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Guest AldenM1

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Guest AldenM1

I posted this in the diagnosis/discussion section this morning and haven't gotten any responses... I know this may not be exactly an emergency, but I lost a fish just two months ago to ammonia so I'm really scared about this one.

I just set up a new tank last month -- 10 gallons with a 90gph Whisper filter, an airstone, and a gargoyle that blows bubbles (so lots of aeration). In the tank is one very small but rapidly-growing goldfish.

Yesterday I checked the water with my Jungle multi-test quick strip. The hardness, alkalinity, and pH were all exactly in the middle, right where I want them, but both the nitrate and nitrite levels were off the chart on the "dangerous" end. I didn't have more than a gallon of room-temperature settled water on hand, so I did what I could. I changed out 2 gallons, using a second gallon of approximately room-temperature tap water. I also added a teaspoon (or a bit more... I approximated) of Amquel Plus to the tank directly. Last night I checked the water levels again and both Nitrate and Nitrite were still high, so I added charcoal back into the filter (which I haven't been using) in the hope that it would help lower the chemical levels.

This morning, the Nitrate level is a bit lower... probably about 160ppm or so, so still "dangerous." The Nitrite levels are still off the chart, so more than 10ppm.

Now I'm not sure what to do. Should I change out more water? I have 1 gallon at room temperature. Should I add more Amquel? I'm scared to add more because 1 teaspoon is the recommended level for a ten-gallon tank.

The fish, meanwhile, is perky and happy and swimming normally -- no weird behavior and no bottom-sitting or anything.

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Guest cshepard

If the tank has only been running a month, it's probably not cycled yet. I would do daily water changes of 20 - 50 % (or even twice a day) to get those Nitrates down.

Keep watching your ammonia - nitrite levels as well. Once the Nitrite/Nitrate levels are down stop changing so much water and continue with the cycle as normal (it will probably be set back a bit and you may see some ammonia again.) Have you read the cycling section?

http://www.kokosgoldfish.com/cycle.html

When you put new water in the tank, only use enough Amquel to cover the new water (2 g = 1/20 of a tsp.)

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Guest cshepard

There is another reason to let the water sit -

My PH out of the tap is 6.6, after sitting for 24 hrs it jumps to 8.0.

this is due to C02 gasses dissapating. I fell that the Ph fluctuation I would get by adding the tap water directly to the tank would put uneeded stress on my fish, so I age the water first.

Everyone should test their tap water for Ph and compare it to their tank water.

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  • Regular Member

My advice is to continue the water changes. Test every morning and night and change at least 50%. Test in the mid day and see if it requires another change.

With the nitrates being so high, you are finishing the end of the cycle now just need to get the nitrites down.

Test the tap water and see if there is any ammonia, nitrites or nitrates in it, along with the ph. If the Ph is pretty close don't wait to change it just temp match the water.

Don't worry about the charcoal, it does nothing to the chemicals, it only removes medicines if you are using them.

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  • Regular Member

Hi, Welcome to Koko's :welcome

Everyone is right. That is all you can do. Perhaps you can start buying water that is distilled or spring water? For another way to age water, you can wash that milk jug of milk really good and store it in that for a few days. Then you can keep plenty of water on hand. However, keep a good eye on your fish(s) for any signs/symptoms as well as the gills and breathing and colours of them.

From the sounds of it, I also think you may be over stalked. It is recommended one inch of fish to per gallon of water. For example, 10- 1 inch fish to a 10 gallon tank. But as they grow, it needs to be changed (ie: more tanks or new homes) since the credo diminishes to half an inch of fish per gallon. However, when they are bigger, its 1 fish per 10-20gallons of water.

I would also suggest to adding all natural sea salt or acquirium salt to your tank. I would try a .01% so that would be 1 tsp per gallon of water. So for a 10gallon tank, 10 teaspoons. After your water change.

Fish can survive without salt added to the aquarium, the addition of one tablespoon per five gallons does wonders. The salt which is added to the water aides the fish with a bilogical process. Osmoregulation. Basically, it helps them digest the oxygen thats processed through the gills. It also helps ease stress. Less stress means less of a chance of a disease outbreak.

What colour is your tank water? If water becomes cloudy it suggests New Tank Syndrome. Other signs: bacteria colonize which turns the tank water to a smoky white colour, the spokiness eventually disappears unless there is an unsanitary condition like overfeeding.

"Should you discover a sudden rise in your ammonia level or after your initial set-up period, an immediate 1/3 water change should be made. A combination of high ammonia and a possible high pH is often fatal. After the water change there are commercially available resins you can add to the filter to remove any further ammonia. It may not be a bad idea to add one of the commercially available ammonia detoxifying agents. Use your ammonia test kit to monito the ammonia's progress during this time. You want to see the level go way up, then drop to a zero reading. This is an indicative of your tank's now being ready to accept fish safely."

"If your tap water is far off the neutral scale to either side, it may be advantageous to use one of the pH modifiers on the market prior to introducing fish to the tank. Once situated, the fish might become accustomed to the water they are in, and future pH modification may not be necessary. Note that should you try your hand at breeding goldfish, the pH becomes a more important factor. Goldfish do fine in a slightly acid pH range of 6.8 to a slightly alkaline range of 7.4. Of course, extrememes should be avoided. Common signs of adverse pH conditions include listlessness, gasping for air at the surface, reddening of the fins and gills, drooping fins, and lack of appetite." :welcome

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Guest AldenM1

IT's difficult for me to keep lots of water on hand as I live in a very small space and don't have storage for 5-10 gallons of water easily. I usually keep 1 gallon on hand to top off the water as it evaporates, which -- as our apartment is very dry -- is actually pretty fast.

I don't think overstocking can be the problem quite yet. It's only one goldfish in a ten-gallon tank, and although I'd like to get him a friend I know the Koko's gang all say I can't. Besides, he is the tiniest little cutie, and although he does seem to be growing, his torso is barely an inch long, so I think he has plenty of space. With a filter and two air-infusing devices, I think he's getting enough oxygen too.

After several panicky days, I've got the nitrates down to acceptable levels, and the nitrates to "stress" instead of "danger" on the testing strips. The fish does not seem at all stressed, however, and continues to flourish and play with his own reflection in the mirror. As I said, I just lost a fish to ammonia, and this one isn't showing any of those symptoms, so I'm pleased. I'll keep doing changes and adding little bits of Amquel and hope for the best.

My other pet is a hamster. She seems so much more complex and is so much easier to interact with that I'm constantly amazed how much more difficult the fish is to keep as a pet! All I have to do with the hamster is give her water and food and amuse her sometimes. Goldfish are a much greater challenge!!

Thanks for the help...

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