.

    You cant put a price on piece of mind.

    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: 15 Jan 2011
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