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Discussion Starter #1
For the last four and a half days, my ammonia test kit has been giving me a reading of 4 ppm on my 38 gallon tank which has been cycling (with fish) on Biozyme since the Third of July, but none of my fish are really showing any signs of poisoning (with the possible exception of my male sailfin, whose breathing rate MAY have increased). I even have 5 algae eating shrimp and a ghost shrimp, all of which are fine, so far as I can tell. I also have duckweed which covers about 75% of the top and I've done several things since then to no avail.

After the first reading, I did a few partial water changes (though nothing huge, neither of them more than twenty percent, maybe that's what I need?) which didn't seem to change anything. After that, I added four cap fulls of seacham stability on Friday and then another four today. Obviously, I've reduced feeding. In point of fact, I've not fed them anything since Sunday Morning. (current time Monday, 11 PM) Now, the guy at the non-petco store said I should just keep using stability and reduce feeding, but NOT to do another water change so that bacteria can build up.

Here are my tank stats as best as I can tell: I have two opaline gourami, one pearl gourami, one king tiger pleco, and two sailfin mollies. My Nitrate, a little under 20 ppm (the color was halfway between that and zero), Nitrite .5 ppm, hard water (maybe 150 GH) PH between 7.0 and 7.8 (it's REALLY hard for me to read that one)

I've been very careful about adding fish, trying not to add more than one per week, but after I added the first sailfin, I seemed to have a bullying problem with the opaline, and a petstore guy suggested adding females for both the gourami and the molly (which DID solve that problem) and he was fully aware of how long I'd been cycling and how recently I added fish. I'm thinking this may have caused the spike, but I'm at a loss as to what to do right now.
 

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....has no life....
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If your ammonia is that high, you need to do a water change. Maybe even as much as 50%. When my tank was cycling just a couple of weeks ago and it ran high there were a couple of days that i did more than one water change a day. I'd do 15%, let it stable out for a few hours and test again....then do it all again. It's what finally got my level under control.

Another thing I'd consider doing is to stop adding chemicals. They stall the process.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So, you think the guy at the pet store was wrong? I wouldn't be surprised, I just don't know to whom I should listen at this point, is all.

Either way, it's weird, because I always thought shrimp were more susceptible to ammonia, and all six of them are fine, not to mention the fish.
 

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Also, what are you using for your testing media? Test strips are largely inaccurate and if you're not already, use the API liquid test kits.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I am using an API ammonia test, that is, with a test tube. The rest is strips, but I ordered a master test kit that's on its way.
 

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I'd do a 50% water change and stop using chemicals. You will not see immediate effects on the fish...it could take a couple of days. By then, they may not come back from the ill-effects.
 
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