Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   high ammonia levels (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/tropical-fish-diseases/high-ammonia-levels-2781/)

Nicole 01-26-2007 02:17 PM

high ammonia levels
 
1. Size of aquarium (# of gallons) 20 gallons
2. Is your aquarium set up freshwater or saltwater? freswater
3. How long the aquarium has been setup 2-3 weeks
4. What fish and how many are in the aquarium (species are important to know) 4 at the moment...there is an angelfish, blue gourami, a pictus catfish and a bala shark
5. Are there live plants in the aquarium? no
6. What make/model filter are you using? undergravel
7. Are you using a CO2 unit? no
8. Does your aquarium receive natural sunlight at any given part of the day? no
9. When did you perform your last water exchange, and how much water was changed? tank set up
10.How often and what foods do you feed your fish? did feed freeze dried bloodworms and flakes 2 a day, now just flakes once
11.Is your aquarium light incandescent or fluorescent and how often is it kept on?fluorescent most of the day the till we go to bed
12.What specific concerns bring you here at this time? high ammonia level
13. Water are your water test results for:
pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate? ph 7.2 and ammonia is off the chart dark green

is it the undergravel filter causing this? i read they can cause problems. i only use to use a power filter off the side but the guy that went with us to get fish is like oh use one of these so we bought it. now our ammonia levels are off the chart. we have a seperate tank set up with the 2 discus i just got today in it. how long is it going to take for it to cycle through? i have to wait 2 weeks anyway to add the discus. the fish in the main tank now are fine. the guy at our fish store said they built up an immunity to it since they were in when it started. any help or advice would be great, thanks!

Train Tracks 01-26-2007 02:22 PM

I would toss the underground filter.

ttiger72 01-26-2007 03:28 PM

Re: high ammonia levels
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Nicole
1. Size of aquarium (# of gallons) 20 gallons
2. Is your aquarium set up freshwater or saltwater? freswater
3. How long the aquarium has been setup 2-3 weeks
4. What fish and how many are in the aquarium (species are important to know) 4 at the moment...there is an angelfish, blue gourami, a pictus catfish and a bala shark
5. Are there live plants in the aquarium? no
6. What make/model filter are you using? undergravel
7. Are you using a CO2 unit? no
8. Does your aquarium receive natural sunlight at any given part of the day? no
9. When did you perform your last water exchange, and how much water was changed? tank set up
10.How often and what foods do you feed your fish? did feed freeze dried bloodworms and flakes 2 a day, now just flakes once
11.Is your aquarium light incandescent or fluorescent and how often is it kept on?fluorescent most of the day the till we go to bed
12.What specific concerns bring you here at this time? high ammonia level
13. Water are your water test results for:
pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate? ph 7.2 and ammonia is off the chart dark green

is it the undergravel filter causing this? i read they can cause problems. i only use to use a power filter off the side but the guy that went with us to get fish is like oh use one of these so we bought it. now our ammonia levels are off the chart. we have a seperate tank set up with the 2 discus i just got today in it. how long is it going to take for it to cycle through? i have to wait 2 weeks anyway to add the discus. the fish in the main tank now are fine. the guy at our fish store said they built up an immunity to it since they were in when it started. any help or advice would be great, thanks!

20 Gallons is way too small for Angels and Discus, both can get upwards of 8 inches, you need at least a 55G to keep them. No fish can build up immunity to Ammonia or Nitrites, the higher the level of each the more toxic it is to the fish.

First do a 25% water change, which will help get the ammonia down. You should then be doing a 25% change daily to help keep the ammonia down. I used Bio-Spira to help get my little 2.5g tank to cycle, you may want to try that.

You said you had a hang on back type filter, do you still have that in the tank? What were your levels prior to changing to the undergravel filter?

That's about all I can offer since I am still new at this. But there are others you will give you a lot of advice as well.

musho3210 01-26-2007 05:17 PM

angelfish need at least 30 gallon high aquarium, discus 35 gallon aquarium, bala shark 75 gallon aquarium 20 gallons is not enough, that is why there is so much ammonia.

