Ammonia Control in a Hospital Tank

Discussion in 'Fish Disease Treatment and Diagnosis' started by Brew12, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. jeff williams

    jeff williams Well-Known Member

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    +1 with brew12 however if you do add ammonia and it's not all converted to nitrate by time the fish show up dose prime it will bind the remaining ammonia and nitrite and you can still add the fish.
     
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  2. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Yup! Just make sure you never use Prime if there is copper in the water. You need to wait 2 or 3 days after using Prime before adding copper.
     
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  3. Crashjack

    Crashjack Active Member R2R Supporter

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    Thanks guys. I run 10 gal water volume in my QT, and I'm planning to get 3-4 blackline blennies. I use a Seachem Alert badge and do 30% weekly water changes. I'll medicate these with CP, but I never add medication until all fish are eating for a few days. I've never used Biospira when it actually matters that it works right away. I took my well-seeded sponge filter out of commission as it had been through 3 quarantines, and I wanted to completely sanitize and completely dry everything just in case I had developed a biofilm that might render my GC and CP useless. The sponge filter is new, and the QT I'm using has been sanitized and out of service for almost 2 months, but everything else was just sanitized and started drying a few days ago. Therefore, I can't get started until my powerhead that runs the sponge filter finishes "drying".
     
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  4. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I love the precautions!
     
  5. jasonrusso

    jasonrusso Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    What is with the 5 day drying time? I usually just leave everything on the wall in my driveway in the sun.
     
  6. Orm Embar

    Orm Embar Active Member Partner Member 2018

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    I've found the Seachem Seed to work pretty well (and relatively quickly, on the order of 3 days or so if I recall correctly). I struggled a ton with ammonia initially, even using a seeded sponge in the main tank sump x weeks that then went into the QT HOB filter; I then added a bag of MarinePure ceramic balls in a bag to the QT tank. Once those were in place and seeded, ammonia control was much better (pre-MarinePure with just sponge, ammonia was getting up to 2 or so; with them, dropped to a max of 0.5 and was trending downwards).

    Now I'm thinking that I should check an ammonia level!
     
  7. Crashjack

    Crashjack Active Member R2R Supporter

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    Biofilms that consume CP, praziquantel, antibiotics, and so forth can form over time. The 5 days drying is to eliminate any biofilm that might be growing on the surface of the tank, filter, PVC elbows, etc. You also need drying time to complete the sanitizing process, eliminating any parasites that might also be attached to these surfaces.
     
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  8. zack801

    zack801 Active Member

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    Hey guys I may have over looked this part but here's my situation. I set up an emergency hospital tank for a blue tang with velvet. I add cupramine before trying to add bacter7. My ammonia alert badge is on the warning color what would my options be as far as bringing it down at this point? If I do water changes I'm not sure how to calculate the amount of cupramine to add to the newly mixed water to keep it close to what's in the tank currently
     
  9. jasonrusso

    jasonrusso Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Just do the math. 0.2mg/l. If you change 5 gallons put 1mg IN THE BUCKET, this way the concentration in the tank won't change
     
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  10. zack801

    zack801 Active Member

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    Sweet makes sense. Are there any other ammonia control methods that will work with copper other than water changes?
     
  11. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor Louisiana Reef Club Partner Member 2018

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    Not while copper is in the water.
     
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  12. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Since you may need to keep this tank running for awhile I have something you can try.

    Take sponge media for your filter and put it in a bag with old tank water. Dump in the the bacter7 along with a healthy bit of fish food. Make sure the bag is sealed well and float it in your HT for a few days. In 3 or 4 days from now you can rinse it out and put it in your filter. I'm not going to promise this will work but if it were me it is what I would do. It has the chance to save many water changes over the next few weeks.
     
  13. Sonam

    Sonam Active Member

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    This thread has been extremely helpful thank you!

    We fall into the category of "emergency hospital tank set up" - its a long story but in a nutshell, we had a mini-cycle occur in an upgrade from a 90 to 125 gallon system, combined with the addition of new fish (we made mistakes we now regret, trusting our LFS advice), resulting in an outbreak of marine velvet. Our response to the crisis was slow...never having encountered such a situation in 5 years in the hobby with our previous system.

    After accepting the reality that Metroplex and garlic weren't cutting it, we finally set up a QT/hospital tank and moved our surviving fish into it. Due to the urgent nature of the situation we dosed with copper immediately (our fish were literally dying within a day or two of showing symptoms so we didn't want to wait). It's been two weeks and the two fish that had appeared sick (hanging in caves not eating...no spots) are now acting completely normal.

    Battling ammonia has been, needless to say, a challenge. I added some filter floss and ceramic biomedia to the filtration (we are using a 32 gallon biocube for the QT) and after a recommendation started dosing with Stability in an attempt to blunt the ammonia spikes. We have a yellow tang, 6 line wrasse, fairy wrasse and fire fish in the 32 gallon system. I did not realize Stability was inert. I am using a Seachem Ammonia Alert badge to monitor the ammonia.

    Questions:
    1. Given that we are dosing in the presence of copper, would it make sense to use something else? Like Bio-Spira? My plan (open to advice, this is a first at attempting to treat sick fish) is to wait another week and do a large water change and run some charcoal to remove the copper from the system. The fish look great right now, but figure whatever I can do to reduce stress for them will be helpful.
    2. Will the removal of the copper facilitate the propagation of biological filtration while the fish are in the system? If I am understanding this thread correctly copper slows the growth of beneficial bacteria. And given that Stability is inert, my guess is it won't have much effect while copper is in the tank?

    The long range plan is to keep the main display fallow of fish for a total of 76 days to be absolutely sure the parasites are eliminated. That's a long time for these fish to live in that small, unstable system. Any advice is welcome. Are we on the right track?

    Thank you again for this really helpful information.
     
  14. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I'm glad you found it helpful! I gave someone in a similar situation this advice in the previous comment.
    In your case, I wouldn't use old tank water but I would use fresh mixed salt water. Bio Spira is my "go to" bacteria product, mostly because I can get it at my local Petco and it has worked well for me. Even Stability would eventually work, it just takes a little longer.

    It would be even more effective to take a new filter sponge or floss and put it in a small container of salt water with a heater and powerhead (or something else to circulate the water through the sponge. Put something in there with it that will break down into ammonia and give it at least a few days to fully seed the sponge.

    As I said previously, I've never tried it but I believe it will work.

    Good luck!
     
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  15. Sonam

    Sonam Active Member

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    Thank you so much for this advice! Will give this a try!
     
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