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 HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof

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sallywally
Private First Class
Private First Class


Posts : 59
Location : Columbus, OH
Favorite Fish: : Tons - freshwater, no cichlids or salt yet. I have these tanks: 30 gal - tetras (neon, bloodfin, diamond, one Bosemani rainbow female
20 gal high - 6 choprae danio, cycling, mostly done
10 gal quarantine - 1 turquoise, 1 macie and 2 dwarf Rainbows, 3 black kuhli loarches quarantine from a tank that had gotten sick; will go into my community tetra tank and the 20 high when all is confirmed to be ok.
Have set up my 20 gal long for an oranda goldfish; she'd be in there now if the store hadn't dropped her and now we don't know if she'll make it....look to put two orandas in my 40 breeder when I get it set up!
Also looking at getting a 27 gal cube and stand on sale and Petsmart but don't know where I'd put it!

HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof Empty
PostSubject: HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof   HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof Icon_minitime12/31/2012, 3:44 am

and nothing seems to help - actually, everything I do seems make things worse.

40 gal. breeder tank, 1 oranda goldfish, 11 white cloud mountain minnows
Eheim 2215 filter, rated to 110 gal.

My goldfish, Penelope, was moving slowly, not her usual self.

I fed her some peas in case she was constipated; she pooped fine

I have done water changes this week - one about 6 gal; one about 8 gal; she didn't improve

So today I checked the ammonia level and it was about 6, very scary. So I did about a 12 gal change;

I had to go out tonight to get water conditioner - I thought my bottle of Stress Zyme was Stress Coat and I only had a couple of capfuls of the Stress Coat left; I was afraid I'd been using the Zyme thinking it was the water conditioner and got things screwed up. So I bought a couple of small bottles of Stress Coat. Then I forgot them and left them in my cart.

On the way home, I realized I had some Prime, so when I got back I used that as near as I could tell, but I think the directions are really weird and it seems like you can only use a teeny amount that is very hard to determine via the lines on the cap, so I don't know if I got that right.

Then I cleaned out the Eheim, never an easy task! The water in the canister was filthy! I rinsed out the sponge on the intake of the filter, and in the canister the media and the sponge, then put some good filter stuff in the canister on top of it; right now I don't remember what it's called but it's ridiculously expensive. Got the filter going again.

Tested ammonia: 6
Put some Ammo Lock in it. An hour later tested: 6
I took out about 6-8 gallons and replaced it with the same amount from my 55 gal community tank which tests 0 ammonia. Tested: 6

Poor Penelope is breathing very quickly and not moving around the tank at all. She was better before I did all this stuff this evening.

I don't know of anything else I can do. I have a 20 long which was her old tank; it has 12 neon tetra in it. I tested it for ammonia: 6.

I thought of putting Penelope in the community tank, but she is WAY bigger than any of the fish in there. I think it would be very disruptive for all concerned.

I'll check the other values in Penelope's tank.

I wonder if I lost my cycle somewhere in the past week or so.

I don't know what to do now and it's 4:45 am. I've been on this for about 8 hours now.

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sallywally
Private First Class
Private First Class


Posts : 59
Location : Columbus, OH
Favorite Fish: : Tons - freshwater, no cichlids or salt yet. I have these tanks: 30 gal - tetras (neon, bloodfin, diamond, one Bosemani rainbow female
20 gal high - 6 choprae danio, cycling, mostly done
10 gal quarantine - 1 turquoise, 1 macie and 2 dwarf Rainbows, 3 black kuhli loarches quarantine from a tank that had gotten sick; will go into my community tetra tank and the 20 high when all is confirmed to be ok.
Have set up my 20 gal long for an oranda goldfish; she'd be in there now if the store hadn't dropped her and now we don't know if she'll make it....look to put two orandas in my 40 breeder when I get it set up!
Also looking at getting a 27 gal cube and stand on sale and Petsmart but don't know where I'd put it!

HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof Empty
PostSubject: water parameters   HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof Icon_minitime12/31/2012, 4:21 am

So I have 0 nitrite and about 2.5 nitrate. pH is about 6.7, which is low.

Then the 6 ammonia.

