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high ammonia levels

This is a discussion on high ammonia levels within the Tropical Fish Diseases forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by Tracy Hey everyone, Try being a bit more kind to people that want to keep fish and do good for the ...

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Old 02-02-2007, 05:05 PM   #21
Originally Posted by Tracy
Hey everyone, Try being a bit more kind to people that want to keep fish and do good for the fish, but don't have all the money for big tanks and expensive filtration systems.

I acknowledge that small aquariums and lack of 'improper cycling' are a problem for those who are uninformed or mis-informed, but the glorious hobby of fishkeeping shouldn't be for just the 'well-off' or wealthy. Yes, fish do grow, but it does not happen overnight.

If the water is safe for the fish, don't worry about the tank size providing the FISH ARE THRIVING, the water perameters are safe, and the tank is not overpopulated. You can upgrade your tank system when you can afford to do so.

Personally, I have never fussed with PH levels and the majority of my fish have been long-lived, active, and have grown well.

Let's not give the impression that unless you have a tank that is 55+ gallons you cannot have anything but danios, guppies & tetras.

Yes, i understand what you mean, some people keep goldfish in bowls (which they shouldnt) for a very long time, a few years even. Why? Because goldfish are hardy, they are strong fish and can survive in those conditions. They certainly wont thrive but they will survive. But here were not talking about hardy fish, we are talking about very weak fish, the discus.
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Old 02-02-2007, 06:17 PM   #22
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First, the ammonia levels need to be controlled. Please don't go the local fish store and spend a lot of money on ammonia rid type products as they will onlymake the problem worse and also extend your cycle. Water changes are the key here. As much as you can change, do it every other day until you get the levels down to as low as possible.

As for the fish, enough has been said about them by everyone. The LFS did their damage and the fish may suffer but do have a chance to survive and thrive. I have heard that neons are some of the weakest fish and often used to cycle because of it but mine have been the hardiest fish I have.

Nicole, give the tank a chance to cycle and then deal with the fishes size when it is needed to be done. I hope that we can get you so appropriate advice for the fish you have now and help you get going in the right direction. Please don't let what the LFS told you and what has been said here from detering you from trying to do this right and have a very healthy and happy aquarium. The key right now is to get the ammonia down and I think water changes will help with this immensly and then we can deal with other potential issues.
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Old 02-02-2007, 07:53 PM   #23
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A couple other things:
Nitrates in a tank without plants need to be kept below 30ppm. Anything above is not good for the fish as the nitrates are dissolved nitrates from fish waste. If you have plants, please let us know and we can discuss the differences. And plants do aid in keeping ammonia problems down but will not expidite the tanks cycle. Without plants, less than 20ppm is ideal if not lower.

Ammonia can be lethal at any level above 0.5ppm. The water changes will help keep it from becoming lethal and will help the fish cope with it until the cycle is complete.

One last statement in this thread: No further bantering about the stocking levels or chosen fish will be tolerated. Address the question of the original topic or don't post in this topic.
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Old 02-03-2007, 02:54 AM   #24
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Well said fish_4_all... and if I may just add something I noticed thru this thread... when speaking in terms of nitrate levels, it is true that most fish can adjust to it slowly over a long period of time, but, this does not mean that it isn't causing damage. I could list so many problems caused by high nitrate levels, but the worst and ultimate is an early death for the fish. We see what happens to them on the outside, but most people don't ever get the chance to see the internal damage that is caused by something as simple as high nitrate levels, and it is truly devastating.

As was just said, it's time to deal with the issue at hand, the fish are there and the important thing is to prevent suffering and death. It's good that you are already shopping for a larger tank, I would suggest going as large as is possible, or plan to increase the size again after a period of time.
The angelfish should be fine at the current pH, but the discus will not, so you'll want to monitor the pH, KH, and GH in the tank with the discus. Add lots and lots of decorations to the tank, this will help prevent stress (which causes illness quickly). If your tap water is over 7.0 for pH, you may need to use bottled RO water which can be purchased at the grocery store and at some pet stores.

