Ammonia is permanently high

WReef12

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Hello everyone , I'm making this thread to ask a few questions , primarily about my ammonia issues . First of all , I had a serious alkalinity drop from 13.something to 10.1 (I was struggling to keep it low) out of the blue , and it killed my elegance coral . However , that same day my banggai cardinal also died and I havent figured out why yet . All the fish in my aquarium have always died mysteriously or were killed by some freak accident , for example we re-did the cushions on some chairs that were near the aquarium and used scotch guard which killed my clownfish , a cleaner shrimp and a fire goby (very sad day) . Anyways my point is that I dont know why the cardinal fish died but it might be because my ammonia has always stayed around 0.15 - 0.20 and it never drops really . Could some of these fish be dying to prolonged exposure to water with ammonia in it . By the way it never converts to nitrite so either my bacteria crew is very weak or my test kit has gone bad or something.
 
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blaxsun

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13 is high for alkalinity, so you should address that. It sounds like this is a relatively new tank and that there are other water issues going on.

We'd need more details, ie: tank size, how long has it been running, all your water parameters, filtration, dosing, reef inhabitants, etc.
 

brandon429

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it's not your ammonia at all. those are nh4 readings, convert them to nh3 per instructions off the kit and let us know if that's now safe zone. no reefs run at zero; we expect marginal nh3 you don't have an ammonia issue.


you can't own a tank that can keep elegance corals if the tank has an ammonia control issue, I have never seen a post cycle reef have ammonia control issues; not ever, not one.

your fish wouldnt last long enough to be taken by disease if there was ammonia noncontrol.

people lose elegance corals because they're hard to keep.

list out your fish disease prep routine/ fallow and qt?

your cause here is any other param besides ammonia, no stocked reef tanks on this entire site have ammonia control issues, nor any other site. only dead fish left to rot causes will spike ammonia. ammonia only rises after a fish kill, never before in a display reef since surface area is always plenty in those

ammonia has nothing to do with any issue in a post-cycle reef tank. one of the most helpful aspects of updated cycling science (that ammonia control is inherent, post cycle) is that it allows you to eliminate noncauses in your hunt. if this was still 2006, you would be searching for that false ammonia trigger for the next sixteen weeks. we just eliminated an ammonia issue by reading about your tank, seeing nothing.
 
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brandon429

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we need a full tank picture to prove the ammonia safety; not a picture of the test. it's reading what we'd expect from the vast majority of running reef tanks, on that kit.


this thread is linked to our false ammonia alert study and we need the pics as they show details regarding water clarity, surface area ratios, bioload positioning, all kinds of unspoken details that prove ammonia is ranging ~ .001-.007 ppm nh3 (the safe zone every reef tank runs at on today's digital ammonia kits)

as nh4, it'll read what you're seeing. the colors you're approximating to arrive at a rough guess nh3 level are still way over the mark...it would take a digital test kit that reads into the thousandths for you to see what a post cycle reef tank runs at regarding nh3. it's in the range above, is the bet, once full tank pics are posted.

the #1 most likely cause of staggered fish loss is skipping all manner of disease preps on incoming replacement fish.

given limited info so far, skipping disease prep is your most likely fish loss cause.

how updated cycling science applies to your thread:


-filters don't drift out of spec or ability after a cycle
-no cycle stalls, they complete and lock into place at a predetermined timeframe, which you are past. it's why all cycle charts show the same recurring ammonia control date. there are no day 20 ammonia drop cycle charts, for example. updated cycling science recognizes this pattern; old cycling science ignores it.
-ammonia does not have to be tested for after cycling, and is fully predictable.
-only a fish kill left to rot will drive up ammonia. we don't factor things like people dosing antibiotic meds into a display...or someone dumping straight bleach into a reef and then forgetting to tell us. Given all normal reefing conditions, the rules from updated cycling science are reliable. ammonia doesn't drift out of spec, it does exactly what a cycling chart says it does. drop by day ten, and remain dropped, if we're dealing with a common display reef.
-nitrite does not factor in display reefing, don't own the kit, it's a neutral-impact parameter and one less mis-test to run.
 
