Tank Transfer Method and Ammonia


New member
Alright, so I put my first fish (2 onyx clowns) into QT 2 days ago. I have an ammonia alert badge in the tank which is still showing it is fine. Well I noticed one of the clowns breathing heavy and falling on its side (don't know what that means, but it doesn't look good to a newbie) a few minutes ago. So, I tested it with an API ammonia kit and it showed .5ppm (which I know is toxic). Is my alert badge wrong, my API test wrong, or what is with the fishes behavior. If my ammonia is actually .5ppm are they dead even if I get it back to 0. I put some prime in as an emergency measure. I thought with the Tank Transfer Method that you didn't need to worry about ammonia? I have a powerhead moving the surface of the water pretty rapidly, is that enough for oxygen levels for the tank. Thanks. I would hate to have a loss on my first try. Any insight or help would be appreciated.

Dr. Reef

Dr. Reef at ur service
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personally i never had good luck with those badges. you fish is ur best indicator. symptoms are of toxic's. use amquel or prime to neutralize ammonia.
if the tanks are not cycled you will run into same problem with every tank transfer. either put products like amquel or prime or be ready to do massive water changes.


Premium Member
I've done tank transfer a few time already. Usually one first day in the tank, I'll feed moderately. Than I would water change out 1/3 of the water to remove the un-eaten food. On the second and third day, I'll feed lightly and prime just in case. Never had an issue with ammonia.

I've use the badge on my first tank transfer but it became unreliable after a few transfer. So I don't use them anymore and just follow my transfer routine on all incoming fish.