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Ammonia Spike *Trying to help a friend* before its too late :(


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Hi Everyone ūüôā

So.. Wednesday my friend texted me and stated that she is struggling with Ammonia (and a bacterial bloom) in her Parrot tank. She stated is started 2 weeks ago. She has been doing water changes and adding prime. I have the feeling that it being a new tank and the stocking that there is not enough BB to keep up to the fish demand. Even though she used media/plants/filter media from a previous tank (smaller) I don't think it was enough to support the larger size and fish volume.  

I started to ask the "usual" targeted questions:

  1.  Parameters initial Ammonia, 0.25ppm (2 weeks ago), Wednesday 0.75ppm, Nitrites 0, Nitrates 10-15 ppm, PH (?), Temp 78
  2.  Stocking: 2 Parrots, 6 glow tetras, 2 German Rams, 2 mystery snails, and 2 SAE. 
  3.  Tank Size: 55
  4.  Planted (would not say heavily)
  5. ¬†Water change % = 30% every 2 weeks (regardless¬†of water parameters, just to give them fresh water) ūüė쬆
  6.  Feeding fish daily
  7.  Fish are acting normally, no gasping, slow movements, agitation etc.. 

I keep digging.. to find out.. that this tank was set up Feb 7th 2022. She moved EVERYTHING from the smaller 20G to the new 55G. Added the fish from the 20G. 2 weeks later added the second parrot fish, the 2 SAE first week of March 2022. 

Here is the advice I gave her last night at 9pm.

  1. add more prime to get through the night 
  2. send her ACO (Cory's video) about Ammonia ūüôā¬†
  3. Test the water this morning if Ammonia is still high (which is was) do a 50% water change
  4.  STOP FEEDING THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
  5.  pull some more filter media from her other 20G and add to the filter in the 55
  6. Add some BB (fritz zyme) to get the BB to be able to handle the stock in the "newish" 55G
  7.  Test the tap water and ensure there is no Ammonia or chloramine (just to check as a baseline). 

Below is what she sent me this morning. This was 2 hours after a 50% water change:

Is there anything else I could advise her to do (besides join this forum, which I have told her to do 4 times already). 

image000000.jpg

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Water changes, water changes, water changes. Nothing else you can do.

 

What filter is she running, out of curiosity? You may be able to optimize it hold more media than stock, but until the BB catch up, that won't matter. 

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On 4/15/2022 at 7:57 AM, Sandra the fish rookie said:

Here is the advice I gave her last night at 9pm.

  1. add more prime to get through the night 
  2. send her ACO (Cory's video) about Ammonia ūüôā¬†
  3. Test the water this morning if Ammonia is still high (which is was) do a 50% water change
  4.  STOP FEEDING THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
  5.  pull some more filter media from her other 20G and add to the filter in the 55
  6. Add some BB (fritz zyme) to get the BB to be able to handle the stock in the "newish" 55G
  7.  Test the tap water and ensure there is no Ammonia or chloramine (just to check as a baseline). 

1. Prime every 48 hours (not excessively)
2. 50% water changes morning and night
3. No feeding for 1 week
4. Add salt immediately (salt would be in the tank for 48 hours). Add an airstone to each tank.
5. Add BB from a bottle for the next week
6. We need to know filtration, what media is being used, what size HoB, etc.
----> In my ACs I generally always ran 2 HoB's and/or two media bags in each one.
7.  Last resort, if she can, remove all fish to the 20G as a QT tank and keep the parrots in the big tank.  I understand the filtration might not be there, but you're MUCH better off having the small fish in the smaller tank to give every fish the change to survive.
8. After 4-6 weeks, THEN you add in fish slowly.


Have patience. Offer help.  Beyond this, there isn't anything you can do. The goal is to make sure when you have a major tank crash like this you don't lose the hobbyist completely.

If you can, bring her some cycled media.

As mentioned above, test everything you can with the test kit, report back.

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