High ammonia

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rmorris_14

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Set up a new invert and coral only tank. Added live sand, dry live rock, media from my display tank, and dose half the bottle of bactiv8 on day one and 1/4 day 3 , after adding turbo snails nassarius and some hermits. I was planning on doing a water change today and dose the rest of the bottle after. I decided to check my parameters this morning before work. I have a seachem ammonia alert which is clearly defective because it has been reading safe level since day one. My api test came back with ammonia around 1 ppm!!! My nitrites .5 and nitrate around 20 ppm. I can’t do the water change until tonight.
1.Is that ammonia level potentially life threading to my snails and hermits?
2. How big of a water change should I do? Tank is 13.5 gallons
3. Would it be better to use tank water from my established display tank or fresh saltwater?

I’m not really sure if it constitutes an emergency but I thought I would tag it so just in case. Thank you!!!

5E661A7B-66DF-464A-810C-2C58E1ADC470.jpeg
 
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Dan_P

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Set up a new invert and coral only tank. Added live sand, dry live rock, media from my display tank, and dose half the bottle of bactiv8 on day one and 1/4 day 3 , after adding turbo snails nassarius and some hermits. I was planning on doing a water change today and dose the rest of the bottle after. I decided to check my parameters this morning before work. I have a seachem ammonia alert which is clearly defective because it has been reading safe level since day one. My api test came back with ammonia around 1 ppm!!! My nitrites .5 and nitrate around 20 ppm. I can’t do the water change until tonight.
1.Is that ammonia level potentially life threading to my snails and hermits?
2. How big of a water change should I do? Tank is 13.5 gallons
3. Would it be better to use tank water from my established display tank or fresh saltwater?

I’m not really sure if it constitutes an emergency but I thought I would tag it so just in case. Thank you!!!

5E661A7B-66DF-464A-810C-2C58E1ADC470.jpeg
I would call the ammonia test less than one. The level of danger depends on pH and temperature. The amount of toxic free ammonia goes up quite a bit above pH 8. Since the Seachem Alertm which detects free NH3 shows “safe”, we might conclude the aquarium’s pH is below 8. But you should get the ammonia down with a water change or by adding BioSpira or Fritz Turbo Start.
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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there is a fascinating undercurrent in reefing where given two different ammonia readings on the same sample we are trained to always default to choosing the dangerous one, even though live animals don't show any harm. its fascinating. anything that reads safe is broke/unreliable

literally from start to finish in reef training we are aimed at never trusting anything regarding ammonia control. this in the very minimum drives good Prime sales, as backup, just in case (I'll never own a bottle of it not ever, its not needed in reefing)

one day the current training will reverse and we'll be taught to assume that water bacteria in water did ok.

how did api score on the recent poll, high reliability or not

I bet any test kit would fail if put through a poll so am not sure how much that sampling matters.
 
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brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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I like to look at it this way. imagine being a veterinarian and your shop has been opened since the dawn of a new type of home test that can determine if pet dogs or cats are suffering from kidney failure even though they're acting 100% normal day in and day out. Let's say we could search on google and find those home vet tests indicating a sheer mad rush of positive readings. we can absolutely find this trend on google for api ammonia posts in reef tanks. whether or not 90% of it is user interpretation error may be true, but there's still a mad rush to believe the kits regardless of symptoms.

in that vets office, if these new tests were correct, we'd expect to at least see a trend of dying animals considering the cell-racking abilities of nh3 backed up into any biosystem. so what does it mean if all of a sudden 1 million people run a test that says their animals will die soon, and the animals don't die soon, and among the slew of visits to the vet they don't ever see really any single deaths tied to the new tests

how can there be a continuum gradient of kidney failure among dogs and cats with zero losses from the sample, but the vast majority of samples ran from the new fangled kits show positive such that google has 450,000 pages of search returns for a positive reading

it never ceases to amaze me that 100% of ammonia scare posts have non symptomatic reefs, with clear water and animals fine and they either dosed known ammonia-consuming bacteria or they've been cycled a long time right when the test says there's a fail.
 
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rmorris_14

rmorris_14

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I like to look at it this way. imagine being a veterinarian and your shop has been opened since the dawn of a new type of home test that can determine if pet dogs or cats are suffering from kidney failure even though they're acting 100% normal day in and day out. Let's say we could search on google and find those home vet tests indicating a sheer mad rush of positive readings. we can absolutely find this trend on google for api ammonia posts in reef tanks. whether or not 90% of it is user interpretation error may be true, but there's still a mad rush to believe the kits regardless of symptoms.

in that vets office, if these new tests were correct, we'd expect to at least see a trend of dying animals considering the cell-racking abilities of nh3 backed up into any biosystem. so what does it mean if all of a sudden 1 million people run a test that says their animals will die soon, and the animals don't die soon, and among the slew of visits to the vet they don't ever see really any single deaths tied to the new tests

how can there be a continuum gradient of kidney failure among dogs and cats with zero losses from the sample, but the vast majority of samples ran from the new fangled kits show positive such that google has 450,000 pages of search returns for a positive reading

it never ceases to amaze me that 100% of ammonia scare posts have non symptomatic reefs, with clear water and animals fine and they either dosed known ammonia-consuming bacteria or they've been cycled a long time right when the test says there's a fail.
ok? So I think you are saying... don’t panic and just do the water change as planned because nothing has died yet? I’m not entirely sure I under stand but maybe I just need a second cup of coffee this morning.
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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study this post. running reef tank, same reading as above, fine reef, no distress.



