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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HIGH AMMONIA LEVEL

I have a 60 gal (New) tank. It has been up and running for 2 weeks.
I have 19 African Cichlids.
I have a Rena XP2 filter
I have tried three different mfg to test the ammonia levels, and I get a different reading on each mfg.
The ammonia ranges from each mfg. the lowest being a .05 (mfg Mardel ; which is a device located inside the tank for a continuous reading, and Mardel strip test which registers at 1. And the highest being a 3.0 strip test by API.
I have added extra carbon to the system to help. I also treat the water with Prime.
I have done regular water changes to bring the ammonia down, and nothing seems to help.
I also treat the water, with each water change with all the necessary treatments. This is my first Cichlid tank, and all the fish seem fine, no signs of stress. The water is perfectly clear. I don’t know what else to do.
Any kind help would be greatly appreciated
When I set up the tank – I let it run for 48 hours (with no fish), and all the levels checked out fine.
I have tried to skipping the feeding of the fish (although I hate to) for a day, and that has not helped.
In fact, all of my levels are fine except the ammonia reading.
 

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Oh no...

Please read: http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/f ... ycling.php

Change water to keep the ammonia below 1ppm until your tank properly cycles.

Go to your fish store and buy either biozyme or seachem stability and treat the tank as prescribed on the bottle.

If you can, beg/borrow/steal established filter media from a friend or local fish store that'd be great too.
 

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Oh by the way, that continuous reading ammonia alarm doesn't work. I tried one once in a tank I was cycling. It never went about 0.5ppm.
 

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Next comes the trIte spike :eek:

Get some Tetra SafeStart or Dr. Tims One and Only at your LFS in there ASAP. If you have access to some aged media from a friend or another matured tank you can seed your filter with that also.

:popcorn:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have been adding Top Fin Bacteria Supplement is that the same thing as you suggested.

Thank you so much for all your kind help!

So the continuous reader doesn't work eh----- thanks! I wont rely on that reading then.
 

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That bacteria supplement seems to be the same thing. The ingredients include nitrifying bacteria. Make sure you shake the bottle really well before dosing your tank. It should be kind of frothy/bubbly.

Try to put it directly into your filter if you can. I have a plastic syringe that I use for various things and you could use something like that to squirt it into the intake of your filter.

Keep ammonia and nitrites down with water changes. With 19 fish this could take a while and require a lot of water changing.
 

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teenyshu said:
I have been adding Top Fin Bacteria Supplement is that the same thing as you suggested.
There are a few different brands out there, not all have shown positive results. Tetra SafeStart and Dr. Tim's have gotten good results from other members on this site. Go with one of those two if you can.

Use prime to detoxify the ammonia but be prepared for the nitrIte spike.
 

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Your tank is definetly cycling. I've never tried any of the bacteria supplements, so no opinions there. You could try to find an established tank and get some filter media or gravel to help speed up the cylcing process. In the mean time, I would be doing partial water changes everyday. Don't be surpised if you loose some fish, the cycling process is harsh on the fish. Plus you appear to be stocked pretty heavy already. Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the tips, but, I don't have the option of using any filter media or gravel from an established tank.

Looks like i will have to tough it out -----

I bought JUNGLE brand ammonia test strips today - and my water tested 1ppm

I added Tetra SafeStart to the tank - there were no other options at my store - other than what i mentioned in my prior posts. They were either out of stock or did not carry the product.

I also added an ammonia remover filter bag to my Rena XP2 system. Hopefully that will help.

I am hopeful that i will not lose any fish - during this cycling process ---but I am worried about the Nitrite spike that is sure to follow the high ammonia reading.

So far - the fish do not appear to be in any type of stress. They are doing quite well - considering.

Thanks again to everyone who has posted on this issue
 

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Adding prime will lock/convert the ammonia so it does not burn their gills. Others here can explain that more clearly. If you use it you will still get a reading but it will not be as deadly.

Use it also to detoxify nitrIte. Good luck.
 

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Hang in there. You are doing all you can. It just takes time now.

Have some non-iodized salt on hand if you don't already have some (I think rock salt is cheapest... I got a huge box for $0.99). It helps your fish cope with the nitrites. Dose your tank at 1tsp per 5-10 gallons.

Then if you do a water change add the appropriate amount of salt back in for the amount of water you changed out.
 

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Do 50-75% water changes every day until your tank cycles.

Buy some prime or other water conditioner that detoxifies ammonia.

These allow the bacteria to process the ammonia but detoxifies it for the fish.
 
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