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FlytheWMark

Ammonia Spike

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FlytheWMark
3 hours ago, seabass said:

As Clown79 suggested, when using Prime, testing for ammonia with a reagent test kit isn't providing you with a clear picture of what's currently going on in your system.  How do the inhabitants look?  Visual cues may provide better evidence of what's going on.  Can you post a new picture of your tank?

 

If things are looking better, I would continue to dose Prime daily for another week, then do a massive water change.  If things look like they are continuing to decline, then I would consider doing the water change this weekend.

 

If you want a better picture of your tank's ammonia level (while using Prime, and when discontinuing Prime), go to Petco and purchase a Seachem Ammonia Alert Badge.

Got the Alert Badge, Ammonia is showing safe (yellow), been using Prime the last couple of days.  Here's a picture, lights have been on an hour, zoas are still closed (and have barely opened the last few days) and the duncan is open a little (usually pretty big).  The RFA could care less.  Frogspawn at the top remains about 1/4 open.  Everything else has been moved to the 20 gallon tank for now.

2020-06-06 12.23.06.jpg

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Clown79

If there was an ammonia spike, it will take a while for things to go back to normal.

 

Have you checked your other parameters

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FlytheWMark
8 minutes ago, FlytheWMark said:

Got the Alert Badge, Ammonia is showing safe (yellow), been using Prime the last couple of days.  Here's a picture, lights have been on an hour, zoas are still closed (and have barely opened the last few days) and the duncan is open a little (usually pretty big).  The RFA could care less.  Frogspawn at the top remains about 1/4 open.  Everything else has been moved to the 20 gallon tank for now.

2020-06-06 12.23.06.jpg

 

4 minutes ago, Clown79 said:

If there was an ammonia spike, it will take a while for things to go back to normal.

 

Have you checked your other parameters

Actually just retested Alk (haven't since Tues) and its gone to 10.5.  This tank has historically been a low Alk tank (high 7's low 8's).  Why would that have jumped?

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Clown79
44 minutes ago, FlytheWMark said:

 

Actually just retested Alk (haven't since Tues) and its gone to 10.5.  This tank has historically been a low Alk tank (high 7's low 8's).  Why would that have jumped?

If you removed corals, there would be less consumption. That's 1 cause.

 

Chemistry in the tank may be off. You'd have to check ca and mag as those play a part as well.

 

So does nitrate.

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FlytheWMark
39 minutes ago, Clown79 said:

If you removed corals, there would be less consumption. That's 1 cause.

 

Chemistry in the tank may be off. You'd have to check ca and mag as those play a part as well.

 

So does nitrate.

Calcium is good (450), I've never checked for Mag.  Should I just do a large water change (60-70%) and let it sit for a few days or what now?

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seabass

The shrimp is a pretty good cannery when dealing with problems.  They are fairly sensitive.  As Clown79 pointed out, it will take some time for your corals to adjust and recover (even after your water parameters have been corrected).

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FlytheWMark
1 minute ago, seabass said:

The shrimp is a pretty good cannery when dealing with problems.  They are fairly sensitive.  As Clown79 pointed out, it will take some time for your corals to adjust and recover (even after your water parameters have been corrected).

I moved the rest of the Zoa's to the 20 gallon for now.  So here's my question is the ammonia alert reading the "correct" one now or it it showing low just because of the Prime and will pop back up in 24 hours?  Should I keep adding the Prime for a few days?  Or should I just do a big water change, not add anything and let it stabilize for a few days?  IF I shouldn't do the water change how do I get the Alk down some (being too high has never been an issue for me, I 2 part dose Alk and Cal to keep it low 8's usually and around 425 calcium)?

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seabass
53 minutes ago, FlytheWMark said:

So here's my question is the ammonia alert reading the "correct" one now or it it showing low just because of the Prime and will pop back up in 24 hours?

The Ammonia Alert Badge is a correct reading for free ammonia (not total ammonia).  It could potentially go up as the Prime wears out.  If you do stop dosing Prime, keep an eye on the badge.

 

Keep in mind that the nitrogen cycle will continue as usual and the bacteria will process the ammonium just like it does free ammonia.

 

54 minutes ago, FlytheWMark said:

Should I keep adding the Prime for a few days?  Or should I just do a big water change, not add anything and let it stabilize for a few days?

I'd be tempted to dose Prime for another week and then do a large water change.

