ammonia very high, should i start again?

  • #1
okay I admit when I bought my 80 litre tank I had no idea about the nitrogen cycle or anything to do with fish less or fish in cycling. my LFS didn't have any problem selling me all the equipment and advising me to come back in a couple of days to purchase fish. so I started with 2 pearl gouramis, 2 silver sharks, 3 head and light tails and 3 albino tetras. then I added them and all went alright for a little while, I was doing regular water changes etc etc. got ahead of myself, bought more fish, 12 neon tetras. fish stores didn't advise me anything. got my water tested, high levels of ammonia, so I began reading, this was about a week or 2 into my tank. I continued attempting to cycle my tank, now with WAY to many fish. I was doing regular water changes and everything seemed to be going okay, but then I tested my water a few days ago, (tank has been set up for 6 weeks) and the ammonia was quite high, around 3ppm, so I bought stresszyme and ammolock, now a few days later things have really spiked, ammonia is 4-8 somewhere in there, water is very very cloudy and I don't know what to do. I've taken most fish back to store, but I've kept 2 gouramis and my silver sharks.

I feel bad for torturing my fish and I'm wondering should I take them back and start fresh with my tank? please help

  • #2
HI pkeeves, welcome to FishLore!!

Sorry you go off on the wrong foot.
Most of us did.

Do yuou know what your nitrite and nitrate reading is?

What kind of gouramis do you have?
The sharks should be returned, imo.
They can grow really big.

In the mean time, skip the stress zyme. Imo, it doesn't do much good.
Start doing daily water changes to get the ammonia down.
In fact with an ammonia reading that high I would do a 50% now and another 50% later.
That should get it down quite a bit then do daily changes until the tank cycles.

  • #3
HI pkeeves,
We've covered a few of your issues/concerns in your other thread:

I don't think you need to return any fish, as we found in your other thread, you should hopefully be able to cycle this tank with Prime (now that you have it), and daily water changes.

Best of luck, keep us posted.
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
ye I have the prime going and I have been doing a few water changes today, but there doesn't seem to be much improvement on the ammonia or the cloudiness. ill do more water change tomorrow morning before I work and then maybe later tomorrow night, I think the nitrites and nitrates are still 0, at least that is what my LFS said.... maybe I will test for myself tomorrow. thanks guys, hopefully my fish hang in there

pearl gouramis btw, 1 male 1 female
  • #5
Ok well hopefully things get on track.

On a separate issue, and apologies for missing it earlier, but the bala/silver sharks you have will need to be re-homed into a larger aquarium. They can grow to over 30cm/1ft and really need aquariums that are at least 125G/500L.

If you can return the sharks even better.

The pearl gouramis will also most likely outgrow your tank, they do better in 29G/100L.
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
ok so there was nothing I could do, I was doing 50-75% water changes and the water/ammonia would not even change.
I got home from work today, my water resembled milk more than it did water, there was one dead algae eater I quickly removed my fish into some water I treated with Seachem Prime and housed them in the most makeshift free from chemical vessel I could find, an ~20litre vase. given their circumstances they have coped very well and I'm glad of this. anyway I took out my plants, decor, heater and filter, drained my whole tank and then took out all the gravel.

I have been running my tank for about 6 weeks so I thought maybe I should keep my filter going to maintain any possible good bacteria, so I ran it in a bucket while I was cleaning. (later I removed some of the gunk from the filter sponges because they were so blocked up that even in fresh water they kept making the whole bucket go cloudy, I think this caused my tank problems).

QUESTION: how deep should gravel be? when I bought the tank I was sold gravel that equated to about 2-3 inches deep, which I think was too much because I had to clean it so much to remove all the muck, even though I had been vacuuming 50% changes daily lately.

anyway to cut a long story short, my tank is clean, I have less gravel now, my fish are still alive, but I am going to learn from my mistakes and do it right this time.

I have 2 pearl gouramis, 2 silver sharks(which I intend to return) and 4 neon tetras.

I need suggestions for cycling, 80 litre tank, can I do it with 1/2 gouramis? 4 neons? or should I just fish less cycle.

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