Small, frequent water changes (no more than 25% at a time) are the best thing you could do for both tanks, keeping the water quality as stable as can be. When doing the water changes, change just water, don't touch the gravel or filter media. This is where your bacteria will culture most, and the faster the bacteria cultures, the faster you'll get through your cycling. Products like "Cycle" and "Biozyme" both work well, and could be a big help to you right now. I would suggest dosing with one of those after each water change.

Go easy on the food at this point, as that will also raise ammonia levels. Every other day what the fish can finish in 1 - 2 minutes is all they should be getting right now, until the cycle is complete and the tank is stable. Then, especially with the discus, I would suggest feeding once/day (discus twice/day), with regular water changes to keep the waste in check.

While the fish aren't going to grow huge overnight, they will grow fast if the water conditions and food are all in check. To buy a bit of time until the larger tank is an option, gradually increase water changes. If you start out with once/wk after cycling, do water testing at least twice/month to see when your nitrate levels begin to increase. When you notice an increase, then do the same with water changes... same amount of water at a time, but twice/wk instead of once. You will find soon enough that the changes will need to be done daily to keep up with the waste levels, and eventually, after that, comes changes every day and healthy fish that are too large to turn around or function in a tank that is too small. This CAN be done if you take the time for all of the little details that will be so important, but I have to agree with the others here, this is not going to be an "easy" thing to pull off.

Lastly, we're here to help, so as you go through this, please don't feel alone. Ask all of the questions you need and/or want to, we'll do our best to see you through this as safely as possible. I would suggest some reading... not just internet research, but a published book, especially about the discus. If you need titles/authors, let me know and I can suggest a few good ones. Knowledge is power, and always remember... the only stupid question is the one not asked.
Best of Luck to you and your fish!
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Old 02-03-2007, 09:57 AM   #25
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Well the 10 gallon tank the ammonia levels arent high. We are doing water changes now.We got one of those gravel cleaners that you hook up to the sink to suck the water out or add more water and you can use it to do gravel changes.We are getting a 90 gallon around the 15thish. can you cycle the tank b4 the fish are put in? how long do you let the tank run before putting in the fish?Do you recommend putting live plants in? How many fish can you have in a 90 gallon?
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Old 02-03-2007, 12:23 PM   #26
well the bigger the tank the more the 1 inch of fish per gallon doesnt work. You will need to ask other people as i do not know what type of fish you like.

There is such thing as a fish less cycle but I'm not too sure how to do it. Something like adding pure ammonia in the water daily or sprinkling fish food to raise ammonia.
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Old 02-03-2007, 01:29 PM   #27
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A fishless cycle is done a few different ways. The first and least controled is to use fish food. The food decays and then starts the cycle.

The next one is to actually put a whole medium siozed prawn in the tank and let it start the cycle. This can cause a slight odor and can be unpleaseant but once the shrimp has vanished, you test the water and it should have both ammonia and nitrites at 0. Water changes are still a must to keep the tank as close the environment thta the fish will be put in as possible.

The third is to use pure, straight ammonia. Adding enough to bring the levels in the tank to 1.5-2ppm daily until you start seeing nitrites then sometimes decreasing the ammonia.

Give me a couple days and will have a better more comprehensive article about the fishless cycle.
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Old 02-04-2007, 05:58 PM   #28
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Just tested the tap water...it has ammonia in it.
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Old 02-04-2007, 07:04 PM   #29
you may add ammonia removing chemicals to your tap water before you add it to your tank, a good company is amquel, and when you say ammonia next time can you say the exact reading like 0, 0.25, 0.5 etc

And when you say the levels are not high, that means there is some which is very bad, for a established tank it should be at 0. Also call your tap water company and make sure they know ammonia is in the tap water as there could be a water contaminant at your local water way
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Old 02-05-2007, 07:51 AM   #30
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the tap water is at .5. Can you use bottled water in the tank?
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