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Old 06-08-2010, 06:25 PM   #1 
nacho
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nightmare of a water change

Hello,

I did a ~40% water change today. I tested the water just now, and the ammonia reads a little less than 0.25 ppm. Yesterday, it was at 0 ppm. What could have happened? I used about one cap thread of Prime (neutralizes ammonia, nitrites, chlorine, and chloramine). I am afraid for the health of my fish. What should I do immediately to fix the situation? I am tempted to add a bit more Prime to the tank, but only after an expert says it's okay.

Thanks for your help.

nacho

p.s.
It's worth mentioning that I had a lot of trouble with my siphon today. I ended up greatly disturbing the tank. At one point, many dead leaves were lifted from the substrate. I did the water changes in two stages essentially. The first time, I removed about 25% of the water. I added the water I treated and left to sit overnight. I then decided there was still too much debris, so I removed another 20% of the water. In total, it was about a 40% water change. I added some more treated water to fill in the rest of the tank. If, from this information, you could tell me what caused the increase in ammonia and what I could do to reverse it, I would greatly appreciate it.

Last edited by nacho; 06-08-2010 at 06:31 PM.
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Old 06-08-2010, 06:48 PM   #2 
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To any mod:
I may have posted this is the wrong subsection. Could you redirect this to the emergency section? Thanks.
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Old 06-08-2010, 06:57 PM   #3 
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you may have released gases that were trapped under the substrate, also there should not have been dead leaves to begin with (most likely where the ammonia is coming from) Also have you checked your tap water for ammonia (another possibility)

As far as prime you can safely dose 5X the amount however a double dose every 24 to 48 hours should keep the ammonia non-toxic. test it every day and make sure it is going down.
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Old 06-08-2010, 07:01 PM   #4 
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Thanks cloudgodd. After some googling, I think my API test kit is detecting the harmless converted ammonia that's either coming from the dead leaves/tap water. I know that dead leaves aren't good at all, but they haven't caused any ammonia increases in the past two weeks. The tank is fully cycled. I'm really hoping that I'm seeing the harmless ammonia.

Says Shawnie from fishlore.com:
Quote:
the prime will not remove the ammonia...it just detoxifies it..you will still have the readings...as well as prime causes a positive reading for ammonia when used with the API test kit...so dont test after adding prime without waiting 24 hours....so test tomorrow right before you do a water change not after.....but im concerned with the ammonia being the same after a water change...did you test your tap water yet to make sure there isnt any in there? or are you testing after adding prime? id also stick with the prime as it does both ammonia/nitrites....
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Old 06-09-2010, 06:26 PM   #5 
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The ammonia hasn't gone down 24 hours after the water change. Should I be worried? It is at 0.25 ppm. Nitrites are still zero ppm. I added some Prime last night, a few hours after the water change yesterday. I am using an API test kit. I hope to God this is NH4+ (ammonium) being detected, not NH3 (ammonia).

Behavior-wise, the fish is acting normally. He is swimming just as fast and all throughout the tank as the past week. He doesn't look sick. But I need to get some confirmation that I'm doing everything correctly. I'm so worried.

Last edited by nacho; 06-09-2010 at 06:31 PM.
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Old 06-09-2010, 09:13 PM   #6 
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I'm sorry for the multiple posts. I'm writing more as I try to understand what the problem is.

My tank is kept between 80 and 83 degrees Fahrenheit. The pH is between 7.4 and 7.6, so it is rather on the basic side of the pH scale. I read that under high pH and temperature conditions, harmless ammonium is converted back to ammonia. Now, if that's what's happening in my tank, I am very worried for my fish.

What I would like to know is how fast the ammonia levels are supposed to go down.

Would additional Prime help or worsen the problem? Should I be worried?

I am baffled as to why the ammonia levels are exactly the same as yesterday after the water change. I am confused why a water change caused the presence of, rather than removed, ammonia.

I am very worried for the sake of Darcy. I believe it is already too late if I notice changes in his behavior. I want to prevent anything from happening to him, which is why I earnestly ask for any and all advice you can give me. I appreciate your concern and for reading my posts.
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