Archived message board.
War on Ammonia!!!
Badmans Tropical Fish Message Center:
Tank health and maintenance: War on Ammonia!!!
February 04, 2002 - 05:27 pm
I've got a 55 gallon tank with the penguin bio-wheel
330. The tank has been set up for about 2 months now and
I'm still having trouble with ammonia. I cycled it with
4 golden barbs for a month, then gave them to a friend,
then added 4 midas cichlids. For the past 2 weeks, I've
been changing about 20%/week with still no declination in
concentration of ammonia (2 ppm). This week I've
changed 35% every other day and the ammonia level is finally
just above 1 ppm. My question is, does changing so frequently
stress the fish or dramatically effect the bacteria in my
set up? Also, what's the largest volume that can be
safely changed with minimal stress to the fish? I know this
tank will not be sufficient for these fish down the road,
but for now they're just little guys (3 1/2").
Looking forward to getting 125+ gallon soon! Sorry for
the long post and any help would be greatly appreciated.
February 04, 2002 - 05:45 pm
Sometimes a tank can tank longer than 5 weeks to cycle,
especially if you added a lot of fish (9 inches +)
to the new tank. I think water changes every other day are
a bit much especially with the volume of water you are changing
out. The most I've heard of anyone doing is 10-15% every
3 days and that was in an overfeeding situation where the
ammonia levels were critical. Slow down and let the tank
cycle a bit. If you are really worried about the levels
go to feeding a small bit once per day. Occasionally skipping
a day of food may also help. If the fish aren't stressed
and gasping at the surface I wouldn't panic on the 2ppm!
PS how do you know it cycled in the first place? Did you
go with the nitrate reading or just figure it was long enough?
February 04, 2002 - 07:30 pm
I was told that you can tell when your tank is cycled when
you see green algae on the filter pad and in the tank. After
I saw these indications I just assumed. Well, you know what
assuming things makes! The fish are doin fine, I just don't
want to get into a situation that could possibly kill my
tank. I think that I'll put em on a diet and see if
that works. Oh by the way, was I wrong about the whole algae
thing? Thanks for the advice and if you can think of anything
else, please let me know.
February 04, 2002 - 07:35 pm
I've also heard that amquel will bond to the amonia
in a way that makes it harmless to fish but you will still
test positive for ammonia. The question I have with this
is will the nitrites be able to break down the ammonia with
the amquel in the system or will I just be stuck with ammonia
through out the duration? Also, will the amquel deteriate
and "break free" from the ammonia? I am a rookie
aquarist but really enjoy the hobby (more like an addiction)
so any additional info from a few pros will be very helpful.
Thanks for the reply,
February 05, 2002 - 07:25 am
Read Genesis and Curt's fishless recycling article.
They both are on the main board and give great information
on cycling a tank. Even though Curt's method is fishless
I believe he recommends not to use amquel as this will inhibit
the cycle process that every tank needs to go through. Algae
on your filter pad does not mean a tank has cycled. In fact
if you add too many fish to your tank and there is not enough
good bacteria present you may actually cause it to go through
the whole process again! That's why it's better
to go slow on adding fish. Most tanks aren't really
well broken in until about six months.