Ammonia

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by Jsut01, Aug 3, 2015.

  1. Jsut01New MemberMember

    I am very new to fish. I have a 55 gallon tank running a tetra whisper 30-60 filter. I have about 26 fish in it including gouramis, tetras, cherry barbs, Molly's, platys, and Cory cats. I have had 3 die in the past 3 days. The pet store tested the water sunday and told me the ammonia was high. I did about a 20% water change that day. I have a gourami swimming sideways today. How do I know if its something besides the ammonia and what can I do to not loose more fish? I don't have a sick tank or spare to put them in. I watch the fish a lot. Most are acting normal, but some are just "sitting" around on the bottom. I have started as of yesterday just feeding 1x a day and only a pinch. Any suggestions?
     
  2. ricmccWell Known MemberMember

    As ammonia is very toxic, I don't think that you need to look for another agent causing fish death just yet. Rather than settle for a term such as high, when describing your ammonia, your LFS should have given you an exact number.
    Having your own test kit is basically a must, and the API Master Kit seems popular, for good reason, IMO.
    You can detox both ammonia and nitrite with Prime, but that is a temporary solution.
    Perhaps if you could get back with more exact numbers, including pH as it effects ammonia toxicity, people here would be better able to help you. Good luck, rick
    BTW, I believe that you are filtering somewhat on the light side. As well, lacking a test kit, just how did you determine that your tank was ever cycled?
     




    Last edited: Aug 3, 2015
  3. happygoluckyWell Known MemberMember

    Did you cycle your tank? As in, did you regularly change you water for about a month(without fish), until your water had 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and 10-40 nitrate? I didn't cycle my tank a few weeks ago(I just learned how to cycle) and all 7 of my guppies died within a few days. However, if you did cycle your tank, then you may have increased your bio-load too quickly. This can happen if you added all the fish within a week or two, as 26 fish is a lot. Also, how did you acclimate them? The ones that died may have died due to bad acclimation, and the ones sitting on the bottom are just in shock, which they may come out of. These are all possible causes. As for solutions, if you haven't cycled your tank you need to return most, if not all of the fish(keep maybe a few fish known to do well in a cycling tank), and then proceed to cycle it.
     




  4. Jsut01New MemberMember

    The tank was up and running for about a week, maybe a little more before I added the first 8 fish, 4 Molly's and 4 platys. They came from a smaller tank. As for the water test, all levels were in the "ideal" range. I didn't ask the ammonia, I thought any was bad. Again, very new to fish, especially a larger tank. I have the strips that test everything except ammoniabut I ordered those today!! I tested the water before adding ANY fish, and again before new ones were added. The first new batch was I think 8 fish, including the gouramis and tetras. I floated the bag for 15-20 minutes, as per the instructions from the store. Then slowly added them to the tank. What else should I do? Can you post pics or videos on here?

    Ricmcc, I didn't know what cycling was until I started reading this web site. I know that sounds bad, but I am learning the hard way.
     




    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2015
  5. BluestreakflWell Known MemberMember

    Id suggest adding another filter, youre definitely underfiltered for the not just the tank size but also the stock. Also a large bottle of Tetra Safestart Plus (bacterial additive) to jumpstart the cycle. Get the biggest bottle and dump the whole thing in. Also test strips are very inaccurate. The API Freshwater Master Test kit is what most of us use here, its worth its weight in gold, and is cheaper in the long run as you get somewhere over 800 tests out of it.
     
  6. BDpupsWell Known MemberMember

    Get some Seachem Prime and Seachem stability. Add those as soon as you get them. Tonight if possible. Follow the directions on the Prime to make sure you are dosing enough for high ammonia.

    You said some of the fish came from a smaller tank. Do you still have the smaller tank and filter running?

    BTW.... Welcome to the forum :)
     
  7. Jsut01New MemberMember

    No, the tank they came from is not running and my other tank is only a 20 gallon. It has its own inhabitants lol
     
  8. Et tuValued MemberMember

    I agree with all of the excellent advice that has been already posted. I just need to point out research the nitrogen cycle/ tank stocking/ sticky posts on this forum Fishlore.
     
  9. Jsut01New MemberMember

    According to the test strip I just used, lol, my levels are as follows. Nitrate=20
    Nitrite = 0
    Ph = 7.0
    Kh =80 or 120 can't tell a difference in color
    Gh = 30

    Can I just add another filter, and if so what size do you recommend?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2015
  10. BDpupsWell Known MemberMember

    I'd get an Aquaclear 110. And run it with the filter you already have. Having more filtration won't help with the high ammonia you have now. But will help in the long run,

    How long has the other tank you have been running? Do you think it has cycled?

    You should also do a very large water change. Like at least 75%
     
  11. Jsut01New MemberMember

    The 20 gallon has been running about 2 months now. It has tetras in it. I had that water tested too. All levels were great but it has ammonia too. I did a water change there too and stopped feeding so much. Knock on wood, I haven't lost any there yet. I have done about 1/3 water change a week for 4 weeks now in it.
     
  12. BDpupsWell Known MemberMember

    I would be changing 75% everyday until the tanks are both cycled. I would also limit feeding to once a week.

    Good luck.
     
  13. Jsut01New MemberMember

    How do I know when it's cycled? Is it horrible that I don't know that?
     
  14. BluestreakflWell Known MemberMember

    When you Ammonia is at 0, Nitrite is at 0, and you have some amount of Nitrates which are the end product of the cycle, some consumed by plants, whatevers left removed via water changes.
     
  15. BDpupsWell Known MemberMember

  16. fishfisherValued MemberMember

    It would only be horrible if you were not taking the time to learn the cycle. So, take a deep breath, and know that most of us (if not all...) have made mistakes when it comes to fish keeping.

    I second the aquaclear filter. I was having ammonium problems when I first started and I put a Aquaclear 70 on a 29 gal and the ammonium went down to from 2ppm+ to 0 in a day or two.

    The other thing to check is your tap water. The tap here reads 1 ppm of ammonium.

    If you can get another tank (petco has the $1 a gal through Aug 8) even if its just a 10 gal to use as a hospital/ temporary home it would help. Air pumps are $15-20 (if not less) on amazon, stones are <$5 and voila you have a temp/quarantine/hospital tank....
     
  17. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    Highly agree with the advice to get a bottle of Seachem Prime and Seachem Stability.


    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
     
  18. Jsut01New MemberMember

    Thanks everybody. I'll be looking into another filter first thing in the morning. I also read somewhere thst live plants can help. Any thoughts?
     
  19. Et tuValued MemberMember

    Add the API master test kit, bottle of Seachem Prime,and a bottle of Seachem Stability to your shopping list.
     
  20. BluestreakflWell Known MemberMember

    Live plants are a great addition to the aquarium. They will consume Nitrogenous Waste (Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate) as well as some other leftover nutrients from fish waste. They won't instantly solve the ammonia problem, however they'll help stabilize things a bit, and once things are stable, they'll help keep them that way to an extent. If you're new to plants id recommend a few simple easy plants that don't have major lighting and care requirements. Water Sprite ( a personal favorite of mine), Anubias, Java Fern, Water Wisteria, Hornwort, Frogbit, and Banana Plant.


    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
     
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