Ammonia Levels
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Ammonia Levels

This is a discussion on Ammonia Levels within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Hi All, Have a new 20 gallon Aquarium, a few months old now. In the last few weeks, have reached a total of 6 ...

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Old 09-30-2011, 09:22 PM   #1
 
Ammonia Levels

Hi All,

Have a new 20 gallon Aquarium, a few months old now. In the last few weeks, have reached a total of 6 Tiger Barbs. Yesterday morning I did a 75 per cent water change. During the day the ammonia levels were 0. Noticed over night after checking the ammonia level this morning, it went to .50. Now I know that you have to do a water change weekly, even though I have been doing them daily, which is a pain.

Now if I only do the changes weekly, what is a safe level for the ammonia to rise up to ???? Is their a certain safe range that the ammonia can rise up to ??? Asking this question as its all new to me. Does the ammonia always have to be 0 at all times ???

Your assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again, this has been a great forum :)
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Old 09-30-2011, 10:02 PM   #2
 
I would do them anytime your ammonia hits .25 but definitely .50, sorry for the bad news. Once your tank gets threw it's cycle it will hit 0.

How long have you had your tank? In a few months I would expect it to be finished cycling. Maybe there is another problem. Normally by 3 months it should have cycled.
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Old 09-30-2011, 10:09 PM   #3
 
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I agree anytime ammonia is .25ppm or higher I would do a water change. Did you do anything to cycle the tank before you added the fish? Also what are your levels of nitrites, nitrates and what is the ph in the tank? Do you have any live plants?
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Old 10-01-2011, 12:38 AM   #4
 
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you said 6 barbs in a week or so.. so maybe you just overloaded your system.. to much bio load to fast.. as said.. do a partial water change when you get a amonia reading. woldnt worry about a 75 percent, that is alot..maybe just a 20.
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Old 10-01-2011, 06:35 AM   #5
 
Hi All,

Thanks for your advice, been great.

Did the 20% water change and the ammonia went down slightly. While the tank was cycling I had 3 Tiger Barbs and 2 Albino Barbs. Purchased the additional albino's based on the bad advice I was given at the Aquarium Store. When the cycling was completed, I had only one Tiger Barb left (during the time time with only one ammonia was always zero).

So I decided to buy an additional 2 Tiger Barbs, rather than just having one it's own. After a few days, the new Tiger Barbs went ballistic on the original Tiger Barb and they started to peck the crap out of the barb.To the point, that they ripped one of its eyes out. And even then, they continued to peck at the fish. Went I took the fish out, they then started to attack each other.

So I thought it was best to get the additional 4, as I knew that they were a schooling fish and it most likely calm them down. Did verify with the shop owner about bio load and the possible ammonia issues.

Have done the water tests on the Aquarium and here they are:

Nitrate: 5.0 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
PH: 7 (Neutral)
KH: 4 drops (71.6)
GH: 9 drops (161.1)
Ammonia: .50

Don't have any live plants and have been checking the ammonia for the past week. I've noticed that the ammonia appears to have gone up in the last three days (before that it was fine) and have been doing 75 percent water changes daily.

I've noticed that the Tiger Barbs are always hungry and very active, a lot more compared to Tiger Barbs that I've had previously.

Am I feeding them to much ??? Should I drop feeding to once a day and will that cause the tiger Barbs to get extremely aggressive, as I had previously seen ??? Whats the bare minimum that I can feed 6 average Tiger Barbs ??? How long can they manage without being fed (Just curious) ???

I appreciate your help, as I want to get this right.

Thanks everyone.
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Old 10-01-2011, 04:16 PM   #6
 
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Some of this will repeat what others have already correctly stated.

Ammonia and nitrite must always be zero. Live plants are the best method of achieving this, provided other normal maintenance (weekly partial water change, not overstocking or overfeeding, etc) is on-going. Live plants will handle any slight increase in ammonia, such as by adding a few new fish to the system, or if a fish dies un-noticed.

Without plants, there is nothing to take up any increase in ammonia, and that is why you saw it rise. A partial water change to keep it below .25 is crucial. Any rise in ammonia or nitrite can damage fish, even if they show (to us) no signs if this. But down the road, a sudden death or some health issue may well trace itself back to that slight increase in ammonia or nitrite.

