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fish aquarium ammonia why wont it go down???

This is a discussion on fish aquarium ammonia why wont it go down??? within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by Byron The high ammonia is probably due to having too many fish in a 3 gallon tank. A 3 gallon is ...

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fish aquarium ammonia why wont it go down???
Old 04-04-2011, 07:04 PM   #21
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
The high ammonia is probably due to having too many fish in a 3 gallon tank. A 3 gallon is much too small for neon tetra, glowlight tetra, zebra danio, or whatever. Especially as you mention dirty gravel, also related.

Do not buy more fish until this is resolved.

Ich occurs when fish are stressed; the ammonia wilol certainly do that, as will overcrowding.

If you have a 10g, I wold put these fish in there. How many fish exactly do you have (species and number of each)?

Byron.

Sorry if i wasn't clear but i ony have 3 fish in the 3gal neon and 2 glow fish right now.

The 2 zebras are in the 10gal alone right now.

See i would just put the 2 glows and neon in the 10gal but the problem is im afraid that the zebras will pick on the 3 because the 2 zebras are really active and chase each other alot which i think what killed the other zebra which was in the 10gal, This is why i still have the 3 in the small tank.

So far with just the 3 in the 3gal the 3 has been doing really well, But it seems like the small filter isint doing too well because ony time it will suck stuff up is when its 1 inch from the dirt too pull it in, So i ordered that pump i linked and should have it tomorrow because i order it with 1 day shipping.

But ya im not adding anymore than 3 fish in this 3gal because it seems like everytime i did a fish died a week later.. But so far with 3 they going over a month and a half now, And 1 of the glow fish is about 3-4months old now and he went threw the cycling and everything when i first got him, The neon might be the first one too but cant really tell because they look almost the same.

They also not showing any sign of stress or anything.

Oh and i did another water change lastnight and the water went really clear again and the ammonia drop a bit i say its around .50.

Also for the gravel is it ok too move it around so the stuff would fly up into the filter? Will the stuff hurt the fish when they swim in it? I been moving the gravel some too get the filter too suck it up but i dont do it alot because im not sure if it will hurt the fish if they swim in it? When i did the water change i did it a good bit and than do a water change and got alot of stuff out and the filter suck alot of it up.
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:29 PM   #22
 
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Stress does not show necessarily. But when fish are not "normal" it is very often due to stress from something, and many things can cause stress. Unfortunately, ich occurs from stress, and fish frequently die from stress or stress-related issues.

One thing is that all these fish you have are what we term shoaling fish. They live together in very large groups, and that is very important. On their own, or even 2 or 3, this causes stress because they "expect" to have many more around them. They feel insecure in small numbers. And this can make even peaceful fish more aggressive.

Please research a fish species before acquiring more, so you will be sure you can provide the best environment for them. Neon tetra, Zebra Danio and Glofish all need to be in groups of at least 6, maybe 5 in a pinch; but that means more tank space.

We have fish profiles here, second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page, or if a name is shaded in posts you can click on it to see that profile. You will find info on numbers, tank sizes, and other issues in the profiles.

Byron.
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:56 PM   #23
 
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Stress does not show necessarily. But when fish are not "normal" it is very often due to stress from something, and many things can cause stress. Unfortunately, ich occurs from stress, and fish frequently die from stress or stress-related issues.

One thing is that all these fish you have are what we term shoaling fish. They live together in very large groups, and that is very important. On their own, or even 2 or 3, this causes stress because they "expect" to have many more around them. They feel insecure in small numbers. And this can make even peaceful fish more aggressive.

Please research a fish species before acquiring more, so you will be sure you can provide the best environment for them. Neon tetra, Zebra Danio and Glofish all need to be in groups of at least 6, maybe 5 in a pinch; but that means more tank space.

We have fish profiles here, second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page, or if a name is shaded in posts you can click on it to see that profile. You will find info on numbers, tank sizes, and other issues in the profiles.

Byron.

When i had the itch problem it ony has affected 1 neon but went right away when i put some med in it, Haven't had a problem sense than, And the fish is acting normal no weirdness and no signs of anything,

My main concern is getting this ammonia down in the small tank hopefully the filter will solved that when i get it.


