Water changes

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lina

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Hey Everyone!!! I need some help. I'm a new and frustrated fish owner. Unfortunately I belong to the group that did not educate themselves prior to owning an aquarium. Anyway, this is week two. I've lost two swardtales and have two mollies left. Mollies were quite happy just three days ago, and on Thursday the female had babies (I was stupid enough to get male and female and not to check if the female was pregnant). Now the adult fish are very lethargic, spending most time right below the surface of the water. (They don't gulp for air though) Turns out the ammonia levels are high, between 1 and 2. I've been changing water for past two days once a day (20 to 25%). Today changed 20% twice-morning and night. Still ammonia is pretty much the same. I also might have overfed the fish before. Now they have not been eating for the second day in a row. Do I continue with the water changes? How often is too often and how much is too much at a time? Any suggestions and advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 

shollia

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I'm not sure how much water you should be changing... I'm sure others will be able to help ya there.

Are you making sure to dechlorinate the replacement water?

If you think you overfed the fish... don't feed them for a day or 2.
 

Golden Fish

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Keep up with the Small water daily/ever other day changes while your tank is cycling. watch out for the babies :-\ Make sure you are vacuuming the gravel good to get any left over food/waste out.
After your done cycling I do 50% once a week sometimes twice a week depending on how big a mess they make.
What are your other water parameters at? Nitrate and Nitrite. How big is your tank?
 
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lina

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Thanks for the advice. My tank is 10 gallon. Ph is at 6.8, water temp. is 79-80. Ammonia between 1 and 2 and I've yet to get the Nitrite/nitrate measuring kit.
 

Gunnie

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Continue with the water changes, but bump them up to 50%. Try using Amquel plus as your water conditioner. It will neutralize the ammonia and nitrites and reduce the stress on your fish. Definately get your nitrite and nitrate tests ASAP. It might be cheaper to get a master test kit from Aquarium Pharmaceuticals than the separate tests. Check the PetSmart and Big Al's websites. I think they are usually around $15.00 plus shipping.
 
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lina

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Hi again,
I've been changing about 40% of the water daily (for the past 3 days), got the Amquel plus, yet ammonia is pretty much the same-around 1. Is there anything else I could do? I also hear that it is not a good idea to artificially change water chemistry by using water additives to speed up the cycling process? Is this completely true, or only for some additives and not others? Thanks again to all for help!!! (BTW, my poor fishies (two mollies) are still looking very lethargic, not eating, but hanging on for the 5th day. Babies seem OK.)
 
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lina

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Re: Water changes/vacuuming

This is related to my earlier posts about my sick mollies
I was wondering how often one should vacuum the tank during the cycling process. I vacuumed for the first time at the end of the first week and found sooo much decay that came back from work today and did it again. Now, I'm thinking that maybe too often might work against the cycling. Any ideas? Thanks!!
 

JMatt1983

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i got my master test kit from big al's, i think it cost about $45 canadian, big al's i think is one of the best places to go
 

Gunnie

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Normally, I would not recommend the amquel plus, but you are in a situation where your fish are in trouble, and the amquel plus is a temporary help with the stress on your fish. If the bottom of your tank is that dirty, try vacuuming only 1 half or 1 fourth of the gravel each time you clean it. That way you don't disturb too much of the bacteria at one time. Also, what kind of ammonia test are you using? If you are using a liquid test, and the color card goes from yellow to orange, the amquel plus will cause you to get a false positive on the ammonia level, and will always show high ammonia (1 part test), eventhough the amquel plus has broken it down. If your color card goes from yellow to green (2 part test), the reading should be correct. If your ammonia level is still high, you need to bump your water changes up to 50%, and maybe twice a day. Some of the additives sold to accelerate your bacteria growth actually do help, but I can't recommend one except bio spira, which is actually the real bacteria found in a cycled tank. It is the only true product which can instantly cycle your tank. Please post here first before adding bio spira to your tank, so we can help you with using it properly. The product cycle is one of those additives I would not recommend you use in your tank. It never worked for me.
 
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lina

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lina

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Gunnie,

Thanks so much for your detailed advice. I've been using the amquel plus for three days now, as well as doing water changes (30 to 50%) for the past 6 days. I do use the two step ammonia kit and it has been somewhat better, around 0.5 (down from 1-2). I think the improvement could also be due to me vacuuming-I hope I didn't clean too much. My mollies move around a little now and pick at food a bit. But they still look pretty bad with their upper and tail fins very droopy. (Interestingly enough, the remaining fry seem fine.) I will look into spira. Should it be sold at regular pet shops? Is there a particular way to use it? Thanks again for help!!!!
 

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Bio Spira is meant to be used in a brand new tank that has no ammonia or nitrites. Since your tank already has these, if you simply poured it into your tank, it would probably take too long playing catch up to help your situation before your fish died, so the way you would use it in your case would be to remove the fish if possible, drain the tank, refill the tank, add the bio spira, and then put your fish back in. If you have no place to temporarily move the fish, then you would have to drain the tank as much as possible with the fish in it, refill the tank, and add the bio spira. It can be hard to find, and all fish/pet stores don't carry it. You also have to be able to trust where you get it from because if handled improperly before it gets into your hands could cause you to get a very expensive package of dead bacteria. Once you put the bio spira into your tank, you must refrain from doing water changes for at least 2 days to let it settle in. I've always waited 2 weeks before the first water change, and my experience has been 100% successful. Your ammonia level looks much better! Hopefully the amquel plus and the frequent water changes will pay off soon. If you are feeding more than once a day, cut back to to only once a day for now. This will also help with your ammonia level.
 
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