Live plants can be as simple as a few floating plants. Floating plants are always fast growing, which means they can take up a lot of ammonia; they grow fast because they are close to the light (more intensity) and can assimilate CO2 from the air which is faster than from water and there is more CO2 in the air to begin with. We have floating plants in our profiles, second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top. Some stem plants also work well floating, Brazilian Pennywort is one of the best for this.

To the Tigers. You experience is text-book. These fish are aggressive by nature [so it's not the feeding as you asked about], and must be in sufficient space and sufficient numbers to keep this in check. Even so, they will normally "fight" among themselves, that is their inherent nature and we can't change that. But having more of them does (usually) serve to lessen the damage. This is a 20g so I would aim for 7 in total. The albino is the same species.

On feeding, once a day is sufficient. A hungry fish is a healthy fish. Feed a variety of prepared foods (flake, pellet), 3-4 different types, alternating daily. Omega One and Hikari are good brands, and they make several different types. One should always be vegetable, such as Omega One's kelp flake or algae flake. Omega's colour flake is ideal too, containing natural fish colour enhancers. Others have mentioned New Life Spectrum [if I have the name correct] as good, I have not seen it locally. If the fish are healthy and settled, they can go several days without feeding. On water change day, you can skip feeding, or at least do not feed prior.

Byron.

Last edited by Byron; 10-02-2011 at 01:55 PM.. Reason: correct "kept" to "kelp"
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Old 10-01-2011, 10:07 PM   #7
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Some of this will repeat what others have already correctly stated.

Ammonia and nitrite must always be zero. Live plants are the best method of achieving this, provided other normal maintenance (weekly partial water change, not overstocking or overfeeding, etc) is on-going. Live plants will handle any slight increase in ammonia, such as by adding a few new fish to the system, or if a fish dies un-noticed.

Without plants, there is nothing to take up any increase in ammonia, and that is why you saw it rise. A partial water change to keep it below .25 is crucial. Any rise in ammonia or nitrite can damage fish, even if they show (to us) no signs if this. But down the road, a sudden death or some health issue may well trace itself back to that slight increase in ammonia or nitrite.

Live plants can be as simple as a few floating plants. Floating plants are always fast growing, which means they can take up a lot of ammonia; they grow fast because they are close to the light (more intensity) and can assimilate CO2 from the air which is faster than from water and there is more CO2 in the air to begin with. We have floating plants in our profiles, second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top. Some stem plants also work well floating, Brazilian Pennywort is one of the best for this.

To the Tigers. You experience is text-book. These fish are aggressive by nature [so it's not the feeding as you asked about], and must be in sufficient space and sufficient numbers to keep this in check. Even so, they will normally "fight" among themselves, that is their inherent nature and we can't change that. But having more of them does (usually) serve to lessen the damage. This is a 20g so I would aim for 7 in total. The albino is the same species.

On feeding, once a day is sufficient. A hungry fish is a healthy fish. Feed a variety of prepared foods (flake, pellet), 3-4 different types, alternating daily. Omega One and Hikari are good brands, and they make several different types. One should always be vegetable, such as Omega One's kept flake or algae flake. Omega's colour flake is ideal too, containing natural fish colour enhancers. Others have mentioned New Life Spectrum [if I have the name correct] as good, I have not seen it locally. If the fish are healthy and settled, they can go several days without feeding. On water change day, you can skip feeding, or at least do not feed prior.

Byron.

Thanks Byron,

Your advice has been invaluable.

Did a water change and also gave the gravel a good clean. By doing this I managed to bring the ammonia down to 0. Only gave them a little feed and left it at that. Thanks for the additional info on plants, will look into it.

Thanks everyone :)
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Old 10-07-2011, 10:45 AM   #8
 
Quote:
On water change day, you can skip feeding, or at least do not feed prior.
sorry to hijack, but i was wondering what the reason is to not feed before a water change?
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Old 10-07-2011, 01:20 PM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KendraMc View Post
sorry to hijack, but i was wondering what the reason is to not feed before a water change?
Fish should never be fed prior to any disruption in the tank. The fish will be healthier if they are able to digest food without other issues that might raise their stress, heart-rate, metabolism, etc. Something similar to we humans; never exercise after eating.
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