Ya i herd about they need like 6 fish of there kind min But i also herd alot of people have less than that and they do fine, Which it seems like the 3 fish i have in the small gal is doing fine with each other they always stay together and follow each other and also don't fight.

For the zebra they also seem too do good but i am going too add couple more fish maybe more zebras why i ony got 3 zebra which there is ony 2 now because i herd its best too have ony 3 hard fish when cycling a tank the other one didn't make it from the cycling or the other one killed it which im pretty sure one of them killed it because he was always picking on that fish.

I would just put the 3 fish neon and 2 glows with the zebras in the 10gal but i don't want them too pick on those 3 and than they die. i would prefer all of them in the 10gal but ya don't want them too get picked on either.

I guess i see what happens when i get the filter and let that run.

Also i was thinking of getting 3 more gold zebras and put them with the normal zebras does that count as a shoaling group? And in the mean time if the 3gal don't clear up i might start cycling a 5gal tank i have and put the neon and 2 glows in there.

But ya is it ok if i move the gravel around and leave the filter and water change get rid if it? Will it hurt the fish too swim with the stuff till it gets out?


Thanks.
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:09 PM   #24
 
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But ya is it ok if i move the gravel around and leave the filter and water change get rid if it? Will it hurt the fish too swim with the stuff till it gets out?

That's OK, it will not hurt the fish.
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:23 PM   #25
 
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But ya is it ok if i move the gravel around and leave the filter and water change get rid if it? Will it hurt the fish too swim with the stuff till it gets out?

That's OK, it will not hurt the fish.
Ok that's good:) Will do that when i get the new filter and will report back with a update hopefully a good one that the ammonia is gone.

The gravel has too be the problem because i been doing water changes every day pretty much 30% too 50% and ammonia is still up there.

In the 10gal i have very little gravel pretty much like maybe around a inch and a half and with some fish marbles and clear rocks and everything is clean, At first the ammonia was really high on the 10gal because it was clycling and it seems like it never was going too go down but after a month and a half it finally went down too 0 but it has a pretty good pump. The one in the 3gal barely moves anything..

Kinda wish i ony put the same much gravel in the 3gal it would've been so much easilyer too clean. But sense i know it wont hurt the fish swimming in it and will have a good filter i will move the gravel more than i was doing.

Thanks:)

Also just saw your aquariums they very beautiful:) Wish i had room for big tanks:( I wish i would've went with like a 25gal in the first place... instead of this 3gal than after that i got the 10gal. maybe in the future:)

Last edited by gordesky1; 04-04-2011 at 08:28 PM..
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:31 PM   #26
 
K got a update, Got the new filter in and i still have the old one in there too so i wont loose the good bacteria, And i just tested the ammonia and its down too .50 now which was 1.0 last night, so it seems like it is helping, I also moved the gravel around too and the new filter cleaned it up nicely and the water is really clear now.

Hopefully i will see 0 soon lol
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Old 04-08-2011, 02:53 AM   #27
 
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"Also the gravel is pretty dirty too if i move it around you see stuff fly up but i cant really clean it good because its hard too do anything with the tank."

That statement also tells you the tank might be better used as a dip tank if you use meds. NOT for housing fish on a regular basis. If it is too hard to work with then I wouldn't have fish in it.

I totally agree with this statement! If taking care of animals, including fish, is too hard, then don't have them. You made a committment to these fish when you bought them, to give them as good a life as you can. I also agree with the comment above that 3g is too small for the fish you have in it. 3g is a good size for 1 betta with no tankmates, or to use as a temporary QT tank for a sick or injured fish, or to QT new fish before adding them to a bigger tank. Even as a QT tank, it shouldn't hold more than 3 inches of fish at any one time - meaning no more than one 3" fish, or two that are 1.5" or 3 that are no more than 1" each, and only temporarily. Even little fish need room to swim in their permanent homes.

If you have gravel, or any other substrate, you MUST clean it regularly! Every time you change the water, which in a 3g will be every few days, regardless of the filter. Rinse the gravel well in the old tank water, or in fresh dechlorinated water, until there is very little visible gunk floating up when you run water into the filter. I say dechlorinated water because chlorine will kill your beneficial bacteria and disrupt your cycle. Either that, or skip the gravel all together.

