Lowering ammonia in quarantine tank.

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sham

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Hi everyone. I need some help. I setup a 15 gallon quarantine tank and dosed cupramine. It has been 5 days and all looks great. The fish look amazing and dont show any signs of there marine velvet anymore. My ammonia is now going through the roof and I dont know what to do. I changed 5 gallons of water about an hour before writing this message. What else can i do?
 
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vetteguy53081

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water changes are the best bet.
Ammo lok and Prime are temporary and not a total solution.
 

Harold999

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The problem is that freshly made saltwater contains .5/1ppm ammonia. So you can change water all you want but ammonia won't go down.
Most people don't know this, it should be a sticky (moderators!).

What i do if my treatment- or quarantaine tank needs a waterchange, i get the water from my display tank. This has zero ammonia.
And fill the display tank back up with freshly made saltwater (the display tank can handle some ammonia and it will be gone the next day).
 

TastesLikeChicken

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1. What test kit are you using? I believe all test kits except Red Sea? Test total ammonia which is made up of ammonium (not harmful at all) and ammonia (ionic form and very harmful). So it is possible that most of your ammonia is actually in the form of ammonium and not harmful. Another way to tell is to buy one of those seachem sticky badges which only indicates harmful ammonia. I ran into this exact same scenario a week ago.

2. Don’t use ammo lock or prime while you have copper in there. It will somehow increase the dose of copper and it can harm your livestock.

3. I did not know freshly made saltwater has ammonia. I will be testing this out for myself.

4. If the fish are acting healthy then you have time.
 
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IO has ammonia. So do some others. Not all of them do, but if you don't know, better to test it out... I used to know the few that did not, but not I cannot remember. It is one reason that water changes can perk up corals since they can be happy to get a boost of nitrogen from the ammonia/ammonium.

Your best bet might be some filtration media from an established tank. Have a sponge filter? Rock and sand won't work since they will bind the copper.
 

jda

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It is a good thing, but I won't get into this too much here. When has it every been a good idea to put fish into freshly mixed saltwater or do 100% water changes. I know that in cases of brand new tanks and the impatient, that ammonia is a huge problem, but in established tanks it is very good but the same people who will use stump remover and all kinds of other black-box supplements without knowing what is in them are scared of a little bit of ammonia when it is the best source of building blocks for your corals. For the most part, it does not last long and at the pH of newly mixed saltwater, most of it is ammonium. Dang... I guess that I did get into it here. In any case, for the vast majority, it is a good thing.
 

ariellemermaid

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Hi everyone. I need some help. I setup a 15 gallon quarantine tank and dosed cupramine. It has been 5 days and all looks great. The fish look amazing and dont show any signs of there marine velvet anymore. My ammonia is now going through the roof and I dont know what to do. I changed 5 gallons of water about an hour before writing this message. What else can i do?
So there are a couple of things. First, pretty much all ammonia tests produce false positives with copper, the exception being the seachem ammonia alert badges but in my experience I’ve found them unreliable. I’m not saying you don’t have ammonia; if you have zero cycled media (like a sponge or matrix) you almost certainly do, but you can’t necessarily trust the measurement.

Humblefish goes through ammonia control in this article whether you’re cycling or not. You don’t want to use Prime or similar with cupramine as it significantly increases toxicity up to 10x. That’s why I use copper power, but you’re stuck with water changes. I don’t really know what folks are talking about here with ammonia in fresh saltwater. I’ve certainly heard of some salt mixes having some ammonia or nitrates for that matter but 0.5-1ppm is highly toxic, that would be insane. Generally water changes are the only immediate remedy for high ammonia (high as in like 0.25) outside of Prime, there’s no way fresh saltwater should ever contain 1ppm of ammonia.

I started my QT with cycled media from the DT and have kept the QT going every since. When I add new fish I make sure there’s no ammonia after a week before dosing up copper just to make sure things are good. But, not everyone has that luxury (sounds like you’re treating velvet and that’s an emergency). So water changes are your friend, just make sure you dose the new water before adding it so the copper level doesn’t drop.
 

Harold999

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Harold999

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I think the numbers are lower than you quote.

This old study measured many salt mixes, and values ranged from 0.55 to 11.9 umole/kg, or 0.009 to 0.2 ppm total ammonia:

Could have been a bad batch i tested back then, will look at it again soon.
I even bought a different testkit because i couldn't believe what i was measuring (up to 1ppm).

I don't think it's a bad advice though to test your salt especially when using it for uncycled Q tanks like the op, there could be an unexpected amount of ammonia in it.
 
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