Help! Ammonia Problem - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 49 Old 01-08-2013, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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Help! Ammonia Problem

I don't know what to do! i just lost two albino Cory catfishes today and now my two platies seem to be gasping for air and are on the bottom of the tank. As of right now I have 3 platies 5 neon tetras and 1 albino Cory in a 20 gallon tank The tank was cycled..I have had my tank for over 3 months now, and everything was fine.. but just yesterday two of my catfishes died, and today my platies look like they aren't doing to well. I think they might have had an ammonia poisoning because i checked my levels today and my ammonia levels were at 2ppm and everything else was zero. I did a 50% water change and used prime. Is there anything else i can do to prevent my other fishes from getting harmed?
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post #2 of 49 Old 01-08-2013, 02:59 PM
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I don't know what to do! i just lost two albino Cory catfishes today and now my two platies seem to be gasping for air and are on the bottom of the tank. As of right now I have 3 platies 5 neon tetras and 1 albino Cory in a 20 gallon tank The tank was cycled..I have had my tank for over 3 months now, and everything was fine.. but just yesterday two of my catfishes died, and today my platies look like they aren't doing to well. I think they might have had an ammonia poisoning because i checked my levels today and my ammonia levels were at 2ppm and everything else was zero. I did a 50% water change and used prime. Is there anything else i can do to prevent my other fishes from getting harmed?

If you haven't already adding live plants like anacharis would help. The plants will consume ammonia and carbon dioxide while returning oxygen.

FWIW I do not recommend Prime (or other dechlor or ammonia blocks) for ammonia. What can happen is they lock up ammonia making it safe but the ammonia test kit measures both locked and the dangerous ammonia. So you still test ammonia, add more chemicals and so on. All the while they are reducing oxygen and the fish can suffocate.

Your platies gasping for air for instance could be do to high levels of carbon dioxide.

But that's just my .02

maintain Fw and marine system with a strong emphasis on balanced, stabilized system that as much as possible are self substaning.

have maintained FW systems for up to 9 years with descendants from original fish and marine aquariums for up to 8 years.

With no water changes, untreated tap water, inexpensive lighting by first starting the tank with live plants (FW) or macro algae( marine)

see: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/a...-build-295530/
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post #3 of 49 Old 01-08-2013, 03:08 PM
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Have you checked your tap water? I had an Amonia spike in my tap once that put my tank in emergency after a pwc.
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post #4 of 49 Old 01-08-2013, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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Have you checked your tap water? I had an Amonia spike in my tap once that put my tank in emergency after a pwc.
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yea, I checked my tap water. Everything was 0.
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post #5 of 49 Old 01-08-2013, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
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If you haven't already adding live plants like anacharis would help. The plants will consume ammonia and carbon dioxide while returning oxygen.

FWIW I do not recommend Prime (or other dechlor or ammonia blocks) for ammonia. What can happen is they lock up ammonia making it safe but the ammonia test kit measures both locked and the dangerous ammonia. So you still test ammonia, add more chemicals and so on. All the while they are reducing oxygen and the fish can suffocate.

Your platies gasping for air for instance could be do to high levels of carbon dioxide.

But that's just my .02
I wanted to get live plants, but are they hard to maintain?
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post #6 of 49 Old 01-08-2013, 03:39 PM
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I wanted to get live plants, but are they hard to maintain?
Many are easy IMO. Just get a good light in your tank (like 10w cool CFL). You also might want to occasionally add ferts to keep them healthy. They easiest ones are Marimo Balls, Water Sprite, Anubias, Aponogeton, Java Fern, Java Moss, and Duck Weed. If I can do it, anyone can
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post #7 of 49 Old 01-08-2013, 03:44 PM
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Many are easy IMO. Just get a good light in your tank (like 10w cool CFL). You also might want to occasionally add ferts to keep them healthy. They easiest ones are Marimo Balls, Water Sprite, Anubias, Aponogeton, Java Fern, Java Moss, and Duck Weed. Posted via Mobile Device
+1

maintain Fw and marine system with a strong emphasis on balanced, stabilized system that as much as possible are self substaning.

have maintained FW systems for up to 9 years with descendants from original fish and marine aquariums for up to 8 years.

With no water changes, untreated tap water, inexpensive lighting by first starting the tank with live plants (FW) or macro algae( marine)

see: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/a...-build-295530/
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post #8 of 49 Old 01-08-2013, 04:15 PM
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Many are easy IMO. Just get a good light in your tank (like 10w cool CFL). You also might want to occasionally add ferts to keep them healthy. They easiest ones are Marimo Balls, Water Sprite, Anubias, Aponogeton, Java Fern, Java Moss, and Duck Weed. If I can do it, anyone can
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+1, minus the Duckweed and adding Wisteria to the list

Prime is a great product IMHO. Though if you are going to use it often, it is worth purchasing their test kit as well (Seachem MultiTest: Ammonia kit?) . My LFS carries them for $10-$15.

As for your issue, what is your water temp? I would increase surface agitation to help remove carbon dioxide as a precaution.
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post #9 of 49 Old 01-08-2013, 04:15 PM
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Many are easy IMO. Just get a good light in your tank (like 10w cool CFL). You also might want to occasionally add ferts to keep them healthy. They easiest ones are Marimo Balls, Water Sprite, Anubias, Aponogeton, Java Fern, Java Moss, and Duck Weed. If I can do it, anyone can
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Even just floating any stem plant works too, plant them later if you want, Brazilian Pennywort is cool with it's rounder leaves. In a hurry, just get whatever is cheap and plentiful at the store and toss it in. Plants suck up amonia between 5 and 50 times faster than the bacteria can... hey, they're just like the "quicker picker upper" paper towels.

I'd side with BBob on the additives, they still test positive and that is deceiving and temporary.

Marimo balls? that's those Japanese moss balls? I think I killed one of those already

Jeff.


Total years fish keeping experience: 7 months, can't start counting in years for a while yet.

The shotgun approach to a planted tank with an LED fixture

Small scale nitrogen cycle with a jar, water and fish food; no substrate, filter etc
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post #10 of 49 Old 01-08-2013, 06:02 PM
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I don't know what to do! i just lost two albino Cory catfishes today and now my two platies seem to be gasping for air and are on the bottom of the tank. As of right now I have 3 platies 5 neon tetras and 1 albino Cory in a 20 gallon tank The tank was cycled..I have had my tank for over 3 months now, and everything was fine.. but just yesterday two of my catfishes died, and today my platies look like they aren't doing to well. I think they might have had an ammonia poisoning because i checked my levels today and my ammonia levels were at 2ppm and everything else was zero. I did a 50% water change and used prime. Is there anything else i can do to prevent my other fishes from getting harmed?
The live plants, even simple floating plants, will certainly help. But you need immediate help, and this means a major water change. Your tap water is zero ammonia you mention, so fine; do a 75% water change immediately if you haven't already. This is the only way to dilute ammonia. Tomorrow do another 50% water change. If ammonia still reads above zero, do another the following day until ammonia is zero.

Use a good water conditioner, one that detoxifies ammonia can't hurt in this situation.

Having live plants would be a cushion in such circumstances, as plants grab a lot of ammonia.

And be prepared for some of the fish to die, esp the corys. Corys cannot cope with ammonia above zero. The water changes will get rid of the ammonia and let's hope help the fish. But they may be too far gone, just so you know.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]

Last edited by Byron; 01-08-2013 at 06:05 PM.
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