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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2019
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    Unhappy Ammonia spike: Dying fish :(


    0 Not allowed!
    Help! I am a newbie - my tank has been going since the end of March this year. I have tropical guppies, plecos and kuhli loaches and some tetras. All was going great - guppies breeding happily. About 2 weeks ago now, I lost an adult guppy - she became very thin and would spit out any food she tried to eat. She then lay on the bottom for a day - then curled up like the letter C. The other fish started to harass her and she was in obvious distress and obviously dying. I removed her from the tank and put her out of her misery painlessly. Then I lost a young fry - then another adult male guppy in a similar way.

    I do weekly water changes and couldn't think of anything I had done differently, so I shot off to the Pet Shop for help. I bought an API Test Kit and my first text showed .50ppm Ammonia. Panic stations. I did a 50% water change - then the next day another 30% water change. Yesterday I did another 60% water change as my Ammonia was now 1.0ppm (!!!) and I had lost another adult guppy. I added 13mils of API Ammo Lock (I am adding the 2nd dose of that again tomorrow). My Ammonia tested at .50ppm this morning. Do I keep doing large water changes and continuing with Ammo Lock until my Ammonia stops spiking? This has been really upsetting to lose my fish like this. Is this New Tank Syndrome? Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me.

    My tank is an Aqua One 90L and I run it at 25degrees Celcius.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    1 Not allowed!
    Welcome to the AC

    Did you purchase the complete API Master test kit? It has tests for ammonia, nitrIte, nitrAte, and ph

    What kind of filtration is on the tank?

    How did you cycle the tank?...with fish or without?...see the beginner section for the Cycling stickies

    How many fish are in the tank presently, and how many did you start with?

    What is your source water?...municipal tap water, well water?...and what water conditioner have you used?

    Regardless, I recommend this one, and do a large WC using it as your conditioner, for now

    https://www.seachem.com/prime.php
    10 Gallon Beginner Tank... Journal
    40 Gallon Breeder: ... Journal
    29 Gallon: ... Journal

    “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went” - Will Rogers

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2019
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    8

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks so much for weighing in. :) Yes - I bought the Master Test Kit. My Aqua One 620 has its filtration system in the hood. I am using Filter wool and noodles. I Cycled the tank with fish - 5 tropical guppies - and they have had babies. I have added other fish slowly since.
    I have three types of plants that are thriving in the tank. This the first time my tank has hit a wall. I am using tap water - which I think has a low PH so I am looking into adding Baking Soda slowly into the tank to help the good bacteria to grow with a PH of 7. My PH is reading at the lowest on the Test Kit - so I think that could be partly the reason that my tank is crashing? My tank is 90 Litres and I did a 30 Litre water change this morning. I have just added a filter sock with oyster grit in it to add calcium/magnesium - which the Pet Shop has recommended I do. They said it isn't a quick fix but will help over time. I have started using Seachem Prime and Seachem Stability and I did my 2nd dose of API Amo Lock this morning. I am losing another 2 fish as we speak. It is heartwrenching. Thank you for helping me.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jul 2019
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Bah! I wrote a reply this morning to your questions - and it isn't here!!! Not sure where I went wrong.

    Here it is again!

    Yes, I have the API Master Kit. The filtration is in the top hood of the tank and I use filter wool and noodles for my media.

    I cycled the tank with fish - adding 3 small guppies and then slowly more as the plants established themselves. Everything was going great and the guppies started breeding happily. I slowly added 2 baby pleco's, 7 tetras and 2 kuhli loaches. My tank holds 90 litres - so over-crowding isn't an issue I don't think?

    My water source is tap water - and I use Prime and Stability from Seachem. My PH is low from my tap water and I have heard that I can slowly raise it using Baking Soda? Do you have any information about that that could be helpful please? How much would I need to add and how slowly?

    I lost another beautiful female guppy tonight - that's 5 fish gone in the past 10 days.

    Today I did a 60% water change and I tested the ammonia level just after dinner tonight - and it is down from 1.0ppm to 0.25ppm which is a GREAT start!

    Should I do another water change again tomorrow? The lovely guy at the Pet Shop tested my water this afternoon and said that my tank has crashed and that I need to treat it as if it is a new tank. So much to learn. Thanks so much for your help! :)

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    0 Not allowed!
    Cycling with fish is certainly possible, but is the hard way to go. It stresses the fish, and the hobbyist. But that's where you are now so I would continue daily testing and water changes as necessary to keep that ammonia at .25 or less. Continue to watch for a nitrite spike also, which must be kept below .25 with water changes as well. I wouldn't mess with the PH for now until you get the beneficial bacteria needed to complete the cycling that will give you consistent readings of 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and 20 or less nitrates. If you have room, adding some more plants will help a bit too.
    Certainly, do not add any more fish right now.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Here's to good games tomorrow ;-) - steeler58   Thanks for the rep ;-) - steeler58   My fish say Thank You - KoryKat   Thanks for the Rep ;-) - steeler58   Enjoy your weekend my friend - Taurus   
    Troop and Military Support - Amber Alert - Bladder Cancer - Endometriosis - Equality - Liver Cancer - Liver Disease - Missing Children - POW/MIA - Spina Bifida - Suicide - steeler58   Breast Cancer - Birth Parents - steeler58   Cancer - Epilepsy - Foster Care - Gynecological Cancer - Rett Syndrome - aquariumlover10   Cancer - Epilepsy - Foster Care - Gynecological Cancer - Rett Syndrome - gronlaura   Breast Cancer - Birth Parents - SeaLady   

    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    Good advice above, DO NOT mess with the ph while cycling, it will fluctuate anyway.

