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Geoff M

Ammonia problem

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Problem:- Ammonia keeps spiking above 4ppm

Ph:-8.2

Ammonia:-currently 4ppm, changed water 2 hrs ago...was 8 ppm, but on wednesday before water change it was 0ppm.am currently using "Super-chlor Ammonia remover" instead of Prime.

Nitrate:-5 ppm

Nitrite:-0 ppm

Gh:-50-100 ppm

Kh:-0-50ppm

Size of tank:-8x2x2 800L

Temperature °C:-27 to 28

Been running for:- 3 months

Filtration:- sump ( 36w UV filter, filter wool, pre filter noodles, 2 ltrs of matrix, 150 bioballs, pumps aprox 5000L an hour, plus aqua 2200 internal.

Fish in tank:- 2 x 30cm devils, 2 x 15cm oscars, 2 x 15cm jags (with eggs), 2 x 10cm brazilies, 2 x 10cm GT, 2 x 8cm JD's, 1 10cm SGT, 2 8cm featherfin catys and 1 20cm feather fin. 1 common plec, 3 x crays

Plants in Tank:- none atm, they keep getting detroyed

Feeding:- ciclid gold floating, twice a day.

Recent Medication Treatments:-none

Last water change:-2 hrs ago

Water change every 3 to 4 days, 200 ltrs at a time, gravel syphoned once a week. all my other tanks run the same sort of set up, with external filters or internal bio filters, all there readings stay in range. my 8ft is either over stocked, or insuff filtration. any thoughts before i go spend money on a larger sump pump or anything like that.

cheers

Geoff

Edited by Geoff M
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general hardnes

carbonate hardnes ,

another factor in checking your water paramiters ,,,test at anny pet shop you would think

the tank sound fairly stoked but well filterd so i dont see that being the cause ,,, the other thing is maby cutt bact to one feed a day for a few days and see what changes

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Problem:- Ammonia keeps spiking above 4ppm

Ph:-8.2

Ammonia:-currently 4ppm, changed water 2 hrs ago...was 8 ppm, but on wednesday before water change it was 0ppm.am currently using "Super-chlor Ammonia remover" instead of Prime.

Nitrate:-5 ppm

Nitrite:-0 ppm

Gh:-50-100 ppm

Kh:-0-50ppm

Size of tank:-8x2x2 800L

Temperature °C:-27 to 28

Been running for:- 3 months

Filtration:- sump ( 36w UV filter, filter wool, pre filter noodles, 2 ltrs of matrix, 150 bioballs, pumps aprox 5000L an hour, plus aqua 2200 internal.

Fish in tank:- 2 x 30cm devils, 2 x 15cm oscars, 2 x 15cm jags (with eggs), 2 x 10cm brazilies, 2 x 10cm GT, 2 x 8cm JD's, 1 10cm SGT, 2 8cm featherfin catys and 1 20cm feather fin. 1 common plec, 3 x crays

Plants in Tank:- none atm, they keep getting detroyed

Feeding:- ciclid gold floating, twice a day.

Recent Medication Treatments:-none

Last water change:-2 hrs ago

Water change every 3 to 4 days, 200 ltrs at a time, gravel syphoned once a week. all my other tanks run the same sort of set up, with external filters or internal bio filters, all there readings stay in range. my 8ft is either over stocked, or insuff filtration. any thoughts before i go spend money on a larger sump pump or anything like that.

cheers

Geoff

I have a theory as to what is happening. In short, I would up your kH

The bugs in your filter responsible for converting ammonia to nitrate and then nitrate to nitrite have certain needs. One of them is a carbon source.

Your water has somewhat unusual readings having a high pH and a low hardness. As observed there is also quite a bio load there.

I suspect that your carbonate hardness has been used up and hence the bugs are struggling to keep up with demand. Either add baking soda (or pH up), or maybe a small bag of oyster shells in your sump (eat the oysters first) should fix the problem.

The reduction of food into the tank and use of a water conditioners that binds the ammonia will help control the problem while you fix the problem. Be aware that most ammonia kits measure total ammonia so after using a binding product you will still measure high ammonia, it is bound in a form that is not deadly.

I note that your fish all do not require as high a pH as you are running, but if it is not causing problems, I would not worry about that. Stability of pH is more important.

Hope this helps and will be interested to hear how it goes.

Steve

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the only thing i can think of is that water changing every 3-4 days is to frequent and even after 3 months the filter may still be a little "new".If you consider the load that it has to deal with.do you have any dirty filter wool in other sumps that may help to seed this one? Also do you have any power heads inside the tank to move the water around so theres no dead or slow spots happening?

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The tap water is very high in chlorine or chloramines at the moment.

Triple dose any new water with dechlorinator and do it in a drum first and let it sit overnight with a good airstone or powerhead in it.

Your kh and gh is fine.

If your ph is stable and is not crashing between the water changes it will be ok but it would be nice to see the kh higher so some coral rubble added to the sump would be very beneficial.

There is a good chance your water changes even though only around 25% may be knocking your bacteria around so dechlorinating over night in a drum first will alleviate any of those issues.

You do not mention if the bio balls are used as a wet/dry system or if they are fully submerged in the sump.

If they are submerged that may also be your problem as they do not work efficiently when under water.

Personally I would piss them off and fill a sump chamber full of scoria and you will never have problem again.

If your ammonia is dropping you should have a reading of nitrites beginning so your tank has either just taken a full recycle and some where over the next few days you will start to get a nitrite reading or your test kit is buggered.

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awesome thanks for all the advice guys, going to try a few things at a time and see what works best, really am trying to get this tank to run well as its got my best fush in it. did a test today after the water change yesterday and the ammonia has dropped right off, going to skip the mid week water change and load up a drum on the weekend for the change, have an internal power head (2200) pushing the water around, but i have also got my sump pushing water in 3 direction through 20mm pipe so the water moves really well. the bio balls i have gone half water running through, and half submerged, but will chase a few of those items you all suggested and see how it goes. my test kit is 2 weeks old, bought a master kit cause i was sick of having sperate boxes for everything, and as you can see i bought the hardness kit yesterday. my ph constantly stays around 8 to 8.2 so i'm not gonna fiddle with that for now.

cheers everyone

Geoff

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