 

54 minutes ago, FlytheWMark said:

how do I get the Alk down some (being too high has never been an issue for me, I 2 part dose Alk and Cal to keep it low 8's usually and around 425 calcium)?

Check the salinity again.  High salinity should increase alkalinity (as well as other elements).  Obviously you'll want to adjust your dosing routine.  I would greatly reduce dosing alkalinity until the level reaches your target.  But try not to make changes too suddenly.

 

Alkalinity swings will throw off corals.  They may be reacting to that as much as the ammonia spike.

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FlytheWMark
3 minutes ago, seabass said:

The Ammonia Alert Badge is a correct reading for free ammonia (not total ammonia).  It could potentially go up as the Prime wears out.  If you do stop dosing Prime, keep an eye on the badge.

 

Keep in mind that the nitrogen cycle will continue as usual and the bacteria will process the ammonium just like it does free ammonia.

 

I'd be tempted to dose Prime for another week and then do a large water change.

 

Check the salinity again.  High salinity should increase alkalinity (as well as other elements).  Obviously you'll want to adjust your dosing routine.  I would greatly reduce dosing alkalinity until the level reaches your target.  But try not to make changes too suddenly.

 

Alkalinity swings will throw off corals.  They may be reacting to that as much as the ammonia spike.

Salinity is just a hair low 1.024 (this tank is typically 1.025-1.026).  Not dosing anything right now.  I've got most of my important coals in another tank right now.  I think I'll keep dosing Prime for most of next week then do a 75% water change and see where that lands me.  I just hope the Alk starts coming down.  I'll only do minimal feeding for the cleaner shrimp.  I'll also keep adding bacteria as well.  Any other suggestions are greatly appreciated.

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seabass

What is the alkalinity of a newly mixed batch of saltwater?  If it's lower, then a few smaller water changes (prior to dosing Prime) will help slowly lower the alkalinity level.

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FlytheWMark
14 minutes ago, seabass said:

What is the alkalinity of a newly mixed batch of saltwater?  If it's lower, then a few smaller water changes (prior to dosing Prime) will help slowly lower the alkalinity level.

About 9.5-9.6.  So maybe a gallon water change today, keep adding Prime tomorrow and just let it sit (adding Prime daily) for 4-5 more days?

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seabass
1 hour ago, FlytheWMark said:

So maybe a gallon water change today, keep adding Prime tomorrow and just let it sit (adding Prime daily) for 4-5 more days?

Sounds like a plan.  Good luck!

 

Keep watching your Ammonia Alert, shrimp, and corals for any signs of trouble.  I think it'll work out alright for you.

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FlytheWMark

Ok, still having issues here. Went through the week per above adding Prime every day.  Stopped on Wed, did a massive water change on Thursday night (probably about 70%) and ammonia has dropped to 0.25 but its staying there.  No nitrite and nitrates are at about 2.  Alk is upper 9's (again high for this tank) calcium is 425.  The frogspawn that still in there is looking a little better but not great.  The remaining zoa's are either closed or not looking good.  Looking for suggestions.  Could the putty in there still be causing issues?

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seabass
11 minutes ago, FlytheWMark said:

Could the putty in there still be causing issues?

You're expected immediate results to the changes you've made.  Things should recover in time with stability.  Work on keeping your parameters stable.

 

13 minutes ago, FlytheWMark said:

ammonia has dropped to 0.25

Does the ammonia badge show safe?  That's what I'd be concentrating on right now.

 

API is pretty sensitive to low levels of ammonia.  Sometimes, especially in a new tank or in a tank which has just spiked ammonia (like yours), the result won't be completely undetectable even if ammonia is in a safe (but relatively low) range.  "Undetectable" results may not occur for several more weeks.

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FlytheWMark
11 minutes ago, seabass said:

You're expected immediate results to the changes you've made.  Things should recover in time with stability.  Work on keeping your parameters stable.

 

Does the ammonia badge show safe?  That's what I'd be concentrating on right now.

 

API is pretty sensitive to low levels of ammonia.  Sometimes, especially in a new tank or in a tank which has just spiked ammonia (like yours), the result won't be completely undetectable even if ammonia is in a safe (but relatively low) range.  "Undetectable" results may not occur for several more weeks.

The badge does show its safe now after the water change.  So just let it keep on keepin' on for now and see if what is left in there starts to recover some next week before adding anything else back?

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seabass
46 minutes ago, FlytheWMark said:

and see if what is left in there starts to recover some next week

While you might see some results in a week, I still suspect it'll take longer to see significant results.

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