4 years ago #1
artdragon
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My 10 gallon guppy tank has a 4.0 ammonia level!! Here are my other parameters:

Ph: 7.4
Nitrate: 40
Nitrite: 1
Carbonate hardness: 180
General hardness: 180
Temp: 81

I have a 3 part carbon filter which I have all the replacement pieces. I don't know the age of the current filter media.

I did a 25% water change yesterday and a 25% earlier today. Is it safe to change the filter media and do a 50% water change even after doing a 25% earlier?

No one is acting funny but I can't let my tank stay in such high levels of ammonia & nitrate. Please help!

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4 years ago #2
southern creature
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Hi Artdragon,

More water changes are a good thing, but maybe not 50% in one go. Doing 2 x 25% each day is a good amount to get your ammonia down.

You could also use a product like "Ammo-Lock" by API, this will lock-up/chelate ammonia so it can't harm your fish. "Prime" by Seachem or "Amquel" by Kordon will chelate ammonia and neutralise nitrites and nitrates. It might be a good idea to try one of these products. Maybe google each as I've heard different things about each one, but Prime gets rave reviews.

Also I wouldn't recomend changing your entire filter over in one go. Maybe change one component like the carbon for now and another component in a week.

All of this has to have happened for a reason. I suggest you look at whether you are over feeding your fish or whether there has been a death in the tank that you missed. Also how many fish do you have?
Maybe your filter is not big enough! What filter do you have, what brand and what is the flow rate?

Please let us know the filter type and stock etc.

Also if you do use Prime, Amquel or Ammo-Lock, then these are only VERY short term solutions and you will need to look for the underlying cause so it doesn't happen again.

Good luck mate.

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4 years ago #3
dkpate
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Ok, I am going to disagree a little SC.

I always change 50% of my tanks water, every week. If the ammonia is .4ppm you can even change 80% at once, twice a day if you have to. The clean water is going to do a lot less damamge than the ammonia.

Ammo-Lock is not a good option, Prime is. You can dose it every 24 hours (which is how long it stays in the tank). Keep in mind though, that it will give you a false positive reading, so it will say you still have ammonia, but the Prime binds to it, as well as the nitrite, making it less harmful to the fish.

Like SC said, it's not a good idea to change the filter media, that's where all of your good bacteria lives. What you need to do is figure out why your ammonia got so high in the first place. How long have you had the tank set up? How big is it? How many fish? Is it possibly something died in there? How much and how often do you feed the fish?

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4 years ago #4
artdragon
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Its a 10 gal with 9 male guppies, 2 small otos, a khuli loach & a female ghost shrimp. I know its a little overcrowded, but I was told that as long as I do my water changes, 3 extra tank mates is ok. I normally do 25-50% water changes weekly on all 6 tanks & this is the only one with high ammonia & nitrate. I put other medicines & chemicals in yesterday, could you tell me if these would have raised the ammonia? Stress zyme, top fin ammonia remover, stability, start right, Ph down, aquarium salt & neutral regulator. Idk if the Ph down combatted with the ammonia remover but I read that dropping the ammonia can lower the Ph but I didn't use any Ph up.

Also, my counts are spot on. All 12 fish are in there. I removed the dead adolescent as soon as I noticed his movement stop. I can, of course recount.

I'm thinking its overfeeding. I admit, I give them one small pinch of flake food & one vile of bbs per day. But I've caught my fiancé feeding them as well. I've stopped their feedings for a week while I balance the tank back out. And also put up a "DNF" note on their tank

There's one adult male in there that has swimmy, indigestion & clamped fins that I'm trying to move to my hospital tank to treat, but obviously, the tanks aren't giving off similar readings. Can/should I move him anyway & do I acclimate him as I would any other new fish or transferred fish? He needs to be treated asap before it gets worse. Could he be causing that high of an ammonia level?

Also, I don't have prime or the $ to get it right now but I have Top Fin ammonia remover, Tetra AmmoniaSafe, Aqueon Ammonia Neutralizer,Seachem Neutral Regulator (very low quantity left & no $ for more till Friday) & Seachem Stability.

So what would be my best course of action, moving forward? My plan was to QT Mr. Wiggles (just named my sickly fish with swimmy lol), stop feeding for a week,do 25%-50% water change 2x a day, add stability after each water change (or do you all advize against that?) And I may also acclimate my ghost shrimp & loach into my 20gal or is that a bad idea too?

Thank you SO much for the advice, btw. You all have really helped my fish and are continually helping me be a better aquarist. You all rock!

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4 years ago #5
southern creature
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I actually agree with DK disagreeing with me, but I er on the side of caution when giving advise. There are inherent risks with large water changes, but when it comes to ammonia, it CAN be worth taking such risks if you are careful!!

I would also take DK's advice when it comes to Prime V's Amm-Lock as I have never used these products (I live in the countryand only have rain water for my fish, so my need for chemicals is very limited). However Top Fin's Ammonia Remover is said to work, perhaps DK has some knowlege of this product. If it does work then it works like Prime and will still give you an ammonia reading.

