Persistent ammonia problem

Discussion in 'General Freshwater Information' started by kcbrad, Aug 16, 2010.

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  1. kcbrad

    kcbrad Giant Squid

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    I'm asking a question on my mom's behalf...(this is for freshwater)

    She has a 12 gallon tank and it's been running for a year. She let it cycle a year ago and everything has been going smoothly. She changes her filter media every 2-4 weeks and does a 25% water change every two weeks.

    Recently she's been having an ammonia problem. The fish started getting fungus and she tested the water and ammonia was 1.0, nitrite 0 and nitrate 5 (this was right after a water change). For the next week she did frequent partial water changes and finally got the ammonia reading down to 0. She replaced the filter media and thought everything would be okay. She went on with her bi-monthly water changes. Her last water change was yesterday, and she tested today and her ammonia was 0.5, nitrite 0 and nitrate 5.

    What is going on? Why is the ammonia being so persistent? And what should she do about it?

    Her tank is not overstocked, it has 4 tiny fish in it and she feeds a small amount once a day.

    Thanks!!
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2010
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  3. Newreef15

    Newreef15 Horrid Stonefish

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    what kind of fish?

    was the lr from another setup?

    what dose she feed the fish ?
     
  4. kcbrad

    kcbrad Giant Squid

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    This is the freshwater section, so no live rock. haha

    But the fish are some random tetras (don't know the names).

    She feeds flakes.
     
  5. Newreef15

    Newreef15 Horrid Stonefish

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    oops lol

    i was into freshwater for a while but i never tested the water lol

    i think freshwater normal has a high amoina that salt jmo but idk sorry that i couldnt help
     
  6. kcbrad

    kcbrad Giant Squid

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    haha no worries! I've answered freshwater questions many times thinking they were for salt! :)
     
  7. wildblue

    wildblue Astrea Snail

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    i think freshwater normal has a high amoina

    KC & her mom are right to question this. FW tanks should have no detectable ammonia. They're usually more tolerant of nitrates, but not ammonia.


    KC:

    2-4 weeks for the media? Could she be persuaded to let the media sit for six to eight weeks on a trial basis? For reference, I have a canister filter that I take apart every two months. I only clean the sponge filter and 1/3 of my media (rotating).

    The water change schedule looks good. My guess is that the frequent media changes are the cause. If the ammonia was 1.0 immediately after a water change then I'd probably test the water in the container used for WC's to see if it was present just to verify that I wasn't adding it.


    Hope this will help, GL to her!
     
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  9. ReefBruh

    ReefBruh Giant Squid

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    I wonder if she is using tap water and not treating it for chloramine and chlorimides(spelling for both).
     
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  10. 2in10

    2in10 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Definitely treat the new water with a dechlorinator that treats chloramines. Get something like Seachem Prime that actually breaks the chloramine and ammonia down.
     
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  11. 2in10

    2in10 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Also make sure she is only changing part of the media and not completely cleaning the filter.
     
  12. Peredhil

    Peredhil Giant Squid

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    different ideas


    insane detritus buildup under the gravel I am assuming makes up the substrate.

    not enough gravel for a sufficient bacteria colony

    so what, it's FW, they'll be fine :p

    Something stuck up in a filter intake or something (like a dead tetra)

    water source - dechlorinator doesn't do much for ammonia IME

    good luck kcbrad's mom
     
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