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slinkywonka
25th February 2009, 06:34
About a week ago i removed the carbon(black) sponge from my juwel internal as it was old and is not really needed,i wanted to make room for my cirax which i have on order.2 days later i wake to find my red finned shark dead,the night before it was acting strangely,hanging around the surface alot.

I removed the shark and tested the water:

ammonia 1.0
nitrite 0
nitrate 10
ph 7.6

So i did a 50% water change straight away and went to work (late!).I tested the water the following day and all was the same apart from ammonia was still 1.0.I put some ammo lock into the tank,and once more 48 hours later i put more in.Now my water tests 1.0 for ammonia even after i do a 50% water change and i cannot improve it at all.I am using API master test kit,the liquid one.

I tested my tap water for ammonia and it is 0.

My fish seem ok.I was thinking maybe the carbon sponge had some bacterial colonys on it and i removed them,maybe a spike in ammonia was to be expected but to stay the same?? Seems strange.I am worried about my fish but it seems stupid to do a 50% water change when it reads the same result every time.I did one yesterday morning,then in the afternoon i did another.Now i am thinking i am wasting my time and causing un-needed stress to them.

Help :(

steveninaster
25th February 2009, 08:40
I was looking back over your previous posts, you mention the pump dying on your filter. How long do you think the pump was out of action before you replaced it?
Is it possible that this and the removal of a sponge have killed your cycle.

That you can test your tap water for ammonia and get 0 suggests that the test kit is working, try mixing 50% tap with 50% tank in a separate test tube and comparing it directly to a test tube of just tank water. If you can see a colour difference then you will be sure the kit is ok.

I don't think you are wasting yout time, I would keep up the water changes until ammonia starts to drop. If you have an air pump and\or venturi then I would run that as well to improve aeration.

Hope it all settles down quickly for you.

Steve

mel600
25th February 2009, 10:55
when you use ammo lock, it states on the bottle that you will still still get the ammonia reading, even though the ammo lock is doing it's job

slinkywonka
25th February 2009, 12:53
when you use ammo lock, it states on the bottle that you will still still get the ammonia reading, even though the ammo lock is doing it's job

It does not state that on mine,it says "continue using until ammonia readings are at zero".

steveninaster
25th February 2009, 13:20
Ammo lock does not remove ammonia, as far as I know it converts it to the less toxic form ammonium. Your test kit will say NH3(Ammonia & NH4/Ammonium, it should give the same result regardless of the form of the ammonia .

Steve

slinkywonka
25th February 2009, 13:49
Ammo lock does not remove ammonia, as far as I know it converts it to the less toxic form ammonium. Your test kit will say NH3(Ammonia & NH4/Ammonium, it should give the same result regardless of the form of the ammonia .

Steve

So my water is ok then??

steveninaster
25th February 2009, 13:54
I said less toxic, not non toxic. Whilst Ammonium isnt as harmfull, it's still not good. Try to keep the levels low until the bacteria catch up.

Nathalie
25th February 2009, 14:55
Hi,

I had this same problem about a year ago. Read a small amount of ammonia, maybe 0.1-0.25 so added ammo-lock and all hell broke loose with the readings. I ended up spending about £100 on different ammonia removing products thinking I had a massive problem only to find I had none. I ended up buying a different test kit (there are two types of ammonia test kits and one will give you an accurate result with ammo-lock) and it read no ammonia.

I believe the test I used was Interpret (tablet form). As long as you remove what seems to be the source of the ammonia and take care of the problem chances are it may be fine. But I would buy that test if I were you to be on the safe side.

Nathalie

Nathalie
25th February 2009, 15:03
My ammo-lock says this on the bottle

"After using ammo-lock, your aquarium water will still test positive for ammonia even though it is in a non-toxic form which will be removed by the biological filter"

Susie
25th February 2009, 15:13
Same experience, Ammo-lock will have an effect on the ammonia test results in most instances. With AP Ammonia test, with Ammo-Lock added I remember getting something mental like 8ppm+.

