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goldfish: 5 gallon tank that has been set up for about a month

Hi, I had asked a...
Hi, I had asked a question on Feb 15th about my goldfish that was suffering from ammonia poisioning and I am now having some more ammonia related problems. I have a 5 gallon tank that has been set up for about a month and a half with one 1 inch goldfish, the other one didn't make it. I have a power filter and an air stone that is bubbling on full power. Previously when the other fish died I had been fighting the ammonia between .5 and 1 wiht a brief spike at 2. The ammonia had stayed at less than 1 for about a week after the other fish died. At that point I was doing a 25 percent change about every three days. As the ammonia continued to rise I went to every other day. The ammonia is now stuck at 3. My goldfish is obviously starting show some some serious stress. It is losing scales, and had been acting very nervous, the nervousness is getting better daily though, it is still eating and otherwise still active. I have been doing 25 percent water changes with a gravel syphon daily now, I am feeding everyother day and the ammonia is still staying at 3, my poor fish. All the other readings on the test strip are good. Nitrites and nitrates are good the only thing on the high side was ph at 7.8 and I know a higher ph makes the ammonia worse but I have no idea how to fix that. So I am stuck. I can't imagine the poor thing will live much longer with the ammonia that high and I really don't want it to suffer. I have another 5 gallon fish tank that holds my son's betta. The goldfish bunked with him for the first week while I tried to get their tank set up with that bacterial supplement and poopy from the other tank{ don't buy a fish and a tank from a pet store only to get home and find out you were supposed to set up the tank 6 weeks ago... I didnt know}should I (and I know you are going to say no but I am desparate)put him in with the betta for another week untill I get the ammonia under control in his tank. The bettas tank has been set up for a while and ammonia is 0. He doesn't seem to be an overly aggressive betta and didnt mind the goldfish before. I feel so cruel and I just don't want him to suffer like the other one. Oh and I haven't changed the filter or cleaned it and I haven't used the ammonia remover since the other fish died over two weeks ago. and temp is 68 Ok thanks for your help!
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Answered in 15 minutes by:
3/5/2010
TROPICAL FISH  AFICIONADO
TROPICAL FISH AFICIONADO, YOUR TROPICAL FISH RESOURCE
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 2,457
Experience: OVER 20 YEARS EXPERIENCE W/TROPICAL FISH---BREEDING, MAINTAINING, CURING
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There's obviously something wrong going on for ammonia to be a chronic problem.

 

When a tank is first set up with all new water, ammonia will usually rise, spike, decline and disappear within the first 2 1/2 weeks.

 

Before I continue discussing ammonia I just want to make sure that the test results are indeed correct because an ammonia level of 3 is enough to kill a fish rather quickly so what I suggest be done is have the water tested by an outside source such as your local pet store then compare the pet store's results with your results. This will give some kind of confirmation as to the validity of the test results.

 

If it turns out that your results are accurate then I would think that there's something in or inside the tank that is causing ammonia to form or leaching ammonia into the water.

 

Check to see if there's anything that might possibly be causing problems in the tank such as a piece of decor, i.e. a diver, a sunken ship, etc.,etc.

 

I would also suggest "borrowing" some water from the betta tank as this water contains the good bacteria needed to breakdown ammonia. Take 2 gallons of the betta tank water and discard two gallons from the goldfish tank and replace it with the betta water then put 2 gallons of new dechlorinated water into the betta's tank. This should add a "shot in the arm" to the goldfish's water.

 

You can even take some of the filter media from the betta's tank's filter and add it to the goldfish's tank's filter as this will help.

 

But do try and have the water tested by an outside source.

 

.

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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
How would I know if something is leaching or causing ammonia to form more rapidly? I have three fake plants, two silk and one plastic,all aquarium approved and a turtle decoration and a rock thing both for aquariums.?I did just get a new bottle of test strips come to think of it right about when the ammonia got out of control so I shall take some in to the pet store tomorrow!

The turtle decoration and the rock have me suspicious. I know that you mentioned that they're both designed for aquarium use but I've encountered cases where even items meant for aquariums caused problems particularily if there was some kind of paint on them as this paint can begin to slowly chip off.

 

Let's try something--take out of the tank the turtle and rock (I'm more suspicious of the turtle). Do a 20% partial water change tommorrow then test the water and let's see what results from it. Do all of this before bringing a water sample to the pet store.

 

As for the test strips, it's possible they're old and outdated although they don't have an expiration date listed on the packaging.

 

.

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