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Old 06-24-2004, 02:00 AM   #1
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Extremely high Ammonia levels

First of all, I must say that I am extremely new to saltwater aquariums. I have a 10 gallon saltwater tank that has extremely high ammonia levels. (somewhere around 0.25 ppm) I believe my fish are dying. (They are all discolored) What should I do?

I have two damselfish, 1 shrimp (peppermint I believe), and 4 of those things that look like mini hermit crabs. Sorry that I cannot be more specific. I will have to figure out what they are tomorrow.
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Old 06-24-2004, 03:12 AM   #2
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Well, first I would suggest a series of water changes, like 25% a day until it goes down.
Then, what did you use for cycling? Do you have any LR? What type of filtration do you have? How mich do you feed a day? A 10 gallon is hard to maintain chemically, you may want to consider an upgrade to a 20 or a 29 gallon.
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Old 06-24-2004, 07:47 AM   #3
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How long has the tank been set up?

Personally I would take the fish back to the LFS and give yourself a bit more time to learn about the basics. You can do that in this forum and by buying a good book.

The fish may well die otherwise and that's never a good way to start.
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Old 06-24-2004, 10:24 AM   #4
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I'm guessing he's doing the lfs recomended method of damsel cycling. If that is the case, your crabs are pretty much toast. The odds of them surviving a cycle aren't very good. As quarry said, a 10 gal is not the best way to start into SW. The water is too hard to keep in check unless you have the experience and the equipment to take care of it. Take the fish back and start researching. SW isn't really any harder than FW, but it is definately more involved and requires more knowledge. But if you do the research and take it slow, you'll do fine and have a nice setup.
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Old 06-30-2004, 09:51 PM   #5
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Sorry it took me so long to reply. I have been working on my tank. Yes, I am doing the LFS recommended method of damsel cycling. I do not have any live rock though. My LFS said, in such a small tank, it wouldn't be necessary. I do have 4 of those little bacteria filled things that are star shaped. I have a hang on back filter. I feed about once daily. (My LFS suggested that I feed once daily for about a week.) I have been adding TLC for saltwater about 1 tablespoon full daily (LFS recommended.) The ammonia seemed to spike up some more for a few days, yet it is now dropping. I read in one of my SW books that the ammonia levels will be quite high for awhile, but will drop rapidly after awhile.

Everything in it is alive, so something must be going right!
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Old 06-30-2004, 10:34 PM   #6
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Damsels can "tolorate" high levels of ammonia, but that doesn't mean that you should use them to cycle your tank. It is a cruel method that does not have to be used. You can use a piece of shrimp to strart the cycle. No to mention that you will most likely have to remove them when you are done since they are very aggressive. Now that you Ammonia is down the nitrites will be going up, which are just as toxic to fish.
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Old 07-01-2004, 03:55 AM   #7
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