Originally Posted by shakedownstreet
Thanks for the help guys, ammonia poisoning wasn't even on the top of my mind...my local fish store had told me that because I had a filter rated for a larger tank than the one I have that I should buy more than the "normal" amount of fish recommended to cycle a 29 gallon tank. Is a 10% water change per day/every other day enough or should I be planning on larger changes?
That store does not understand what is occurring very well. This is most obviously ammonia poisoning and you have a couple of immediate actions to help the fish, though they still may not survive.
First, change the water, at least half the tank, immediately. Use a water conditioner; one that detoxifies ammonia and nitrite would be wise during the initial cycling period. Seachem's Prime
and Aquarium Solutions' Ultimate
both do this, if you can get either one.
Second, get yourself a test kit. The API Master Combo is a good value, it has ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH tests. The liquid test kit (as opposed to test strips) is more expensive but much more reliable. Test ammonia daily, and do the 50% water change every day until it reads zero. You will start testing for nitrites in a couple days, and same happens there.
You can read about cycling here: A Beginner's Guide to the Freshwater Aquarium Cycle
While you are at the store, I would strongly recommend getting a good bacterial supplement. This "seeds" the tank with the bacteria to help speed up the cycling. There are a few good products for this. Seachem's Stability
, Tetra's SafeStart
, a product called Dr. Tim's One and Only
. Use as directed on the label of whichever you can get.