3.2 gallon tank problems

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by nightengale, Jun 8, 2016.

  1. nightengaleNew MemberMember

    I am having a problem getting the amonia down in my 3.2 gallon tank....I have done water changes....I started out doing 25% and that didn't help. I went to 50% today and added the Prime. It still is in green with the test strips for ammonia. I have fish in the tank as I did not know about the nitrogen cycle until after I added the fish. I bought everything in Petsmart.

    Today I bought a volcanic rock also...it is supposed to naturally remove amonia? Anyone familiar with this product?

    I don't know what to do next to get the ammonia down.....can someone please help me out?

    Thank you so very much!
  2. Aquaphobia

    AquaphobiaFishlore LegendMember

    You need a bigger tank to start with. A 3.2 is extremely small the only commonly available fish in pet shops that could live in such a size that I can think of is a single Betta.

    What do you have in the tank now?

    Keep adding Prime!
  3. jdhef

    jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    Welcome to FishLore!

    Part of your problem is probably that you are overstocked as mentioned above.

    As you hopefully know, fish introduce a constant supply of ammonia into the water, which is toxic. And the more fish you have the more ammonia being introduced into the water. And if your tank is too small for the amount of fish you have, the percentage of ammonia to water will always be high and you will have a hard time keeping the ammonia level down while cycling, since it is being released in such large quanities.

    And sometimes, if you are too heavily stocked, you can't get a tank to cycle, because there just isn't enough room in your filter media to house enough bacteria to convert all the ammonia being produced into nitrites, then nitrates.

    Please list what fish you have in the tank, and we'll try to give some advice on either rehoming fish you have, or recommended tank size if you want to get a larger tank.

  4. JustinokayValued MemberMember

  5. Mom2some

    Mom2someWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to fishlore! Good hot you for seeking out better information than you can get at the pet chain.
    I would encourage you to do several back to back 50% water changes while you clean the gravel in case there is any decaying food or fish waste there. What do you have in the tank?
  6. OP

    nightengaleNew MemberMember

    Oh, I guess I am overstocked....I added Prime and bought some Stability and extra media, Ammo Carb.... and put it in a little bag by the running water as it will not fit in where the little filer is.

    I have two plattys, one guppy, three neon tetras and a cat fish. They seem to be swimming around all right for now.

    I also did another water change today....only 25% and added the Stability....I did all the water tests. Everything is normal except amonia...it went down a little but not much....

    I don't know about a bigger tank right now....would 5 gallons do it? I did look at one today....but I would have to empty mine to return it and what would I do with the fish? And I would be cycling all from scratch again....

    This was so stressful so far as I did not know about the cycling.
  7. Aquaphobia

    AquaphobiaFishlore LegendMember

    Unfortunately, none of those fish are suitable for that size tank:(

    What kind of a catfish do you have?

    What were your other water test results?
  8. codyrex97

    codyrex97Well Known MemberMember

    Not suitable for a 5 gallon either. I think maybe a 10. But the catfish if it's a Cory cat won't be in anything under a 20
  9. jdhef

    jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    Fishkeeping can be very stressful if you are not doing things correctly. Sadly, so many people get started off on the wrong foot because they believed what they were told at the fish store. One would think that the fish store would be the place to go to get expert advice, but more often than not, it is where you get the worst advice.

    Don't feel bad, most members here (myself included) started off poorly. But luckily, FishLore is loaded with people with a ton of experience and knowledge. If you don't get discouraged and hang in there, we'll all work hard to help you be successful, because everyone here wants to see you succeed.

    Best of luck and hang in there, Fishkeeping is fun (and for the most part pretty easy) once you get on the right track.
  10. OP

    nightengaleNew MemberMember

    I am hanging in, but I feel bad for the fish after I read all the posts. A 20 gallon tank....oh my goodness....I just thought I would get a little aquarium....that would be alot for me to handle as I am older, and live the single life....what in the world am I gonna do!