I agree that your problems probably stem from over feeding and to some degree your stock levels. If you are going to stock your tank like that then perhaps do twice weekly water changes. Also keep a tight rein on how often you feed (or keep a tighter rein on your fiance ).

Also I'm not too sure if you are having any issues by using all those chemicals/products together, but it does seem like a lot to me. The fewer chemicals you use the better, I go for a much more natural way of keeping fish. One example here is that fish can adapt to a wide range of pH's so pH up/pH down generally is not needed. Also the conditioning salts that you use tend to raise pH and you can easily stabalise you pH by adding some crushed shell or coral sand to you filter. This will raise your KH (carbonate hardness) and this will stabalise your pH without chemicals.

However for now YES stick with twice daily water changes, feed a lot less to nothing also adding adding Stability won't hurt. Also do some reaserch on Top Fin Ammonia Remover and whether it really works, but since your fish seem happy it pribably does.

Finally YES move the sick fish to quaranteen, but use the "Drip Acclimation" method to move him. You can find out about this method by typing "drip acclimation" into the search bar at the top of this page.


Best of luck with all this.

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4 years ago #6
artdragon
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Thank you so much for all the input! To southern creature, my fiancé & I got a laugh out of your comment. thank you.

I'm definitely going to increase my pwc rate. Saturdays are my normal days so I guess Wed just got a new "chore" but I enjoy it so its not a chore to me. And I don't like giving them a lot of chemicals so I'm glad you said less is best. I just freaked out, I think. Pwc seem to fix nearly everything.

I don't have a drip acclimator or handmade one yet so I still do the "pet store method" till I have the $ to buy or make one.

As for adding the crushed shell or coral, do I add it to the intake or under the filter media? I have the aquaclear 10 gal carbon filter. Also, I have city water & my kh is already 180. Can guppies live in alkaline water like that? I know they usually prefer hard water.

And should I continue using API's stress zyme+ in this and all my other tanks?

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4 years ago #7
dkpate
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If you just did a water change of 50% on Saturday and a 25% on Wednesday you should be okay. But if your ammonia gets above .25 ever, do a water change, no matter what day it is.

As for the pH products, don't let anyone talk you into buying them anymore, they are a waste of money. 99% of fish will acclimate to the pH you have, and pH swings are much worse.

The only thing you need for your tank is a good dechlorinator. I suggest getting Prime as soon as you can, and it's actually a lot cheaper in the long run than the other ones. One bottle of Prime treats 2500 gallons, and that lasts me about 6-8 months for 3 tanks.

If you are going to use coral, you can stick it under the media or just on the bottom of the tank itself.

I have never used to drop acclimation, I always just add a cup of water to the bag every 15 minutes for an hour, and then move the fish. If you are going to move them to a different tank, and the pH is different, I would acclimate, it's less stressful for them.

On a side note, the loaches prefer to be in groups, so when you have more room, I would suggest getting a couple more. They are super crazy together!

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4 years ago #8
artdragon
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Oh good, I'm so glad the majority rules that all these chemicals are a waste of $! They're so expensive! I will definitely get prime as soon as I can. Is Aqueon ammonia Neutralizer a good tap water conditioner/dechlorinator?

I would love some albino loaches. Mines a pain in the **** to catch but he's so cool. Hopefully, my fiancé will let me get at least 2 more loaches & 6 more guppies

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4 years ago #9
mjrkiller308
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The best for water conditioning and all around aquarium dechlorinator is stress coat and stress zyme. add the stress coat (it eliminates chlorine chloromine and ammonia, while the stress zyme contains live beneficial bacteria to help boos the nitrogen cycle). i live by them they never harmed my fish and never gave me problems they did their job and arent too expensive. And API is a great brand that you can trust. This is just my opinion from a great experience. good luck i hope this helps

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4 years ago #10
dkpate
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The best dechlorinators are always an opinion thing, I like Prime because of all it does and it's cheapest all around.
I have never used Aqueon water conditioner, I tried AquaSafe first and hated it because it made bubbles everywhere.

My loaches were hard to catch too! I had to take all the plants and decorations out of the tank, and almost all of the water, then try to corral them up using two nets. All, good times. They can squeeze through any small space and they're quick! Do you have the striped one? I had black loaches.

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4 years ago #11
artdragon
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I like the benefits of stress zyme which is what I have now. I just don't have stress coat. Is it safe to use different brands together?

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4 years ago #12
artdragon
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Mines brown. I can actually hear him now scooting around in the gravel looking for a place to hide. I got a really good pic of him earlier. I'll try to upload it tomorrow. Yes, he actually stayed still for more than 2 seconds lol.

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4 years ago #13
Jimmeh
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are you breeding guppy's?

