Jump to content

Handling Ammonia


Recommended Posts

  • Regular Member

I have just come into possesion of two very large fish. They were not expected - and so I have no aquarium, no cycle filter, etc., for them. If I pull enough media from another tank to take care of this one, the other tank as well as the tub are not necessarily balanced and cycled. I am loathe to do that when I will not be here to test and adjust or change water.

I have placed them into a 20ish gallon Rubbermaid tub with an Emperor 400 on it. (THe largest tub I could find at this time). The fish are a 10+inch Broadtail Ryukin X Veiltail and a VERY deep bodied Ryukin - about 6 inches in depth and 8 inches total. They are LARGE waste makers.

I am going out of town for 7 days to see my new grandson. While I am gone, the fish will be fasted.

For the time being, I am changing out 80% of the water daily. I have zeolite (ammochips) and Pond Amquel + available.

I have found that putting the zeolite into the tub does not do it all - even 1 cup of it. Adding in Amquel seems to be counterproductive. The Amquel binds the ammonia, and, once bound, the zeolite cannot bind it. I get high total ammonia, but lower free ammonia.

Should I .....

1. Have the fish sitter add a daily capful of Amquel to the tub?

2. Put Zeolite in the filter - having bags of fresh zeolite available for the sitter to replace every day or every other day?

3. Have the zeolite replaced regularly *see above* AND have the Amquel added?

Is there any reason that it would be counterproductive to have both items in the tub at the same time? Would the zeolite act as a "backup" in case the Amquel ran out of "ooomph" and take up the extra ammonia?

Any opinions on the matter? Has anyone ever combined Zeolite and Amquel?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Corrie

Daryl,

I would put an ammonia alert badge in the bottom of the tub and tell the sitter if it's anything but yellow, do a 50% water change and add Amquel.

Fish excrete ammonia even when they are not fed, it's their urine.

Have you tried CloramX, it's a much better product for that.

Do you have an old sponge filter as a backup? If you do, stick that in there.

If you don't, take a handful of old gravel and put it in one of those old timey corner plastic air box filters.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

My experience with AmQuel+ is that it helps when conditions are marginal (ammonia or nitrite of 0.5 ppm or below) but doesn't budge parameters when they rise above that level. This is not consistent with what the AmQuel+ label says, but was what I found over and over again while cycling my tank. I have not combined AmQuel+ and zeolite, so unfortunately I can't comment on that.

Do you have time to get a bottle of One and Only bacteria before you leave? It is the new product from the Ph.D. who was at Marineland and developed BioSpira. He now has his own company (Dr. Tim's Aquatics). I am sure a product like that wouldn't cycle a filter from scratch that would handle your monster fish, but it might help a marginal filter work better.

Any chance of getting a Rubbermaid stock tank before you leave? The $60 or so that one would cost would be a small price to pay for some extra peace of mind. At least then you would have a lot more water to dilute their waste before it became dangerous.

I wish I lived close enough to be your fish sitter! You should be able to go see your grandson without this nagging worry in the back of your mind.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I wish you were closer, too, sweetie! I would have a place to dump all my fry! ;) I have decided that I may try to travel out to the local Farm and Fleet and see if I can find a larger stock tank/tub. :)

I do not use gravel. I have loads of "extra" seasoned meida, but because I am running overstocked fry tanks (I have over 1000 fry I am supporting at this time) as well as overstocked "sick" tanks ( I have 6 injured koi I am working on for a friend), I really do not want to stretch it.

My sitter is not capable of doing a water change. I am not capable of hooking up the continuous change system on this particular tub. I have found that those ammonia alert badges are particularly unreliable - insensitive. I prefer NO ammonia, of course, but consider anything over 0.5ppm too much - particularly for such longfinned fish as a Veiltail.

I have used/do use Zeolite as a backup system anytime I get fish in to cure that I have no cycle for - or fish that require treatment that is not compatible with a cycle, or take a large pond of fish to show that require some sort of filtration for short term. I have never tried to combine an Amquel/Prime product with same, though.

I realize fish continue to excrete ammonia, whether fed or not - but the amount can be reduced dramatically. For fish this large, I would have to fast for 10 days at least for a good cleanse. I am not going to do that. They will simply not be fed for the 5 days.

I think I shall do a 100% water change and go strictly to Zeolite for a day and measure every hour..............

I designed an experiment last night that should determine the various rates and uses for these products.... but do not have adequate time to perform it before I go. I will do so upon return and post up the results here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Corrie

Daryl, in a pinch those plastic kids wading pools at KMart and Wally work great, and they are cheap.

I would not hesitate to use some of the filter media from another system. All bacteria have to do is divide one time - to double your filtration. Just put new filter fluff on the bottom, and the old on top.

