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  1. As far as the filter and the continuing ammonia, you might be able to fix that until you can afford the larger filter. Depending on how the filter is designed (I don't see what type you have listed, sorry), you might be able to shove some additional media in there where more bacteria can live. More bacteria housing = more capacity for bacteria to live that can consume the ammonia. Media can be pretty much anything non-toxic to fish. Some common ones that are cheap are filter floss - which you can get from a craft or sewing store far cheaper than you can get from a fish store; it will be called either quilt or pillow stuffing (batting) - plastic pot scrubbies with any material in the middle removed (make sure these are JUST the plastic scrubbies and not anything with soap or something on it; extra filter pads, scotch brite pads (again nothing on or in them), a few bio-balls which can be found in some fish stores, or some matrix which is more pricey than the other options. There are many more types of media than these as well. The idea is just to provide as many surfaces as possible in as small of an area as possible (so as to fit inside your filter) as cheaply as possible. Extra surface area may be what your tank needs since you don't have any gravel any more and you're already pretty limited with the smaller filter and smaller tank.
  2. Good to know. Pretty much everything that's out on the web states their range at between either 6.0-8.0 or 6.5-8.25. I've been keeping freshwater fish a long time now, but goldfish in particular are not something I've studied much. Just goes to show that it pays to ask people who know, not to assume that what's out on the web is correct.
  3. Prime turns the ammonia into ammonium. Ammonium isn't particularly harmful to fish at all, so your fish will be fine even though your test kit (after dosing with Prime) will still show .25 ammonia present. The bacteria in your tank will convert that .25 ammonium into nitrite over time just as it does the ammonia produced by your tank's bio-load. That nitrite is later converted by a different bacteria into nitrate which is either used by plants or removed via water changes.
  4. Before I say anything else, I would like it noted that my intent here is to help the OP, not to argue and derail a discussion thread. That being said, my clarifications are below: Where is it that you are finding that ammonia is more toxic with salt? Every single article I have found (including the one I linked to in my above post) states that it helps, at least in the short term with making it less toxic to the fish by assisting with gill function. This does not protect against burns in a high-ammonia environment, but nowhere have I seen that adding salt increases ammonia toxicity. I said nothing about dropping the OP's ph. I believe it was already stated that her ph is below 7.0 currently (if I am thinking of a different poster's situation, then I apologize). An ideal would be to leave her ph where it is since ammonia is less toxic to fish at lower ph values. As far as the ph's effect on the goldfish, I already stated that this was an unknown to me; however, that being said, after doing some quick research, it is true that goldfish ideals tend to higher ph levels, but according to most articles I found they can easily tolerate ph levels as low as 6.0. Their ability to do so is, as with all fish, dependent on the time they are allowed to adapt to whatever environment they are exposed to. For this reason and the above in regard to ammonia toxicity, leave the OP's ph where it is, do the salt treatment to kill the ich, and continue treating with prime. To dnalex in regard to the two separate types of bacteria: I was retrieving the reference to where I found that and decided to re-read it before making a complete idiot of myself. I'm glad that I did. It was a discussion among a number of other aquarists. That particular part didn't come from Dr. Tim Hovanec like I thought it did, instead it was said by a different person and later corrected by Dr. Hovanec. The correction stated that the same bacterium consume both ammonia and ammonium. As the OP is still finding ammonia in her water even after a period of time in which it would be expected that the levels would be reduced somewhat, I have to think that the cycle has been interrupted in her tank and she will need to cultivate new bacteria in levels sufficient to handle her bio-load in order to correct this problem long-term. In the meantime, as long as the fish are not having an issue with the low ph that is already in her tank, the lower ph will benefit them by keeping the percentage of ammonium:ammonia in her tank higher. I did not intend to come to this forum and create angst among members. For this reason, I will bow out now. I believe the OP has the necessary information at this time to correct her issue with ich and I wish her the best of luck in doing so.