By the way, nitrite at zero, while ordinarily a good thing, is NOT a good thing when your ammonia is so high. It means your tank hasn't cycled. During the cycle, your ammonia peaks then goes down as your nitrite goes up. Then your nitrite peaks and goes down. Doing this without fish in the tank is quicker, and certainly more humane, since ammonia poisoning can kill your fish - apparently it has been doing so already. You need to do massive water changes every day until your ammonia comes down, and then continue to do this until your nitrite comes down. Then change the water as often as you need to do so to keep the ammonia and nitrite at zero, which with a tank that size will probably be at least a couple of times a week.

If you aren't able, or aren't willing, to do the necessary maintenance to keep your fish healthy, then get rid of the fish. Take them back to the store, or give them to somebody who can and will take care of them.
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Old 04-08-2011, 03:45 AM   #28
 
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I totally agree with this statement! If taking care of animals, including fish, is too hard, then don't have them. You made a committment to these fish when you bought them, to give them as good a life as you can. I also agree with the comment above that 3g is too small for the fish you have in it. 3g is a good size for 1 betta with no tankmates, or to use as a temporary QT tank for a sick or injured fish, or to QT new fish before adding them to a bigger tank. Even as a QT tank, it shouldn't hold more than 3 inches of fish at any one time - meaning no more than one 3" fish, or two that are 1.5" or 3 that are no more than 1" each, and only temporarily. Even little fish need room to swim in their permanent homes.

If you have gravel, or any other substrate, you MUST clean it regularly! Every time you change the water, which in a 3g will be every few days, regardless of the filter. Rinse the gravel well in the old tank water, or in fresh dechlorinated water, until there is very little visible gunk floating up when you run water into the filter. I say dechlorinated water because chlorine will kill your beneficial bacteria and disrupt your cycle. Either that, or skip the gravel all together.

By the way, nitrite at zero, while ordinarily a good thing, is NOT a good thing when your ammonia is so high. It means your tank hasn't cycled. During the cycle, your ammonia peaks then goes down as your nitrite goes up. Then your nitrite peaks and goes down. Doing this without fish in the tank is quicker, and certainly more humane, since ammonia poisoning can kill your fish - apparently it has been doing so already. You need to do massive water changes every day until your ammonia comes down, and then continue to do this until your nitrite comes down. Then change the water as often as you need to do so to keep the ammonia and nitrite at zero, which with a tank that size will probably be at least a couple of times a week.

If you aren't able, or aren't willing, to do the necessary maintenance to keep your fish healthy, then get rid of the fish. Take them back to the store, or give them to somebody who can and will take care of them.

Not sure why you think im not doing maintenance on the tank because every day i do, For the pass 2 months i been doing water changes 30 too 50% mostly every day, And ya i know it was wrong too put alot of fish in it but i was told different at the pet store and yes 3 months ago this is the first time i started too have fish, well we did have fish about 12years ago and they usely lived for 3 too 5years with no problems but it was also a bigger tank i would say 10gal or 15gal.

With the 3 fish in it now which i say each one is about a inch right now they doing really well and not showing any signs of sickness or stress ever sense i started too put prime and niteout in the tank, And for the fish dieing the ones that died pretty much was from walmart which i was told doesn't have healthy fish in the first place. and pretty much the ony one i have from them is the bigger glow fish which is a strong survivor and very active now.

And the big 10gal tank is heathy as it can be now which ammonia went down too 0 about 2weeks ago. and the 2 zebras are doing great, But will add maybe 3 more with the 2 because i herd they like other fish of there kind.

But for the small tank its getting under controlled ever sense i got the new filter and i been moving the gravel around alot and both filters sucking all the stuff up, and the ammonia is down too .50 and not going up anymore so in a few says it should get too 0.

Hmm so take the gravel out when the fish are in the tank??? And you could have a fish tank with no gravel also ? Ony thing i dont really want too get rid of the gravel all together because it probably have alot of good bacteria, and i dont think the tank did another cycle because the water has been 100% clear for pass 2months which before the water was getting clody pretty much every couple days which means its going in a cycle again which probably because i was changing the filter alot, which now i know don't change it if you don't have a sponge too hold the bacteria, But the new filter has it.