Edited by Corrie
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I keep eyeing those round pools for fry...... I am working on stuffing the extra tub in the spare bathroom - generally so you have to straddle it to use the toilet! I am afraid that the pool would not fit. Outside, it is like offering up a free fish dinner to the 325439274931647314 raccoons and my feral cat colony. I would have enough difficulty keepipng my own cats out of !t!!!

Those pools are, indeed, VERY tempting. Cool.

I think I can squeeze in a long tub of volume or.... even use the bathtub. (!) Volume is always better for dilution, but the use of an ammonia binder works on a certain amount of ammonia - more or less regardless of dilution.

Good grief. Too manychoices and none of them definitive!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Corrie

another thought

If you can't squeeze in one big tub, get two.

You don't have to keep both fish in the same tub and it might be easier to fit two tubs.

You mentioned having a lot of fish right now and concerned about stretching your filtration.

When you get back, if you want, I can show you how to make huge filters really cheap. All it takes is a plastic kitchen trash can and a lot of empty gal milk/water jugs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I can't help ya at all. I'm still learning everything I can from you and the other mods and other board members! LOL But I am very interested to see what you decide to do and how it all turns out! I agree, if I lived closer I would come and help ya out. There are just so many things to think about now with fish, that before I took for granted. Power, heat, air conditioning, going out of town. All of us are going to the beach for 2 days and even with that I am concerned since two of the tanks cycles aren't doing well. My mom lives with us, so she can be counted on for something small, but nothing major. Her wrist is broken so even if she COULD or WOULD do a water change normally, she couldn't right now. But two days is so much different than five. I am going to do water changes the day before I go, and then have my mom add Prime or Amquel to the tanks with cycle issues the night I am not home. Probably Prime cause I can just say add ___ # of drops. Then probably come home Friday night with a sunburn and that drained feeling I always get after a trip to the beach with all the salt and wind, and be trying to change fish tanks when I wanna fall asleep. I'm already thinking ahead to when we take our next longer trip. We visit my boyfriend Shane's family in New Mexico alot and there have been times when we've gone for two weeks or more at a time. It's been harder to do now that my daughter Taylor is in school. When she was younger we stayed out there one time for a month while Shane was in between jobs. Personally, I don't like to stay that long lately. I get antsy having to live out of suitcases, and miss being in my own home. I guess between school and fish and other pets I have a great excuse to keep our trips no longer than a week now. I was actually considering going and getting a job down the shore this summer. Shane does his work from home, he just has to check in once a week. I know the lady who owns of of the main places in Asbury Park , New Jersey and was going to just make enough there to pay for a place to stay for the summer. Asbury was practically abandoned in recent years but is starting to pick back up again. Enough thats it's not creepy any more, but finding a place to stay there is still very cheap compared to other beach towns. But with all the pets, it's just not possible : ) That's okay though. Asbury is only about an hour away so I can make lots of day trips.

Yeah so there I went getting pretty off topic again! : ) ANYWAY, I'll be reading to see how things turn out for you. And I am SOOOOOO curious as to what your experiement is exactly and how it turns out. Good luck while you are gone and hope the fish do well! Have a great time visiting your grandson.. He really is a sweetie!

Edited by CountryLovah
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I have decided to dig out an old, large tub/box that contains some of my daughter's things that we stored away in the crawl space when she moved away. The things can sit out on the rec room floor for a week or so while I use the tub for the fish. It is a 48 gallon tub - so I should be able to get about 40 gallons into it.

I am going to go with a combo of Amquel (powdered pro) and Zeolite. I have made 10 baggies of 1/2 cup Zeolite per bag. These, I will have the sitter put two in the filter each day - taking out the older two and dropping them in the sink. She can do that. Then I will have her add dose of the powder each day too. From delving into the chemistry (wow there is a lot out there - and, not to get too off topic - do you realize how truly NASTY the chemicals are that are in the Nessler test kits! Mercury and everything. Whew!). I have learned soooo much today with ammonia nitrogen and ionic ammonia and all.... so much more to learn.)

ANYWAY..... as far as I can determine with my rather weak chemistry background there is no reason to believe that they have to be exclusive. The Amquel will bind the ammonia and if it cannot handle the whole job, the zeolite will take over and clean up the rest.

Normally, I would go with Zeolite alone. But I am unfamiliar with these fish and unfamiliar with the water volume and do not wish to risk them. They came from unknown circumstances - where they may have had to struggle a bit - and I do not want to stress them anymore than necessary. ONce finished with QT, they can go in my large male Ryukin tank with the other 3. The one Veil cross has a split in his dorsal fin that I would really like to clean up for show this fall.

HEre is a quickie shot of them in the smaller tub. That is an Emperor 400 on the back there - 15 inches across.... it gives you a bit of an idea of the size of these two. They need more water volume....even in qt.

