New to the hobby with HIGH AMMONIA levels. Please Help! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 09-20-2009, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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New to the hobby with HIGH AMMONIA levels. Please Help!

Hi all...thank you for checking in on this aquatically challenged newby. First post and certainlly won't be my last im sure. So, please bear with me. I have a mediocre and hard to manage 2.5 ga. tank. I know, I know...puny. Big dreams on the herizon!...Anywho, I know that it is difficult to manage a smaller tank due to water volume vs. the toxins. I have been using RO/DI water with a 7.0ph equalizer in frequent (twice a week) water changes, trying to battle an ammonia level of over 8.0 nitrite or nitrate is present. Ive been cycling for about a month and a half with strees zyme and 4 fishies and still havent seen any change. All was well until about a week ago when the ammonia sky rocketed and no matter how many time I do a 50% water change it wont drop. I started adding ammo lock when it started rising to help save my fish from the harmful form. The tank contains 2 guppies, 1 Dwarf Gourami and an Otto. Also has a couple plants. They all seem to be in good spirits and handling the levels fine. But any input on how to save my fish from dying from the high ammonia levels in the future would be helpful.

Thank you,
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post #2 of 6 Old 09-20-2009, 01:30 PM
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Hello and welcome to the forum!

What test kit are you using? Also test tap water for ammonia.
IMO, thats a lot Of fish for a 2.5 gal, and the gourami definitely needs More room than that. Are you running a filter on the tank?

My suggestion would be to keep an eye out on Craigslist for a used tank setup. I sometimes see great deals doing a local search on Craigslist. A 10 gal tank or larger is so mush easier to maintain than a small tank.

Until you can upgrade, I would try doing daily 50% water changes and check for improvements in ammonia levels. You should consider using Prime as your water conditioner. Prime will help detoxify the ammonia. I trust Prime to be more fish friendly than Ammo Lock.
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post #3 of 6 Old 09-20-2009, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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I have tested the RO/DI water Ive been buying by the 5 gallon jug at my local fish store and all levels are perfect. I've been using the API master test kit. I add an equilizer to bring the kh and ph to a more desirable level. I didnt think 4 fish of that size would be too many, but i may be wrong (especially it being a dwarf gourami). I have just a small 2-3 gallon tetra filter run by a small air pump. It has filter inserts with activated carbon encased in a fibrous material for the mechanical and chemical aspects of the filtration. I thought it lacked enough biological so I added a couple pieces of acrylic sponge near the top to allow for them to be saturated but exposed to oxygen for a good environment for the nitrifying bacteria. I've never heard of prime, but i will definetly look into it. I was afraid that a bigger tank may be the only option, but I will make that sacrifice if neccesary. What to you suggest for amount and what kind of fish in such a small enclosure??

Thank you for the input and patience,

P.S. what does "IMO" mean??

Last edited by JKoral; 09-20-2009 at 01:45 PM.
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post #4 of 6 Old 09-20-2009, 01:59 PM
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IMO= in my opinion.

How does your tap water test for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, ph, gh, and kh? Buying water may not be necessary.

The only thing, I would personally keep in a tank of that size, would be a Betta. Even bettas are extremely appreciative of more swimming space. My female bettas take advantage of every square inch of the 65 they are in.

I have a 2.5 gal that I use to quarantine new small fish. Small tanks are so unstable and unlikely to hold a cycle. I think you will find the benefits of a larger tank more comforting.

Fish also display more personality when they have more swimming room.
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post #5 of 6 Old 09-20-2009, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Oklahoma tap water is terrible...ive tested it a couple times and the hardness alone is awful. I cant remember the exact values though. But its worth the $2.70 for 5 ga to me right now. At least until I rig up a RO/DI system of my own. So a betta tank or a quarantine tank...makes sense. Tank you so much! Time to go tank hunting! Lots of water changes to save the little guys until then.

Thanks Again,
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post #6 of 6 Old 09-20-2009, 02:15 PM
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Good luck with the fish, water changes, and the tank hunt!
I think you will be extremely happy with the upgrade!
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