Ammonia problem, need some help

DWells23

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Hey Guys,

Never posted before but have read a lot of different things to help me get going, so up until a few days ago everything was going sweet and i noticed my hammer coral wasn’t opening fully so i decided to do a test for everything and found i had a bit of a spike ammonia (0.4 ppm)

so i kept an eye on it and last night it had jumped up to 1.2 ppm, i have bought Amguard and a seachem Ammonia Alert thingo which is saying 0.05 ppm free ammonia.

So i am reaaaaally confused and lost. I have noticed that one of my nassarius snails is missing so could that be the reason?

Bit of backround, the tank is 300L about 7 months old, i cycled it for roughly 2 months with 20kg of rock.

I have 2 clowns, 1 gold headed goby, 1 bicolour blenny, a purple tang, one nas snail and 3 hermits.

Ammonia is at 1.2 ppm
Nitrites 0.05 ppm
Nitrates 10ppm

Please, help out a noob
 
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Waters

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Hey Guys,

Never posted before but have read a lot of different things to help me get going, so up until a few days ago everything was going sweet and i noticed my hammer coral wasn’t opening fully so i decided to do a test for everything and found i had a bit of a spike ammonia (0.4 ppm)

so i kept an eye on it and last night it had jumped up to 1.2 ppm, i have bought Amguard and a seachem Ammonia Alert thingo which is saying 0.05 ppm free ammonia.

So i am reaaaaally confused and lost. I have noticed that one of my nassarius snails is missing so could that be the reason?

Bit of backround, the tank is 300L about 7 months old, i cycled it for roughly 2 months with 20kg of rock.

I have 2 clowns, 1 gold headed goby, 1 bicolour blenny, a purple tang, one nas snail and 3 hermits.

Ammonia is at 1.2 ppm
Nitrites 0.05 ppm
Nitrates 10ppm

Please, help out a noob
Since the tank is 7 months old, I would assume the tank is fully cycled. Did you add a bunch of fish recently or at the same time? The death of the one small snail isn't enough to cause a spike in that sized tank. Your positive you aren't missing anything else that could have died? Welcome to R2R btw :)
 
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DWells23

DWells23

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Since the tank is 7 months old, I would assume the tank is fully cycled. Did you add a bunch of fish recently or at the same time? The death of the one small snail isn't enough to cause a spike in that sized tank. Your positive you aren't missing anything else that could have died? Welcome to R2R btw :)
The last fish i added was the tang which was over a month ago now and everything was added fairly slowly.
100% nothing else could be missing.

I thought i was missing one of the hermit crabs so i was moving around my rocks trying to find him and found a pile of seaweed under one that the tang kindly placed there for me but i vacuumed it all out at did a 10% water change that day so i dont think it could be that :(

Im at a loss, i have no idea what could be causing it. is there anything i could add to help remove the ammonia or do i just add the ammguard until its under control?

Thanks for the welcome :)
 

cracker

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Welcome DW, A snail or crab won't do this in a tank this size. You may never know why. Ya do have to get that AM down. More amguard & a good size water change is in order.
 

Reeferdood

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Besides the alert badge, how are you testing your parameters? I have seen false positive results from API kits before.
Like those before me stated, a good ole water change and some amguard might get you fixed up.
Can you tell us more about your entire setup as well?


And before I forget.....
image.jpg
 
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DWells23

DWells23

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Cheers for the help! I have red sea kits to test all my parameters, read to many bad things on here about api haha

Well i use filtered seawater that i get delivered as i dont trust the tap water here because it has a slight bit of ammonia and use RODI water for my topping up, in my sump there is a filter sock and an aqua one G220 skimmer that came with the tank. I clean the filter sock every week and change it out when its to far gone.

When you say a decent water change what percentage would you recommend?

Also i was think of maybe getting so filter media to put in part of the sump for some extra bio filter, would that be a good idea?
 

Reeferdood

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I am not a fan of huge water changes rather a few smaller ones spread out, 10% or so should be ok.
Extra bio media is always a good thing, I like more live rock or rubble. I would stay away from bio bricks or block if it were me, I think that stuff leaches aluminum or some other binders. I have had nothing but bad luck using it.
 
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DWells23

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Sweet, ill do some water changes and keep adding the amguard and hope for the best.

Ill get some rubble and stock up one of the chambers in the sump.

Is there anything else i can do or is that about it?
 

Reeferdood

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That should do for now..
Also, are you testing for all parameters??
If not, I would suggest it right from the beginning.
 
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DWells23

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That should do for now..
Also, are you testing for all parameters??
If not, I would suggest it right from the beginning.
At the moment i only have tests fir Ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, ph and Alk. I know i need a few more, what would be next on my shopping list?
 
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DWells23

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What, how much and how often are you feeding the tank?
A piece of seaweed on a clip for the tang daily about 5x5 cm and a defrosted cube of ocean nutrition for everyone else at night.
 

Reeferdood

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At the moment i only have tests fir Ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, ph and Alk. I know i need a few more, what would be next on my shopping list?
Calcium, Alkalinity and Magnesium are the main 3 then Nitrate and phosphate... Those are the 5 golden parameters..
 