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WReef12

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Sorry for the late response , I was looking into other possibilities and forgot about this thread altogether. Anyways , although the ammonia is permanently high it has dropped to around 5ppm ish (a guess from the color of the test) , I think that the reason why I was reading 15 - 20 is because I would test after I noticed a hermit crab or snail had died . I dont think that ammonia was the cause of the deaths anymore but instead a mixture of two different sources . For the corals (as i said in the first post) the constent changes of alkalinity probably ends up killing the lps , my soft corals on the other hand , are thriving . And for the fish , like you suggested Brandon , I think its some sort of intestinal worm . I have seen all of the fish I've owned up to this point poop out a long white strand of what I thought was poop , but recently I learned that poop shouldn't look like that at all . Also my mom said that she saw a "long white worm" which was probably one of these infected poops that was freefloating in the water .For the ammonia it wont let me insert photos for some reason but there are red slime patches that we can remove and weird algaes growing in weird spots .
 

sixty_reefer

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Sorry for the late response , I was looking into other possibilities and forgot about this thread altogether. Anyways , although the ammonia is permanently high it has dropped to around 5ppm ish (a guess from the color of the test) , I think that the reason why I was reading 15 - 20 is because I would test after I noticed a hermit crab or snail had died . I dont think that ammonia was the cause of the deaths anymore but instead a mixture of two different sources . For the corals (as i said in the first post) the constent changes of alkalinity probably ends up killing the lps , my soft corals on the other hand , are thriving . And for the fish , like you suggested Brandon , I think its some sort of intestinal worm . I have seen all of the fish I've owned up to this point poop out a long white strand of what I thought was poop , but recently I learned that poop shouldn't look like that at all . Also my mom said that she saw a "long white worm" which was probably one of these infected poops that was freefloating in the water .For the ammonia it wont let me insert photos for some reason but there are red slime patches that we can remove and weird algaes growing in weird spots .
You may be confusing ammonia with nitrates, what does it say on the test kit box
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Hello everyone , I'm making this thread to ask a few questions , primarily about my ammonia issues . First of all , I had a serious alkalinity drop from 13.something to 10.1 (I was struggling to keep it low) out of the blue , and it killed my elegance coral . However , that same day my banggai cardinal also died and I havent figured out why yet . All the fish in my aquarium have always died mysteriously or were killed by some freak accident , for example we re-did the cushions on some chairs that were near the aquarium and used scotch guard which killed my clownfish , a cleaner shrimp and a fire goby (very sad day) . Anyways my point is that I dont know why the cardinal fish died but it might be because my ammonia has always stayed around 0.15 - 0.20 and it never drops really . Could some of these fish be dying to prolonged exposure to water with ammonia in it . By the way it never converts to nitrite so either my bacteria crew is very weak or my test kit has gone bad or something.

I'm not following exactly what you are claiming, but 0.15 to 0.2 ppm total ammonia (if that is what you mean) is not likely killing anything. I expect it may just be test error, which is common for some ammonia kits such as API.

When you say "By the way it never converts to nitrite", what makes you think that is true? Nitrite doe snot typically accumulate, but it too gets consumed.
 
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WReef12

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sixty_reefer : its ammonia im talking about , but I dont think thats the problem anymore​


Randy Holmes-Farley : My test kid is api and I never invested in a good ammonia test kit cause I didn't think it would be a problem . And I think youre right , when I wrote "it never really converts to nitrate" I wasn't really considering everything and i do have a lot of algae on my back wall especially​

Also I'll try to put in a full tank picture soon but the insert thing for pictures isn't working right now.
 
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sixty_reefer

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sixty_reefer : its ammonia im talking about , but I dont think thats the problem anymore​


Randy Holmes-Farley : My test kid is api and I never invested in a good ammonia test kit cause I didn't think it would be a problem . And I think youre right , when I wrote "it never really converts to nitrate" I wasn't really considering everything and i do have a lot of algae on my back wall especially​

Also I'll try to put in a full tank picture soon but the insert thing for pictures isn't working right now.
I never seen a ammonia test kit read 10-15 as you mentioned earlier I still think you making a confusion somewhere.
 
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