If he is going to get you some ask him yo get you some enderlers guppy's males

They are supper colourful and when mixed with normal guppies give fantastic results and colourations

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4 years ago #14
dkpate
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I agree, endlers are neat! I loved my little guys, and they don't get as big as regular guppies either.
Here is a pic of my loaches with an algae wafer:

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4 years ago #15
artdragon
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Ooh, they look great together. Mine looks like your brown ones

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4 years ago #16
mjrkiller308
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yes its all an opinion thing and yes the stress coat+ and the stress zyme are supposed to be used right after one another. the stress coat then the stress zyme. good luck hun hope this helps.

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4 years ago #17
artdragon
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Ok hon, I must ask. Is it a pain in the **** to change the water in your 150 gallon tank? That's A LOT at 25%! Lol

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4 years ago #18
mjrkiller308
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my pleasure no not really i have a python syphon system it takes about 20 min to drain it and refill it. i love it its my savior in the aquarium world. anytime you need help feel free to PM me hun. have a great day

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4 years ago #19
artdragon
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So is your aquarium next to a window or do you use several buckets?

Thanks sweetie, I appreciate that

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4 years ago #20
mjrkiller308
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No its not by a window and the python syphon hooks right up to the faucet and it emptys the tank water with a special T shaped valve one opens it and creates suction then when its shut it puts water back down the hose and into the tank. its pretty easy trust me id say get one they are alittle high in cost but not too bad. Your local aquarium shop should sell the kit and you just gotta buy the hose from walmart. and my pleasure again hun id love to help if you need it.

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4 years ago #21
dkpate
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Pythons are life (and back) savers!!! Aqueon makes a slightly cheaper version, but it works just as well.

I have this one: http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp? productId=11147172

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1 year ago #22
Cheetah
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Get stress coat by API it's great

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1 year ago #23
Cheetah
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Also get aquarium salt and put a little bit in it will help with gill function and will help kill any parasites or fungus made by high ammonia levels trust me I know what I'm doing

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1 year ago #24
Cheetah
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Also don't put ur tank by a window light builds up Alger witch leads to high ammonia and nitrates/nitrites

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1 year ago #25
Greta1981
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Hi Cheetah,

This post is two years old. You can see the date in the top right hand corner. Please don't post on old threads, as it prevents newer questions from being read. I made the same mistake when I first joined MAC, no worries.

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1 year ago #26
Margot and Mollies
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I have a huge problem for anyone who can help me!!!

My dalmatian Molly gave birth to over 50 fry and as you can probably assume I was not ready for it. In my 30 gallon tank I have 2 Cory cats 1 mama Molly and 4 tetras not Nearly overstocked atleast not until the fry arrived. I assume it was the birthing process that threw off my parameters, but my ammonia has spiked to 6 ppms. I treated with ammo lock for a week doing 25% water changes everyday.

I ended up moving the fry to an extra 10 gallon I had running (set it up months back when I realized my female Molly was pregnant and moved the male Molly to it shortly before she gave birth. ) I would've moved the male back but the ammonia being at 6ppm was a death sentence for him. Well since the 30 gallon tank has not lessened in ammonia at all, my fish are doing worse. And now the 10 gallon is too high in ammonia, spiked to a 3ppm. I CANNOT get my ammonia levels down. I've bought new tests thinking I contaminated the tests. I stopped using tap water and bought 20 gallons of RO water and did a 50% water change on both tanks today. Immediately after the water change the fish seemed to be doing okay, still breathing heavily but not gasping for air at the top. That is until tonight, when they began gasping at the surface again, in both the 10 gallon & 30 gallon tank.

I'm considering taking the fry out and putting them in just a 5 gallon bucket I have and am old filter. Wouldn't that be better than leaving them in a tank with 3ppm? During such critical moments in their growth?

All other parameters are good in both tanks read the same
pH 7.0
Nitrites 0
Nitrates 20 (expected but still low considering)
Ammonia: 3 & 6 ppm
I use no other chems other than Ammo lock for 7 days only (which temporary seemed to fix the problem until I stopped using it) and of course Stress+Coat conditioner

I read on this same website, the ammonia is more dangerous than changing large amounts of water--- SHOULD I DO BIGGER THAN 50% WATER CHANGES? UP TO 80%? AND HOW MANY TIMES A DAY? And should I move the fry?

PS. I have not fed my fish except for the fry very sparingly. PLEASE HELP
10 gallon filter I use Fluval 30 and the 30 gallon I use the Fluval 50 capable of pumping 200 gallons

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9 months ago #27
Shar
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I have a 26 gallon tank now. How salt do you recommend? My nitrate levels went through the roof today. Been letting the **** goad me into feeding them too. Ugh. Every **** pet I own is fat . I did partial water change and added ammo lock. One died but others look ok so far. Will the salt help drop levels more? Thanks

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9 months ago #28
jocool47
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This post is two years old. You can see the date in the top right hand corner. Please don't post on old threads, as it prevents newer questions from being read. I made the same mistake when I first joined MAC, no worries.
(Written by Greta1981)

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