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High Ammonia Levels

Posted by ken-of-indy (My Page) on
Tue, Jan 26, 10 at 15:25

My wife and I are having the same problem. One day, we noticed that our fish (two shubunkins and a comet) were not acting the way they usually do. We took a sample of water to get it tested. The ammonia was a staggering 3.0. We were shocked. We never overfeed, the tank was in cycle for a full week before we got the fish. This problem just appeared out of the blue. We were told to immediately do a 75-80% water change, follow each day with a 25% water change, and to use some ammonia neutralizer. We even picked up some ammonia test strips so we can monitor the ammonia closer. It's been a week and the ammonia levels have risen (6.0, I kid you not). The fish are energetic and eating but they have signs of ammonia poisoning (their gills are bruised). We don't know what to do anymore. The ammonia levels are hovring between 3.0 and 6.0. We do not want to lose our fish. They're apart of our family. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

This is our tank setup and routine:
38 gallon tank, each of the three fish are roughly 2 1/2 inches long.
Every three weeks we change our filter.
Every week, we do a 25% water change and gravel cleaning. Our filter is an aqueon large power filter (either a 20, 30, or 55, not sure which) and is running properly and not clogged.
We have 2 banana plants, an arrowhead, and bamboo (all which the pet store was suitable and well liked by both types of fish we have).
The temperature lingers at 70 degrees (hardly rising above 72 and hardly below 68).
There is some algae growing in the tank, but we were told that's fine.
About the only thing else I can think of is two of the fish had a bacterial infection. It was treated with pimafix antifungal fish remedy. It has not been used since the infection cleared up (about two and a half weeks now).

Any ideas and suggestions are greatly appreciated.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: High Ammonia Levels

The tank didn't start to cycle until you added the fish.When you see the rising ammonia in the beginning that is the cycling of the tank.The 75-80% water change is not always good to do.
How much and how many times a day do you feed?
Ammonia neutralizer can give a false reading on certain tests.
Bambo not suitable for fish tanks.
Room temperature is fine.
Some algae is ok.
Aqueon large power filter takes what kind of filter media?


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