  5. There's one of two things currently happening in your tank (in case you want the scientific answers instead of just the basics): Either the bacteria that were in your tank while everything was cycled are still there or they have died off (or been removed too quickly). Either way, you're not seeing the ammonia being removed right now because with a ph under 7.0 ammonia exists as ammonium (nh4), which is non-toxic to fish and the same stuff prime will convert the ammonia to when you add it. Ammonium is not consumed by the same bacteria as Ammonia. It can be consumed, but it's a different bacteria that does it...one that may not exist in your tank in sufficient numbers to process it currently. I'd say that if you can keep your ph below 7 while continuing to do the salt treatments and dosing with prime, you should be fine. The prime in this case is more to remove the chlorine/chloramines than to detoxify the ammonium since it's already non-toxic. If, on the other hand, your ph raises above 7.0 while you do the water changes, the prime will help protect your fish in the short term by binding the nitrogen into ammonium. The bind is short-term however, which is why you have to dose every 24 hours. What I don't know is how well the goldfish will tolerate the lower ph without time to adapt to it. The ideal here is to continue doing water changes, dosing with prime, and treating with salt. Once the ich is cleaned up, get the cycle re-established and eventually upgrade your tank and you're good to go. Salt, by the way, should AID in keeping the ammonia non-toxic. I do not understand why it would be more toxic. Here are a couple of articles that will help explain this better than I can: http://theaquariumwiki.com/Ammonia http://theaquariumwiki.com/Salt
  6. Once you get your tank healthy, the bacteria in the tank will consume the .25 ppm of ammonia rather quickly so it won't be an issue. Also, with you dosing the Prime each time you do a water change, the .25 ppm won't hurt the fish until it is gone anyway.
  7. Sounds good to me. Good luck, pandamanda111. Your fish should come through this just fine. If it makes you feel any better, I'm treating ich right now myself. I purchased 14 fish to go into a 125 gallon tank knowing they had it when I bought them. They are currently in a 20 gallon until they finish quarantine. Afterward, they'll be transferred to a 55 gallon to grow a bit before they get to their final home as they'd otherwise be food for the other occupants. Treating ich in this case is a small price to pay though: I got them at $0.70 each instead of $4.29...not bad for simply the cost of raising the heat in the tank for a couple weeks.
  8. The only thing I'd worry about at all is the lack of gravel long-term. Bare-bottom tanks are fine with adequate places for bacteria to live, but if I'm not mistaken, the OP has a 10 gallon tank. I don't see what filter he's using, but a single filter along with a smaller tank and no gravel will be very hard to keep enough beneficial bacteria in the tank to handle the nitrogen in the system...especially with any new water that's added bringing more ammonia into the tank. If you're going to run a bare-bottom tank during this (and after), I'd recommend getting something like BioMax to add to your filter for additional surface area that the bacteria can live on. BioMax is nice because it works well fully submerged, which is the environment most often seen in power filters and internal filters.
  9. Well done, tithra. You're giving good advice here.
  10. As I said in my earlier post, ich's not that hard to cure if you're prepared for it. Without heat, and without the ability to buy micron filters, I think your best bet is going to be the salt. Once you get the Prime (I'm just not positive about the Top Fin product), continue the treatments you've already begun. Remember that salt does not evaporate out of the tank at all, so the only way of removing it once it's there is through water changes, so these will be necessary once treatment is complete.
  11. One last thought on my way to dinner: even after using the conditioners, the tests will show ammonia. Don't worry about it as long as you're using the right amount of conditioner. Again, the ammonia will still be there, but it will be in a non-toxic state. The tests don't differentiate between them.
  12. On second thought, use Prime. It's readily available, whereas Safe is harder to come by (although much more economical) and both of them handle ammonia a lot better than API's Tap Water Conditioner. Since your water has ammonia in it already, I'd switch from the Top Fin you're using now for long-term use.
  13. What water conditioner are you using? Most detoxify ammonia as they remove chlorine and/or chloramines. As long as it says it either removes it or detoxifies it, you're going to be fine. Ammonia exists in several different forms. Water conditioners make sure that if there is any ammonia in the water, that it's in a state that isn't harmful to your fish. As far as brushing your teeth with it, I'm afraid so. But don't stress. It exists naturally in water and your own body makes a lot more of it internally than you're ingesting. Normal and non-harmful. I just read above and noticed you use the top fin water conditioner. Reading the label on it, I'm pretty sure you're fine as long as you use the amount it recommends using. In the future, I recommend using Prime, Safe, or API Tap Water Conditioner (use the API one only if your water does NOT have chloramines).
  14. I don't have a LOT of experience with goldfish (mainly tropical fish for me), but I have a few things that might help you. The first is this nearly perfect write up on treating ich: http://www.aquahobby.com/articles/e_ich2.php The second is that goldfish can withstand temps of 86 F for an extended amount of time - I researched this for another person a while back. Whether you use heat or not (I highly recommend it as at 86 F the ich organism cannot survive long enough in its life cycle to continue reproducing), you're going to want to continue the treatment until at least 5 days AFTER you stop seeing any white spots. This is important! If you stop treatment sooner, it's likely that there is still some ich alive in the tank that will reemerge. It's also quite possible (and typical) for the spots to disappear completely only to come back again during treatment. Remember not to stop treatment until at least 5 days have passed without seeing ich. Good luck - and don't panic. Ich is one of the easiest things to treat in freshwater fish.
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