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  1. #1

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    Default Help Needed - Cant Get Down Crazy High Ammonia Levels


    0 Not allowed!
    I started my 10 gallon, freshwater aquarium a month and a half a ago with 4 guppies, 8 ghost shrimp and 4 glofish tetras. Everything was fine, I was doing weekly 25% water changes and treating the water with Aquasafe. Three weeks ago my guppies got ich and started dying, I treated them and changed the water filter. I lost all four guppies and since that week my ammonia has been sky high (like consistently around 3.0-6.0).

    Ive done about 6 or 7 25% water changes over the last two and a half weeks, everytime treating the water with Aquasafe and StressZyme, but the ammonia levels aren't going down at all. I was definitely overfeeding them the first month, but ive since cut down to a little bit once a day and ive vacuumed all the gravel with every water change. Most of my shrimp have died, so there's only the 4 glofish and two shrimp left to contribute to the ammonia levels. Any advice what the heck is wrong? I thought by now everything would be back to normal and I could get new guppies.
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  2. #2

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    2 Not allowed!
    First, have you checked your tap water? It could have ammonia in it.

    Second, you can do much larger than 25% water changes. Assuming you rule out ammonia in your tap water, start doing 75% water changes daily.

    When you say you "changed the water filter", what exactly do you mean? Sounds like you may have killed off your beneficial bacteria colony when you did that.
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  3. #3

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    2 Not allowed!
    What did you treat the ich with? Its possible you crashed your bacteria colony.
    Last edited by AmazonJoe; 10-13-2016 at 05:02 PM.

  4. #4

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    1 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by AmazonJoe View Post
    What did you treat the ich with? Its possible you crashed your bacteria colony.
    I treated it with Api's Liquid Super Ick Cure.

    In my initial tank set up, I just set everything up and ran it for four days then got the water tested. I was going off of the PetSmart employee's advice (I had yet to realize the foolishness in that decision). But the fish had no problems whatsoever the first month in the tank.

  5. #5

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Brhino View Post
    First, have you checked your tap water? It could have ammonia in it.

    Second, you can do much larger than 25% water changes. Assuming you rule out ammonia in your tap water, start doing 75% water changes daily.

    When you say you "changed the water filter", what exactly do you mean? Sounds like you may have killed off your beneficial bacteria colony when you did that.
    I checked my tap water twice and it didn't have any ammonia in it.

    I thought such large water changes were too traumatic on the fish or messed with the good bacteria?

    I took out all the filter media for four days, while the Super Ick Cure treated the tank. Then I put did I 25% water change, put back in the sponge and put in a new carbon cartridge. (That's what the directions on the Ick cure said to do)

  6. #6

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    2 Not allowed!
    Large water changes will not harm the fish so long as you aren't changing the temperature or the pH. It will also not effect the bacteria as it lives primarily on surfaces, not free floating in the water.

    It looks like the ich treatment you were using would have killed off the bacteria in the filter media, so the instructions say to remove the media. Problem is, removing it from the tank for four days probably killed it anyhow. So you've essentially restarted your cycle, which is why you're suddenly having ammonia problems again.
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  7. #7

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    3 Not allowed!
    Now from the info you provided the tank was never cycled and that is why the ammonia levels raised and raised until fish death and illness (ich). I recommend you donate the fish for store credit if possible. Or be ready to upgrade filtration and undergo a fish in cycle. You're all ready underway in a fishless cycle. Get some ceramic biomedia asap to allow for bacterial growth. There is a step by step guide in the beginners section on fish in cycle.

  8. #8

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    1 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Brhino View Post
    Large water changes will not harm the fish so long as you aren't changing the temperature or the pH. It will also not effect the bacteria as it lives primarily on surfaces, not free floating in the water.

    It looks like the ich treatment you were using would have killed off the bacteria in the filter media, so the instructions say to remove the media. Problem is, removing it from the tank for four days probably killed it anyhow. So you've essentially restarted your cycle, which is why you're suddenly having ammonia problems again.
    Thank you so much, that's really helpful. I was scared to do larger amounts of water and make everything worse.

  9. #9

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    1 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by AmazonJoe View Post
    . You're all ready underway in a fishless cycle.
    Unless I'm mistaken, there's still 4 glofish in the tank.

    I agree with returning the fish and starting over with a fishless cycle, much easier to accomplish than a fish-in cycle.
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  10. #10

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    2 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Slaphppy7 View Post
    Unless I'm mistaken, there's still 4 glofish in the tank.

    I agree with returning the fish and starting over with a fishless cycle, much easier to accomplish than a fish-in cycle.
    Woops meant to say/type fish in thanks for the correction I agree to donate the fish is the best option for them

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