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Old 12-01-2012, 03:59 AM   #1
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Ammonia Poisoning?

Ok so I'm a newbie and am learning as I go..

I have a 16 litre (5 gallon) tank with 4 guppies, 3 neon tetras an a bristlenose suckermouth (which I know now is over crowded..

To make matters worse i didn't know about tank cycling until after I bought the fish.

I've had them for about a week now doing 1-2, 40% water changes daily and adding water conditioner to try to keep the ammonia and nitrate levels down while cycling.

We also had a massive storm 2 days ago where the power was out for 22 hours. Although I did manage to transport them to a friends house to keep the filter working as I know the tank is cycling AND there's a large bio load so didn't want to risk the filter not being on for that long.

They all seemed fine until this morning where they're fins are red an they are lethargic an are either on the top gulping for air or stationary on the bottom.

I have an air stone, submersible filter and thermometer to help keep oxygen an temp stable.

This morning I did a 50% water change and did an emergency dose of Prime Solution to turn ammonia and nitrate non toxic.

It seemed to help a little but they still look stationary (not at top gulping anymore though).

Is there anything else I can do to help my fish live and recover or have I unknowingly given them the death sentence?

I don't have a test kit but they clearly have ammonia poisoning..
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Old 12-01-2012, 01:20 PM   #2
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You really need a test kit it will help you see what's wrong and correct it.
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Old 12-01-2012, 01:42 PM   #3
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I would nix the pleco or get a larger tank 20 or above. Plecos are poop machines. A 10 gallon your could get for about 12-20 bucks. Walmart has them cheap. I personally would get a 20 gallon or larger. There are great sales going on now. If you nix the pleco you could comfortably fit all those fish in a 10 gallon.

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Old 12-01-2012, 04:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oceangirl
I would nix the pleco or get a larger tank 20 or above. Plecos are poop machines. A 10 gallon your could get for about 12-20 bucks. Walmart has them cheap. I personally would get a 20 gallon or larger. There are great sales going on now. If you nix the pleco you could comfortably fit all those fish in a 10 gallon.

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Religious water changes is all you can do unless you rehome some fish. Use your prime everytime. Something you could also do is get a 10g tub if you have one (like Rubbermaid) and use your filter on it for short term purposes.
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Old 12-02-2012, 05:33 AM   #5
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Upgraded to a second hand 34 gallon tank as an early Xmas present. Came with all the old gravel and filters so cycle for this tank shouldn't tank so long right?

The filters were still running with a dollar in the tank when we picked it up so the bacteria should have lived..

Will all the fish I currently have be sufficient to cycle this tank?

When should I be able to add more given I'm using old filters and gravel?

What sort of tropical fish live well with guppies and tetras? Angle fish?
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:07 AM   #6
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Angelfish aren't a great idea with guppies they get really big and could eventually eat them.
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atrimmer View Post
Upgraded to a second hand 34 gallon tank as an early Xmas present. Came with all the old gravel and filters so cycle for this tank shouldn't tank so long right?
The filters were still running with a dollar in the tank when we picked it up so the bacteria should have lived..
Upgrading the tank was a great first step Did the filter media stay wet? What do you mean with a 'dollar' in the tank? The bacteria would need to stay fed with some sort of ammonia source to stay viable. Do you know what type of filter it is?

Will all the fish I currently have be sufficient to cycle this tank?
Yes

When should I be able to add more given I'm using old filters and gravel?
You need to get a good liquid test kit (API Master). It's the only way to know what's going on in the tank. Just FYI too most dechlorinators only toxify ammonia and nitrite up to a certain point (usually 1 ppm), so if either of those is at higher levels the dechlorinator alone won't do much to protect the fish. Water changes are your only answer to bringing toxic levels down. Give these links a read: http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articles/articles/124/2/-I-just-learned-about-cycling-but-I-already-have-fish-What-now/Page2.html
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What sort of tropical fish live well with guppies and tetras? Angle fish? Some angels can be a bit aggressive toward smaller fish like Neons. Once the tank is cycled and stable the first thing I'd do is increase your neon tetra school as they do better in higher numbers; I'd get 3-5 more. Most plecos need driftwood to munch on to aid their digestion so be sure you have some available. The pleco has a high bioload so you won't be able to add too much more but you could do a small centerpiece fish like a dwarf gourami and another shoal of schooling fish, something like 6-8 harlequin rasbora or rummynose tetra.
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