As your pH is on the slightly higher side I'd keep the ammonia down as much as possible. Ammonia toxicity increases with pH and temperature.

slinkywonka
25th February 2009, 15:27
My ph is usually 6.5 so i have no idea why it is 7.6,when my pump failed on the filter i actually got it going again by tapping it on the wall,it was inactive for 5 mins or so.

I have fitted a venturi valve for aeration and i have ordered an Eheim 3702 Air Pump for even more oxygen.

Susie
25th February 2009, 15:39
Water changes? Maybe try the tap water for it's pH value. When the water is low in carbonates the pH can drop quite a bit in the tank. Mine, again, is the same. It will read 7.4 out of the tap and the tank will- without buffering drop to as low as 6 in the space of 24 hours. kH is practically 0.

steveninaster
25th February 2009, 18:42
Not heard of this before, the manufacturers themselves say that Ammo lock (http://cms.marsfishcare.com/uploads/Ammo%20Lock%20Study%208.1.08.pdf)will not affect test kit results if your kit reads NH3 & NH4 (NH3 only and NH4 only kits are rare). Ammonia is a strong alkali so can raise pH in large enough quantities and low buffering.

Steve

slinkywonka
25th February 2009, 20:30
Ammonia is now 1
PH 6.4

??

One of my albino barbs has been bloated/fat for 2 weeks and he is now swimming sideways alot and gasping near the surface.I feel another death coming on here.I expect to find him dead in the morning.I really am getting fed up of this,this will be the fourth death in 5 weeks.I got the tank and the fish came with it,i feel i am paying for the previous owners horrendous care/lack of.

And just for reference my ammo lock is API branded and does NOT mention on the bottle anything about affecting test results,it says to carry out regular tests until ammonia reads zero,whyl would it say that if test results were affected? Today is just one of those days i feel like giving up.I have done 2 x 50% water changes today and am getting no where.

Nathalie
25th February 2009, 21:47
That's odd, mine is API branded too, though I bought it several months ago, maybe they have changed the packaging. Mine expires in 2011, is yours older or newer?

It can get frustrating, but these problems tend to happen rarely as long as the tank is looked after and you get so much enjoyment out of the fish. I think the ammo-lock is giving you false readings. If you can afford to, try and get another test kit, it might make you feel better. Interpret EasyTest (tablet) I believe was the one that worked for me.

slinkywonka
26th February 2009, 07:21
I have ordered some duckweed to help lower the ammonia and provide food for my tiger barbs.I have read that it can get out of hand but i am desperate.

Gerry
26th February 2009, 16:32
tap water that has chloramine added will show ammonia as chloramine is chlorine/ammonia bonded together, water conditioner separates these and neutralizes chlorine leaving ammonia to be dealt with the filters, so you will get ammonia readings.

I think your better to stop adding additive like ammo lock and let the cycle go naturally.

1 seems high though even for this, so either your under filtered, overstocked, over feeding or your bacteria has been killed off

slinkywonka
26th February 2009, 17:41
I have not fed them in the last 24 hours and will only feed once a day from now on.I used to feed in morning and night.

stircrazy
26th February 2009, 20:56
Have you tried adding Safestart or something simialr just to get some live bacteria in the tank? I always believe that if you have trouble with Ammonia levels it has some relation to the amount of bacteria in the tank (or lack of) since that is the reason they are grown - to feed on Ammonia.

I am cycling my Juwel Tank and also have the compact sponge filter setup. I have been replacing the white sponge on the top on a weekly basis but now I believe that I should leave it there as my cycle seems to be stagnant and I think I am removing bacteria that has grown on the white sponge and its stalling the cycle. My Ammonia levels are nuts!!

How many fish have you got left?

slinkywonka
27th February 2009, 05:44
Have you tried adding Safestart or something simialr just to get some live bacteria in the tank? I always believe that if you have trouble with Ammonia levels it has some relation to the amount of bacteria in the tank (or lack of) since that is the reason they are grown - to feed on Ammonia.

