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Old 04-24-2014, 10:19 AM   #1
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High ammonia level. HELP!

My ammonia level keeps rising. Yesterday it was 1.0, the day before 0., today it is almost a 2.0 if I saw it correctly (I am ill and might not be reading right). Point is my ammonia is high, period. I cannot get out right now for RO water and I do not have ammonia neutralizers. I filled 6 gallons with my tap water that has a pH of about 7.2 and ammonia of about .25. I have a 20G tank. My fish are acting fine but they look a little red around the gills so I am afraid of ammonia poisoning. I think I caused a spike by accidental overfeeding. They just seemed so hungry the other day. I did not feed them last night or so far today after seeing the levels (tried to bring it down). Is it safe to use my tap when I normally use RO for WC just this once until maybe tomorrow so I can get water?

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Old 04-24-2014, 10:31 AM   #2
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I am sorry. Double check on my tap, ammonia is .50.

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Old 04-24-2014, 10:38 AM   #3
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Fish In Tank Cycling

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Originally Posted by fishlove777 View Post
My ammonia level keeps rising. Yesterday it was 1.0, the day before 0., today it is almost a 2.0 if I saw it correctly (I am ill and might not be reading right). Point is my ammonia is high, period. I cannot get out right now for RO water and I do not have ammonia neutralizers. I filled 6 gallons with my tap water that has a pH of about 7.2 and ammonia of about .25. I have a 20G tank. My fish are acting fine but they look a little red around the gills so I am afraid of ammonia poisoning. I think I caused a spike by accidental overfeeding. They just seemed so hungry the other day. I did not feed them last night or so far today after seeing the levels (tried to bring it down). Is it safe to use my tap when I normally use RO for WC just this once until maybe tomorrow so I can get water?

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Hello fish...

Since it appears you're in the middle of the nitrogen cycle using fish, you should be testing the tank water daily for ammonia (you already have that) and nitrite. When you have a positive test, you should be removing and replacing 25 percent of tank water. You use pure, treated tap water. Add a bit of standard aquarium salt, a teaspoon in every 5 gallons of the replacement water. The salt will reduce the toxic effects of the ammonia and nitrite and helps calm the fish during the stress caused by the cycling process.

Again, test the tank water daily and when you have a trace of either of the above forms of nitrogen, you replace a quarter of the water. When you have several daily tests with no traces of ammonia or nitrite, the tank is cycled.

If I was cycling the tank, I'd drop some Hornwort stems into the tank to help with the cycling process.

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Old 04-24-2014, 11:15 AM   #4
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Hello fish...

Since it appears you're in the middle of the nitrogen cycle using fish, you should be testing the tank water daily for ammonia (you already have that) and nitrite. When you have a positive test, you should be removing and replacing 25 percent of tank water. You use pure, treated tap water. Add a bit of standard aquarium salt, a teaspoon in every 5 gallons of the replacement water. The salt will reduce the toxic effects of the ammonia and nitrite and helps calm the fish during the stress caused by the cycling process.

Again, test the tank water daily and when you have a trace of either of the above forms of nitrogen, you replace a quarter of the water. When you have several daily tests with no traces of ammonia or nitrite, the tank is cycled.

If I was cycling the tank, I'd drop some Hornwort stems into the tank to help with the cycling process.

B
I had done 25% water change every day in the days prior. I had ammonia .25, .25, .25. 0, 1.0, 2.0...I have added plenty of bioboost on a regular basis.

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Old 04-24-2014, 12:00 PM   #5
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Do 50% water change a day while your cycling. Use prime as water conditioner if you have it aval it will neutralize the ammonia and nitrite for up to 48 hours. Do a couple 50% water changes in one day to get the ammonia under control


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Old 04-24-2014, 12:26 PM   #6
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Do 50% water change a day while your cycling. Use prime as water conditioner if you have it aval it will neutralize the ammonia and nitrite for up to 48 hours. Do a couple 50% water changes in one day to get the ammonia under control


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I now have 7 gallons of jugs available. Trying to get 10. Just saving the milk jugs my family uses. Hopefully I can do a total of 50 today. But it will be tap and not usual RO. I have tetra aqua safe. I wish I could get out today to get some ammonia neutralizer. I hope the golden girls can hold out until tomorrow.

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Old 04-25-2014, 02:44 AM   #7
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I did 60% water change. Ammonia is at .25 now. Back to normal. I will keep on the excessive monitoring especially after the day of fishie rescue. Everyone's gills are starting to look better. And their top fins are back up rather than tucked.

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Old 04-25-2014, 03:38 AM   #8
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Why are you using RO water? Are you on a well?

Tap water should be fine.

Here is a link for fish in cycling info...
Fish-in Cycling: Step over into the dark side - Aquarium Advice

Prime is a great suggestion to help detoxify the ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrates.

Do not change the filter pads again!!! That is where the beneficial bacteria are growing. When they grow there, they will be able to help process wastes and keep your tank in good balance.

I saw something about a goldfish...a 20G would be a minimum for one fish...
Here is an awesome link for you to see, quite surprising.
Why fancy goldfish require big tanks- visual perspective

So back to your tank...I have Aqueon hang on the back aka HOB filter too, I use two filter pads back to back. This can allow double the bacteria to colonize and keep your water even better, especially for a goldfish. As a side note, you might want to run 2 filters eventually or upgrade the size of your tank/filtration.