Thanks for the offer on the homemade filter - I appreciate it. I happen to have several that I have made for various uses - but do not have the room to set them up in the bathroom at this time. I love building and inventing things. That is my profession. :)

post-27-1214685734_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I just wanted to chime in to tell you that those are some beautiful fish... Wish I could give some advice but I'm still in the learning phase but I will tell you those fish are lucky to have somebody that cares enough to worry about them. Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Holey Moley! That's a 48 gallon?! It's all those fish can do to just sit there!!! Man, they're hugely gorgeous!!! Wow! They're sooo amazing! If I had some way to keep fish that big, boy, what I wouldn't do to have one! Beautiful!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Lynda, I think that is still the 20ish gallon rubbermaid - but oh my, they sure make that thing look small! :thud I knew they were big, but seing them turning a 20 gl rubbermaid into a shrinking tub, that is amazing!

I love the ryukin, but the broadtailXveiltail just about tops it all. That color is stunning, not to mention the finnage! :heart

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Ranchu Addict

Just wondering what your ph is. Ammonia tends to be less toxic when the ph is lower so you may have a little more leeway. Your plan sounds good to me considering the circumstances. Also is amquel better than Prime?Good luck and those are beautiful fish. Wish I could find something like that in my area.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

My pH is 8.2. My gh is over 300 as is my kH. I am running heavy and "dirty", but it is keeping blacks for me.

At this particular time, Amquel is more available than Prime. I used to be able to purchase Prime in the gallon jug, but no more. Recently, I have been getting the dry powdered professional Amquel. It is very cost effective and works very nicely. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Good luck Daryl! I think that will work out well for the fish, and you can visit that new grandson without fretting about the fish. I'm so happy for you, and you must be so excited!

One thing...you mentioned that the ammonia alerts are insensitive and inaccurate. As a rule, I would agree with you, but the new Seacham Ammonia monitor works wonderfully as far as I can tell. It changes color at the least amount of ammonia, and I have back-up tested it with testers. Seacham guarantees it for 1 year. So far it has done well for me.

Have a safe trip and enjoy yourself!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

wow that is a couple of whales you got there. i know that you added established filter material but why not add some of the gravel from your established tanks. there is a lot of beneficial bacteria there. do you have any sponge filters going, if so use on of them in the tub. I would also place an air stone in there as well. If possible and i know you said you did not have other containers but i would separate them. they look they are going to make a huge mess in that container

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Well, I am sorry I saw this too late and now you are gone. But in case it is helpful for future reference.....

Have you ever used Ammo-lock (API)? It has quite a strong binding capacity.

It is similar to the AmQuel in its reaction to the nessler kit (false positive readings) and its binding capacity (ie. it doesn't release its bond after 24 hours, like Prime). But, whereas a standard does of AmQuel binds around 1ppm ammonia (AmQ + does about 1.2, I think), Ammo-Lock will bind up to 3 ppm of ammonia per dose, but if you have 6ppm you can double dose with the product to bind all 6 ppm to its non-toxic form.

Maybe your Pro powder is more potent than the regular stuff? I haven't used it and don't know about its performance.

Amazingly gigantic fish, btw!! I hope you're having a wonderful trip :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I have returned (Last night) and all fish appear to be just fine. An ammonia test (Free) indicates that the ammonia in the tub is at 0.1ppm..... well within tolerable readings. I will change out 75% of the water and feed today.

I decided to go with Zeolite ONLY. I made up 16 bags of Zeolite with 1/4 cup in each. The sitter was instructed to take the two bags that were in the Emperor 400 filter and drop them into a pre-set bowl of salt water. She then replaced the bags daily with two fresh ones.

All fish appear to be OK - fry included. Yea!!!!

P.s. my computer has died during our trip - and will need some work. Until I can get back on Ralph (the main computer) I will be stuck using this one - one that will be going to work with my hubby every weekday. I intend to dis-embowel Ralph tomorrow - and see what I can fix.... until then....

:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

:hi5

I am so glad all your fish are fine.

Do you have photos of your time with your grandchildren? We would love to see them.

Good luck fixing Ralph.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I have lots of photos... and would love to share them. But the only computer I can do photos on is the main one, Ralph. Until I can get him up and running again, no photos! I cannot put photos on my hubby's work computer. My little laptop is loaned to a friend that needed a computer for a few weeks.....

I have opened the case and checked all the simple wiring. So far, no go.

I am changing fish tanks and doing laundry, so will have to wait to beat on Ralph until later this afternoon.

:)

In just the week we were there, the baby grew sooooo much! :) We had a blast at Folk Polk - 4th of July at a big army base is always exciting. The baby had his first outing to a huge festival, parades and was presented to the troops. He was a REALLY good boy. No crying, unlike many of the others that were hoisted up for the troops! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...