HELP! Ammonia still high

nickf98

New member
Hello everyone,

I've had salt water tanks before and recently just got a 180 gallon bowfront with a 40 gallon sump. I added 100 lbs of live rock in the tank and sump with a 1" sandbed in the DT. I also have one section of my sump as a refugium with chaeto and lots of pods. one MP-60 and one mp-40 for circulation. Low BIO load with 2 picaso clowns, yello tang, coris wrasse, flame hawk, diamond goby and a fire shrimp. I have a hippo tang and porc puffer in qt because everything I put them back in they get ick.

Should I get a fsb or a reactor with purigen, I need to get the ammonia down.

Oh and the tank has been running since October 2014

parameters

ph 8.2
kh 11
ammonia .25
nitrite .0
nitrate .0
temp 77
 

julie180

New member
How are you testing ammonia? Have you used an ammonia binder such as Prime? If so, most test kits will give you a false positive because they test for total ammonia, not free ammonia.

If you have 2 fish that have been in your DT that have ich, your tank is infected. The only way to rid your dt of ich is taking out all fish for no less than 10 weeks!
 

gone fishin

New member
Just a note if you are treating with a copper medication do not use a prime or amquel type product. It will kill your fish.
 

nickf98

New member
How are you testing ammonia? Have you used an ammonia binder such as Prime? If so, most test kits will give you a false positive because they test for total ammonia, not free ammonia.

If you have 2 fish that have been in your DT that have ich, your tank is infected. The only way to rid your dt of ich is taking out all fish for no less than 10 weeks!

I am testing the tank with an API ammonia test kit and I believe that it tests for total ammonia. Yes I do have ick in the tank but have heard many different things about it. Is it true that the ich can live in egg form in the LR for long periods of time? If not than I will be QT all fish that are in the tank and all new fish as well.
 

nickf98

New member
Just a note if you are treating with a copper medication do not use a prime or amquel type product. It will kill your fish.

I didn't know that, thank you! I started QT with copper but didn't like it so I'm now using kick ich by kordon. It has worked much better and the fish are good to go but I don't want them getting stressed by putting them in a tank with QT

I have been doing weekly water changes and using amquel to help detoxify the ammonia.
 

gone fishin

New member
I am sorry to say but kick ich will do nothing to get rid of ich.
the proven methods to get rid of ich are:
1. Tank transfer method
2. Copper treatment
3. Chloroquin phosphate
4. Hyposalinity
one of these treatments in conjunction with leaving your display tank fishless for 72 days. Go to the fish disease forum and read the stickies on ich they will answer your questions. Good luck
 

nickf98

New member
I am sorry to say but kick ich will do nothing to get rid of ich.
the proven methods to get rid of ich are:
1. Tank transfer method
2. Copper treatment
3. Chloroquin phosphate
4. Hyposalinity
one of these treatments in conjunction with leaving your display tank fishless for 72 days. Go to the fish disease forum and read the stickies on ich they will answer your questions. Good luck

I'm sorry, I meant to say I'm using Rid Ich by Kordon. I had tried kick ich and you're right, it does nothing. The rid ich completely cleared it up.

Any idea why I may still have ammonia? I have a light bio-load and with a 1' bed of sand, 100 lbs of LR and a good skimmer. I just ordered Purigen and am going to put it in when it arrives.
 

gone fishin

New member
I believe rid ich will not do much as well, I would not be surprised to see the ich return.

Are you still using amquel, this would most likely skew any ammonia test.
 

nickf98

New member
The ich seems to be gone, they've been QT for 6 weeks now. I will do a water change and try copper out. Hypo seems to be harder to get right.

Yes still using amquel, could it be giving a false positive?
 

Mishri

Active member
You keep saying a light bio load but this: 2 picaso clowns, yello tang, coris wrasse, flame hawk, diamond goby since Oct 2014 is a ton of bio load to me.

1 fish per month is my rule, no matter the size of the tank. Got to give the bacteria time to build up.

However, it could also be a false reading on your test... have you tested other water to make sure? Just test some fresh mixed salt water to see.