I am cycling my Juwel Tank and also have the compact sponge filter setup. I have been replacing the white sponge on the top on a weekly basis but now I believe that I should leave it there as my cycle seems to be stagnant and I think I am removing bacteria that has grown on the white sponge and its stalling the cycle. My Ammonia levels are nuts!!

How many fish have you got left?

I have used filter start twice in the last week but am now leaving it.I have added some cirax to the bottom of the filter to help harbour bacteria.My eheim pump arrived yesterday(brilliant piece of kit) so i have added a n 18" bubble wall and my fish are loving it.

My reading are identical everytime,my fish seem happy so i am not going to panick anymore and just do my normal 30% water change weekly.I have some new gravel too but shall wait until all my reading are perfect before changing it.

helenfaulkner
27th February 2009, 06:51
Try this to see if it is the Ammo-Lock or the tap water that is the problem:

1. Take a bucket of tank water out and leave it for 24 hours. This is enough time, I believe, for the Ammo-lock to dissipate entirely and not affect any test results (alternately, just do this at least 24 hours after the last dose of ammo-lock to the tank.

2. Measure the ammonia level in the bucket.

3. Measure the ammonia level coming out of the tap, with no additives or anything - just plain tap water.

4. Do a 50% water change on the bucket, without adding ammo-lock (not safe to do in the tank, of course, because of the chlorine/chloramine, but perfectly OK to do on the bucket water. Make sure you stir everything up alright.

5. Measure the ammonia level of the bucket again. If the tap water has no ammonia, the bucket should now be half what it was before. If the tap water has ammonia straight from the start, then you can calculate whether your reading makes sense (or post the numbers here and we will help you work it out).

6. If this procedure reveals results that make sense, then do it all again, this time adding the ammo-lock to the bucket to mimic a perfectly normal water change. If the ammo-lock is messing up the rest results, you should get a different value in 5. to the first time, as the ammo-lock is changing things somehow (either by messing with the test result, or by separating ammonia from chlorine in the chloramine and leaving more ammonia in the water).

Does that make sense? If I need to explain better let me know and I'll give it a go...

slinkywonka
27th February 2009, 08:31
Try this to see if it is the Ammo-Lock or the tap water that is the problem:

1. Take a bucket of tank water out and leave it for 24 hours. This is enough time, I believe, for the Ammo-lock to dissipate entirely and not affect any test results (alternately, just do this at least 24 hours after the last dose of ammo-lock to the tank.

2. Measure the ammonia level in the bucket.

3. Measure the ammonia level coming out of the tap, with no additives or anything - just plain tap water.

4. Do a 50% water change on the bucket, without adding ammo-lock (not safe to do in the tank, of course, because of the chlorine/chloramine, but perfectly OK to do on the bucket water. Make sure you stir everything up alright.

5. Measure the ammonia level of the bucket again. If the tap water has no ammonia, the bucket should now be half what it was before. If the tap water has ammonia straight from the start, then you can calculate whether your reading makes sense (or post the numbers here and we will help you work it out).

6. If this procedure reveals results that make sense, then do it all again, this time adding the ammo-lock to the bucket to mimic a perfectly normal water change. If the ammo-lock is messing up the rest results, you should get a different value in 5. to the first time, as the ammo-lock is changing things somehow (either by messing with the test result, or by separating ammonia from chlorine in the chloramine and leaving more ammonia in the water).

Does that make sense? If I need to explain better let me know and I'll give it a go...

Makes perfect sense,it has been more than 24 hours since i added any ammo lock.I did an ammonia test this morning and it read 1.0 again,same old story.I will take a bucket out now and do as you described...

slinkywonka
27th February 2009, 09:10
Ok here we go:

tap water - 0

Bucket from tank - 1.5!

bucket after 50% water change - 0.5 - 1.0

So i MUST have ammonia in my tank.I have just done a 60% water change and shall test water when it all settles down.My hoplo catfish just tried to eat my gravel cleaner lol.

slinkywonka
27th February 2009, 09:31
Now i am really confused!

