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Clown79

Ammonia in my tank...

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So Saturday I redid my aquascape in my 5g. Cleared out some rock, there was way too much rock in there.

 

I added a small piece of liverock. It has coralline on it.

 

I also did a large waterchange after the aquascape.

 

I decided to check ammonia just to be safe 2 days later.

 

There is ammonia between 0.25- 0.50!

 

I added prime to be safe and will be doing a waterchange. 

 

I know API is not reliable with ammonia kit but I tested my other tanks and they read 0.

 

Now should Prime be added every 24hrs? And how will it effect the results?

 

None of the livestock in the tank are even acting odd.

 

My fish is fine, corals are fine, inverts fine?

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Prime supposedly binds ammonia, nitrite and Nitrate for 48 hours. But I've never trusted it as anything more than a declorinator. 

 

Is it possible the new live rock had a little die off? 

 

If everything seems fine, your established bio filter should clear it up pretty quickly. 

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2 hours ago, MrObscura said:

Prime supposedly binds ammonia, nitrite and Nitrate for 48 hours. But I've never trusted it as anything more than a declorinator. 

 

Is it possible the new live rock had a little die off? 

 

If everything seems fine, your established bio filter should clear it up pretty quickly. 

I'm not sure. The rock was pretty clean, nothing on it like dead coral/sponge. 

 

I'm hoping so.

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I would just keep doing large water changes until your bacteria catches back up to your bioload

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44 minutes ago, SaltyBuddha said:

I would just keep doing large water changes until your bacteria catches back up to your bioload

I'm doing water changes, using Prime, and dosed Stability. Adding good bacteria should help.

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On 11/6/2018 at 2:08 PM, Clown79 said:

I know API is not reliable with ammonia kit...

IME, that's not true.  It might be more sensitive than some other test kits, but I find them to be a very good indicator of ammonia.  People will use the fact that livestock seems alright as an argument that the test does not work.  They also will disregard positive results that continue for longer periods of time.  However, I've probably used close to a dozen different API ammonia kits over the years and find them reliable indicators.

 

However, now that you are adding Prime, it can affect future tests.  I'd still add it every day.  It only temporarily converts toxic free ammonia into ammonium (which is far less toxic) for 24 to 48 hours.  Then the remaining ammonium will start to convert back into free ammonia.  However, your biofilter can process ammonium just like ammonia.

 

You should be cautious when adding any rock (live, dry, cured, whatever) to a tank with livestock.  Always cure it in a separate container before you add it.  I would probably just temporary remove the rock and cure it in a bucket with a powerhead until it's fully cured.

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7 hours ago, seabass said:

IME, that's not true.  It might be more sensitive than some other test kits, but I find them to be a very good indicator of ammonia.  People will use the fact that livestock seems alright as an argument that the test does not work.  They also will disregard positive results that continue for longer periods of time.  However, I've probably used close to a dozen different API ammonia kits over the years and find them reliable indicators.

 

However, now that you are adding Prime, it can affect future tests.  I'd still add it every day.  It only temporarily converts toxic free ammonia into ammonium (which is far less toxic) for 24 to 48 hours.  Then the remaining ammonium will start to convert back into free ammonia.  However, your biofilter can process ammonium just like ammonia.

 

You should know better than to add any rock (live, dry, cured, whatever) to a tank with livestock.  Always cure it in a separate container before you add it.  I would probably just temporary remove the rock and cure it in a bucket with a powerhead until it's fully cured.

I've added liverock and dry before with no issue.

The rock has coralline on it.

It's only a small rock.

 

I still question if it was the rock itself or fully disturbing the tank and using a good amount of epoxy

 

If I hadn't even had tested, you wouldn't even know, nothing has even acted differently.  

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9 hours ago, seabass said:

You should know better than to add any rock (live, dry, cured, whatever) to a tank with livestock.  Always cure it in a separate container before you add it.  I would probably just temporary remove the rock and cure it in a bucket with a powerhead until it's fully cured.

I hadn’t heard that... can you talk about it more? I was about to add a bunch of new dry rock rubble pieces to my tank so they will be ready to use when I need to start pruning my Xenia back. 

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Sure, if there are any dead/dried organics on the rock, they will break down and create ammonia.  I've had dry rock that I even pressure washed, and it still spiked high levels of ammonia.  Now granted, there are some sources of dry rock that will be free of organics.  Man made rock would generally be free of organics.  Reef Cleaners offers rock that is cured in a deep well and is also practically free of organics.

