Yanyan Yanyan
  • Just popping in
  • Just popping in
  • Joined: 12/2 10:01
  • Group: Registered Users
  • Posts: 4
  • Posted on: 12/2 10:52
Ammonia and nitrate problems #1
Hiya
I'm a newbie fish owner, having got a Fluval roma 125 with the u3 filter system over xmas. I set it up on 6th Jan with just plants, filter and air bubble machine, then added 6 neon tetras and a male gourami on 14th, 3 dwarf female gouramis and 3 mollies on 22nd, 2 swordtails on 23rd, and 3 albino corydoras plus a shrimp on 8th Feb, to try and help with ongoing issues! I now know I added the fish too fast at the start, relying on the pet shop staff for advice 🙄

I was advised by the pet shop on 26th Jan to use antibiotics as it seemed like I'd bought infected dwarf gouramis on 22nd, (one had to be put down a week after purchase, after hiding for days, then gasping at top of tank, another has what they said looked like a tumor) so added Interpret anti internal bacteria to the tank on 26th and 30th Jan as per instructions.

I thought the tank was cycled around mid Jan, but on 4th Feb discovered a 0.5ppm ammonia reading. But that was the first ammonia test I did, so am now not so sure. I started doing 30% water changes every couple of days to reduce the ammonia, which lowered the ammonia to .10 by 10th Feb, but it sent the previously relatively stable (but slightly high between .10 to .30ppm) nitrates into 30-50ppm. I tested the tap water and found it to be 50ppm nitrate, so for a few days haven't done a water change. The nitrate is still high at .35ppm, and the ammonia is now back up at .50ppm again. None of which is great and the gouramis just don't seem happy. They spend a lot of time lazing around, especially lower in the tank, they're not as shiny, their fins are starting to look raggedy, their eyes dull. The Tetras and Mollies seem unphased, the swordtails only slightly less active than normal, and one of the corydoras, I've checked several times to see if he moves at all (he has very short bursts of energy, then stops for really long rests), while the other 2 corydoas seem fine.

Bottled water really isn't a viable option, since I don't drive, and 40 litres of water several miles on a bike each week just isn't possible!!

I've looked into pozzani nitrate filters (does anyone have experience of these?) and have a load more plants arriving today to try and lower the nitrates. I vacuum the gravel weekly and keep the tank as clean as I can, and all food given to the fish, once daily, is eaten within about 3 minutes. I wash the filter monthly in removed tank water. But I have run out of ideas on how to get both the ammonia AND the nitrates down, permanently. I'm really hoping someone here can advise me!

Will the fish recover from whatever harm this toxic water is doing them? 😥

All the other readings are fine, the ph is a fairly consistent 7.2, chlorine 0, temp 77 degrees.
Thank you so much
Yan

Attach file:



jpg  22872_5e43d8b17182f.jpg (217.41 KB)
22872_5e43d8b17182f.jpg 1280X960 px
fcmf fcmf
  • Coldwater Adviser
  • Coldwater Adviser
  • Joined: 17/10/2014 12:20
  • From -
  • Group: Registered Users Basic Membership Advisers
  • Posts: 730
  • Posted on: 12/2 16:09
Re: Ammonia and nitrate problems #2
Ammonia and nitrite both need to be at 0, as exposure to anything above that causes all sorts of health problems and often resulting in death. This article https://www.fishkeeping.co.uk/articles ... ammonia-nitrite-spike.htm contains the advice you need. Nitrates are less toxic but information on them is here https://www.fishkeeping.co.uk/articles ... rates-in-the-aquarium.htm

If you don't already have a nitrite test, then do be sure to get one ASAP - the fish-in cycle that you're doing is likely to take 6-8 weeks at least, and you'll need to do this and the ammonia test at least daily during this time while going through this process.
Yanyan Yanyan
  • Just popping in
  • Just popping in
  • Joined: 12/2 10:01
  • Group: Registered Users
  • Posts: 4
  • Posted on: 12/2 16:45
Re: Ammonia and nitrate problems #3
Hiya
Thanks for the info. I found a dead shrimp, that was only put in on Saturday, and took it out today...that and the antibiotics could have caused the ammonia to rise again.