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DWells23

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Calcium, Alkalinity and Magnesium are the main 3 then Nitrate and phosphate... Those are the 5 golden parameters..
Awesome, will get that next. Did a reasonable water change today still no improvement, ammonia went up to 2ppm :( free ammonia is still only in the alert range on the ammonia alert badge.
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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Can you post a full tank shot

We can tell your ammonia off the full tank shot interestingly, using details from the pics. Sounds crazy I know

I'll vote zero ammonia, tests are misreading, and the offsets added on the initial test are now causing misreads on the subsequent ones

We have a huge thread here that details all aspects of bacteria and ammonia in a 7 mo old reef tank, I think your tank follows all its rules and isn't breaking them. I've never seen an unmedicated, 7 mo old reef tank with swimming fish and no no reddened gills and no panting at the surface and no missing animals and no smell in the room and no cloudy water display a verified free ammonia reading. We've seen test kits from all name brands report false ammonia however (and this is a nod to Seabass on nano reef.com who always used to remind me it's not only API that misreads)


https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/the-microbiology-of-reef-tank-cycling.214618/



Your 7 mo old tank will follow the rules from that thread on submersion time cycling. Once we get better closure on your ammonia I'll link your thread there as you can see I collect misread links there on the early pages. We collect them to show how bacteria never do anything unpredictable, such as fail to meet the bioload demands of a typical 7 mo old tank. It's hard to call a test kit wrong, especially if two indicate free ammonia, we are not permitted to reef without reliance on test kits so conflict scenarios like these make for the best reads

Can't wait to see pics
 
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DWells23

DWells23

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Can you post a full tank shot

We can tell your ammonia off the full tank shot interestingly, using details from the pics. Sounds crazy I know

I'll vote zero ammonia, tests are misreading, and the offsets added on the initial test are now causing misreads on the subsequent ones

We have a huge thread here that details all aspects of bacteria and ammonia in a 7 mo old reef tank, I think your tank follows all its rules and isn't breaking them. I've never seen an unmedicated, 7 mo old reef tank with swimming fish and no no reddened gills and no panting at the surface and no missing animals and no smell in the room and no cloudy water display a verified free ammonia reading. We've seen test kits from all name brands report false ammonia however (and this is a nod to Seabass on nano reef.com who always used to remind me it's not only API that misreads)


https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/the-microbiology-of-reef-tank-cycling.214618/



Your 7 mo old tank will follow the rules from that thread on submersion time cycling. Once we get better closure on your ammonia I'll link your thread there as you can see I collect misread links there on the early pages. We collect them to show how bacteria never do anything unpredictable, such as fail to meet the bioload demands of a typical 7 mo old tank. It's hard to call a test kit wrong, especially if two indicate free ammonia, we are not permitted to reef without reliance on test kits so conflict scenarios like these make for the best reads

Can't wait to see pics



Thanks heaps for the info! The tank has always been pretty clear, as of late its maybe a bit dusty but thats all.

Purple tang is a photo bomber haha
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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That's a no ammonia aquarium. I can tell by seeing your ratios in pics, but chemically it's provable because the ammonia would be compounding daily if the bacteria were lacking or the surface area was lacking, not just holding an above zero consistent reading, and no sand included system has lax surface area.

I cannot explain for sure why misreads are happening here, dosers like Prime and Amquel are known to adulterate some total ammonia testers

but we document in excessive detail how to hunt down suspect ammonia without a test kit and your tank fulfills none of the required visual cues that sustained ammonia always causes. Linked on page one, your thread will help others for sure on bio trust.

An average reef tank of your shown ratios of fish/sand/water and turnover can oxidize an average of 4+ ppm ammonia per day. If you lacked either the sand or bacteria or submersion times to do that, and could only oxidize say 1 ppm a day max, then in five days we expect your aquarium to be a stinky smelly mess---> but it's been seven mos :)

Above any other internally-produced compound you could leave circulating in that tank, ammonia -burns- and organisms react.

My technique is exactly like diagnosing whether or not someone has sulfuric acid in their eye by looking at a pic of the eye and seeing zero tears, bloodshot veins, or a fully blanched cornea heh
 
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brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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the bio indicators we can see there which prove no free ammonia are the polyps emerging from the hammer coral up top, no coral opens in free ammonia, and by the positioning of the fish in the picture


Per the example thread, the benthic growths of light algae and diatoms on the rock indicate the presence of complete nitrifying bacteria, as by rule bacteria always show up well before any of those growths have time to amass. We can see you have low fish bioloading relative to volume, well done in not rushing things and also that you have nice flow and feed/export routines as the sandbed cross section and top surfaces look consistently clean.
 
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DWells23

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Sweet so my tank should easily be able to contain the bioload from my fish?

So its probably the Amguard that is creating this false reading? I guess its just worry seeing the ammonia testing for .8 around 3 days ago to 2ppm today haha

Ill read that thread you have shared and watch out for any of these visual clues before i start stressing out, its hard work trying to keep the ocean in your living room lol.
 

brandon429

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we can hold course safely because your system gets better at processing ammonia over time, not less able, and 7 mos accumulation of tail-end ammonia unprocessed would really show in the pics

How long have those fish been in there

If you don't change anything regarding feed or lost animals or medication dosed, it will be neat to follow your updates and see how high the tests show for the ammonia while everything in the rank shows health and balance
 

How are you accomplishing water flow in your reef tank?

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