If I have no nitrites but do have nitrates, there must be some level of cycle occurring, but then the high ammonia obviously isn't being eaten by the bacteria.

Should I add more cycling stuff?

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Aspencer
Private First Class
Private First Class
Aspencer

Posts : 55
Location : Bend Oregon
Favorite Fish: : Hap sf Crossbar Yala Swamp

HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof Empty
PostSubject: Re: HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof   HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof Icon_minitime12/31/2012, 8:04 am

It does not appear your tank is cycled yet for what I read.

To keep ammonia levels under control, you need to do water changes larger than you have been doing...here is the math...

If you ammonia is at 6, a 50% water change will reduce it to 3...

My advice is to do two 50% changes immediately (I do a 40% every 5th day). That will get it down, test in a few hours and then do more changes until you get it under control...your ph is low so your ammonia is not quite as toxic...

Keep testing and when over .25 ppm (I think that is the right number) do a water change...eventually your tank will get cycled.
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sallywally
Private First Class
Private First Class


Posts : 59
Location : Columbus, OH
Favorite Fish: : Tons - freshwater, no cichlids or salt yet. I have these tanks: 30 gal - tetras (neon, bloodfin, diamond, one Bosemani rainbow female
20 gal high - 6 choprae danio, cycling, mostly done
10 gal quarantine - 1 turquoise, 1 macie and 2 dwarf Rainbows, 3 black kuhli loarches quarantine from a tank that had gotten sick; will go into my community tetra tank and the 20 high when all is confirmed to be ok.
Have set up my 20 gal long for an oranda goldfish; she'd be in there now if the store hadn't dropped her and now we don't know if she'll make it....look to put two orandas in my 40 breeder when I get it set up!
Also looking at getting a 27 gal cube and stand on sale and Petsmart but don't know where I'd put it!

HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof Empty
PostSubject: Re: HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof   HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof Icon_minitime12/31/2012, 9:04 am

OK, thanks. I'll go ahead and do that.

I'm going to get some of that Dr. Tim's refrigerated good bacteria stuff, and see if my local Petsmart has any of their "good" water that I can use in replacing the water I take out.

When you say two 50% water changes, what's the time frame for that?

I hate to be cycling with my dear goldfish. She has been breathing heavily all night. This really bad stuff only started after I did water changes.

Have you used Seachem Prime? Their dosing instructions really confuse me and I'm afraid of using too much, but apparently for a 20 gal. (50%) water change I would only use about 1/3 of a capful, a really tiny amount since the cap is very little.
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sallywally
Private First Class
Private First Class


Posts : 59
Location : Columbus, OH
Favorite Fish: : Tons - freshwater, no cichlids or salt yet. I have these tanks: 30 gal - tetras (neon, bloodfin, diamond, one Bosemani rainbow female
20 gal high - 6 choprae danio, cycling, mostly done
10 gal quarantine - 1 turquoise, 1 macie and 2 dwarf Rainbows, 3 black kuhli loarches quarantine from a tank that had gotten sick; will go into my community tetra tank and the 20 high when all is confirmed to be ok.
Have set up my 20 gal long for an oranda goldfish; she'd be in there now if the store hadn't dropped her and now we don't know if she'll make it....look to put two orandas in my 40 breeder when I get it set up!
Also looking at getting a 27 gal cube and stand on sale and Petsmart but don't know where I'd put it!

HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof Empty
PostSubject: Re: HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof   HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof Icon_minitime12/31/2012, 9:06 am

An other question: Do you do the 40% changes every 5th day on a regular basis?
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Aspencer
Private First Class
Private First Class
Aspencer

Posts : 55
Location : Bend Oregon
Favorite Fish: : Hap sf Crossbar Yala Swamp

HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof Empty
PostSubject: Re: HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof   HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof Icon_minitime12/31/2012, 11:43 am

Yes, I tested the water and found that to keep to keep my NitrAte level I wanted, that was the schedule. If I did it once a week, my levels, over time would increase to over 20 ppm. They key is testing and see how you levels increase over time.

I just use regular tap water but here, in Central Oregon, water is pure so no need to use Prime.

