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Old 01-24-2003, 06:43 PM   #1
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Help, I have high ammonia levels and low PH

I have had my 55 gallon aquarium for a little over a year now. I have 3 zebra danios, 2 algae eaters, a loach, 2 striped catfish, 1 blue neon tetra, and 2 goldfish. I had more neon tetras, but the goldfish ate them. I know that normally goldfish do not belong in my tank, but they have done fine for six months now. I have an Aqua Tech filter. I keep the temp around 80 F. Up until recently, all of my chemical tests had been normal. But recently, the ammonia test starting showing positive and the PH is at about 6. Previously, my PH had usually been high (around 8), but the fish seem to be doing fine. I haven't done anything different to cause this change. The fish store where I buy my fish at recommended that I clean my tank once a month and add some freshwater aquarium salt, some ich treatment and Nova aqua conditioner and fish protecter at each cleaning. I have been doing this for probably about six months now and have had no problems before, but now I have a high level of ammonia and my PH has dropped from its normal high of 8 to a low 6. I added some zeolite granules to reduce the ammonia and put some proper PH in the water, but I am still not showing any change. The PH went up for a couple of days and went back down. The ammonia level lowered, but still has not disappeared completely. Does anyone have any suggestions for me before I lose my fish? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 01-26-2003, 12:19 AM   #2
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What type of biological filtration do you have? Also, it is possible that some of the chemicals you added could have killed some of your beneficial bacteria (definitely if any of these products carried an antibiotic). Your tank doesn't sound overstocked. You should really never have an ammonia spike unless something is drastically wrong, or your tank is grossly overstocked.

First, I would take a water sample to a LFS or a friend and make sure they get the same reading. It could be that your test kit is just bad. If your ammonia really is high, I would start performing large, daily water changes - probably at least 20% of your tank volume per day. That will bring your ammonia down and give your biological filter time to recover. Also, I would stop adding all chemicals to the tank. Let the water changes reduce your ammonia and allow your biological filter to recover.
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Old 01-26-2003, 06:58 AM   #3
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I had an aqua tech filter. I replaced it yesterday with a Penguin bio-wheel power filter. I tool a sample of my water to a LFS and they got the same results. I have added aquapure ammonia reducer to the filter. Would this continue to give a false positive for ammonia?
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ammonia, high ammonia, level, low ph

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