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Thursday, September 22, 2011

High Ammonia In The Aquarium

Photo By Paul Michael Van Langen

Do you find yourself dealing with high ammonia in your tank? Today, we will be looking at the causes of the high ammonia as well as ways to get rid of it and how to help your fish in the meanwhile. Preventative measures will also be discussed.

First, in order to get rid of ammonia and to help prevent it from coming back we must understand what causes the ammonia build-up in the first place. Some of the causes of high ammonia are:

- Overfeeding the fish Overfeeding your fish can be really easy especially if they always seem so hungry and rush to the front of the tank anytime they see you. Rushing to the front of the tank doesn't mean they are starving. If you think about it, the fish have becomed trained to recognize that everytime they see you they get fed.

Prevention: The best way to help prevent overfeeding is to give them smaller amounts of food a few times a day. If you can't feed them in the middle of the day, don't worry. You can feed them once at night and once in the morning. If food is still floating around in the tank 5-7 minutes after you have fed them then that means you are overfeeding.

- Fish waste Fish waste accumulates in the gravel and in the water. Fish can and will produce a lot of waste when they are overfed.

Prevention: I can't emphasize enough how important tank cleanings are. Fish waste can accumulate rapidly in the tank. If the tank isn't cleaned on a regular basis, ammonia will sneak up on you.

If you aren't sure how often you should clean, check out:
What Aquarium Duties Do I Need To Do

- Adding too many fish and overwhelming the filtration system I know how cute fish can be and how much you want "just one more fish" but it will cause problems with the aquarium if there are too many inhabitants.

Prevention:Just trust me, don't add too many fish.

If you are unsure of how many fish to add, check out:
How Many Fish Can I Add To My Aquarium?

If your fish are really stressed out and need some relief until the ammonia levels die down, you can use a chemical called
Ammo Lock.
Ammo Lock will not remove the ammonia but it will help make the ammonia less toxic to the fish. This is only a temporary solution and is not meant to replace any water changes.


Anonymous said...

My wife & I are new to having an aquarium. Just started up our 55 gal tank 11/29/11, let it cycle & added 12 Tiger Barbs as starter fish 12/7/11. Kept a careful log of all we done/added to tank, then ammonia spiked 12/18/11 (2.0 ppm). Changed all filters & continued adding Stress Zyme & Stress Coat as recommended, but ammonia persist. Can you advise?

Mrs. JayMay said...

All aquariums need to go through a cycling phase. It sounds to me like the aquarium still hasn't cycled yet. If you would like to know more about the cycling process, please check out: Why Does An Aquarium Need to Cycle: The Nitrogen Cycle

Anonymous said...

i have tank with 125 L and i have 4 large fish 2 angel fish and 2 dics.

my problem is ammonia is too high i test it 2.0ppm . i read your website but question is how many time do i have to do water change ?