I'd advise slowing down, even though you have a large tank. patience, it pays off.

edit: Oh, and with that large of a tank 2 small fish per month would be fine, I'd only do 1 large dirty fish like a tang though.
 
Last edited:

jason2459

Premium Member
I'm sorry, I meant to say I'm using Rid Ich by Kordon. I had tried kick ich and you're right, it does nothing. The rid ich completely cleared it up.

Any idea why I may still have ammonia? I have a light bio-load and with a 1' bed of sand, 100 lbs of LR and a good skimmer. I just ordered Purigen and am going to put it in when it arrives.

Rid Ich will do nothing to ich, at least what we find in saltwater I don't know about freshwater ich. But what you believe to be cured and "cleared" up is just the skin isn't inflamed right now. That happens and doesn't mean the ich is gone what so ever. What you see as white dots is not the parasite. You can't actually see the parasite by looking at the fish. They could still be there, in the gills, or on just about any surface in your tank and ready to multiply by the millions.
 

SGT_York

New member
API gives false positives, I've tested it a few times with a salifert the salifert and the coral/fish were pretty convincing that the problem was the test kit.

How long has the tank been setup and what was the condition of the rock. Dry, Live or Uncured?
 

nickf98

New member
You keep saying a light bio load but this: 2 picaso clowns, yello tang, coris wrasse, flame hawk, diamond goby since Oct 2014 is a ton of bio load to me.

1 fish per month is my rule, no matter the size of the tank. Got to give the bacteria time to build up.

However, it could also be a false reading on your test... have you tested other water to make sure? Just test some fresh mixed salt water to see.


I'd advise slowing down, even though you have a large tank. patience, it pays off.

edit: Oh, and with that large of a tank 2 small fish per month would be fine, I'd only do 1 large dirty fish like a tang though.


I have had all the fish in there for 2 months with nothing added so was hoping that the bacteria would have been built up by now. I added all LR and all Live sand, no seeding. I will have to wait it out to see if the ammonia is false or will come down on its own. Just seems like nothing has changed.

I will double check the test kit to see what its reading. Don't have any mixed salt on hand.
 

nickf98

New member
API gives false positives, I've tested it a few times with a salifert the salifert and the coral/fish were pretty convincing that the problem was the test kit.

How long has the tank been setup and what was the condition of the rock. Dry, Live or Uncured?


I didn't know that API test kits gave false positives. I'll have to pickup a Salifert test kit to double check. Hopefully its that and I don't have high ammonia. Weird because I have no nitrites or nitrates. The rest of the water parameters are perfect. I also just ordered Purigen to hopefully remove the ammonia.
 

Mishri

Active member
Yeah when you posted 0 nitrite 0 nitrate and with the age of the tank I was thinking the ammonia test could be off.

Testing a test kit with another test kit doesn't seem right to me. With chemistry you test things with a known quantity. For example, you would test for ammonia with something you know contains a specific amount of ammonia and verify it reads correctly.

so if you are getting 0's on an ammonia test and you think it's wrong you could test it with something with ammonia in it. (Some household cleaners, or purchase ammonia)

if you are getting a positive reading and think that's wrong you test it with a known 0 value, which should be fresh mixed ro/di salt water.
 

nickf98

New member
Yeah when you posted 0 nitrite 0 nitrate and with the age of the tank I was thinking the ammonia test could be off.

Testing a test kit with another test kit doesn't seem right to me. With chemistry you test things with a known quantity. For example, you would test for ammonia with something you know contains a specific amount of ammonia and verify it reads correctly.

so if you are getting 0's on an ammonia test and you think it's wrong you could test it with something with ammonia in it. (Some household cleaners, or purchase ammonia)

if you are getting a positive reading and think that's wrong you test it with a known 0 value, which should be fresh mixed ro/di salt water.


Thank you, I will verify that the test kit is testing correctly or not and hopefully it is false positive. The fish area all happy as can be and I know ich is in the system but they are healthy enough to fight it off. My other problem is any new fish get stress and get ich. I think I'm going to need to go fishless in the DT for a few months to get rid of it. I want to add angels down the line
 
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