its ok to add more cycling bac if you want, the stuff is harmless. I just wanted to show how a fully running reef, producing coralline off several pounds of cured live rock, shows your exact same reading among animals doing fine.

its also ok to do water changes in any reef if you'd like. I wouldn't dose prime though, given the totality of linkable reads like that off fine running tanks. ***some api readings are yellow in running tanks agreed


that sets the stage for this concern, and we don't know why some reads are so different than others but the recurring theme is the tanks are always just fine.
 
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rmorris_14

rmorris_14

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I would call the ammonia test less than one. The level of danger depends on pH and temperature. The amount of toxic free ammonia goes up quite a bit above pH 8. Since the Seachem Alertm which detects free NH3 shows “safe”, we might conclude the aquarium’s pH is below 8. But you should get the ammonia down with a water change or by adding BioSpira or Fritz Turbo Start.
Thanks for the reply. I can’t get my hands on either of those products today. So I’ll do a five gallon water change and then dose the rest of the bactiv8 I have. Would it be better to use my DT water or fresh saltwater? Could the display tank water have other beneficial bacterial that would aid with the cycling?
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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yes for sure display water has transmissible cycling bac, I have a thread where we brought up a 200 gallon all dry system in 20 days solely off water from a running reef tank. no feed, no bottle bac, reef tank water the masses said had no bacteria.


also fair disclosure: I had a cycling friend one time dump an entire bottle of Dr Tims cycling ammonia into a bucket half filled with clean saltwater. nh3 off the charts, and the test turbo snail still lived for days till we just put him back in the tank lol.

so snails are tanks/not the best mine canaries. still though that same reading can be found in lots of running reefs and I do not know why api tests have such a color range where the tank if tested digitally (on seneye calibrated accurate) would show safe zone. we do not get a massive range of reports from seneye like we do on api, I don't know why that is. seneye matches the tank picture and animal health (fish really will not tolerate high nh3) better than any kit, its why I like seneye so much. for its tight reporting ranges vs wide variance.
 
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brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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in my opinion to close out that cycle I'd do this: do your water change with display water, then add your zip of bacteria here to that new water. put in about one tiny pinch of flake feed ground into powder into the display and wait a total of ten days, then its cycled even if api disagrees. the food trick vs liquid ammonia comes from Dr Reef's bottle bac timing measure thread, its a filter bac boosting trick to use the flake feed +10 days wait. every brand tested was ready by day ten so its worst case scenario.

the brands of bacteria mentioned above are tested to be quicker cycling bac than the brand you're using per Dr Reef's bottle bac thread.
 
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Dan_P

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Thanks for the reply. I can’t get my hands on either of those products today. So I’ll do a five gallon water change and then dose the rest of the bactiv8 I have. Would it be better to use my DT water or fresh saltwater? Could the display tank water have other beneficial bacterial that would aid with the cycling?
It can’t hurt, but it is not a replacement for bottled bacteria because there isn’t likely to be much nitrifying bacteria in the water. They tend do there job on surface biofilms. When you add DT water you are adding all sorts of organisms that can populate your new tank.
 

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I like to look at it this way. imagine being a veterinarian and your shop has been opened since the dawn of a new type of home test that can determine if pet dogs or cats are suffering from kidney failure even though they're acting 100% normal day in and day out. Let's say we could search on google and find those home vet tests indicating a sheer mad rush of positive readings. we can absolutely find this trend on google for api ammonia posts in reef tanks. whether or not 90% of it is user interpretation error may be true, but there's still a mad rush to believe the kits regardless of symptoms.

in that vets office, if these new tests were correct, we'd expect to at least see a trend of dying animals considering the cell-racking abilities of nh3 backed up into any biosystem. so what does it mean if all of a sudden 1 million people run a test that says their animals will die soon, and the animals don't die soon, and among the slew of visits to the vet they don't ever see really any single deaths tied to the new tests

how can there be a continuum gradient of kidney failure among dogs and cats with zero losses from the sample, but the vast majority of samples ran from the new fangled kits show positive such that google has 450,000 pages of search returns for a positive reading

it never ceases to amaze me that 100% of ammonia scare posts have non symptomatic reefs, with clear water and animals fine and they either dosed known ammonia-consuming bacteria or they've been cycled a long time right when the test says there's a fail.
What's your thoughts on covid lol. :)
 
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rmorris_14

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Ok so we did a an almost 50 percent water change it brought the amonia down to around .5 according to the API (which we have established might be on the high side). I added the rest of the bactiv8 after. Should I do a mid week water change just to be safe? Or let it ride out?
 
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rmorris_14

rmorris_14

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Full disclosure I’ve been feeding nori to the turbo snails since they don’t have much of a food source.. I have no idea how much they need to eat to stay alive but they are pooping like crazy.
 
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