How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Anna Your Own Question

Anna
Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 9548
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
6012901
Type Your Pet Question Here...
Anna is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

i am having trouble with my aquarium. The ammonia and the PH

Customer Question

i am having trouble with my aquarium. The ammonia and the PH have been high. The ammonia is 1-1.5 and the PH is 7.4. Yesterday I did a 25% water change. Today it was still high so I did another water change and I added some PH down and rinsed the carbon filter with tank water as thats what the pet shop said to try. The PH is now 7.2. My last water change I did a gravel vac so its not the gravel. The tank is not over crowded and the tank has been set up for ages so its not a new tank. The nitrite is 0 and the nitrates are fine. I am going away tomorrow so i want to try and get things sorted. A few weeks ago I used melgafix in the tank as my fish had cloudy eyes and some missing scales.
Do I add some more PH down tomorrow?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome back to JustAnswer. I just reading your previous questions about the aquarium and see that this has been an ongoing problem. Some clarification will help me figure out the best way to help.

I see that you have a black moor in the tank. How big is he from mouth to tail tip?

Are there other fish in the tank? If so, what?

How big is the tank in liters or gallons?

You said in this question that the tank has been set up for ages, but in December 2012, you said you emptied and refilled it. Is this the same tank?

What is the pH of your water as it comes straight from the tap?

Thank you.

Anna

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi I am not quite sure how big he is probably 4 inches he is quite large he's the only one in the tank. It's a 40 litre tank. Not sure of the ph when it comes out of the tap I always add stress coat to the tank. The tank has been set up for a few months? It was a second hand one that had fish in it before they petshop said to leave it running set up which I did and they said I could add the fish straight away as that's how the cycle can start once he's in it? I used the same carbon and rocks from his old tank. The tank has been good for a while now just every now and then the ph plays up. The ammonia has only been high for a few days. It's just the ph. Nitrite and nitrates have been good also.
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for getting back to me. Don't worry about the pH. I'm not sure who told you it was a problem, but a black moor is a variety of goldfish, and they do best with a pH of at least 7.2, and higher cna be better yet. If the pH drops below 7.0, that alone can make a goldfish sick. If it goes to 6 or below, it is likely to be fatal. Different kinds of fish have different pH requirements, and we can't assume that all fish need the slightly acidic water that some of the tropical rain forest species do. Yet, that's what many pet store staff believe. So, absolutely do not add any more pH down, and leave the pH alone. The more you try to change it, the worse for your fish. You can confirm this information on pH on the following reputable goldfish sites:

http://www.goldfishconnection.com/articles/details.php?articleId=125&parentId=10

http://www.goldfish-emergency.com/viewpage.php?page_id=179

The ammonia is another story. As little as 0.01 ppm can cause illness under the right circumstances. Goldfish need ammonia at zero. The biggest problem is that a 40 liter tank is too small for a goldfish this size, and you will always have trouble maintaining water quality. Goldfish produce a tremendous amount of waste, and your tank has probably not been able to cycle properly because of that. It used to be recommended to have about 4 liters of water per inch of fish. That still holds true for tropical fish, but not for goldfish. I find they do best with about 100 liters per fish, regardless of size. I’ll share my own experience with 12 inches total of goldfish (3 fish). They are in a 90 gallon (about 340 liters) tank. I have an undergravel filter, a hanging filter, and a powerful canister filter. It takes all three of those filters to maintain perfect water quality. Regardless of tank size, frequent water testing and changing is needed. Goldfish tank size is another area where pet store personnel give out incorrect information. They may not know, or they may simply want to sell more fish.

In your present tank, you'll probably need to do a weekly water change of 25% or twice a week water changes of 10% to keep the ammonia down. That may not be enough. Frequent testing will let you know. If you get a bigger tank, don't follow the pet store advice of putting a large goldfish in anew tank to cycle it. That kind of advice is outdated and is only likely to result in a sick or dead fish. We now usually cycle tanks without fish. There are other ways to cycle a tank. The following website gives detailed instructions and also explains cycling in depth.

http://animal-world.com/encyclo/fresh/information/CycleAquarium.php

You'll have to make up your own mind on what to do about the ammonia, but I recommend you throw away the pH Down. It is bad for your fish. If you have more questions, let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope you'll be able to get everything under control and your fish will thrive.