The nitrites have been at zero since 24th Jan. Its the nitrates, which come out of my tap/faucet at .50ppm that are worrying. The article you linked suggests a gizmo like the pozzani nitrate filter I've looked into. If anyone has tried one of these, or can suggest a good uk brand of nitrate filtration, I'd love to hear about it.

I put several new plants in today, and wil keep doing partial water changes, as this does help reduce ammonia, but I feel the poor fish are caught between the devil and the deep blue sea with my whole water supply being poisonous to them.
Thanks again
Yan
fcmf fcmf
  • Coldwater Adviser
  • Coldwater Adviser
  • Joined: 17/10/2014 12:20
  • From -
  • Group: Registered Users Basic Membership Advisers
  • Posts: 730
  • Posted on: 12/2 17:10
Re: Ammonia and nitrate problems #4
A few more points on the basis of your comments and re-reading your original post:
* shrimps and snails tend not to survive any medication containing copper and are very sensitive to ammonia presence [running some carbon through the filter ought to ensure that any remaining traces of medication are removed];
* that's very reassuring about the nitrite situation;
* what test kit are you using? [It might help interpret the results better and .v. the nitrates level if we know which one it is but, generally, ammonia and nitrite both need to be at 0.]
* small point: anti- internal bacteria treatment is not an antibiotic; in the UK, antibiotics for fish are only obtainable via vet prescription.
fcmf fcmf
  • Coldwater Adviser
  • Coldwater Adviser
  • Joined: 17/10/2014 12:20
  • From -
  • Group: Registered Users Basic Membership Advisers
  • Posts: 730
  • Posted on: 12/2 17:11
Re: Ammonia and nitrate problems #5
A few more points on the basis of your comments and re-reading your original post:
* shrimps and snails tend not to survive any medication containing copper and are very sensitive to ammonia presence [running some carbon through the filter ought to ensure that any remaining traces of medication are removed];
* that's very reassuring about the nitrite situation;
* what test kit are you using? [It might help interpret the results better and .v. the nitrates level if we know which one it is but, generally, ammonia and nitrite both need to be at 0.]
* small point: anti- internal bacteria treatment is not an antibiotic; in the UK, antibiotics for fish are only obtainable via vet prescription.

This thread might be helpful to you: https://www.fishkeeping.co.uk/modules/ ... d=346033&keywords=pozzani
Yanyan Yanyan
  • Just popping in
  • Just popping in
  • Joined: 12/2 10:01
  • Group: Registered Users
  • Posts: 4
  • Posted on: 12/2 17:39
Re: Ammonia and nitrate problems #6
The folk at the pet shop saw all my readings, including that I'd had antibacterial medication (oops, not antibiotics), and said shrimps and corydoras would help remedy the situation 😥 Guess, at the end of the day, their job is sales, but still...

I've been using JBL easy test strips, but have, on occasion, double checked the readings with Swiss labs aquarium test strips, and both have given the same results so I'm fairly confident they're correct. Here's hoping that confidence isn't misplaced.

I've just ordered some API Nitrazorb and aquarium salt as a short term fix. It appears it doesn't work for everyone, and Tetra Nitrate Minus didn't appear to have any effect for me, but will see if it can at least reduce the nasties until I find out more about removing nitrates at source, before they distress the fish.

Thanks again for the info. 😀
Yan
Yanyan Yanyan
  • Just popping in
  • Just popping in
  • Joined: 12/2 10:01
  • Group: Registered Users
  • Posts: 4
  • Posted on: 12/2 18:05
Re: Ammonia and nitrate problems #7
Looks like pozzani may actually be a fix, thank you for the link! The only information I could find on it, was on its own website, so it's very reassuring to read of its success here!
Thanks again from me, and the fish! 😀😀
Yan