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Author Topic: Ammonia Poisoning  (Read 2904 times)
Nicole
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Ammonia Poisoning
« on: January 24, 2010, 08:39:34 PM »

We had our water tested recently and our ammonia was at 1.0ppm.  Cry  We did a 75% water change and added water conditioner and Nite-Out, a liquid that contains beneficial bacteria, to the water.  We've been adding this and doing 25% water changes for the last two days, but the ammonia levels aren't dropping in the slightest.  Worse, one of them is getting red streaks on his fins.  We are only feeding them about half of what we normally give them (and they eat it all).  The filter is working fine.  The only problem I can see is that we have the three goldfish in a 38 gallon tank, but this is the first time we've had ammonia problems.  Is there any way to drop the ammonia level faster before something awful happens?
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Mindemae
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Re: Ammonia Poisoning
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2010, 09:47:09 PM »

You can get an ammonia blocker from any store that sells aquatic supplies.  I use Ammonia Neutralizer by Aqueon.
But there are other brands too. It will neutralize ammonia and nitrite build up fast in aquarium water.
How big are your fish? and what kind of filter system do you have?  Do you also provide extra water movement through an airpump via airstone.  The extra circulation helps get rid of toxins and adds extra oxygen to the water.
Goldfish need extra oxygen and they will produce alot of waste through eating and also through breathing. 
Also, what kind of food are you feeding?  And how much and how often?  You can stop feeding altogether for a few days and then only feed once a day.  Ammonia levels will rise naturally due to the accumulation of fish wastes and the breakdown of uneaten food and when your tank is starting to cycle.
Adding the beneficial bacteria will help.  Add it to your filter also, besides directly to the water.
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Nicole
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Re: Ammonia Poisoning
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2010, 09:47:54 AM »

We use that brand quite a bit.  I'll check the pet store today.
As for info:
*The fish are about two inches each and growing.
*We have a large Aqueon power filter.  We don't have an airstone, but I expect that will change when we go shopping today.
*They get several tiny snacks (about all they can eat in 1 min.) of Aqueon Goldfish Granules.  We make sure they eat every crumb before we feed them again.  Once in awhile, they get skinless chopped peas as well.
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Mindemae
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Re: Ammonia Poisoning
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2010, 10:16:17 AM »

Nicole,
Do you use aquarium salt? Adding aquarium salt will help with gill function.  Also, another thing you can try is adding a floss bag with zeolite to your filter.  Zeolite is also a great ammonia decreaser BUT if you decide to use the zeolite then DO NOT add aquarium salt to your tank as the salt will actually act apon the zeolite and cause it to leach out the ammonia it has absorbed.   With the ammonia that high, I would limit feeding for a few days and then only feed a tiny bit once a day until the ammonia is under control.  Fish actually will do fine fed twice a day and only a tiny bit that they can eat in 3 mins or less. Sounds like for some reason your tank lost it's good bacteria or there is just too much waste to handle.  Your tank will need to go through cycling again.  High ammonia present could be a sign that your tank is trying to start the nitrogen cycle.
Good luck, keep us posted. Smiley
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Nicole
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Re: Ammonia Poisoning
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2010, 09:06:25 PM »

Well, we tried the daily water changes and the ammonia blocker.  Unfortunately, they didn't succeed in dropping the ammonia levels for more than an hour.  My husband and I have no idea what to do next.  The levels are fluctuating between 2.0 and 1.0, and although the fish are swimming and eating, we're worried for them.  Is it a possiblility our tank is cycling (we may have killed off the bacteria with antibiotics) and if so, how long will it last?  We haven't been able to find zeolite- is it usually found at general pet stores or specialty fish shops?  And any other ideas on how to drop the ammonia?
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Mindemae
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Re: Ammonia Poisoning
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2010, 09:23:48 PM »

Antibiotic? Did you use a antibiotic in your tank recently???  Then of course the antibiotic will kill off ALL bacteria good and bad!
The ammonia levels are rising which is the start of your cycling.
Just do small 10% changes.  Also, ammonia blocker will make your test reading of ammonia higher than it is.
You can get zeolite at petsmart, petco.   
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Nicole
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Re: Ammonia Poisoning
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2010, 04:20:29 PM »

Yeah, that probably did it.  Two of the fish had anchor worm and red spots, so we put in some antibiotic just to be safe.  Next time we quarantine the sick ones when we give antibiotics.  The fish are doing well enough, so I think they'll probably survive it.  Thanks to everyone who helped!
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