New Refugium with high Ammonia levels

fishandsail

New member
I'm currently upgrading my 72 gallon FOWLR from a canister filter up to a refugium, which is a 27 gal with DIY siliconed glass baffles, hang on skimmer, and a rio 1700 submersible pump to pump my water back up.

I'm still getting all the plumbing finished, but while cycling the refugium since this past friday, I found my ammonia levels in the 4-6 ppm range. Nitrites and Nitrates are 0. Should I wait longer into the refugium's cycle until I connect it to my DT, or will just doing water changes do the work?

All my nitrogen levels look good for my DT, so I don't really have to rush on it.
 

disc1

-RT * ln(k)
What kind of silicone did you use? Some of them produce ammonia while they cure out. GEII comes to mind.

It depends on the source of the ammonia as to whether or not the DT can handle the load. If it's coming from some live rock or something you put in there then likely yes, but if it's from the silicone then you may need to let it cure out a little longer.
 

fishandsail

New member
Interesting, I never thought the silicone would do that. I did give it about a week to dry before I placed anything inside. I currently have no livestock inside the refugium except for a 5" crushed coral sandbed, live rock, and various types of algae.

Would extreme water changes for the refug. such as 50% for tomorrow and wednesday or thursday be too much for the live rock? I don't know if live rock gets stressed out like fish do.
 

disc1

-RT * ln(k)
Interesting, I never thought the silicone would do that. I did give it about a week to dry before I placed anything inside.

Certain types do and certain types don't. For example, GEII releases ammonia, while GEI releases acetic acid.

That seems like a pretty high number for just a little live rock unless you had a massive die off.
 

bertoni

Premium Member
I'd leave the refugium off line until the ammonia has been zero for a few days. I don't see any reason to risk dumping ammonia into a running system. Some 15-20% water changes might help speed the process, if you want, but I'm not sure I'd bother with larger ones. I don't think they'll hurt anything in this situation, though.
 

fishandsail

New member
Checked my system today at noon, and I must say this refugium is quite stinky!!! I haven't tested it yet, but once I get back from class, I will post results. I currently have a heater, light, and my rio 1700 pumping water from baffle to baffle, along with the skimmer running.

I'll post pics when I get back too! Promise! :fish1:

Edit: How user-friendly is this forum with imgur? I find it to be the simplest to use.
 
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