paula79 paula79
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  • Posted on: 15/11/2012 20:58
Emergency ! Ammonia problem. Help Please #1
Please can someone help me with my tank.

I've had a 65 litre tank for over a year without any problems and now for some reason I have a problem with ammonia. I haven't changed anything recently and don't know how this could have happened.

I noticed one of the tetras was poorly last friday tested the water. The ammonia was 1.5mg/l. I did a 30% water change as per the instructions but the ammonia didn't change. I purchased ammolock on Sunday and have been using it but it hasn't made a difference. On Tuesday I did a 5% water change as per advice I received. I tested the water last night, it was still the same and therefore did another 5% water change. Tonight I've checked it again and it still hasn't changed.

I don't know what else to do and can't bare the thought of the fish being in pain....the Tetra died. Should I keep changing the water ?

Please can someone help and advise what to do next. I've heard mixed reviews about the ammolock so don't whether I should be using it.

The PH is 6.4. I know this is low but I was told not to change it until the ammonia problem has been resolved. the tank is stocked with 5 x tetra, 1 x platy and 2 x panda cories

I have been adding an anti bacterial treatment to the tank since the tetra was poorly, it's turned the water green. Don't know if this would have an effect on the reading

Would appreciate any help, Thank you
Fishlady Fishlady
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  • Posted on: 15/11/2012 21:17
Re: Emergency ! Ammonia problem. Help Please #2
Hi

The first thing to do is get the ammonia level down by partial water changes. That may raise pH a bit, but if you're removing the ammonia by changing water that's OK to do.

Start by changing 50% of the water for fresh water at the same temperature as the tank, treated with your usual dechlorinator. That should take the ammonia reading down from 1.5 to 0.75 which will be much better, but not enough. First thing tomorrow change another 50% in the same manner and then 25% in the evening. By then you should be down to just over 0.25 ppm. From then onwards, follow this guide to dealing with emergency ammonia/nitrite spikes until the cycle has re-established. Monitor nitrite daily as well as ammonia as a nitrite spike often follows a few days after an ammonia spike.

Beyond that, we need to work out why this happened so if you can post back with the following info it will help:

How often do you do a partial water change and how much each time?
Do you use dechlorinator on every water change?
Does your dechlorinator also treat for chloramines?
How often do you clean your filter and media?
When was this last done and how was it done?
Has the filter been turned off for any reason recently?
Is it possible the fish have been overfed?
Is it possible a fish has died somewhere in the tank?
paula79 paula79
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  • Posted on: 15/11/2012 21:33
Re: Emergency ! Ammonia problem. Help Please #3
Thank you so much for your help.

Here are the answers to your questions...

I do a 10% change every 1 to 2 weeks
Yes I use pets at home tap safe treatment every water change but I don't know if it treats for chloramines
I clean the filter pads every water change in some of the tank water. It was last done on Friday.
I only turn the filter of to do a water change and turn back on straight away
I did have a fish die last wk before I discovered the problem but it was removed as soon as I spotted it. I check them every day.
I feed them every day. I did go away for a weekend and put some weekend long food in for them but they didn't eat it. I took it out when I got back though. Could this have caused the problem ?

I there something I'm doing wrong ?
Fishlady Fishlady
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  • Posted on: 15/11/2012 21:49
Re: Emergency ! Ammonia problem. Help Please #4
Hi

The bottle label should say if the water conditioner treats for chloramines.

You probably need to increase the water changes to 25% every week once things are back to normal - that's typical for most tanks to keep everything in order.

The dead fish could have contributed to a the problem, but most likely culprit is the holiday food block. Quite a lot can dissolve into the water where it decays and produces ammonia to a higher level than the filter can deal with.

Do you ever clean the gravel by digging the end of the syphon into it and sucking out the dirt that accumulates? If not, that may also be a factor and it would be a good idea to start doing that regularly. Clean about one third at each water change in rotation.

Hopefully with these measures your tank will soon be back to normal, but if you have any questions, please ask. FX for your fish
paula79 paula79
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  • Posted on: 15/11/2012 21:52
Re: Emergency ! Ammonia problem. Help Please #5
Thanks again for your help !
paula79 paula79
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  • Posted on: 15/11/2012 21:54
Re: Emergency ! Ammonia problem. Help Please #6
I'll check the bottle and if not will purchase one that removes chloramines.

Should I carry on using the ammolock ?
Fishlady Fishlady
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  • Posted on: 15/11/2012 23:43
Re: Emergency ! Ammonia problem. Help Please #7
Hi

Yes you can use the Ammolock to help them while ammonia is present.