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Beyond Frustrated with Ammonia issue!

This is a discussion on Beyond Frustrated with Ammonia issue! within the Axolotl tank set-ups, filters, substrate forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; Ok, so brief background: This is my first large tank. I am still learning all the ins and outs, but ...

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Old 4th August 2015   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Beyond Frustrated with Ammonia issue!

Ok, so brief background:

This is my first large tank. I am still learning all the ins and outs, but I did a ton of research before hand and felt pretty confident until now. I fully cycled my tank prior to getting my axies. Ammonia and Nitrites were zeroed out and there were a few nitrates.

Everything went great when I got them, but I cleaned a little too much (my fault) and changed the filters (which I learned later was about the dumbest thing I could do) and the ammonia level spiked. I did daily 25% water changes, but the ammonia level kept rising. I was afraid for my lotl's health so I removed them from the tank and they are currently happy as can be in our guest bathtub (they are still pretty small).

So I go and talk with a guy at a local aquarium store and he says to just let it be and it will cycle. Fast forward a few days and the ammonia levels just keep going up. I'm so glad I removed my little ones because that ammonia level is now reading an insane 8 ppm!

I don't know what to do anymore. Should I just leave it and hope it cycles? Should I just empty the whole thing out, completely rinse out the tank and start over? I think there is still a little bit of axie poo (though I tried to get as much out as I could) as well as a couple ghost shrimp somewhere in the tank. It is a 55 gallon. I just bought a much better filter, I'm hoping that will help.

And don't worry about my axies. They get frquent water changes and have been getting blackworms treats in addition to their normal bloodworms. While I think they miss their tank, they don't seem stressed at all by their new temporary home.

Help me please!



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Old 4th August 2015   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Beyond Frustrated with Ammonia issue!

Basically you need to cycle your tank again. It will probably be a bit faster than last time since there probably still are some bacteria left in there that just need to multiply. Since the ammonia is so high there must be an ammonia source in the tank (poop, leftover food etc.), but it's fine since it just means you don't need to keep adding ammonia. Usually it's recommended though to keep the ammonia at about 4 ppm, so you could do a water change to bring it down a bit. Then just wait for it to cycle again. Keep the axies in the tub with frequent water changes while the tank cycles. And the shrimp are probably already dead because of the ammonia.



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Old 5th August 2015   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Beyond Frustrated with Ammonia issue!

Thank you so much for the reply! Amazingly the shrimp are still alive.....at least one of them, I just saw him on one of the plants. What would you recommend for the amount of water to change?



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You can buy artificial moss balls for turtles and if you add 1 moss ball per 10 gallons it should help keep it down, not sure how much they cost though, change the balls every 2 months



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Old 5th August 2015   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Beyond Frustrated with Ammonia issue!

If the ammonia is 8 ppm at the moment, a 50% water change would bring it down to 4 ppm. So max 50% water change I'd say. It doesn't have to be exactly 4ppm.



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Old 6th August 2015   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Beyond Frustrated with Ammonia issue!

Wow, basic math fail on my part. I'm not that dense, I promise! Thanks so much for the replies!



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