Ammonia disaster...please help - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 16 Old 06-04-2008, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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Ammonia disaster...please help

1. Size of aquarium (# of gallons) 10
2. Is your aquarium setup freshwater or brackish water? Fresh
3. How long the aquarium has been set up? re-established 2.5 weeks ago
4. What fish and how many are in the aquarium (species are important to know) 1 goldfish
5. Are there live plants in the aquarium? Yes, now there are
6. What temperature is the tank water currently? 68
7. What make/model filter are you using? Tetra Whisper
8. Are you using a CO2 unit? No
9. Does your aquarium receive natural sunlight at any given part of the day? No
10. When did you perform your last water exchange, and how much water was changed? Today, 25%
11. How often do you perform water changes? Every other day
12. How often and what foods do you feed your fish? 2x a day, flakes
13. What type of lighting are you using and how long is it kept on? Nne
14. What specific concerns bring you here at this time? See Below
15. What are your water parameters? Test your pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.
pH; 7.4
ammonia: 1.0 ppm

16. What test kit are you using and is it liquid or test strips? Liquid
17. When was the last time you bought a fish and how did they behave while in the pet store tank? Forget I just moved back from college with my fish. I was only able to transfer about a gallon of water back with me, but I kept the gravel and things in the tank wet w/origonal water.

Ever since I establisehd the new tank, ammonia levels have been from .25-.5 to even get up to 1.0 despite frequent water changes. A friend who has an already established tank gave me some of her water so I could have osme of the good bacteria and even after I did another water change after adding her water, levels are at 1.0ppm.
My fish isn't doing well, he seems to be at the surface gasping for air a lot more and he's been floating at the top not moving until he sees me/movement in the room. I'm pretty scared, I don't know what to do....I've tried not doing water changes, no difference, everything just seems to make the levels go up. What's more, is that all other things (ph, nitrate, nitrite) don't seem to change so much...
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post #2 of 16 Old 06-04-2008, 08:54 PM
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You've got:

1. A tank that is re-cycling
2. A fish that, sorry to say, actually belongs in a tank at least 25 gallons due to the amount it poops.

Getting the tank established probably wasn't as hard before because I'm guessing your goldfish was a baby and very small. You might wanna quickly find a new home for it (not the local waterways) and go with something less....messy. Even if you can manage to get it through this I don't know how you can keep it going. I foresee elevated ammonia and/or nitrate levels. Was this a problem at college?

This is the song that never ends...
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post #3 of 16 Old 06-04-2008, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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No, that's why I'm so stressed about it. Until the big move, nothing related to the water was much of an issue.

And I'm confused about what you're suggesting I do in the mean time; I don't really have any alternative places he could live...I only have a 2 gallon equiv. fishbowl type thing but that has no filtration.

He's also still pretty small, under 2 inches if at that. I bought him in Jan, when he was a very young baby.
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post #4 of 16 Old 06-04-2008, 09:28 PM
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I meant if you knew of someone with a bigger tank that wasn't keeping tropicals.

Anyways...2 inches is fairly small, he will probably continue to get bigger (what you hear about goldfish staying the size of their tanks is a myth, they just really just usually die from the toxicity before they can grow any bigger since a good deal of people that buy goldfish don't have test kits like we do). One suggestion, test your tap water and see what it reads. There may or may not be something in there that you need to be aware of. If the water is ok, keep up the daily water changes and see what happens. Not much you can do otherwise short of rehoming.

This is the song that never ends...
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post #5 of 16 Old 06-05-2008, 04:21 PM
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We went through the whole tank size thing a while back in a different post. She knows her fish will need a tank upgrade in time, but right now the guy is really tiny, so waste shouldn't be the problem here once the tank is re-cycled.
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post #6 of 16 Old 06-05-2008, 07:39 PM
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There's not much bacteria in the water. See if you can get some used filter media from your friend's tank or a handful or 2 of gravel.

150 Gallon - Mostly American Cichlids
135 Gallon - Angelfish Community
75 Gallon - Odd couple (Polleni/Angelfish)
55 Gallon - African tank
20 Gallon Long - QT
10 Gallon - Empty
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post #7 of 16 Old 06-06-2008, 04:22 PM
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I'm posting here cuz rae hasn't and I know the deal. Lol, I actually know her/referred her to this site, so I can personally vouch for her fishy being well loved and cared for!

She was having an ammonia problem a few weeks ago and I gave her some clay balls from my established filter for hers, some of my tank water to do a water change with and some water lettuce. She kept having the problems and now it turns out her tap water is almost 1.0 ppm. We didn't pick up on it right away cuz I guess the water had to sit for the ammonia to show up (co2 leaves water, ph goes up, ammonia becomes more dangerous as I assume). So when she did a water change the ammonia reading would immediately go down, which is why we didn't think to test the tap water, but within 24 hours the ammonia level would skyrocket.

She's going to be using water from a different area and also testing her neighbors water to see if the problem is in her house (we have the same water supply, but I don't have any ammonia in my water).
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post #8 of 16 Old 06-06-2008, 04:53 PM
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All I can say is "Ewwww, I'm glad I don't have that water".

This is the song that never ends...
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post #9 of 16 Old 06-06-2008, 05:06 PM
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Yeah, seriously. I had her test her kitchen water as well as that SHOULD be made of higher quality piping, but there was still ammonia. And I though my soft but alkaline water was messed up!
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post #10 of 16 Old 06-06-2008, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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alright, so mavis filled everyone in....
i started using springwater and did a 50% change yesterday and a 50% change today...and guess what, ammonia levels are STILL .50 or 1.0 ppm.
i've probably gotten rid of any bacteria that i'd gotten from maeve's stuff, and i'm truly at a loss for what to do. this makes no sense!
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