But ya i do care about the fish and every other animals i have which i have alot and care for them all, it just this was a wrong tank too get which i thought it was good for a starter but i really don't want too move them out now because i don't want them too get in shock, Or i would've move them in the 10gal with the zebras but than again i don't want the zebras too pick on them either.


The main problem too begin with was the filter which the old one was pretty much junk and didn't do much.

Last edited by gordesky1; 04-08-2011 at 03:48 AM..
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Old 04-08-2011, 03:58 AM   #29
 
Sorry. I was responding to an old post, apparently, without checking the more recent posts. I'm glad you're getting the ammonia under control. I've had trouble maintaining the cycle on a 3g, so I just use if for QT now, but if you can get yours stable, and it's not overstocked, then great.

And yes, you can have fish without gravel, but also yes, the gravel does hold a lot of beneficial bacteria. It just needs to be cleaned out on a regular basis. A gravel vacuum can do the job nicely for both the 3 gal and the 10 gal. If you don't have one, you can scoop some of the gravel out with each water change and rinse it out thoroughly, or you can stir it up and try to scoop up as much as possible of the gunk that floats up with a fish net. I actually do all of these on a regular basis - vacuum every time I do a water change, whether a small change (20-25%) or a bigger change (50%), then remove as much floating gunk as I can when I put the new water in, because pouring it in will stir up stuff that the vacuum didn't pick up, plus occasionally scooping up some of the gravel and rinsing it out well. And if I have to do a 100% water change for some reason, I rinse the gravel well then, but only with dechlorinated water so I don't kill my cycle.
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Old 04-08-2011, 04:30 AM   #30
 
Sorry I jumped down your throat. Apparently I was responding to an older post without reading the more recent posts. We've probably all fallen victim to bad advice from employees of fish/pet stores, and even more likely if getting fish from a place like wallmart, which doesn't specialize in pets at all, much less fish.

Anyway, I'm glad you're getting the ammonia under control. Like I said before, make sure you keep checking your nitrite levels, becaus it usually spikes after the ammonia drops. Keep doing frequent water changes until both are at zero. Nitrates, which show up last, are less harmful, and plants absorb them. Some fish are OK with nitrates up to 40ppm, but others need the nitrate level less than 20ppm, or even in the range of 10ppm. Check for the safe limits for your fish.

Yes, you can have fish in an aquarium without gravel. On the other hand, yes, the gravel does give a place for the beneficial bacteria to live, so gravel-less is not necessarily the best thing in a cycled tank. It does need to be cleaned regularly, though, even with a good filter. A gravel vacuum would be a good investment, if you don't have one yet. You can use it on both tanks, as long as it is cleaned between tanks to prevent spread of something nasty from one to the other.

Finally, as you may know, glo fish are zebra danios which have been altered by jelly fish DNA to make them the colors they are and to make them glow. Therefore, the regular zebras are probably not going to bother them, if you move them to the 10g tank. They may even school together, though I'm not sure. They may not recognize them as the same species since they look so different. Anyway, danios and neon tetras are both schooling fish, and a 3g really isn't going to be big enough in the long run. Neon tetras do best in odd-numbered schools of 5 or greater. You might want to invest in another 10g when you can, and get some more neons so they can school and thrive. If you do get another bigger tank, you can keep the 3g on hand in case you need to quarantine somebody. Or you could house a betta, with no tankmates, in a 3g tank, but I wouldn't put anything else in a tank that small other than temporarily.

To minimize stress moving fish from one tank to another: try rearranging the decorations/plants/etc in the bigger tank before moving in the new fish. That way they are all adjusting to new arrangements, and the older fish won't be as interested in the newer fish. Also, very important to make sure the water parameters are the same in both tanks, including temp and pH, since sudden changes in either can stress your fish. Finally, I've heard that the tank lights should be out when fish are moved. I guess that helps calm them, too.

Good luck, and I hope you enjoy the aquarium hobby for many years to come.

Last edited by Amethyst123; 04-08-2011 at 04:33 AM..
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