Anna

Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 9548
Experience: 40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
Anna and 2 other Pet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Anna you help has been great you get so much different advice from pet shops. I will be throwing that ph stuff down they told me it should always be 7. I will nor be adding anymore
Ph down. I always do weekly water changes now of 25% and have started gravel vac the same time. In my tank I have a filter and an airstone would a extra filter help for now until I can get a larger tank. They also told me a 40 litre is fine. Just another question how often should you change the carbon cartridge is every few months right? When it gets messy is it
Ok to give it a rinse using tank water? I don't think I will get any more
Advice from the pet shops anymore I think they cause more trouble then help thanks for all that advise I really appreciate it
I should have asked you first.
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.
You're welcome. Yes, we see people with sick pets every day because of advice given by pet stores. Somehow , these people get it in their heads that fish need 'neutral' water at 7.0, when in reality, what different species need varies a great deal.

A second filter would help for now. I change my carbon cartridges once per month. with goldfish, they don't last as long as they will with small tropical fish. Rinsing them off helps remove the physical particles that are trapped in it, but the carbon also removes harmful gases and chemicals. It can only do that for so long, until it's capacity is used up.

I hope you don't have any more trouble.

Anna

Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Thank you!

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I must tell you I found this site by accident and was amazed when I asked a question of the Veteranians online. I wish I could have found it sooner it could have made such a difference in the outcome of my pet's surgery. However, I am passing along the information to my sister-in-law (a cat-rescue person who is also a nurse), and perhaps it will help someone else who may experience the same problem. The doctor who answered my question was amazing, and while it didn't come it time to change the outcome of my situation, it is reassuring to know the caliber of Vets/Doctors that you have at JustAnswer. Thank you for being there. Alice H. Jacksonville, Fl.
< Last | Next >
  • I must tell you I found this site by accident and was amazed when I asked a question of the Veteranians online. I wish I could have found it sooner it could have made such a difference in the outcome of my pet's surgery. However, I am passing along the information to my sister-in-law (a cat-rescue person who is also a nurse), and perhaps it will help someone else who may experience the same problem. The doctor who answered my question was amazing, and while it didn't come it time to change the outcome of my situation, it is reassuring to know the caliber of Vets/Doctors that you have at JustAnswer. Thank you for being there. Alice H. Jacksonville, Fl.
  • You are a light at the end of scary tunnel when $ are tight, but people need professional help to turn to for help with their dear pets! Linh Charleston, WV
  • $1,000 spent at his vet, and I finally get the correct diagnosis from Nancy Holmes for $15 Carol Cedar Hill, MO
  • I think this is the greatest web site in the world. Thanks to all! Judy New Haven, CT
  • I have referred several friends to your web site. I'm impressed with how easy it is to use your site, the Experts available and the quickness of answers. Nina USA
  • I am completely pleased with the quick response that I received in our time of need for our dog, Jasmine. I couldn't believe how quick the response was and I thank you. It's good to know you're there!! Jasmine's Mom USA
  • Please let everyone involved with your site know that your Expert, Dr. Lucy, has saved my dog's life. I will recommend your site to all my pet loving friends. Thank you again for simply being there! Sonya G Easley, SC
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    522
    2003 Graduate
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetforyou/2012-6-20_33122_PearlPhoto.64x64.jpg Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    522
    2003 Graduate
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/Jav917/2012-2-20_54059_201221802254JoananddavidArchuleta3.64x64.jpg Joan's Avatar

    Joan

    Vet Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    2337
    Vet Tech for 30+yrs. Small Animals and Fish
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    273
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/1I/1ISUDVM/2011-3-1_22028_Honeymoon2005075294928803490646858.64x64.jpg Dr. Bruce's Avatar

    Dr. Bruce

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    157
    12 years of experience in emergency, surgery and medicine
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MS/MsAM/2012-6-9_16426_anna.64x64.jpeg Anna's Avatar

    Anna

    Pet Expert/Biologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2916
    40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/babybloo/2011-3-10_62613_DavidandI.64x64.jpg Theresa's Avatar

    Theresa

    Voice for your pet

    Satisfied Customers:

    1132
    Veterinary Technician for 15 years
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/jadedangel57/2011-11-8_193134_janenewsm.64x64.jpg Jane Lefler's Avatar

    Jane Lefler

    Behaviorist, Breeder, See Qual.

    Satisfied Customers:

    884
    15 years Breeding Experience, Former vol. Vet Assistant, Dog Behaviorist