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Old 16th February 2013   #1
Layna
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Default Cycled but high ammonia?

Hello, so my tank is cycled now but i recently bought a master test kit for freshwater tanks to get a more accurate reading.

This is where the problem began, the readings for nitrIte and nitrAte are both 0 and thats great but ammonia readings are between 2 and 4 and also the ph is reading at 6

so thats
PH - 6
Ammonia - 2-4
NitrIte - 0
NitrAte - 0

Ive just checked my axies tank he is in at the moment and got the exact same readings as above.

How can i quickly rectify this please?



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Old 16th February 2013   #2
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Default Re: Cycled but high ammonia?

Looks like your cycle's crashed . Firstly, move your axie out for the next few days- those ammonia readings are WAY too high! 100% water changes whilst he's in a tub, pour the old water into the tank to keep the cycle going
Quickest way to rectify the problem is to begin the cycling process again- 20% water changes once a day (or two 15% ones a day to keep the ammonia from becoming toxic if you're going to move your lotl back in once the ammonia's back down to 0.50ppm and you start seeing nitrites), leaving enough ammonia for the bacteria to process. If you can get your hands on some bacteria (Dr. Timms, or from an established filter (Not yours as the bacteria sadly aren't there), that will definitely help.
Additionally, adding in some live plants (Java moss works REALLY well) to act as a nitrate sink will be beneficial for the tank long-term.
Hope this helps- keep us updated!



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Old 16th February 2013   #3
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Default Re: Cycled but high ammonia?

The thing is, his tank he is usually in is the same readings so he cant stay in there

I have lots of live plants in there, some that is planted and looks like grass and some that floats on the top (eldowa or something?)

It has his sponge filter from his old tank in there and a 'normal' filter running too ive moved his ornaments from his old tank into the new one also it has a few rocks and sand substrate in the new tank.

i dont get it, its been cycling for around 8 weeks now and i was adding HAGEN NUTRAFIN CYCLE 'good bacteria' i bough in a little tub to help the cycle. (i looked for dr tims but couldnt find any)

If he is living in there can i just do daily water changes and add 'API stress coat+' and it will rectify itself?



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Old 16th February 2013   #4
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Default Re: Cycled but high ammonia?

How pH Impacts Other Compounds

Your pH impacts other aspects of your water chemistry. For instance, if your pH drops below 6, the nitrification bacteria that keep your ammonia and nitrites (toxic compounds to fish) at zero ppm, will begin to die off. This can cause your tank to re-cycle and kill you fish in the process if they are not hardy enough.

The toxicity of ammonia is also largely dictated by your pH. The total ammonia in your tank is a combination of ammonium ions (NH4+) and ammonia (NH3). The pH of your water is the major factor in the relative concentrations of these two compounds. More ammonia (the more toxic of the two compounds) will be present in alkaline water while more ammonium ions (the less toxic of the two compounds) will be present in acidic water. Therefore, you need to remember that as you raise the pH, you are making the any ammonia in the tank more toxic to your fish. It is because of this that pH adjustments during the cycling phase of your aquarium are not recommended. After the cycle is completed, there should not be any ammonia in your tank anyways.


.............

^^ stolen from web....

The low ph could explain why the cycle is crashing & also why high ammonia isn't affecting the daphnia as much - still not a good idea to keep your lotl in there just yet.



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Old 16th February 2013   #5
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Default Re: Cycled but high ammonia?

Okay so heres some pictures of my test results, the problematic tank , and stitch at the moment :)

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Old 16th February 2013   #6
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Default Re: Cycled but high ammonia?

Is the water you've been using your drinking water? If so, I'd consider moving to bottled water both for yourself and your non-human family members. If not, use your drinking water with just a dechlorinator in whilst the tank re establishes (Both for your axie and the tank itself. Whilst you COULD leave him in there, you really would be running the gauntlet of losing your axie to ammonia poisoning. Also, the low pH of your tank makes the situation considerably more dangerous and time critical. Hopefully you can find a water source which is above pH7.0.
As to it having cycled, even an established tank can crash. Our old goldfish tank was stable for years, then we had a slight shift in the climate (not weather) and it crashed like a stone, and I could never re-start the cycle, so it is now sitting down the back, and the last few occupants have moved out into our front pond.

