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Aquarium and water quality in Stockholm

Need advice on aquarium and water

irishgal
post 8.Feb.2018, 04:30 PM
Post #1
Joined: 8.Feb.2018

Hey all!

We got an aquarium back in October and are having problems with the water. We cannot get rid of the ammonia in our tank, which I guess means it hasn't cycled. We got some bad advice from XL Zoo where we bought it which means we've had fish in it from the start.

I've been wondering about the water here and if it has something to do with this. I've spoken to experienced fish hobbyists in two shops who have both said I'll never get rid of the ammonia. This seems very strange to me as my sister's tank in Ireland has no ammonia problem and everything I read online says there should be no ammonia in a healthy tank. The two guys said our tank is healthy and everything is fine, but I'm still worried about the ammonia.

I know that some countries use chloramine in water instead of chlorine, which is chlorine bound to ammonium, which becomes ammonia at a certain PH. Does anyone know if that's the case here? Does anyone have a fully cycled tank in Stockholm?

Sorry for the huge post and thanks in advance for any help anyone can give us with this! We don't want to lose any more fishies!
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Gamla Hälsingebock
post 8.Feb.2018, 05:32 PM
Post #2
Joined: 21.Dec.2006

What about buying pure distilled water, or something like it???
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DuneSunny
post 8.Feb.2018, 06:08 PM
Post #3
Joined: 11.Mar.2014

I have had a 100 litre aquarium for over 10 years in Stockholm - never had a problem. Have you tried asking for advice from Akvarielagret in Bromma? They tend to be very knowledgeable.
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john.boy
post 8.Feb.2018, 08:04 PM
Post #4
Location: Stockholm county
Joined: 27.Sep.2017

QUOTE (irishgal @ 8.Feb.2018, 04:30 PM) *
I know that some countries use chloramine in water instead of chlorine, which is chlorine bound to ammonium, which becomes ammonia at a certain PH. Does anyone know if that ... (show full quote)

You are correct. The use of chloramine has grown more and more common over the last couple of decades. Some areas use it constantly, others only dose according to the current temperature.

You can try popping down to the local supermarket and buying some of those water soluble vitamin-c tablets from their health section wink.gif You will need to use trial and error to find the right number of tables to use in your tank depending upon volume and PH.

Good Luck smile.gif
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irishgal
post 9.Feb.2018, 08:20 AM
Post #5
Joined: 8.Feb.2018

Thanks everyone for the quick responses! I've looked into using distilled water but I've heard that it's not good for aquariums because it doesn't contain any minerals that are needed.

I have talked to those guys in Bromma. They told me that the aquarium is healthy and that the ammonia doesn't matter. I find this difficult to believe as it contradicts everything online about the nitrogen cycle. I've been told that a lot of people in Sweden don't measure water parameters unless something goes wrong in their tank. I would much prefer to resolve the ammonia issue before it hurts the fish though.

DuneSunny, were you able to cycle your aquarium?

john.boy, what would be the benefit of the vitamin C tablets?
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DuneSunny
post 9.Feb.2018, 04:45 PM
Post #6
Joined: 11.Mar.2014

Hi,
All I can say is that I used to live in a country with very heavy chalk water (20 yrs ago) and had real problems with my aquarium. I have never had a problem in Sweden. Check the water regularly (about every fortnight) and change out about 30% every fortnight using ammoniasafe (or similar) in the water. Never had a problem. Most of my problems are in the summer with the long daylight hours where I get a lot of build up with algae. I once introduced snails to see if that would solve the issue, but they multiplied like crazy - so had to get rid of them. I have lots of plants and do not over-stock the tank with fish. About 30 small fish in 125 litre tank - which after allowing for substrate and plants has about 80 - 90 litres of water. Hope this helps.
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john.boy
post 9.Feb.2018, 06:00 PM
Post #7
Location: Stockholm county
Joined: 27.Sep.2017

QUOTE (irishgal @ 9.Feb.2018, 08:20 AM) *
john.boy, what would be the benefit of the vitamin C tablets?

Vitamin-C (Ascorbic acid) will neutralise the chlorine/chloramine. The reaction time is can be counted in minutes, depending upon tank volume. You will need to experiment to get the tablet dose right. There are byproducts produced, some salts, but that should be picked up by the tank filter.
Watch-out for stronger commercial tank products, if you dose incorrectly they tend to even release the oxygen from the water and your fishies might suffocate sad.gif

An alternative, though it will not remove all chlorine/chloramine, is an active charcoal filter. Those don't catch everything and for certain fish even slight traces of chlorine in water will be bad news for them.
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irishgal
post 13.Feb.2018, 03:36 PM
Post #8
Joined: 8.Feb.2018

Ah I see! I have been using Tetra Aqua Safe which is also supposed to remove chlorine/chloramine but I didn't see any improvement. I recently got Prime and it seems to be much better. The ammonia level isn't rising as quickly. I think it's because Prime also converts the damaging free ammonia to ammonium, which is easier for the good bacteria to consume. Since I've found SeaChem's Prime good I've ordered other products of theirs, Stability and Matrix. With them combined there should be a much better chance of the good bacteria growing and being able to consume all of the ammonia in the water.
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dragosios
post 12.May.2018, 05:15 PM
Post #9
Joined: 26.Jan.2018

Ammonia levels will allways increase.
Your problem may be the lack of the Nitrosomonas bacteria which convert ammonia to nitrite.
Those may have to be introduced in your aquarium, either by water from a cycled aquarium or artificially, as Prodibio Startup for example.
Afther those are "working" to break ammonia, you will need the next type: Nitrobacter. They will convert nitrite to nitrate.
The whole cycle should look like this: ammonia->nitrite->nitrates.

Nitrates will either be consumed by living plants as fertiliser, or you get rid of it either by changing water or various chemicals that will convert the nitrates to a precipitate.

Keep in mind that the wrong PH or lack of living plants contribute to ammonia increase.
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