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Ammonia B-gone!

Yellow Turtle

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I really second to all people who suggesting both using good filters or adding some aquatic plants in your aquarium to regulate ammonia instead of using some chemical solution.

For me, I use almost 3 times higher filter capacity for my aquarium and still I feel that I need to add more filtering. With my current filter, I can maintain ammonia at safe level for 3 weeks, but due to the debris and dirt from waste and food, I usually do 80% water change once per two weeks.

Just google "ammonia cycle for aquarium" for you to understand more of how to control ammonia in water.
 

CourtneyG

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I am am curious, does anybody use Bio Balls? To set them up you only have to drill a hole in the side of the tank(I think this only works only for acrylic, google might have more on this) and put PVC pipe in the hole seal the stuff with a purple glue that is liquid, comes from a little tin(not sure what it is called, but we used the stuff in our coral tanks) and get a tote and put bio balls and a filter in there( like how your filter is set up, dirty water gets dumped on one side of the pad, clean goes to the balls, and then you put a barrier up on the other side of the balls where you put your pump, prevents balls from being sucked up, a 3 part separation, you can use a big or small tote for this,as long as you can divide the tub up into 2 narrow areas and a big middle area for the balls)and have a pump that puts the water back into the tank. Bio Balls do amazing stuff for cleaning the water, the other one is a bubble tower, it shoots tiny tiny bubbles up a tower and they remove a lot of stuff, both things help keep the water very clear. We have two huge barrels at the place I worked at with the aquaponics and talapia, we sent the water through a big filter pad(a long sloping table that the water ran over and the pad was on the bottom) into the bio ball barrel, the system worked wonderful.
 

Yellow Turtle01

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Yellow Turtle01, Part of my home zoo is a collection of very large tropical fish. Cichlids known as FLOWERHORNS. I can tell you from my experience that their water gets changed at 40% weekly and it is a minimal amount. An aquatic turtle would produce waste at an even higher rate and your NITRATE, NITRITE and ammonia levels will be continuously out of control without constantly vacuuming or netting up any debris daily and changing a good amount of tank water weekly, or at least as often as you can. Also, have you checked your PH levels? The water will be very acidic. The ammonia removing chips are a band aid at best. If you can control the NITRATE and NITRITE , they will in turn help to biologically regulate your ammonia. It's all very confusing at first and I recommend you research regulating ammonia. Soon you'll be a pro.
I'm going to buy a Python Siphon to vacuum out food debris and poop on the bottom, and get another water check for my PH and current Ammonia levels... thing is, I have two other turtle tanks that have never had any ammonia issues, and I have never took caution specifically against it, like chemicals or water changes...
 

Yellow Turtle01

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Location (City and/or State)
OH, USA
I really second to all people who suggesting both using good filters or adding some aquatic plants in your aquarium to regulate ammonia instead of using some chemical solution.

For me, I use almost 3 times higher filter capacity for my aquarium and still I feel that I need to add more filtering. With my current filter, I can maintain ammonia at safe level for 3 weeks, but due to the debris and dirt from waste and food, I usually do 80% water change once per two weeks.

Just google "ammonia cycle for aquarium" for you to understand more of how to control ammonia in water.
I do have a 400 gallon Fluval filter for the tank, which is 180... I am planning on the plants, though :D
 

Yellow Turtle01

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I have Bio Rings, which are powdery ceramic things that help clean the water, I think they are... I have a glass tank, but I don't see why it couldn't sit on the bottom...
 

ZEROPILOT

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The bio balls, ceramic rings and such work because beneficial bacteria grow colonies on them and break down waste, but the good bacteria is easily killed with chemicals and when they are overwhelmed, your levels will get all screwed up. They need to be in the filter so that all or most of the water passes through. They would not be beneficial sitting in the tank. A Wet/Dry system would be ideal for turtles, but would involve more complex changes to what you have. You need time to establish these colonies. It looks like you are very careful and a great pet owner. I'm sure you'll do well.
 

Yellow Turtle01

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http://www.drsfostersmith.com/pic/article.cfm?aid=2303 Alright, I found a good link describing the ammonia cycle, and it seems to me to be a large circle!
Bear with me here, cause this is going to be long.
So a few weeks ago when the new 180 gallon tank got setup, the water was cloudy... but in a good way cloudy, the white cloudiness, not brown. I found out that white cloudiness at the start of a new tank was because there wasn't enough good bacteria. So I bought some good bacteria additive and poured the recommended double dose in... and according the link, that much fluctuating chemical and good bacteria will cause an ammonia spike, which it was happened... by the next morning the whole tank was brown, not white. Which then I decided I hadn't put enough good bacteria in, and did another dose... which prodigally sent the ammonia right over the edge... stupid me! So now it just feels like a large circle because I haven't established a healthy biological cycle yet, which need more good bacteria to start up... which is where plants would help! But now, for biological cycle to remain healthy, there has to be less ammonia in the water, which is where nitrites and nitrates would thrive and sustane a healthy tank cycle... However, turtle poop is higher in ammonia than fish poop, and nitrites like ammonia and eat it, so why don't I have a healthy biological cycle going on? SO COFUSING.
 

Yellow Turtle01

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The bio balls, ceramic rings and such work because beneficial bacteria grow colonies on them and break down waste, but the good bacteria is easily killed with chemicals and when they are overwhelmed, your levels will get all screwed up. They need to be in the filter so that all or most of the water passes through. They would not be beneficial sitting in the tank. A Wet/Dry system would be ideal for turtles, but would involve more complex changes to what you have. You need time to establish these colonies. It looks like you are very careful and a great pet owner. I'm sure you'll do well.
So I should expect a few weeks for the biological filter to startup and get healthy, and start maintaining the tank better?
 

Yellow Turtle01

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I do have the BioRings though, should it make that make of a difference?? Didn't seem to help before :(
 

Yellow Turtle

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I do have the BioRings though, should it make that make of a difference?? Didn't seem to help before :(
All bio balls, bio rings, ceramic rings are same purpose to develop colonies of bacteria. Some product will claim they grow bacteria faster and more colonies, which I'm no sure correct or not. Anyway, I've been using ceramic balls inside my canister filter and plastic bio balls for my pond. Both do the good job controlling ammonia, and while ceramic balls are much more expensive, the bio balls won't fit into my canister filter, so I still need to use ceramic ones. Most important is you need continuous water flow through them and a good mechanical filter before the balls, so dirt won't cover the balls' surface and hinder bacteria to grow inside the pores.
 

AustinASU

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Only thin about water plants is state laws, depending on where you are you may be severely restricted on what you can have. Best way to filter is to use a wet/dry filter.......or even a grated solids filter is the best.
 

Yellow Turtle01

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Wow, really? I never heard that before :eek: I could but a semi water plant too, and just have in on top, slightly in the water, but still helping everything out.
 

Yellow Turtle01

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Would they actually grow? I know lettuce likes to be dry, and to some degree so do other common veggies like cumber and tomato... what do you have growing?
 
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