Only good things happen when you do a water change unless you have bad water...test your water after letting it sit out for a day.
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sallywally
Private First Class
Private First Class


Posts : 59
Location : Columbus, OH
Favorite Fish: : Tons - freshwater, no cichlids or salt yet. I have these tanks: 30 gal - tetras (neon, bloodfin, diamond, one Bosemani rainbow female
20 gal high - 6 choprae danio, cycling, mostly done
10 gal quarantine - 1 turquoise, 1 macie and 2 dwarf Rainbows, 3 black kuhli loarches quarantine from a tank that had gotten sick; will go into my community tetra tank and the 20 high when all is confirmed to be ok.
Have set up my 20 gal long for an oranda goldfish; she'd be in there now if the store hadn't dropped her and now we don't know if she'll make it....look to put two orandas in my 40 breeder when I get it set up!
Also looking at getting a 27 gal cube and stand on sale and Petsmart but don't know where I'd put it!

HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof Empty
PostSubject: Re: HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof   HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof Icon_minitime12/31/2012, 4:57 pm

So to recap:
40 gal. breeder tank, 1 oranda goldfish, 11 white cloud mountain minnows
Eheim 2215 filter, rated to 110 gal.

My goldfish, Penelope, was moving slowly, not her usual self.

I fed her some peas in case she was constipated; she pooped fine

Water changes this week - 6 gal; 8 gal; she didn't improve - ammonia level 6
so a 12 gal change;

Today a 30 % change, then immediately afterward a 20%; ammonia 4.

She feels much better, moving around more but is still breathing quickly.

No doubt this is not meaningful, but in the past 4-5 days I've changed a total of 49 gallons in my 40 gal tank without major reduction in ammonia.

Could it be the sand? I can't get every single bit of detritus up; could that have become toxic in the sand?
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Aspencer
Private First Class
Private First Class
Aspencer

Posts : 55
Location : Bend Oregon
Favorite Fish: : Hap sf Crossbar Yala Swamp

HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof Empty
PostSubject: Re: HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof   HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof Icon_minitime12/31/2012, 7:35 pm

Today you did a 30% and then a 20% PWC which is 2 water changes...If Ammonia was at 6, then your fist water change got your ammonia to 4.2 and then your second water change of 20% got your ammonia to 3.4 in theory...your measured 4.

If you did one water change, one water change less stress, your ammonia reading would be 3...

A bigger water change is better than two small water changes.

I would do a 50% back to back and get it down to 1.5 but that should be lower in real life...anything over .25 is toxic to fish.
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sallywally
Private First Class
Private First Class


Posts : 59
Location : Columbus, OH
Favorite Fish: : Tons - freshwater, no cichlids or salt yet. I have these tanks: 30 gal - tetras (neon, bloodfin, diamond, one Bosemani rainbow female
20 gal high - 6 choprae danio, cycling, mostly done
10 gal quarantine - 1 turquoise, 1 macie and 2 dwarf Rainbows, 3 black kuhli loarches quarantine from a tank that had gotten sick; will go into my community tetra tank and the 20 high when all is confirmed to be ok.
Have set up my 20 gal long for an oranda goldfish; she'd be in there now if the store hadn't dropped her and now we don't know if she'll make it....look to put two orandas in my 40 breeder when I get it set up!
Also looking at getting a 27 gal cube and stand on sale and Petsmart but don't know where I'd put it!

HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof Empty
PostSubject: Re: HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof   HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof Icon_minitime12/31/2012, 8:30 pm

OK, so you mean a 50%, with 50% water replacing the old, then an immediate 2nd 50% change? Or 50% tonight yet and another 50% like tomorrow morning?
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Aspencer
Private First Class
Private First Class
Aspencer

Posts : 55
Location : Bend Oregon
Favorite Fish: : Hap sf Crossbar Yala Swamp

HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof Empty
PostSubject: Re: HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof   HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof Icon_minitime12/31/2012, 9:47 pm

I think your ammonia is high. Your goal is to get ammonia below .25 ppm...test with an accurate test kit like API.

