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High Ammonia levels
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frogfish
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Joined: 02 Mar 2005

PostPosted: 2005.03.02(Wed)13:44    Post subject: High Ammonia levels Reply with quote

I just received a 60gallon Saltwater tank, which I bleached all parts, including the sump, bioballs, protein skimmers (CPR) coral, barnacles shells. However did not bleach the tank itself or the sand, which is tiny sea shells and rocks, I ran the tank with fresh water for a day or so and rinsed everything off, added only salt and tap water, Ran tank for 2weeks and still there is high amount of ammonia and some nitrite. My protein skimmer is not picking anything up either, which I figured it would if their is traces of ammonia. could my protein skimmer be the problem, its running just no flim or waste has been collected.
Also I have not had any fish in the tank since I got the tank. Any solutions or advice.
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juice28
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Joined: 10 Feb 2005
Location: iowa city, IA

PostPosted: 2005.03.02(Wed)15:08    Post subject: Reply with quote

From the sounds of things, you've depleted your natural bacteria resovoir. It takes bacteria to turn over ammonia to nitrite and then nitrate. Do you have any live rock in the tank? Any source of bacteria? Your delay in tank cycling will be pretty long if you don't have an adequate source... The protein skimmer will help with your nitrate and other dissolved organic wastes, but it won't deplete the ammonia and nitrite levels. Don't worry, it's probably not the source of the problem. Wink
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frogfish
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Joined: 02 Mar 2005

PostPosted: 2005.03.02(Wed)17:28    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have any live rock, When I originally tested the water 2wks ago there was no nitrate or nitrite only high volumes of Ammonia. Today when I took the sample to the aquarium store, it looked as though my ammonia wasn't as high and he tested for nitrite which showed some amounts. Could this be the turnover your talking about. what kind of bacteria can I introduce to my tank to speed up this turnover?
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DanG
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Joined: 15 Nov 2004

PostPosted: 2005.03.02(Wed)22:06    Post subject: Reply with quote

Throw in a dead prawn, the kind you buy at the grocery store. Please resist the urge to throw live fish in there, it's cruel.
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frogfish
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Joined: 02 Mar 2005

PostPosted: 2005.03.03(Thu)9:54    Post subject: Reply with quote

how long should I leave the prawn in the tank. day or 2.
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FloridaBoy
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Joined: 04 Jul 2004

PostPosted: 2005.03.03(Thu)21:05    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm... no fish or other bio load here, sounds like you have an empty tank with ammonia readings?
Puzzling really... the fact that you didn't wash the substrate may mean you have a sand bed that was alive with micros and is now polluting your tank for some reason, was the tank stocked and running when you inherited it?
If you ran fresh water through the live substrate that could be your problem.
In which case, I would suggest removing and replacing with new substrate and new salt water before you start stocking/cycling.
The cycling process normally takes about a month or more. You can speed up this process a lot by adding a targeted load of live bacteria from an established tank directly into your bio filter area, I.e. balls, wheel, gravel etc.
The skimmer should not be used during the typical break in period. Let me caution you here my friend; NOW is the time to pause and research this process and hobby, before you start down the long hard road of NTS or "new tank syndrome." You have been warned; MANY beginners never take time to read a book on this hobby, and with all due respect, can tell by your post that you need to do this. Becoming a successful long term marine aquarist involves more than hitting a few forums for bits and pieces of advice... we want you to be a happy successful aquarist, so continue your hunt for knowledge and you will have a great tank. Start by choosing a system type (fish only would be a good idea for a beginner).
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