Please Help High Ammonia

  1. F

    FishMom5 New Member Member

    Hi everyone, I need some solid advice for my 70 Gallon tank. I have had it cycled and running for about 8 months. We have 1 rainbow shark and 2 Bala sharks (we plan to get a bigger tank). We have had other fish months ago, but being a beginner I did not know everything about the cycling. The tank has been fine until yesterday when I took my water to get tested at the pet store. They said it was high in ammonia...on the verge he said of being dangerous to the fish. The PH was high also. I asked what it read and he repeated the same thing to me. I believe it is from allowing my kids feed them(my fault). I was advised to get Bio-boost and feed once a day. I got it and put it in when we got home. They seemed very calm, then this morning the Balas were hovering at the bottom not wanting to swim and the Rainbow was being aggressive to get them away from him area. I went ahead and did a 25% water change and cleaned out the filter. I did not add my complete water conditioner b/c I read that someone had a bad experience when they had both chemicals in. The balas are swimming more but doing an odd mouth thing like they are not getting enough oxygen from the water. I have a aerator and a Cascade 300 filter. We also have a heater that keeps the water at 79 degrees. I am not sure what exactly to do. It seemed the fish had a bad reaction to the Bio-boost. If I lower the PH will the lower the ammonia? But also the PH is not much above what the sharks need...ANY HELP PLEASE!!
     
  2. leelew32

    leelew32 New Member Member

    Do large water changes I mean make the fish belly drag, match the water temp and refill. I would do that as many times as needed to get it safe. But first do you have your own test kit. I don't ofter trust lfs tests.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    F

    FishMom5 New Member Member


  4. KimberlyG

    KimberlyG Fishlore VIP Member

    You need your own testing kit so you know actual numbers. Did they tell you the number for pH? What was it.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    F

    FishMom5 New Member Member

    Unfortunately they did not give me any numbers even when I asked. I tried a test strip I had for my pool (not sure how accurate that was, but I had it on hand), it showed 8.4. I have read on many sites about these sharks need a ph of about 7.5. I'm nervous to lower it too much. Did you know of a test kit that is accurate?
     
  6. Kellye8498

    Kellye8498 Well Known Member Member

    API master test kit. Only one most people recommend. Very accirate
     
  7. OP
    OP
    F

    FishMom5 New Member Member

    Thank you!! I will find that one.
     
  8. California L33

    California L33 Well Known Member Member

    If I lower the PH will the lower the ammonia?

    Not meaningfully, at least not to my knowledge- there are experts on water chemistry here who can tell you how all these things are linked, but the thing to concentrate on here is this- the ammonia is being created by decomposition, probably fish food and feces. It's important to get the ammonia down if your fish are symptomatic, and I'd suggest that if your water was 'on the verge' that symptoms are likely caused by that, and not a bad reaction to Bio-boost. However, if it is a bad reaction to Bio-boost (or any other chemical or treatment you added) you know how you'd fix it? Water change. :)

    I'd also suggest that if your ammonia is causing the problems 25% water change probably wouldn't be enough, which may be why you saw symptoms right after you did the partial change and added the Bio-boost. I'd suggest 40% then retest, if it's still high another 40% a couple of hours later, repeat until it's zero. Yeah, huge pain if you've got a 70 and don't have an automatic water change system, but it will help the fish.

    You definitely need to check the ammonia yourself, because without the numbers you're flying blind. Changing water will likely help, but like I said, changing water on a big tank can be a pain. You want to change enough, that combined with a functioning nitrogen cycle, you keep the ammonia and nitrites at pretty near zero.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    F

    FishMom5 New Member Member