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Author Topic: Ammonia Levels being a problem  (Read 1967 times)
New Member

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« on: August 31, 2015, 05:03:01 AM »

Hi, I'm quite new to keeping tropical fish and i have a tank that has been set up now for about 2 months.We originally had 2 dwarf gourami's and 6 cardinal tetra's in our 64L tank. Unfortunately 5 of our cardinals died so I got some advice from the local pet shop and they explained that our ammonia levels were too high.
So after a lot of 50% water changes and a period of about 4-6 weeks we managed to get the levels down to o for ammonia and normal levels from nitrates and nitrites.
In the meantime we had to return one of our dwarf gourami's as the larger of the two was attacking it all the time and damaging its fins.
So after returning the dwarf gourami we waited 2 weeks we purchased a rubber nose plec and 3 rummy nose tetras for the remaining cardinal to swim about with.All the fish are fine and we have had no more deaths which is a great sign, but the ammonia levels are now reading 0.25. We do weekly water changes of approx 30 - 40 % always treat the water with tap safe and only feed every other day. I know that when the tank is cycled with fish in it takes a lot longer for the levels to become stable and that is my fault, i didn't do enough research. I would just like some advice on what to do about the ammonia levels reading quite high and that the water changes don't seem to help, i have read a few things about acculock, but seen that it has mixed reviews. If anyone can help that would be appreciated.
Current stock:
1 dwarf gourami
3 Rummy nose Tetra
1 Cardinal tetra
1 Rubbernose plec.
64L tank with filter and thermostat set at 25 - 27 degrees

Thanks in advance Smiley

Pat Mary
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Gender: Female
United States United States

Posts: 8,605

« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2015, 09:12:48 AM »

Welcome to Badman's, emi.  Smiley

Have you done any cleaning of your filter or changing of the media in it?

I know you said that the readings for nitrites and nitrates are normal but that doesn't really tell us what is going on.  We will also need to know the exact reading for both of them.  With all of your readings, I hope that you are using liquid reagent tests and not test strips.  The strips are more than inaccurate. 

When stocking a tank with schooling species, the fish need to be in a school of their own species.  So, your poor cardinal is being stressed because he is all alone even though there are other tetras in with him.  I would return him to the shop.  Then I would increase your rummy nose tetras quantity to a minimum of 8.  The 5 new ones that you buy should be held in a quarantine tank for 4-6 weeks to be sure that they are not bringing disease or parasites to your main tank.  Never put new fish in your tank unless you quarantine them first.

Your pleco would appreciate the temperature to be dropped a little.  They like a temp of 20-23C. 

When in doubt, do a water change.
Make room for more stuff
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United States United States

Posts: 733

I know where Russ's stuff is.

« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2015, 10:27:16 PM »

From what I've gathered so far is that you had your aquarium stable before adding the pleco and Rummy nose. For an accurate recommendation, we would need a timeline when you noticed the ammonia testing higher to the point of your thread inquiry. If it is a relatively short time, then it may be safe to assume that your biological component in your filter is just trying to catch up to the new bio load (fish). If the filter is not handling that increase in bio load and keeps testing out at .25 or higher, then I would have to think that the bio filter may not be functioning properly or your employment of the test kit may be at fault. I'm inclined to go with my first two impressions though.  happy

What type of filter do you have and how are you maintaining it? 

When one can't explain things simply, they just don't really understand it.
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