    You don't need the oyster grit, ammo lock, or Stability....frequent water changes with the Prime is your best bet, for now.

    The employees at the LFS may mean well, but many times, they don't have the experience needed or give the best advice.

    Guppies are livebearers, they will breed readily and easily in many different water conditions, so prepare for many fry.

    Do a complete water test on the tank, all 4 tests, and post the results here.

    Anytime you have more than .25 PPM ammonia or nitrItes, a WC is in order.

    Be sure to treat enough Prime for the entire tank amount, for now....90 liters = about 24 US gallons, and you treat Prime at the rate of 1 ml/10G of water, so you will need to use 2.4 ML of Prime per water change...a medicinal syringe is great for measuring the correct amount of Prime, and it's also handy to use when filling your test tubes with tank water.
    10 Gallon Beginner Tank... Journal
    40 Gallon Breeder: ... Journal
    29 Gallon: ... Journal

    “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went” - Will Rogers

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Southeast Texas
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    Latest gifts & ribbons:

    Here's to good games tomorrow ;-) - steeler58   Thanks for the rep ;-) - steeler58   My fish say Thank You - KoryKat   Thanks for the Rep ;-) - steeler58   Enjoy your weekend my friend - Taurus   
    Troop and Military Support - Amber Alert - Bladder Cancer - Endometriosis - Equality - Liver Cancer - Liver Disease - Missing Children - POW/MIA - Spina Bifida - Suicide - steeler58   Breast Cancer - Birth Parents - steeler58   Cancer - Epilepsy - Foster Care - Gynecological Cancer - Rett Syndrome - aquariumlover10   Cancer - Epilepsy - Foster Care - Gynecological Cancer - Rett Syndrome - gronlaura   Breast Cancer - Birth Parents - SeaLady   

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Where do you live?

    Is your tap water chlorinated?
    10 Gallon Beginner Tank... Journal
    40 Gallon Breeder: ... Journal
    29 Gallon: ... Journal

    “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went” - Will Rogers

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    A little further from sanity
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    Merry Christmas - AmazonJoe   Congrats on guessing the DT. - Silbar   Merry Christmas! - RiversGirl   Thanks for the Rep, and welcome back ;-) - steeler58   Happy Holiday to you! - Boundava   

    Default


    2 Not allowed!
    Since you are cycling with fish the daily water changes will keep your pH stable. Ammonia is non-toxic in low pH, so that's good. But, nitrifying bacteria won't grow if the pH is too low, so that's bad. Monitor your tanks pH, to grow bacteria it needs to be 6.5 or more.
    Have you checked the pH of your tap? Set a glass of water out overnight and test the pH in the morning. This way we know what you are putting in the tank.
    When I go fishing I just throw sharp rocks in the water and wait for the dead fish to float to the top... Kingfisher
    Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason is you are stupid and make bad decisions.

    I think my fish is adjusting well to the four gallon, He's laying on his side attempting to go to sleep on the bottom of the gravel.
    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
    Dear naps, sorry I hated you so much when I was a child... Love me

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Posts
    8

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks so much!! I have managed to get it down to .25ppm - about to do another water change now. I did a 60 litre, 70 litre and then another 60 litre water change over 3 days. The fish have stopped dying - I have three that looked very unwell but they are starting to perk up! I feel like I am starting to gain traction - so thank you for your input! :)

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jul 2019
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    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Slaphppy7 View Post
    Good advice above, DO NOT mess with the ph while cycling, it will fluctuate anyway.

    You don't need the oyster grit, ammo lock, or Stability....frequent water changes with the Prime is your best bet, for now.

    The employees at the LFS may mean well, but many times, they don't have the experience needed or give the best advice.

    Guppies are livebearers, they will breed readily and easily in many different water conditions, so prepare for many fry.

    Do a complete water test on the tank, all 4 tests, and post the results here.

    Anytime you have more than .25 PPM ammonia or nitrItes, a WC is in order.

    Be sure to treat enough Prime for the entire tank amount, for now....90 liters = about 24 US gallons, and you treat Prime at the rate of 1 ml/10G of water, so you will need to use 2.4 ML of Prime per water change...a medicinal syringe is great for measuring the correct amount of Prime, and it's also handy to use when filling your test tubes with tank water.
    Thank you so much!!!! This is so helpful!!! I was beside myself and it's a great feeling to know that I am not alone in this.

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