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Old 01-26-2012, 10:30 AM   #1
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Returning to Fish Keeping

Hi,
I used to keep a tropical tank years ago and never had any problems. Now with two children we have just set up a new 70l tank which is experiencing big Ammonia problems
I came across this site when I googled the problem and was so impressed with the helpful advice that I decided to join up.
I have been doing daily water changes for the last three days but the levels do not seem to be reducing. The fish don't seem to be showing any obvious signs of distress but they can't be happy.
Sadly, I got rid of all my old books about 15 years ago when I last kept fish and I don't remember having any such problems back then.
I'm now going to sit and read as much as I can to get a stable, healthy tank.
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:42 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum.

What are your readings for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate? What test kit?

How often are you doing water changes?

What fish do you have in this tank and did you plop them in immediately after setting up the tank?

Have you used any "starters" or other chemicals, other than a dechlorinator, in this tank?
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75: blood parrots, featherfin cat, emperor tetras, turquoise rainbowfish, BN plecos, japanese trapdoor; 46: WCMM, gold inca snails, ghost, bamboo & amano shrimp, kuhli loaches, rummynose & ember tetras, endlers, platies, flame gourami, guppies; 16: pygmy, peppered, loxozonus corys, otos, assassins, RCS ... ~ Research PRIOR to purchase.... ~
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:54 AM   #3
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Hi,
I have a 70l fresh water tank with 4 black tetra, 5 harlequin, 5 rosy barb and 2 clown loach, also plants. I set the tank up at the begining of November 2011 and let it cycle for 8 days before adding 3 black tetra and 3 harlequin. The tests all appeared to be going ok (see more below) but the fish started to die.
A friend suggested testing for ammonia as my kit only tested for nitrite and nitrate. The tests have always shown as 4.0. It settled and I added more fish, no problems. Added more fish to the current stock level and the levels have been 4.0 again and no matter what I do, it's not going down.
I'm using API Stress Coat and API Stress Zyme with each water change and when I add new fish. I've been using Tetra Test 6 in 1 kit which tests for ph, kh, gh, No2, No3 and Cl2. Also API Ammonia two part test kit.
I have been changing 75% water and out of desperation today I cleaned the filters and suctioned the gravel - I now realise this is not a good thing to do.
The fish seem ok but they can't be with ammonia at 4.0 surely?
Help!!
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Old 01-26-2012, 11:46 AM   #4
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Part of your problem is that this tank is grossly overstocked. The clown loaches need a much larger tank, over 75 gallons at least.

You are correct that the 4.0 ammonia reading is harmful to the fish. You are most definitely correct in that you shouldn't clean your filter media, other than to rinse off in used tank water when it gets gunky.

If this were my tank, I'd rehome the loaches immediately, and then rehome the black tetras (I assume these are black skirt tetras), and the barbs and restock around the harlequins.
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75: blood parrots, featherfin cat, emperor tetras, turquoise rainbowfish, BN plecos, japanese trapdoor; 46: WCMM, gold inca snails, ghost, bamboo & amano shrimp, kuhli loaches, rummynose & ember tetras, endlers, platies, flame gourami, guppies; 16: pygmy, peppered, loxozonus corys, otos, assassins, RCS ... ~ Research PRIOR to purchase.... ~
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Old 01-26-2012, 11:58 AM   #5
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Oh dear, I've made a bit of a mess then! A larger tank it must be! My old tank years ago was probably nearer 75 gallons so I think I have got carried away. Silly me. Thanks for your advice LyndaB
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Old 01-27-2012, 04:44 PM   #6
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Welcome to AA!
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Please don't forget about the toxins in some corals (like zoas and palythoas)
180 gallon reef announcement!:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMgmb124jrs&t=35s
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