Ammonia Spike

Discussion in 'Reef Fishes' started by sagent3000, Mar 11, 2006.

  1. sagent3000

    sagent3000

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    I have been having an Ammonia Spike for the past week. does any one know what could have caused it?

    Salinity 1.026
    pH - 8.3
    NO2 - 0
    NO3 - 0
    NH3 - 1.5 and raising

    and here is another odd thing about it no fish will survive but my bubble split TWICE and my sebae is growing faster than i could have imagined. does anyone have a clue what the problem could be?
     
    sagent3000, Mar 11, 2006
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  2. sagent3000

    jhnrb

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    Something dead in the tank, something you did just prior to the spike, toxins from the corals, test kit expired, test vial is contaminated, take water 3 to 4 inches below surface for testing. out side contamination of salt, water etc. has anything been removed, ie bio balls, have you treated with anything that may have destroyed your bactiera bed or reduced it?. good luck keep us posted.
     
    jhnrb, Mar 12, 2006
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  3. sagent3000

    sagent3000

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    here were the tank inhabitants

    DEAD
    1 - yellow tang
    1 - marron clown
    1 - frog spawn
    1 - torch coral
    1 - green star

    ALIVE
    1 - seabae anmone
    1 - bubble anmone (split twice)
    5 - turbo snails

    My LFS told me that the problem might be that i sift the sand when i take the water out. could that truly be it?
     
    sagent3000, Mar 12, 2006
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  4. sagent3000

    ReefWannabe

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    no cleaning the sand wouldnt cause all those deaths. try a diferent test kit maybe? since you lost both fish and coral.

    could also be bad acclimating??
     
    ReefWannabe, Mar 12, 2006
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  5. sagent3000

    jhnrb

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    Your system was pretty well loaded up for only 6 months old. I would say new tank syndrome. 6 months does not give the system time to mature and establish itself for long terms success or high bio loads. Vacuuming the bed should not have created a problem for you, but, seems to be an area of suspect. I believe stirring the top 1/4 to 1/2 inch occasionallly is fine but do not advocate deep sand bed disruption. well the spike is from the deaths and possibly other culprits. Recommend you effect large water changes say 30% every 3 or 4 days for a couple weeks to see if you can stablize the water parameters, then do not add any new bio load until the remaining animals are still surviving for at least 3 months. also, I do see a problem with having anemonies and corals in the same system. You might want to revisit the type system you want to keep and revaluate which animals you want. sorry to hear of the losses, keep us posted on your progress to reestablish you system. remember to go very slow. Use carbon only occasionally, like one week out of every 4 as needed. also make sure you clean all your mechanical filtration at a minimum every 10 days, and control your water parameters with water changes not additives. now i am not suggesting you are doing anything wrong, but with out knowing how you manage your system i am trying to provide some information that might just help you out of your current situation. good luck. hope something here helps.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2006
    jhnrb, Mar 12, 2006
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  6. sagent3000

    sagent3000

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    when i stir the sand i dig all the way to the bottom. (that might be the mistake i am making too) as far as mantiance every sunday i do 15 gallon water change. i add 3 gallon of kalkwasser every wed. i change the pads, carbon, and purgien once a month. my acclimation i drip for about 3 hours after sitting in bag for 1 hour

    i know i did something wrong so i take no offense to any thing but i am learning from my mistakes my next tank i will take everything i have learned and apply it to the new tank

    i thank everyone for their help
     
    sagent3000, Mar 12, 2006
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  7. sagent3000

    jhnrb

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    The Kalkwasser should be suspect also. you should drip it slow into the system and it should be done at night after lights are off. hope this helps too. best of luck.
     
    jhnrb, Mar 13, 2006
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  8. sagent3000

    sagent3000

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    i think i figured out what the problem is. i went back and started at the begining. first i tested the water out the sink it had no NH3/NH4 then i tested the water im my mix tank and it had an ammonia of 1.5 so i thought this couldn't be right so i started ober and got the same thing. well i checked the RO water and it had a reading \of 2.0 so i think it is the RO water so i am going to change the filers and see what i get
     
    sagent3000, Mar 14, 2006
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  9. sagent3000

    ReefWannabe

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    good job finding the culprit. Hopefully lol.

