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Ammonia


gumbo

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I have a goldfish TEMPORARILY in a 3.5 gallon tank unitl the ten gallon tank is finished cycling, however, I just bought an ammonia test kit and the ammonia was a high 4.0mg/L! I have been doing 50% water changes daily for the past three days(usually I do 25% a day) and adding some extra PRIME dechlor, but the ammonia hasn't gone down a bit. I have a cheap filter with a tiny little carbon pad(if there is even carbon in it at all), could it be the filter isnt removing the ammonia from the tank? How do I get it to go down? Should I wait a few days and continue with the water changes?PLEASE HELP! :( thanks.

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How big is the fish? I will tell you that I temporarily had 2 commons in a 2 gal (yes I know but I had no idea back then & they live in a 58 gal now) I had to do water changes every day of at least 50 % - sometimes twice per day. (I had a little ugf). You may need to do the same. What is the pH of your water?

:D

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Even though I forgot to ask you your temp (sorry!) I think at that pH an ammonia of 4 is waaay too high. I would start by upping the water change to 75% & seing if that helps (if you can - it might be better to do 50% twice per day). You could also try to see if you can get some ammonia binder into your filter (I wouldn't recommend this if you wanted this filter to cycle but as it's a temp situation this might be the best way to go)

It's hard in that small a container & you're really not going to achieve a proper cycle with it so I'd go for the fish's health (you may see ammonia burns BTW. I've had them in one fish & not the other though so it's hard to say)(If you do see them they start out brown & fade to black as they heal so don't panic)

Hope this helps :D

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Do you think that I could go to home depot or something and buy a big like 15 gallon container and fill it up with dechlored water for him to live in instead of the 3.5 gallon? Even though it won't be cycled ;) I really have no idea what to do.I will go buy some ammonia lock tomorrow, is that ok?I don't think that the 3.5 gallon was fully cycled I guess :( and I know the ammonia is way too high, I really don't want him to get fataly sick, I love him to death, but lately I have been noticing a draw back in his usual happy playful personality so I know it is effecting him! I am going to do a 100% water change and rinse the gravel right now. Any more ideas would be greatly appreciated! Thanks for all the help!!

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Hi there :)

There is a very easy answer to your problem. But you have to do exactly as described below:

Perform 100% waterchanges twice a day. Once in the morning and once a night. Use ONLY temperature matched, dechlorinated water. If you can, purchase a product called Prime (or Amquel plus) and double dose it at each waterchange as well. here is a link to what prime is and what it does: Prime (by Seachem)

If there is a filter in this small tank, remove it and add it to the tank that is already cycling. You won't need it for this scenario. But, if you have an aerator (bubbler), use it in the small tank so that aeration is increased.

You should do exactly as I outlined above. If you don't the ammonia will continue to rise and cause lots more problems.

Good luck and post back soon.

Paul

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Hi thank you guys for all your great advice. I would do the 100% water changes twice a day, if it didn't completely freak out my fish. I did a 100% water change last night and he sat at the bottom for a few hours totaly stressed out. He even has a little cloud in one of his eyes from the dramatic change. The temperature was just about the same <_< So I am thinking of doing 50% water changes twice a day(more gradually than what I did last night) and double dosing the PRIME. Should I do this until I put him in his new tank? Thanks again.

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Truthfully, you should be doing waterchanges as per the results for ammonia. Test twice a day morning and night. If your 50% waterchanges can keep the ammonia down below .5ppm (and double dose new water with prime), then that is fine.

My guess is that after a waterchange, he is much more relaxed and can sit on the bottom and rest. When the ammonia is reduced, it is like a weight being pulled of of his chest and he can respire with ease. This might be evident by his settling down on the bottom. It might be that he does not have to move to respire more easily. You see, ammonia directly affects their gills and skin, reducing respirtation and burning the skin. The cloudy eye you see is a direct cause of too high of ammonia.

In my opinion, 100% waterchanges each day (sometimes twice) are an absolute necessity when there is no cycled (or cycling) filter. Regardless of the amount of water or the size of the fish. Ammonia, being extremely toxic to fish, can jump to readable levels VERY fast. Even an hour or two of being in ammonia laden water can severely affect a fish, especially if they are already stressed for any reason. Are you willing to experiment with smaller waterchanges (and his health), or would you rather be in the "safe zone"........ :huh:

There is a very easy way to make waterchanges easy on him. Scoop him out into a little bowl or the like and place him aside while you dump out the water and replace it with fresh water. Then, if the temp is the same, you can easily slip him right back into the container/tank. Quick and painless.

All in all, your waterchanges should be dictated by the amount of ammonia you get on the test kits, twice a day. ;)

Good luck! :D

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