No need to resort on all caps and exclamation points when making a statement. All of us do commit mistakes.
Blue


Also angelfish and bala sharks are extremly sensitive to water conditions and since your ammonia reading is off the chart (probably more than 5.0) you probably cant save them since they are affected enough. But for now, do massive water changes, maybe even 50-60% water changes DAILY. A reading of .25 can kill angels and sharks, this is 20 times more stronger than that, your fish dont stand much of a chance im sorry to say. Please not that bala sharks get up to a foot long, sometimes more, whcih means they wont even be able to turn around in a 20 gallon aquarium. Angel fish get to tall to fit in a 20 gallon aquarium, and discus can die from even .05 ammonia level. Take ALL your fish back to the fish store and guy some fish suitable for a 20 gallon like danios.

Fish dont grow immunities from ammonia, they grow immune to nitrate but not ammonia, they will die in it.

Remember, discus are expensive, if you put them in your tank now, they will die and you would have lost all that money for them, return them while you can.

FDStation152 01-26-2007 05:50 PM

the discus are also extremely sensitive to water conditions and require very clean water. I would never reccomend adding them to a tank that is not already well established. while i love the fish and keep one myself (soon to be more) I would also suggest returning them. They are very unlikely to survive the stress of a cycling tank as changes in the water parameters are extremely stressful to them. I'd stay away from buying them unless the tank has been set up for a period of months and is very stable. They aren't cheap fish and they simply won't handle that kind of stress.

Nicole 01-26-2007 09:23 PM

Re: high ammonia levels
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ttiger72

20 Gallons is way too small for Angels and Discus, both can get upwards of 8 inches, you need at least a 55G to keep them. No fish can build up immunity to Ammonia or Nitrites, the higher the level of each the more toxic it is to the fish.

First do a 25% water change, which will help get the ammonia down. You should then be doing a 25% change daily to help keep the ammonia down. I used Bio-Spira to help get my little 2.5g tank to cycle, you may want to try that.

You said you had a hang on back type filter, do you still have that in the tank? What were your levels prior to changing to the undergravel filter?

That's about all I can offer since I am still new at this. But there are others you will give you a lot of advice as well.

The guy at the pet store said the thing about the immunity..all the fish are still very small they are all around the size of the gourami and hes not very big. we are getting a new larger tank 55-75 gallon probably income tax time. the discus are in another tank by themselves because the guy we got them from said to quarantine them for 2 months anyway.
we never had the filter on the back on this tank because its too small its for only up to a 15 gal.

musho3210 01-26-2007 09:39 PM

Heres a very important bit of information never listen to profit organizations about fish. they dont know much about fish, all they care about is money, how big is the quarantine tank for the disucs is it cycled??? Discus are very fragile and expensive fish, as i said return them.

Cap letters have been revised.
Blue

Tracy 01-27-2007 12:06 AM

Undergravel filters are not meant to keep the water 'clean'; they merely provide aeration and are supposed to enhance the biological filtration of a tank by preventing 'dead' spots in the gravel (that is what I was told, and what I read in books when I used an undergravel filter years ago). I never had a problem using the undergravel filter, although I did not care for the amount of debris which collected under the plates in the aquarium and found that I had to do a thorough cleaning of the tank about twice a year, which always removed lots of mucky water (yuck!)

Undergravel filters do not take the place of mechanical filters. If you use an undergravel filter you still need a 'hang on back' or other type of filtration system. I think your ammonia level is high because your tank is so 'new'. Try to get some established 'media' from someone you know that has a healthy aquarium (i.e. substrate and/or ornaments from an established aquarium). This will help 'seed' the beneficial bacteria which break-down the harmful levels of ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. Until your biological filter is established, frequent water changes are both helpful and necessary to keep the harmful levels of these toxins down. Overcrowding is an issue, also, when the tank set-up is so new, but if you keep your water safe you should be okay with your fish until you are able to get a larger tank for them.

Good luck and happy fish-keeping. :)

musho3210 01-27-2007 10:11 PM

might i add discus require a ph between 5.5-6.5, the will not survive in a ph of 7.2, same goes with angelfish

FDStation152 01-28-2007 02:28 AM

well they might survive but they certainly wont be happy. Also the discus are sensitive to water hardness and alkalinity so if you don't have test kits for that you might be keeping them at a proper pH but killing them with a high gH or kH. There's a reason discus are usually only reccomended for experienced fish keepers.


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