Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

I have been cycling since the 3rd or 4th of Nov. I used ammonia to start and on the 10th we added fish, even though we weren't cycled yet. I stumbled upon a website that stated not to use ammonia with surfactants. We used about 1 to 1-1/2 cups of that ammonia. It suds up pretty BADD when it's shaken a lot.
My Levels today are:
PH: 8.0
Ammonia: 0.0- 0.25 (had peaked at 4.0 ppm)
Nitrite: 5.0+
Nitrate: 40
In the last week I have put in 2 small bottles of "Microbe lift, nightout" we have been battling to keep water above 68•.
Do I need to empty everything and start cycling over.??
Thank you all in advance for your help.

Views: 706

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hi Mike

If you go to the top right of this sites home page and type in surfactants in ammonia, you should get your answer. From what I gather it's not the fact that it's got a surfactant, it depends on what they used for a surfactant. In which case if it is soap, soap is toxic to fish. If you've got an Ace hardware store, that's where I've heard a lot of people get their ammonia from as it is janitorial grade 10 % ammonia. I think if it was me, why take the chance. I'd drain it. That's just my opinion.

                                                                                     Jack 

I agree with Jack.  The issue is the surfactant is bad for the fish and the only way you are going to get rid of it is to drain the tank.  Sorry....I'm sure that was not the answer you were hoping for!

Oh wow, wasn't sure if 1-1/2 cups would have effected 700 gallons that bad. Oh well, guess we will start over then. Thank you for the help, I really appreciate it.

Mike should be so lucky as to have soap (as Jack "optimistically" suggested) in his ammonia for a surfactant. Soap is expensive, so producers of cleaning products use synthetic detergents and cationic surfactants in their ammonia products...all of which would be highly toxic to the fish (even more so than soap...which is bad enough). Btw...much of what is called/labeled as "soap" at the grocery stores these days is not actually soap (saponified fatty acids), but rather cheap ass detergents. They're marketed as 'soap' to be more psychologically innocuous to the average consumer..since the term "synthetic chemical detergent/surfactant" doesn't sound so friendly. i.e Palmolive, Dawn, Joy etc)...

Anyways...

I agree with Sylvia and Jack...drain, flush, drain again, and start over. And buy the Ace Hardware brand of ammonia next time. Or if you use another brand make sure it's clear (like water) and has no color, and does not foam when you shake the bottle...Sorry to hear about your troubles.

Thank you, do I need to replace the fish also? What about all the media

Like Vlad said "drain, flush, drain, flush and start again. I don't think I'd replace the fish. If they survive, that's good and if not, well lesson learned. Good luck and just remember, you are not the first person that's ever done that. 

Thank you Jack, and everyone. The fish have suvived from the begining. We stopped putting that brand ammonia in a couple days before the fish were added. (About 2-1/2 weeks ago) all the crawfish have survived also. I am in the works to find a place to put all the plants, crawfish & fish until I can get going again. I just returned from ACE hdwr where I bought their brand of janitorial ammonia. The one I had previously used was from Wally world.
Ugh.. Oh well lesson learned. I do feel good that I am a little more educated now. Just not good about all the work ahead of me.
Also, once the chloromine is gone I can put everything back in right? I have a 55 gallon aquarium that I was going to pull water from to kickstart everything.

I wouldn't bother replacing the plants. If the fish and crawdad's survive...so much the better. But be aware that some of these chemicals sometimes take a while to kill. Often, many items impact different organs of the fish, and/or their immune systems over a period of time...then one day they 'mysteriously start to die off. Hell, I'd keep them at this point, but don't be surprised if they start to keel over at some point in the future (no biggie, you can always just replace them then).

What are you using to get rid of the chloramine?

Btw...At 700 gallons water volume...1 and a half cups (355 ml) of the Ace brand stuff will garner you 5ppm of ammonia. That's a bit excessive. Try using about 140ml (0.6 cups...so 2/3rds of one cup). That should get you about 2ppm of ammonia...

