Help with poor water quality!!!!

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by x5ayin5x, Mar 20, 2006.

  1. x5ayin5x

    x5ayin5xNew MemberMember

    I have 2 goldfish (each no longer than 3", excluding tail) in a 30 gallon hexagon tank. It has been up and running for around a month or so. I have 2 airstones in the tank, and a whisper HOB filter. I do weekly water changes and gravel vacuuming (should 3 gallons be enough per week?). I know goldfish are dirty fish, but for some reason, my ammonia is EXTREMELY high (around 8.0, if not higher). My Ph is around 6-6.5. I've tried almost EVERYTHING I can think of to get my ammonia down, and my Ph up. What kind of water should I be using in water changes (tap or distilled)? Should I restart my tank? Or is it just something i'm going to have to deal with while having goldfish? Any help is GREATLY apprecated.
  2. Isabella

    IsabellaFishlore VIPMember

    If your ammonia is so high that means the tank isn't cycled or that it was cycled but fish produces so much waste that the amount of beneficial bacteria you have are not enough to deal with the wastes. I don't think 3 gallons of a 30 gallon tank is enough for weekly water changes. 25-30% weekly would be better - that means from 7-10 gallons weekly. It could be that the water changes you are performing are too small and that's why you have a buildup of ammonia. I don't know what you can do now that you already have the fish in that water. Don't reset the tank but do your best with water changes to remove ammonia as quickly as possible. The best way to do this is to do VERY FREQUENT and LARGE water changes now - until ammonia is at zero. You can use tap water (must be dechlorinated). Any water you use should have a pH close to that of your tank's pH. Same goes for the temperature. All this being an attempt to minimize pH and temperature shocks that the fish may experience during water changes. Wait for someone here to tell you how much (of water) and how often to change. The 25-30% weekly should be regular water changes. The large and frequent changes, on the other hand, should be a remedy for your high ammonia. I have no experience with goldfish and don't know how much they can handle - so once again wait for someone to help you with that.
  3. fish_r_friend

    fish_r_friendWell Known MemberMember

  4. vin

    vinWell Known MemberMember

    30% water changes weekly. In your case 9-10 gallons would be sufficient. With ammonia reading that high and the pH that low it sounds as if the tank had never completed its cycle.

    Do you know the rest of the water parameters? Nitrites, Nitrates? If you post those numbers along with the pH and ammonia it would give us all a better idea of where you are.

    Also, if the tank had never cycled, you may have to up the frequency of your water changes.
  5. OP

    x5ayin5xNew MemberMember

    Right now my ammonia is still around 8.0, my Ph is still low (around 6), and both my nitrates and nitrites are at 0. It almost seems as if my ammonia isn't converting.
  6. vin

    vinWell Known MemberMember

    Doesn't sound like your tank has cycled yet....When did you start it and how long before you added fish? Were your water parameters ever different than what you're posting here now?
  7. Gunnie

    GunnieWell Known MemberMember

    Definately do a massive water change. I'm talking about even 75% to try and get that ammonia down. You may not see it, but it's affecting your fish. What type of test kit are you using (strips, AP Master test kit, etc.)? You can also try using Amquel plus as your water conditioner, but keep in mind that your ammonia test will be incorrect unless your test is the 2 part test with the yellow to green color card.
  8. 0morrokh

    0morrokhFishlore VIPMember

    I must say your Goldfish must be extremely hardy. I thought an Ammonia reading of 1.0 could be fatal for some fish.
    If you have had the tank for a month, the cycle should be well on its way. There must be some reason for the Ammonia not being converted to Nitrites. You said you were trying to raise the pH, could whatever you were using be killing the filter bacteria? Don't worry about the pH, for now concentrate on getting the cycle going and keeping your fish alive.
  9. Jon

    JonWell Known MemberMember

    amonia of 1.0 isnt bad at all.. most people have spikes of around 4 or so when cycling... if it was nitrite then 1.0 would be more concerning
  10. vin

    vinWell Known MemberMember

    I experienced ammonia spikes of 8.0 during my cycle. I did a massive water change, got it down to 4.0, stopped using all chemicals except for Stess Coat and that's when the pH started to rise as well as my nitrites and nitrates. After 3-4 days we were home free.....but it took a while to get there along with daily water changes of 30%.
  11. OP

    x5ayin5xNew MemberMember

    Just wanted to let you know that after three large water changes this past weekend, that my Ph has risen to about 7.0. My Ammonia is still pretty high, but I have gotten that down to about 7 instead of the 8 or higher it was at, and am still working on it. I am planning on doing about a 50% water change tomorrow (Friday). My ammonia still isn't converting though......How exactly does the cycle it continuous.....I mean, does it keep changing from ammonia to nitrates to nitrites, more ammonia and so on?
  12. vin

    vinWell Known MemberMember

    When my ammonia spiked to 8.0, I did one massive change of 50 -70% and then 30% daily until the cycle completed. With ammonia that high, the fish need as much relief from the toxins as they can get.

    You might want to try that as well.
  13. 0morrokh

    0morrokhFishlore VIPMember

    Yes, the cycle is continuous. The bacteria will be constantly converting ammonia to nitrites to nitrates. So once the tank is cycled, you won't have any ammonia or nitrites unless something goes wrong.