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Old 05-04-2011, 05:15 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Ammonia question

My 5 gallon tank constantly has .5ppm of ammonia. I use spring water due to the water quality (1.0 ppm ammonia levels out of tap.) Of course the spring water tests at 0, but before and after water changes I am getting a .5ppm (sometimes the color looks between .25 and .5) reading daily. I use prime on the water due to the ammonia readings. My fish has been in this tank for several weeks now. There are two java ferns and a banana plant as well as a zebra snail. I had my water tested on Saturday and while they were out of the ammonia test, the nitrates and nitrites tested at 0. I had tested the ammonia levels myself (using API liquid test) and had the standard .25-.5ppm reading. On Saturday the lfs (a really nice quality locally owned store with super clean tanks) squeezed one of their filters for me and gave me a bag of it to help seed my tank. I soaked my filter in it and poured it in my tank. I haven't seen any difference in my ammonia readings (I don't have a nitrate or nitrite test.) I have been doing twice a week water changes (around 50% due to the ammonia levels.) Any suggestions on why my ammonia readings are constant?
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Old 05-04-2011, 07:05 PM   #2 
Here Fishy Fishy Fishy
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: New England, USA
The ammonia levels spike as part of the cycling process. It took about two months for my tank to really cycle... so, keep up with the monitoring and water changes.

You poor thing... your tap water sounds yucky! :(

But buying water for water changes is going to get costly. You might be better off treating the water from the tap with chemicals that will neutrilize the ammonia.

Since I have not had to deal with this particular problem however, I would definitely get some more feedback on the forum. :)
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Old 05-05-2011, 07:02 AM   #3 
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Alberta, CANADA
As its new I assume your tank isn't cycled. An ammonia spike is basically whenever ammonia is present in the tank. This could be because your tank hasn't cycled (which would be the case in a new tank), because the tank's been over cleaned and all cycling bacteria have died, or because the ammonia levels rise above the levels the bacteria can cope with.

I've used it occasionally but I'm not sure if you could/should use it all the time. You could get an ammonia "reducer" additive like (its the one I used):

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