Just tested the tank water after 10 mins of water change and it shows ammonia 1.0!! What in the hell is happening!!?? I gave the gravel a good clean when i did the water change and got lots of dirt up too.

I have asked my wife to compare the tube to the chart in case its my eayes but she says it is a green colour too.There is no yellow to it just a light green.

Baffled.

Also my tiger barbs are fighting each other over the last 48 hours,they seem angry.I was thinking maybe a dead fish is buried somewhere under the gravel but i have had a good look around with my hand and the gravel cleaner and cant see anything.The previous owner just emptied the tank and left the gravel in with a little tank water.

I will test the water before bed tonight too.

Nathalie
27th February 2009, 10:42
Hi,

Some things that could help with controlling the ammonia are (which might have already been mentioned above, sorry if it has):

1. stop feeding fish altogether for at least a week. This is absolutely fine. Fish can survive no problem with no food for up to 2 weeks. I've done this before when on holiday and they were all there when I came back, still healthy. Also there is no need to feed twice a day either, I normally feed once a day and 1-2 days a week they don't get fed. This mimics more natural conditions in the wild. I've done this for almost a year and if anything my fish and water are a lot healthier, I also only feed them live or frozen food (but this may or may not have any significance).

2. Small daily water changes until the situation resolves itself

3. Add bacteria - I think you already have

4. Don't clean out filter sponges unless absolutely necessary, mine get a little rinse in old tank water every couple of months. I've never replaced them, this is only necessary if they are literally falling apart.

5. Definitely remove any dead fish immediately as this will create ammonia. I try to count my fish daily to see if any are missing (its not always easy depending on the size and number of fish).

Good luck!

Nathalie

slinkywonka
27th February 2009, 11:20
Thanks for that Nat.I think i will go a week on no food then,i shall add some more bacteria today aswell.Hopefully the cirax media i bought will be good too(placed it at the very bottom) I think one of my albino barbs is dying,he has been bloated for a while now and has left the group and is just on his own hanging around my thermometer? Also,when my shark died,he too was next to my thermometer.I have checked for any leakage obviously but it is fine.Maybe the suction cup had some algae or something? It is near my intake on the filter.

BigBlackMoor
28th February 2009, 17:08
... i have added a n 18" bubble wall and my fish are loving it....

That's some size of airstone Slinky, what type of pump do you use for it?

I've got a 6" with a tetratec 100 & it only bubbles from about 2" from the hose :(

slinkywonka
28th February 2009, 18:27
That's some size of airstone Slinky, what type of pump do you use for it?

I've got a 6" with a tetratec 100 & it only bubbles from about 2" from the hose :(

I have an eheim 3702 air pump,it is the mutts nuts! very quiet for such a powerful pump and has 2 outlets.I use a "T" connector and fuse them into 1 tube which goes into my bubble wall.The bubblw wall was under a fiver delivered from ebay and is suction cupped to the rear of the tank.

My plec likes to suck the glass behind it and fight the current,my tiger barbs are hilarious they just keep riding it from left to right.It has actually calmed them down and the fighting has stopped.My ammonia levels are dropping now,doing 50% daily water changes.This is the happiest i have seen my fish since i got them :)

BigBlackMoor
28th February 2009, 18:29
Are bubble walls airstones or just tubing with perforations? Is it noisy?

slinkywonka
28th February 2009, 20:57
Are bubble walls airstones or just tubing with perforations? Is it noisy?

They are basically long tubes with loads of holes in.The only noise is usually from the pump and the bubbles themselves rising and popping,but as the pump is quiet i can only hear the bubbles and i like that sound.The tank is in my living room,i suppose if it was in my bedroom it might irritate me in the night though.