    It is a cory....he is little right now. I don't know what I am going to do....They are all little fish, except the platy.....they are small but not that small. I thought the cory would not grow much. What a dilemma to have....I don't want to go 20 gal....why do you say that about the cory....right now he looks happy...he is very active. I am thinking 10 gal. would be enough to handle but what will I do with the fish if I take the tank back. Can they stay in a bucket until I get back and then I have to put them in a tank that is not cycled...I need some advice...please...thank you. I am thinking I could buy a tank, set it up and then transfer them....I can not go 20 gallons though. I just don't have the spot for the tank or the money to purchase a big tank. I bought everything in Petco....no one advised me this would not work.

    Why does a Cory need a 20 gallon tank?

    A cory catfish...he is very cute...

    My test strip showed everything normal....it is just the ammonia that is high for now....I did alot today....if you read my other post.

    Now I am thinking of another trip to get a bigger tank but I can not get anything but a 10 gallon....
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 10, 2016
  11. codyrex97

    codyrex97Well Known MemberMember

    I don't know when you got the fish but the store might take returns. If they don't take returns theyll take donations. It sucks but you're either looking at a large tank upgrade or donating your fish. The only thing that could be in your current tank would be a single Betta or maybe some shrimp.

    I myself own a 10 gallon planted, which houses a single Betta and shrimp. He's a spoiled baby haha, the only fish in the tank! I intend to stock it with lots of shrimp buddies for him though.

    And yeah those cories are deceiving with their size. They're small fish but need a group of at least 6 to be comfortable and healthy, and are very adventurous so need a large footprint (not so much a tall tank, more of a long one, a 20 gallon, long tank is really comfy for a school of cories.)

    I believe your other fish are also suited to being in groups, and if you were to get a 10 gallon you might need to reduce to 2 species that could occupy the tank so like a group of platies and a group of guppies (but I know nothing of those fish so don't take this advice without one of our experts on the forum giving advice on them, but you get the idea, 2 species, a group of each. OR one large group of one species :3)

    A 10 gallon is a reasonable size tank I'd say, not too large and not too small. However, a 20 long could be very rewarding, the amount of little fish you could have would be very fun to watch.

    If you absolutely don't wanna upgrade, I'd suggest returning/donating all your fish and getting a Betta or shrimp instead. But talk to some of the experienced members about what they think.

    I look forward to seeing whatever you decide to do, be sure to get a picture of whatever tank you decide on and whatever fish you get. Good luck!
  12. Skyy2112

    Skyy2112Valued MemberMember

    Generally 5g is a betta or a pea puffer or shrimp.

    Cories need a school, and a larger 'footprint'

    But your Nitrogen cycle/bacteria cant handle the fish load. I too started in your case, if you have any specific question still post and I'll respond before bed time.
  13. Aquaphobia

    AquaphobiaFishlore LegendMember

    Don't feel bad, I've also had years of fish failure due to listening to pet store "experts"!

    It's too bad that you can't do a 20 gallon but if a 10 is possible there is a sticky in the stocking section that lists fish that will work in a 10;)

    If you have to stick with the 3.2 then a betta is a great choice. Very personable fish who are smart and will recognize their person:)
  14. Pringlethesnail

    PringlethesnailWell Known MemberMember

    If you love your little Cory get him some friends in a 20gal or take him back. I did the same thing my first time fish keeping and I killed my beloved little Cory Gus in a three gallon tank and he was by himself in there. The fish store told me he would be fine in there and they sold me the tank with him. He died and I did research and kept a Betta in there after which is very rewarding and really the only thing you can keep in a container that small except nano shrimp or snails. I have a 10gallon now and can't get any bigger because of apartment restrictions and I thought about keeping some corys but it's just not healthy for them. Also you should keep at least 4 neon tetras as the rule but I think at least 6 is really what would make them comfortable. Really you shouldn't take them out until the new one is there. Is there any way you can buy the new tank and then take the old one back after? Make sure to keep any filter media and put it in the new tank.

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