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Ammonia Spike !?


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mr .miagui has been in qt for over a week now I've been salting and now I just started using melafix yesterday I was debating on whether to dose for a whole 7 days without wc as stated on the bottle (somthing I was not comfortable with) incase your wondering why I'm using melafix is to heal his torn fin ..anyways I have a compulsive disorder to check my water daily sometimes twice daily .this morning I checked qt tank everything was good ...but I still did a small water change any way and added more melafix.. I have removed my ammcarb stuff and never had a problem with ammonia spikes during a treatment before ..so tonight mr .miagui wasn't being himself so I immediatly checked the water and the dang ammonia was over 0.6 !! which he or I didn't like ..so I did a huge water change 80% and tested after an hour it was still 0.6 so I did a 25% wc and put the ammocarb back in the filter it has gone down since -not 0 but down .I'm not sure what happened but I hope I have things under control..would melafix give you a false reading? or would it cause an ammonia spike ?

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I just learned somthing !! when prime releases chlorine it leaves ammonia behind giving you a reading (chloramine-chlorine=ammonia)so when I test I get a false reading I never had a problem and I changed 80% of my water then another 25% and STILL had a reading so each time I put new water I was adding a bit of prime ..so I will check tomorrow and see how thing are.but I'm almost positive it's the prime . :)

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I will move this to the "water: forum for you. :)

You stated that your tank was cycled. Well, I hate to break it to you - but because if you are using Ammocarb, your tank is no longer cycled. IT may still have some beneficial bacteria left to grow a new population - I think you said that you have only been using the Ammocarb for a week, right?

Ammocarb is ammonia chips or zeolite (along with carbon - which will take out the meds, by the way) Zeolite will bind the ammonia from the water - making it unavailable for the beneficial bacteria that make up the nitrogen cycle. Without ammonia, the BB die. The cycle goes away and you have no cycle.

The Ammoncarb continues to bind the ammonia in the tank until it fills up and then it stops. The ammonia builds up quickly and the tank's ammonia spikes. Prime can bind ammonia from the water (while leaving it available for the BB) but it can only do so much, too.

From what I am reading into what you posted, you had a cycled tank. You added Ammocarb and Prime. The Ammoncarb took all the meds and the ammonia from the water until it could hold no more. Then it stopped. The Prime takes some from the water, but can only do part of what a medium sized fish can do unless you dose with a higher dose than generally recommended on the bottle. As the Ammoncarb stopped working, the ammonia climbed. You took the Ammocarb out and then there was no cycle and no Ammocarb to bind the ammonia - only some Prime.

I suggest you make sure the Ammoncarb is ALL out of the tank, continue adding PRime and water changing and you should be able to bring the cycle back on line within a week or so. If this is JUST a QT tank, and you do not want to bother with a cycle, you can use the Ammocarb to keep the ammonia under control. Just realize that you are most likely going to have to recharge the Ammochips at least every other day (or replace them).

Be careful of ODing on melefix. Some fish do not do well with that stuff.

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thanks soo much daryl !!!! that info helped me immensley!!! I had no clue what was happening he's perkey this morning .He's well enough to go to the other tank but I know they will nip at him I was contemplating dividing the tank ? He started to act strange when I added the melefix I didn't put it back in after all that water change should I or should I just stick with salting?

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If you have been reading my posts at all, you will probably have figured out by now that I tend to be a bit of a minimalist when it comes to treating fish. I have no problems with treating and treating agressively when needed. But in general, I like to sit back and see if the fish can handle matters itself, first.

In the case of torn fins, I usually do nothing. Just keep the water squeaky clean - zero,zero and as low as possible (I go for under 5ppm). Keep it a steady temp (I like around 71F for most fish) and sit back and let nature take it's course. I have had fish with NO fins left grow wonderful fins within a month or two. Recently, two fish that were sent to me because they were so grieviously injured in breeding activities that the original owner could not show them - and was going to put them down. Not only have the fins started healing well - but the major rays in the tail are even rebuilding! They may be show fish yet.

So give it a chance. Keep an eye on the wounds. If they get fungusy or infected, you may need something more. But just plain clean water is the best for torn fins in my opinon.

Now - you are qting him because he is new, correct? In that case, I would salt the tank to 0.3% for the duration of the qt. If you are going to salt, do NOT use the Ammocarb chips. They will not work with salt - salt is how they are recharged and they will release all the ammonia theyhold when they meet with salt. In the presence of salt, they will not bind any ammonia.

Leave the tank at 0.3% salt for at least the duration of the qt and do nothing else but observe. The salt should take care of any parasites that may have caused the fin rips - and if they were mechanical, it will not hurt and can help in healing. If Mr. Miagui has any problems with the salt or any new problems with infection/fungus, you can treat as needed when the time arises. My bet is, other unknown problems aside, he should heal very quickly and well.

Edit: If you think the other fish are picking at him because he was injured - you can float him in a basket in the main tank when he has completed qt successfully.

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In the case of torn fins, I usually do nothing. Just keep the water squeaky clean - zero,zero and as low as possible (I go for under 5ppm).

That's not doing nothing! :D Keeping the water that "perfect" is a lot of work. And you are so right Daryl, "perfect" water is just about the best "medicine" there is! Extra frequent WC are absolutely mandatory when treating a sick fish.

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..lol I'm starting to realize that the more I do besides water change the more difficult things become ...somtimes ya think your helping but just adding more stress I'll sit back and let mr.miagui do the healing and intervene when needed I think the paranoid freak in me tends to take over sometimes..oohhh so much i've learned and so much ..TO learn thanks daryl :)

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ok daryl you plucked a string in my brain , after reading your replies I needed to do some serious reading on filtration and the "actual" use of different types of carbon and junk ...so I am pleased to know that I can look back on other situations in the past and realize where I goofed and that I AM my tanks worst enemy ..lol .. I had no idea that putting salt would release everything that the carb would absorb ....that may explain my endless cycles ..I always assumed carb was there for a reason and that you had to use it. but my ignorance of my carb use and salting for nitrites has been my #1 enemy .....sciene isn't my thing for sure !!!-so it takes me a little longer than others to catch on !! ;)

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