My fish do not mind a water change at all so if it were my tank, I would do two tonight and test....do more tomorrow to get the level low...and then when Ammonia gets over .25. do a water change...maybe others will chime in.
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sallywally
Private First Class
Private First Class


Posts : 59
Location : Columbus, OH
Favorite Fish: : Tons - freshwater, no cichlids or salt yet. I have these tanks: 30 gal - tetras (neon, bloodfin, diamond, one Bosemani rainbow female
20 gal high - 6 choprae danio, cycling, mostly done
10 gal quarantine - 1 turquoise, 1 macie and 2 dwarf Rainbows, 3 black kuhli loarches quarantine from a tank that had gotten sick; will go into my community tetra tank and the 20 high when all is confirmed to be ok.
Have set up my 20 gal long for an oranda goldfish; she'd be in there now if the store hadn't dropped her and now we don't know if she'll make it....look to put two orandas in my 40 breeder when I get it set up!
Also looking at getting a 27 gal cube and stand on sale and Petsmart but don't know where I'd put it!

HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof Empty
PostSubject: Re: HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof   HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof Icon_minitime12/31/2012, 10:20 pm

I'm using the API Master Test Kit. I just did a 50% change in my 20 long, where I have 12 neon tetras who have been there for about a month and all alive.

Right after the 50% water change, the ammonia is 6, just as it was before the change. I don't get it. There was no time for a bunch of new ammonia to be created. Why didn't it go down to 3?

I can do another 50% change on it right now.

Guess this will be another all-nighter after last night!

You must think I'm a blithering idiot!
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sallywally
Private First Class
Private First Class


Posts : 59
Location : Columbus, OH
Favorite Fish: : Tons - freshwater, no cichlids or salt yet. I have these tanks: 30 gal - tetras (neon, bloodfin, diamond, one Bosemani rainbow female
20 gal high - 6 choprae danio, cycling, mostly done
10 gal quarantine - 1 turquoise, 1 macie and 2 dwarf Rainbows, 3 black kuhli loarches quarantine from a tank that had gotten sick; will go into my community tetra tank and the 20 high when all is confirmed to be ok.
Have set up my 20 gal long for an oranda goldfish; she'd be in there now if the store hadn't dropped her and now we don't know if she'll make it....look to put two orandas in my 40 breeder when I get it set up!
Also looking at getting a 27 gal cube and stand on sale and Petsmart but don't know where I'd put it!

HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof Empty
PostSubject: Re: HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof   HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof Icon_minitime12/31/2012, 10:22 pm

Why two back to back 50% changes instead of one 90% change?
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sallywally
Private First Class
Private First Class


Posts : 59
Location : Columbus, OH
Favorite Fish: : Tons - freshwater, no cichlids or salt yet. I have these tanks: 30 gal - tetras (neon, bloodfin, diamond, one Bosemani rainbow female
20 gal high - 6 choprae danio, cycling, mostly done
10 gal quarantine - 1 turquoise, 1 macie and 2 dwarf Rainbows, 3 black kuhli loarches quarantine from a tank that had gotten sick; will go into my community tetra tank and the 20 high when all is confirmed to be ok.
Have set up my 20 gal long for an oranda goldfish; she'd be in there now if the store hadn't dropped her and now we don't know if she'll make it....look to put two orandas in my 40 breeder when I get it set up!
Also looking at getting a 27 gal cube and stand on sale and Petsmart but don't know where I'd put it!

HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof Empty
PostSubject: Re: HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof   HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof Icon_minitime12/31/2012, 10:25 pm

Another question: some people want no water changes at all when cycling. I know online people have big water changes during cycling but my understanding was that the cycle required some buildup of ammonia to begin (not as high as mine).
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sallywally
Private First Class
Private First Class


Posts : 59
Location : Columbus, OH
Favorite Fish: : Tons - freshwater, no cichlids or salt yet. I have these tanks: 30 gal - tetras (neon, bloodfin, diamond, one Bosemani rainbow female
20 gal high - 6 choprae danio, cycling, mostly done
10 gal quarantine - 1 turquoise, 1 macie and 2 dwarf Rainbows, 3 black kuhli loarches quarantine from a tank that had gotten sick; will go into my community tetra tank and the 20 high when all is confirmed to be ok.
Have set up my 20 gal long for an oranda goldfish; she'd be in there now if the store hadn't dropped her and now we don't know if she'll make it....look to put two orandas in my 40 breeder when I get it set up!
Also looking at getting a 27 gal cube and stand on sale and Petsmart but don't know where I'd put it!

HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof Empty
PostSubject: Re: HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof   HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof Icon_minitime12/31/2012, 10:40 pm

Here are the readings for the 40 breeder on Dec. 16, two weeks ago.

pH 7.6 (on regular and high-pH values)
Nitrates 10 ppm
Nitrites 0
Ammonia 0.75 ppm

I've done several water changes since then, and the only increase in Penelope's discomfort was when I cleaned out the Eheim canister filter. It was an immediate and noticeable difference, so I wonder if I screwed something up when I did that that caused the spike in ammonia.

Not that the values were not high at that time.
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sallywally
Private First Class
Private First Class


Posts : 59
Location : Columbus, OH
Favorite Fish: : Tons - freshwater, no cichlids or salt yet. I have these tanks: 30 gal - tetras (neon, bloodfin, diamond, one Bosemani rainbow female
20 gal high - 6 choprae danio, cycling, mostly done
10 gal quarantine - 1 turquoise, 1 macie and 2 dwarf Rainbows, 3 black kuhli loarches quarantine from a tank that had gotten sick; will go into my community tetra tank and the 20 high when all is confirmed to be ok.
Have set up my 20 gal long for an oranda goldfish; she'd be in there now if the store hadn't dropped her and now we don't know if she'll make it....look to put two orandas in my 40 breeder when I get it set up!
Also looking at getting a 27 gal cube and stand on sale and Petsmart but don't know where I'd put it!

HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof Empty
PostSubject: Re: HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof   HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof Icon_minitime1/1/2013, 1:16 am

OK, so I did a 50% water change in the 40 breeder and I think the ammonia is around 2+ now. I may be putting a bit of a positive spin on it, but Penelope is zooming all over the tank, bottom to top, through her bubble walls, snuffling in the sand. She hasn't quit since I put the new water in there.

This is more like her normal behavior. It's heartening to see her like this again.

So it's after 2 am and I need to get to bed, but in the morning I'll do another 50% change for Penelope and another 50% change for the 20 long; the neons are hanging around too close to the bottom for my taste.

Well, I'm relieved. Thanks, Aspencer, for your help, your time and your encouragement!
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Aspencer
Private First Class
Private First Class
Aspencer

Posts : 55
Location : Bend Oregon
Favorite Fish: : Hap sf Crossbar Yala Swamp

HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof Empty
PostSubject: Re: HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof   HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof Icon_minitime1/1/2013, 9:19 am

When people talk about no water changes during cycling, they are talking about a fishless cycle...cycling with fish takes longer since you cannot let the ammonia or NitrItes build up during cycling...keep testing and when levels get high, do a water change...

NIce to hear Penelope is more active...
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Aspencer
Private First Class
Private First Class
Aspencer

Posts : 55
Location : Bend Oregon
Favorite Fish: : Hap sf Crossbar Yala Swamp

HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof Empty
PostSubject: Re: HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof   HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof Icon_minitime1/1/2013, 9:50 am

sallywally wrote:
Here are the readings for the 40 breeder on Dec. 16, two weeks ago.

pH 7.6 (on regular and high-pH values)
Nitrates 10 ppm
Nitrites 0
Ammonia 0.75 ppm

I've done several water changes since then, and the only increase in Penelope's discomfort was when I cleaned out the Eheim canister filter. It was an immediate and noticeable difference, so I wonder if I screwed something up when I did that that caused the spike in ammonia.

Not that the values were not high at that time.

In a cycled tank, Ammonia should be at 0. As I said before, a level of above .25 is toxic, especially if your ph is above 7. When you cleaned out your canister filter, did you wash your media (not sponges). If so, you may have caused a mini-cycle to begin. Just rinse out your media (where the bacteria grows that eats Ammonia and NitrItes) in tank water.
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sallywally
Private First Class
Private First Class


Posts : 59
Location : Columbus, OH
Favorite Fish: : Tons - freshwater, no cichlids or salt yet. I have these tanks: 30 gal - tetras (neon, bloodfin, diamond, one Bosemani rainbow female
20 gal high - 6 choprae danio, cycling, mostly done
10 gal quarantine - 1 turquoise, 1 macie and 2 dwarf Rainbows, 3 black kuhli loarches quarantine from a tank that had gotten sick; will go into my community tetra tank and the 20 high when all is confirmed to be ok.
Have set up my 20 gal long for an oranda goldfish; she'd be in there now if the store hadn't dropped her and now we don't know if she'll make it....look to put two orandas in my 40 breeder when I get it set up!
Also looking at getting a 27 gal cube and stand on sale and Petsmart but don't know where I'd put it!

HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof Empty
PostSubject: Re: HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof   HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof Icon_minitime1/2/2013, 7:29 pm

Another 50% change today.

Ammonia 2
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 8

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Aspencer
Private First Class
Private First Class
Aspencer

Posts : 55
Location : Bend Oregon
Favorite Fish: : Hap sf Crossbar Yala Swamp

HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof Empty
PostSubject: Re: HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof   HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof Icon_minitime1/2/2013, 9:41 pm

sallywally wrote:
Another 50% change today.

Ammonia 2
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 8


How did you arrive at NitrAtes 8? Ammonia is still too high...should be under .25 PPM
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Dr. Who
First Lieutenant
First Lieutenant


Posts : 635
Location : Cancun Mexico

HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof Empty
PostSubject: Re: HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof   HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof Icon_minitime1/4/2013, 11:46 pm

Sallywally have you ever check your tap water. You continue to state that your ammonia is 2 everytime after a water change.
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sallywally
Private First Class
Private First Class


Posts : 59
Location : Columbus, OH
Favorite Fish: : Tons - freshwater, no cichlids or salt yet. I have these tanks: 30 gal - tetras (neon, bloodfin, diamond, one Bosemani rainbow female
20 gal high - 6 choprae danio, cycling, mostly done
10 gal quarantine - 1 turquoise, 1 macie and 2 dwarf Rainbows, 3 black kuhli loarches quarantine from a tank that had gotten sick; will go into my community tetra tank and the 20 high when all is confirmed to be ok.
Have set up my 20 gal long for an oranda goldfish; she'd be in there now if the store hadn't dropped her and now we don't know if she'll make it....look to put two orandas in my 40 breeder when I get it set up!
Also looking at getting a 27 gal cube and stand on sale and Petsmart but don't know where I'd put it!

HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof Empty
PostSubject: Re: HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof   HELP! Ammonia levels thru the roof Icon_minitime1/5/2013, 1:01 pm

Dr. Who and Aspencer, thanks for your thoughts. Actually, through several 50% water changes I got the ammonia down from 6 to 2. I did check my tap water once and got about 0.1, I think, but I need to do it again.

Penelope perked up a lot after the first 50% change, and continued to be very active through next couple of 50% changes, but as soon as I made the last one, she instantly stopped being active and just hung there, and began exhibiting symptoms of a body/head fungus.

She seems to have columnaris, and I've been treating her for that. She is better, this is the fourth day of five, but I'm not positive she's "cured" and may give her another five-day treatment. I thought it really important to cure that before doing anything else.

I put an ammonia removing pillow in my Eheim canister yesterday and siphoned out the poop in the tank....I had trouble getting the thing closed and at one point it began draining the tank! so I ended up doing about a 25% water change. Penelope became incredibly active after that for about three hours, but is much calmer now. I think the last 50% got to her, and I've given her a little rest; also, I'm still treating her and don't want to change too much water.

I had an intravenous infusion of a drug for osteoporosis on Monday and have been suffering the flu-like side effects ever since. It's much better but I've been sleeping a lot and am not able to do much. I'm going to test her ammonia and that of the tap water today. I hope the ammonia pillow will give some help in addition to water changes.

On the last testing she had the 2 ammonia, 0 nitrites and 8 nitrates (between the 5 and 10 color patches on the API master test kit). There apparently was the beginning of a cycle, but I may have gone back to the beginning after changing 100% of the water a couple of times over in the past two weeks.

I know the ammonia is still too high; I'll be doing some big water changes again as soon as I'm done treating her for this first time and will get it back to zero. But then do I not have to cycle the tank and won't that require some ammonia? How high should I let it get for cycling purposes?
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