Also don't use tap water to rinse your filter pads, the chlorine/chloramines will kill your hard work of growing a beneficial bacteria, aka BB colony. Use the pwc water to rinse the dirty filter and clean treated water, slosh back and forth to fine tune the rinsing of the filter pad.

Also if you do a clean on your tank, you shouldn't do it ALL at once. After the tank gets established, one week you can clean the filter pads, the next week you can vac the substrate, next week clean the glass (only if it needs it). That way you can rotate cleaning and won't loose hardly any BB.

By using these techniques I went from crazy water parameters to a smoothly running tank, I was able to enjoy...actually lots of tanks, lol!!! Hope this helps.
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Old 04-25-2014, 03:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autumnsky View Post
Why are you using RO water? Are you on a well?

Tap water should be fine.

Here is a link for fish in cycling info...
Fish-in Cycling: Step over into the dark side - Aquarium Advice

Prime is a great suggestion to help detoxify the ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrates.

Do not change the filter pads again!!! That is where the beneficial bacteria are growing. When they grow there, they will be able to help process wastes and keep your tank in good balance.

I saw something about a goldfish...a 20G would be a minimum for one fish...
Here is an awesome link for you to see, quite surprising.
Why fancy goldfish require big tanks- visual perspective

So back to your tank...I have Aqueon hang on the back aka HOB filter too, I use two filter pads back to back. This can allow double the bacteria to colonize and keep your water even better, especially for a goldfish. As a side note, you might want to run 2 filters eventually or upgrade the size of your tank/filtration.

Also don't use tap water to rinse your filter pads, the chlorine/chloramines will kill your hard work of growing a beneficial bacteria, aka BB colony. Use the pwc water to rinse the dirty filter and clean treated water, slosh back and forth to fine tune the rinsing of the filter pad.

Also if you do a clean on your tank, you shouldn't do it ALL at once. After the tank gets established, one week you can clean the filter pads, the next week you can vac the substrate, next week clean the glass (only if it needs it). That way you can rotate cleaning and won't loose hardly any BB.

By using these techniques I went from crazy water parameters to a smoothly running tank, I was able to enjoy...actually lots of tanks, lol!!! Hope this helps.
No no no. No gold fish. I call my Gold Dust Mollies the Golden Girls. I have my ladies and then my spotted cory cat. I have three GDM and one CC. Mollies are Blanche, Dorothy and Rose. Cory Cat is Stan. It just made sense and their personalities totally fit. But no goldfish. I have two 10-20G Aqueon filters running 125GPH each. I was using RO because when I started my pH was sky high and RO got it down to 7.0 so I could start adding fish. I am using well water in this 60% water change while I am ill and it has maintained a steady pH 7.6 and .25 for ammonia. I changed the one pad because I feared maybe the carbon wasn't doing its job. And it was pretty bad looking for only a week, but then again I did use a product with tanins (I forgot about that. Explains the dirty look). I am very sick this week and was just doing everything I could think of to help things. But I will leave these alone for a few weeks and then change only one at a time. Also, two pads will not fit in my filter, it is equipped to fit only one. But I run two filters so I shouldn't have an issue. I add bioboost as well. Should I add that to the filters instead of the water?
I am so lost on the last part about pwc, what is that? And the whole last part. Not sure if it is because I am sick or just I truly do not understand. So please bare with me and detail that info for me. Thanks so much.

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Old 04-25-2014, 05:13 AM   #10
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So glad it isn't Goldfish, lol! Sorry about that.

pwc = partial water change

The pwc would normally be done once per week on a cycled tank. 10-33% water out and fresh treated water in.

BUT your tank is in the middle of the fish-in cycle, so you will need to change your water whenever the levels start getting to the danger level/before they get to the danger level, like 2ppm or over ammonia is not healthy for the fish. And .25 is alright.

The part I mentioned in the end of the post was about rotating the normal maintenance of your tank, doing a fish in cycle requires more work for you. Feed a little 2x per day. They act hungry but they shouldn't starve, and yes too much food causes extra poop, but more importantly it adds more wasted/decomposing ammonia enhancing waste, from what they probably didn't eat. Flakes turn to ammonia pretty fast because they disintegrate.

Carbon from your filter pad can clear up the brownish water, and brownish water can look bad, but it is good for the fish. The carbon as far as I know wouldn't have an effect on your pH or anything. It is used as a cleaner for clarifying the water and removing medications, as we discuss the scientific info I am not one who would be best for that. I understand that the small amount of carbon in the filter pad would not be enough to really have an impact on helping rid your tank of ammonia.

The filter pads can be used for more than a year normally, yes I meant to say, the same 1 filter pad I have had all of mine for over 1 year, probably more like going on 2 years. That is where the BB live. And if you throw them away every few weeks, then you will be in a cycling process constantly and never have stable water parameters. And again, only rinse with water that has been treated.

As you mentioned well water, some people don't treat it, but it could have small amounts of heavy metals, so if it were me, I would make sure to treat the water anyway. If Chloramines are used to treat the water you use, they require a double dose of the water treatment, also just make sure the bottle actually says it will treat Chloramines.

When you are feeling better try doing a water test on the RO water, just to make sure it is coming from the source clean. Sometimes the stores don't maintain their equipment well. Occasionally our tap water has .25 ammonia out of the tap ( I can't stand to think why that is...)

Do some more reading about the nitrogen cycle, and "fish in" cycles.

Please get to feeling better. This is a tough thing to deal with when you aren't feeling well. It is late and I am getting tired, so I apologize if there is anything confusing. Just let me know and I can try to clear it up, also someone else may have a better way to explain things.
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