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I started a 16 gal. tank on 01/02/10. After first 4 days I added 2 Danios.
Idid 2 gal. water changes every 3 or 4 days. I did regular testing and never found any values, except 1 or 2 times the ammonia was .25. I even thought I was not testing properly.

Then, about a week ago my Aqueon filter took a dump. I replaced it with an Aqua Clear 20. In a day or so ammonia started rising. At 1.0 I added some AMMO LOCK. Ammonia is now 8.0, and nitrite is .25. Fish appear to be OK.

I'm not sure what to do next.

r.
 

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The fish are ok with ammonia levels at 8.0?!? Seriously?? You better do a major water change asap. If you started your tank on 1/2/10, it should be done cycling. But if your ammonia levels are that high, then you've got an issue. Were you able to save some of the biological filter media and put it into your new filter?
 

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Wow, that's a nasty ammonia reading. Definitely do a big water change (minimum 50%) and get some Cycle for your tank. It helps manage ammonia in cycling tanks so your fish don't die. Try to get some grungy filter media from a reliable source (preferably someone you know) and put it in you filter to get the beneficial bacteria back up and working.

For future reference, it's much easier on fish if you fishless cycle your tank before you add them. You can add straight ammonia to start the cycle and let it go from there. Next time...
 

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Careful folks. ammonia locks fool most ammonia test kits. That 8ppm ammonia could be all locked and safe. In order to tell the diference you need a test kit that measures total ammonia and free ammonia.

my .02
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Folks, Beaslbob, I've read what you said about locked ammonia, that is the water will still test for ammonia but it is not free.

Is the slight nitrite reading (.25) a sign that the tank is cycling?

Is the locked ammonia useable to get bio filter working?

I'm not sure what to do next.

r.
 

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Thanks Folks, Beaslbob, I've read what you said about locked ammonia, that is the water will still test for ammonia but it is not free.

Is the slight nitrite reading (.25) a sign that the tank is cycling?

Is the locked ammonia useable to get bio filter working?

I'm not sure what to do next.

r.
One of the ideas with ammonia locks is that it will slowly return the ammonia to (re)establish the aerobic bacteria.

A bump up in nitrItes is a sign that it is cycling. But usually in my non planted tanks the nitrIte spike pegs the test kit (5ppm) for a few days then drops down. I also do not add food while that is happening to help complete the nitrite part of the cycle.

Of course with lotsa plant life neither an ammonia nor a nitrIte spike can be measured. Because the plant life is consuming the ammonia until the bacteria builds up.


my .02
 
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