Ammonia levels, no nitrate. Fish dying.

Mmathis

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Sorry didn't mean to come off as rude im just posting quick replies as im doing 2 things at once.

We have 4 fish in the pond rn.

Asking because i need and answer, AA isn't a pond forum. *although they have pond journals* and i thought i'd come here to ask due to your all's experience in ponds.

Your taking my posts the wrong way it seems, i do care my fish died but i know how to fix that problem -> in order to fix that problem i must know how come i do not have Nitrates but i do have ammonia.

To reiterate the question -> How come i have 0ppm nitrate, but i have .25ppm ammonia? (and 0 nitrite)
Let me give you an example. You say that your pond is 3500 gallons. My pond is roughly 3000 gallons. I have about 30 goldfish. I do have an active bio filter as well as a bog and lots of marginals. I haven’t had an ammonia, a nitrite, or a nitrate reading in my pond in YEARS! The ONLY time I’ve had positive readings of these was during the first few weeks of start-up, when the pond was cycling. If I were to remove a ton of my plants, and/or add a bunch of new fish — my balance would be upset, and my chemical parameters would change.
 
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Yes i understand the balance thing...
but "usually" (i use this term loosely) Having ammonia and no nitrite or nitrate indicates something is wrong...

Maybe i am misunderstanding what you are saying.
 
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Im at a hotel rn due to a nearby tornado watch, i cannot get a pic atm unfortunately my apologies for that delay.

"If you have submerged plants as well as a soil substrate, there's your answer." what do you mean by this? thanks.

The submerged plants are consuming the nitrates.
I wouldn't worry too much about the ammonia level as it is. I would take some daily measurements over a number of days to see if the level stays where it is or changes.
Could something have fallen into the pond and died? That could give you an ammonia spike.
I think the best course of action is to purchase an API Master test kit plus an API KH/GH test kit.
Here are a couple of links for them:
https://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+4345+17338+4454&pcatid=4454
https://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+4345+17338+13521&pcatid=13521

I suspect you may be having some other water quality issues. If you can maintain high water quality, you will have a successful pond.
A few other questions:
Where are you submerged plants? In the main pond, or in the bog?
Ca and Mg will give you a high GH reading, but more importantly you need a good carbonate (KH) reading, otherwise you will get PH swings which could have caused your fish some stress.
If you're in an area that gets a lot of rain in a short amount of time, and your rain is acidic, that could pose a problem.
Which state are you in? I think we have a map here that gives us some numbers of rain acidity levels.
How strong (gph) is your circulation pump?
Can any surface runoff enter your pond?
 
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The submerged plants are consuming the nitrates.
I wouldn't worry too much about the ammonia level as it is. I would take some daily measurements over a number of days to see if the level stays where it is or changes.
Could something have fallen into the pond and died? That could give you an ammonia spike.
I think the best course of action is to purchase an API Master test kit plus an API KH/GH test kit.
Here are a couple of links for them:
https://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+4345+17338+4454&pcatid=4454
https://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+4345+17338+13521&pcatid=13521

I suspect you may be having some other water quality issues. If you can maintain high water quality, you will have a successful pond.
A few other questions:
Where are you submerged plants? In the main pond, or in the bog?
Ca and Mg will give you a high GH reading, but more importantly you need a good carbonate (KH) reading, otherwise you will get PH swings which could have caused your fish some stress.
If you're in an area that gets a lot of rain in a short amount of time, and your rain is acidic, that could pose a problem.
Which state are you in? I think we have a map here that gives us some numbers of rain acidity levels.
How strong (gph) is your circulation pump?
Can any surface runoff enter your pond?
We have those test kits.
Nothing died in the pond, such as a bird etc.
will do the daily measures.
Not many plants, we just added them therefor i doubt they are consuming all that nitrate. Having about 40lbs of dirt in there makes a lot of nitrate, and other things so having 0 nitrate with that is whats concerning.
There are some grasses in the bog, some anarchis in the deep.
We dont get a lot of rain, very dry weather... sadly.
Arkansas
not sure... i'd have to look, believe its 3500gph. ill look though.
And no.
 
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..
Not many plants, we just added them therefor i doubt they are consuming all that nitrate. Having about 40lbs of dirt in there makes a lot of nitrate, and other things so having 0 nitrate with that is whats concerning.
....

Anaerobic areas of your substrate will consume nitrate. Nitrogen will be released through to the atmosphere plus be consumed by plants and algae.
Most bogs/waterfall setups have a flow through type of design, that's what I mean when I say it's helpful to know all the details of your pond. We make assumptions based on what we're told. The diagnosis of what's wrong with your pond can change as more facts are known.
Low nitrate readings are a problem most people would like to have.
Do keep an eye on that ammonia level though.

If you're interested in reading, there's an excellent book that can explain everything about soil substrates in an aquatic environment:
https://www.amazon.com/Ecology-Planted-Aquarium-Diana-Walstad/dp/0967377366
 
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If this was my pond and I thought that the water was killing the fish I would simply drain it and start over. Add some new good quality fish If they die again then start scratching your head or accept that what ever is in your water is there from the start. If you are really concerned take your water to a lab. A home test kit might give you peace of mind but would you drink the water if you thought it was toxic if it tested okay?
 

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