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My ammonia levels, nitrite, nitrate levels all peg the chart. I had a massive fish kill a few weeks ago and have been cycling and changing out water and using ammonia remover and zeolite and nothing helps.

 

I have 2-approx 200 gal tanks feeding 18 sqft of bed each. Some plants are actually growing well oddly enough.

I dont understand why all the levels are so high and just wont come down.

thanks for any help.

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Need some more details about your ammonia remover?  There are some types of aquarium chemicals that will render some types of water tests useless.

 

What is your source water?  (could there be chlorine or chloramine messing with things?)

Might there be a dead fish or waste accumulated/wedged (under the pump or in a pipe) somewhere in your system that is causing the continuing high readings?

Do you know what caused your fish kill?

What type of grow beds?  (media or raft?)  (if raft, what is the bio-filter?)

Was the bio-filter cycled up before the fish kill?  Or is this a "new tank syndrome" fish kill? 

How many fish?

 

New Tank syndrome being fish dieing because of high ammonia/nitrite levels due to the bio-filter not being cycled up before the fish were added and not adding the fish in small enough numbers to safely cycle up the system with fish.

Source is rain and tap that set and cycled for several weeks.

No dead fish or accumilation. I have cleaned it all out and run the system 24/7 for a couple of weeks

Too many fish to start with and overfeeding. Ammonia levels spiked.

Media beds.

as i understood it, yes i cycled for several weeks and all looked good.

I had 25 catfish and 10 bluegill in each tank. Fingerlings.

So i would guess yes to new tank syndrome.

Ammonia remover was from pet store but that was 2 weeks ago. used Zeolite 2 days ago.

 

I would suggest perhaps taking a water sample in to the pet store and see what readings they get testing it for you.  Perhaps there is something wrong with your test kit.  What type of test kit?

 

Of course the ammonia remover I do think actually removes the ammonia, it just chemically locks it up.  I'm not sure about using such a product in Aquaponics, I have not idea if it is food safe.  But in any case it may cause the water to continually keep showing ammonia when tested.

 

This might call for a complete water change plus rinsing the beds out and getting rid of the rinse water before re-filling and starting from scratch.

Hi Randy,

 

When i had Ammonia and Nitrate off the chart it was sufficient to dump about 1/3 of my water, refilling with buffered rain water and adding large house plants to absorb some Nitrate.  Of course i stopped feeding the bacteria till ammonia came down too.

 

Let us know how it goes.

 

Hf

I have changed out well over 1/3 of the water and do have some plants in the beds. The few remaining fish are in another tank.

The ammonia remover turns the ammonia into a non-toxic form.

But, the way I read it, the non-toxic form still turns it into nitrite and from nitrite to nitrate.

And the ammonia test kit will still read this non-toxic form.

I  could not find out what the non-toxic form consist of, but I believe it is still in bond with something ( maybe H, O or HO (hydrogen, oxygen or both) ?), since the test kit still can read it. This would explain why the test kit is still reading the ammonia and I believe that this bond will eventually break and this  would also explain why this '' non-toxic form '' will be turned into nitrite and then into nitrate.

 

Over feeding the fish, over stocking the fish, system not cycled or being brought up to fast to higher capacity, ......all this could spike your system.

Not having enough plants could make your nitrate spike.

Remember lower temperatures will make your bacteria grow slower and multiply slower. If your temperature drops to low, then it could kill your bacteria also.

Here a link about the bacteria:

http://www.bioconlabs.com/nitribactfacts.html

 

 

Thanks very much for that.The way you explain it, i actually understood it.

I have changed test kits (started using the strips) and things LOOK a lot better. It actually shows NO ammonia but mid to high on the nitrates.

I put a few fish back in and the seem to be doing well.  

I will keep posting.

 

Thanks for every ones help.

Johann said:

The ammonia remover turns the ammonia into a non-toxic form.

But, the way I read it, the non-toxic form still turns it into nitrite and from nitrite to nitrate.

And the ammonia test kit will still read this non-toxic form.

I  could not find out what the non-toxic form consist of, but I believe it is still in bond with something ( maybe H, O or HO (hydrogen, oxygen or both) ?), since the test kit still can read it. This would explain why the test kit is still reading the ammonia and I believe that this bond will eventually break and this  would also explain why this '' non-toxic form '' will be turned into nitrite and then into nitrate.

 

Over feeding the fish, over stocking the fish, system not cycled or being brought up to fast to higher capacity, ......all this could spike your system.

Not having enough plants could make your nitrate spike.

Remember lower temperatures will make your bacteria grow slower and multiply slower. If your temperature drops to low, then it could kill your bacteria also.

Here a link about the bacteria:

http://www.bioconlabs.com/nitribactfacts.html

 

 

Did your nitrite go down yet ?

Since your ammonia went down, your nitrite should go down too.

And since you added some fish, your ammonia may go up slightly again.

Watch your feeding, do not feed more then what the fish can eat in a couple of minutes at least for now.

Check your ammonia again in a couple of days and see what the system does.

Randy Sexton said:

Thanks very much for that.The way you explain it, i actually understood it.

I have changed test kits (started using the strips) and things LOOK a lot better. It actually shows NO ammonia but mid to high on the nitrates.

I put a few fish back in and the seem to be doing well.  

I will keep posting.

 

Thanks for every ones help.

Johann said:

The ammonia remover turns the ammonia into a non-toxic form.

But, the way I read it, the non-toxic form still turns it into nitrite and from nitrite to nitrate.

And the ammonia test kit will still read this non-toxic form.

I  could not find out what the non-toxic form consist of, but I believe it is still in bond with something ( maybe H, O or HO (hydrogen, oxygen or both) ?), since the test kit still can read it. This would explain why the test kit is still reading the ammonia and I believe that this bond will eventually break and this  would also explain why this '' non-toxic form '' will be turned into nitrite and then into nitrate.

 

Over feeding the fish, over stocking the fish, system not cycled or being brought up to fast to higher capacity, ......all this could spike your system.

Not having enough plants could make your nitrate spike.

Remember lower temperatures will make your bacteria grow slower and multiply slower. If your temperature drops to low, then it could kill your bacteria also.

Here a link about the bacteria:

http://www.bioconlabs.com/nitribactfacts.html

 

 

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