 

Live rock can also widely differ.  On one side, there is uncured live rock from the ocean that has been shipped dry.  On the other side is fully cured live rock that is transported for a short period of time in water.  The die off, and thus ammonia, will be vastly different.  Of course there is also everything in between.

 

The thing is that we don't always know the complete story behind the rock we purchase (especially at a LFS).  We can have a pretty good idea from well known vendors.  Still, I believe it's best to throw it in a bucket of water and test it for ammonia before putting it in a tank with livestock (and potentially exposing your fish and inverts to toxic ammonia).  If your tank doesn't have livestock, there is no need to pre-cure.

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4 minutes ago, seabass said:

Sure, if there are any dead/dried organics on the rock, they will break down and create ammonia.  I've had dry rock that I even pressure washed, and it still spiked high levels of ammonia.  Now granted, there are some sources of dry rock that will be free of organics.  Man made rock would generally be free of organics.  Reef Cleaners offers rock that is cured in a deep well and is also practically free of organics.

 

Live rock can also widely differ.  On one side, there is uncured live rock from the ocean that has been shipped dry.  On the other side is fully cured live rock that is transported for a short period of time in water.  The die off, and thus ammonia, will be vastly different.  Of course there is also everything in between.

 

The thing is that we don't always know the complete story behind the rock we purchase (especially at a LFS).  We can have a pretty good idea from well known vendors.  Still, I believe it's best to throw it in a bucket of water and test it for ammonia before putting it in a tank with livestock (and potentially exposing your fish and inverts to toxic ammonia).  If your tank doesn't have livestock, there is no need to pre-cure.

Okay, thanks for that. So sounds like just tossing in more pieces of this stuff shouldn’t pose any kind of problem then. Just wanted to be sure. 

 

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1 hour ago, banasophia said:

Okay, thanks for that. So sounds like just tossing in more pieces of this stuff shouldn’t pose any kind of problem then. Just wanted to be sure. 

 

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I would use seachem matrix in a mesh bag

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Sounds like a lot of changes at once, may have overwhelmed the bio-filter a bit. New rock, new scape, old rock removed, epoxy used (which is not entirely always 100% safe), ect. most likely a combo of things. I would also be suspicious of something in epoxy effecting test kits. 

 

A little prime every day and water changes are a good plan.

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5 hours ago, Tamberav said:

Sounds like a lot of changes at once, may have overwhelmed the bio-filter a bit. New rock, new scape, old rock removed, epoxy used (which is not entirely always 100% safe), ect. most likely a combo of things. I would also be suspicious of something in epoxy effecting test kits. 

 

A little prime every day and water changes are a good plan.

I did do a lot and it is a small tank.

 

I did remove 3 pieces of tonga but added 4 pieces from my established tanks and then 1 new piece of LR(1/2 lb)

 

Now in the process the sand was disturbed and it did get a bit messy in there.

 

I do question the epoxy.

 

I did a very large waterchange after all the work. 

 

The ammonia level is 0.25-0.50(hard to tell from the greens)

 

0 nitrite

 

2 nitrate(that's what the nitrate level is normally

 

I did a waterchange yesterday and no change in results of ammonia test.

 

 

I have added matrix bio media

Using Prime daily

Using stability daily 

 

Doing a waterchange tomorrow.

 

 

If prime effects test results, how do you know when ammonia drops?

 

All livestock still acting normal.

 

I shared this experience for some input and for other hobbiests too.

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8 hours ago, banasophia said:

I hadn’t heard that... can you talk about it more? I was about to add a bunch of new dry rock rubble pieces to my tank so they will be ready to use when I need to start pruning my Xenia back. 

@seabass explained it.

 

The safest way is to place any rock in sw and monitor for a week prior to adding. 

 

Normally I do that but it was 1/2 lb rock if that, with coraline on it. It was clean rock with nothing on it besides algae.

 

I have had caribsea dry rock cause a spike in my pico jar yet not in my 25g.

 

It really depends on the rock.

 

Safest method to adding rock to an established system is by at least monitor it for a week to see if there is any spike.

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20 hours ago, Clown79 said:

If prime effects test results, how do you know when ammonia drops?

You could use a gas exchange test kit like Seachem's MultiTest or Alert Ammonia Alert badge.  Or you could do a complete water change and continue to monitor ammonia with your current test kit.

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