    Why would your ro water have ammonia though??
     
    ReefWannabe, Mar 14, 2006
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  10. sagent3000

    sagent3000

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    what i have come to the conclusion is that the carbon filter has run out and it controls the ammonia so i need to replace that one and the other micron filter too to be safe
     
    sagent3000, Mar 14, 2006
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  11. sagent3000

    Timothy

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    Dude you need to recheck the way your ro unit is wired up. Something is awry there besides a bad filter. Did something somehow die in you water line or something?
     
    Timothy, Mar 14, 2006
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  12. sagent3000

    sagent3000

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    i doubt it but i will run the through to try and clean out anything that might be there once i get the new filter
     
    sagent3000, Mar 14, 2006
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  13. sagent3000

    ReefWannabe

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    i wasnt thinking something died there, but your ro unit shouldnt be producing water with ammonia period... If its not in the water from the faucet, but its coming out of your ro unit, you may want to take it apart for a cleaning??
     
    ReefWannabe, Mar 15, 2006
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  14. sagent3000

    jhnrb

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    depending on how long your ro system sits idle, if the filters are at their end you might have a bacteria developing and crashing. anytime the ro system sits idle, always discard the 1st water for about 5 minutes or so before collecting. this gives the filters a chance to flush the water that was just sitting there. I would recommend you consider a mts meter. one part senses the input to the ro system and the other connection samples the output and the meter tells you the quality of water you are getting and alerts you to time to change filters. they are not very expensive and you can usually find them on mail order some where around the ro systems. good luck, glad you found the problem. remember though bleed off the 1st water for a bit before collecting it for make up especially if the ro system has set idle for some time.
     
    jhnrb, Mar 15, 2006
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  15. sagent3000

    sagent3000

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    i am getting the new filters for the RO unit today so i will drain out the water in the RO unit now and then bleed the new filters for about 15 mins and see if that works does that sound like a good plan?
     
    sagent3000, Mar 15, 2006
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  16. sagent3000

    jhnrb

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    sounds like a plan, initially 5 to 10 minuets should be ok, but, after that, each time the ro system has set for more than 7 days you should initially discard the output water for the 1st 10 to 15 minutes to flush out any water that has set in the cylinders for a week or longer. hope this helps. keep us posted here on your progress. once new filters are in run a series of tests on your makeup water with the new filters and let us know what you get.
     
    jhnrb, Mar 16, 2006
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  17. sagent3000

    sagent3000

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    the filters weren't the problem persay there were not even exsausted the problem was that the water thats not run through the filter was just sitting there so when i emptyed that out and ran the water for about 10 mintues they there was no NH4/NH3 so i am going to do a 20 gallon water change sunday and then run for a week and do another 20 and add a yellow and regal tang for the algae to help the snails out and then add some corals later
     
    sagent3000, Mar 17, 2006
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  18. sagent3000

    ReefferMan

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    :shock: What kind of ro di system are you using, they should be good for a year depending on the TDS out of your tap water. That sounds funny to me, what is your nitrates reading?
    Happy Reeffing,
    ReefferMan

    :Cheers:
     
    ReefferMan, Mar 17, 2006
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  19. sagent3000

    jhnrb

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    Im glad you have identified your problem. congrats. happy fishin.
     
    jhnrb, Mar 18, 2006
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  20. sagent3000

    sagent3000

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    Lost

    i changed alll the filters in teh RO unit. when i run the water there and test it the NH4-NH3 is 0 but when i add the salt it raises to 2.0 do i need to change salt? i am using seachem salt now


    *UPDATE*
    - I tried Instant Ocean salt and i got the same thing. is this normal for the ammonia to rise with the addition of salt?

    UPDATE
    Everything is fine i was looking at the wrong test results i bought another test kit and they are both reading ammonia 0
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2006
    sagent3000, Mar 25, 2006
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