Concerning the bacteria, any idea of where it was stored? Aquarium products do have use-by dates and storage requirements, without which they become extremely detrimental to your tank AND your wallet!

Having plants is a great start, but having ammonia readings that high suggests that they aren't able to cope with the amount of waste which is going in. Hopefully removing the axie will give them a chance to catch up so they are able to benefit your aquatic environment to the best of their ability.
I wish I could give you better news, but cycling is a long, drawn out process that doesn't happen magically. Sometimes you'll achieve perfect conditions within a week, other times you'll be at the three month mark and having to do water changes twice a day. The thing is to stick with it- the drop tests are reliable enough that you can trust their results, so go off them rather than anything else. You WILL get there eventually, and both you and your axie will be far happier as a result :)



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Old 16th February 2013   #7
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Default Re: Cycled but high ammonia?

Ive done a picture with the flash on too, i thought maybe it would show the colour more clearly?
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The product was just on the shelf with all the other potions a fish store sells :)
Yup i use tap water thats suitable for drinking and add the API stress coat+ then leave it sitting for 24 hours before i use it.

Could i use something from a goldfish tank to help the cycle? Although they get changed with pond water and not tap water.

Im worried cause i have 4 other little ones and i dont want to cause them harm too as when they are bigger some will be joining Stitch in his bigger tank.



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Old 16th February 2013   #8
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Default Re: Cycled but high ammonia?

So after a large water change and adding a limestone rock my PH has risen to 6.6
Hopefully now if it gets a little higher my cycle will work this time!



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Old 16th February 2013   #9
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Default Re: Cycled but high ammonia?

So I've been thinking, and if my cycle has crashed and my ammonia is really high, do I need to add ammonia still or just leave it?
just do daily water changes and leave it?



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Old 16th February 2013   #10
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Default Re: Cycled but high ammonia?

If your ammonia is that high, you don't need to add more. In a fishless cycle, you only need to add ammonia when it drops to 0 and your nitrites start rising.



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Old 17th February 2013   #11
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Default Re: Cycled but high ammonia?

Ah okay thats cool.
so just so i do it all correct;

1) leave the tank until ammonia drops to 0 and nitrItes start to rise
2 ) add more ammonia until nitrItes drop to 0 and nitrAtes start to rise

Do i need to continue to do daily water changes?
and when do i stop adding ammonia?

How much ammonia should i add daily for a 20 gallon tank?
and how much percentage of water change should i do daily?



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Old 17th February 2013   #12
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Default Re: Cycled but high ammonia?

Your ammonia is already high. You don't need to add any more.

If you remove the animal from the tank, you shouldn't do any water changes until you have fully cycled. If you're leaving your axie in the tank while you cycle, you'll have to do a daily water change, and change enough to keep your ammonia at an acceptable level. It could be 20% or more.



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Old 18th February 2013   #13
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Default Re: Cycled but high ammonia?

I've removed him and I'm doing a fishless cycle ag
ain :)



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Old 1st March 2013   #14
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Default Re: Cycled but high ammonia?

so another stupid question, if I have an outdoor pond that is cycled, can I add some of the pond water to my tank that is cycling to add 'good bacteria'



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Old 1st March 2013   #15
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Default Re: Cycled but high ammonia?

Beneficial bacteria mostly grow on surfaces, and not in the water column. The best way to help cycle your tank would be to add rocks or some other material from the pond in a mesh bag hanging into your cycling tank.



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Old 1st March 2013   #16
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No, there is no good bacteria in water. Good bacteria colonizes in the biomedia of your filter. (i.e. sponges and ceramic media)



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Old 2nd March 2013   #17
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Default Re: Cycled but high ammonia?

For me, a bacteria filter starter helped jump-start my cycle :)
It's basically a bottle of goo that you dump onto the sponge part of your filter.
And it doesn't even cost much.



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Old 2nd March 2013   #18
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Default Re: Cycled but high ammonia?

Most of the bottled bacteria are just junk, nothing more than dead bacteria and waste products.

Some brands are refrigerated, and are more effective than the rest.

But if you have a cycled pond, just use muck from that. Take a big handful of mud and gunk from the bottom, put it in the toe of a pair of nylons and float it in your tank.



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Old 4th March 2013   #19
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Default Re: Cycled but high ammonia?

okay great thanks :)



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