Thank you Vlad, the 1-1/2 cups I mentioned was the total amount I had added before. I added it at a rate of 3-4 tablespoons at a time.
To clean out the chloromine I am Using "Prime" by seachem. It took about 24 hrs of running and lots of aeration (looked like boiling water) to register zero chlorine and zero ammonia.
Am I doing that correct.? I ask because I don't want to make anymore mistakes.
Any input is gladly received as I am very new to all this.

Thank you again for all the great advise and knowledge.

Ok, got it. When you go to start cycling again, add the 1/2 cup to 2/3rds cup to your 700 gallons at once...then just hang back and monitor for a week or so...

I'm very weary of using things like "Prime" or other conditioners with fish that I will be eating. Most of those products work in two stages.

1) They'll use an item (sodium thiosulfate is a common one) to beak up the chloramine into it's component parts (chlorine and ammonia).

2) Those products then also contain hydrosulfite type salts to then sequester or get rid of the ammonia portion. This is the part that makes me weary of such products.

Chemically speaking, their are a number of such hydrosulfites that can be used. "SeaChem Prime" chooses to keep their formulation a "trade secret", so they have put up a barrier in terms of me being able to make an informed decision as to whether I would want to utilize their product in my set and setting.

Even though it the product is listed as 'not for use on fish intended for human consumption', I may still have chosen to ignore that statement and still use their product...but only if it were possible to me to know what exactly was in the stuff. By listing the contents as a "trade secret", in my mind, Prime automatically defaults into the category of "products not to use in Vlad's world"...But we are all different, and each one of us needs to make decisions for themselves.

Formaldehyde sodium bisulfite - Found in ClorAm-X and Ultimate

Sodium formaldehydebisulfite - Found in ClorAm-X and Ultimate2

Sodium hydrosulfite, sodium dithionite or sodium hydrosulphite - Found in Wardley ChlorOut 

Sodium hydroxymethanesulfonate - Found in AmQuel and Ultimate

Sodium hydroxymethylsulfinate - Found in Tetra Aquasafe


Again, SeaChem Prime has listed their ingredients as a "Proprietary aqueous solution of complexed hydrosulfite salts". And that is fine, I just won't be using it on fish that I intend to eat.

You could just use pure ascorbic acid (vitamin C) to break up the chloramine (or sodium thiosulfate)...then just off-gas the chlorine content and have your bio-filter take care of the ammonia...

I use an R/O filter chain that includes a catalytic carbon filter to take out the chloramine. I understand that this is not for everyone though, as it is expensive (as opposed to ascorbic acid) and it means that you have to properly re-mineralize the water yourself...It works for us because we are doing things at the lab with microbes that require such pure water be available...

 

 



Mike said:

Thank you Vlad, the 1-1/2 cups I mentioned was the total amount I had added before. I added it at a rate of 3-4 tablespoons at a time.
To clean out the chloromine I am Using "Prime" by seachem. It took about 24 hrs of running and lots of aeration (looked like boiling water) to register zero chlorine and zero ammonia.
Am I doing that correct.? I ask because I don't want to make anymore mistakes.
Any input is gladly received as I am very new to all this.

Thank you again for all the great advise and knowledge.

Preachin' my mom's message there....she makes her own soap :)

Vlad Jovanovic said:

Btw...much of what is called/labeled as "soap" at the grocery stores these days is not actually soap (saponified fatty acids), but rather cheap ass detergents. They're marketed as 'soap' to be more psychologically innocuous to the average consumer..since the term "synthetic chemical detergent/surfactant" doesn't sound so friendly. i.e Palmolive, Dawn, Joy etc)...

Mike, I don't know anything about soapy ammonia but from the #s you gave it sounds like your media has already started a good cycling process.  I'm no expert but I think cycling is creating bacteria in your media.If that's the case changing the water shouldn't affect the cycling process too much.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

© 2020   Created by Sylvia Bernstein.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service