I think my guppy may be on the verge of death Ammonia levels

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Customer: I think my guppy may be on the verge of death
Ammonia levels have been high but have dropped over the last few days, nitrate and nitrite levels seem to have risen in the last few days
I just changed the filters a few days ago
Should I change filters, change water, decant the guppy and if so into what?
In other words, HELP!
Answered by Jav917 in 4 mins 10 years ago
Pet Specialist

27,324 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Dog Veterinary, Cat Veterinary, Bird Veterinary, Reptile Veterinary, Exotic Animal Veterinary


Have you checked the water quality levels?

How long has the tank been set up?

How many fish do you have in the tank?

After you answer please give me some time to type an answer.





Just before I asked I tested the ammonia at around 0.75-1ppm, NO3 at 40, NO2 at1, ph7

I set it up in December But only put fish in after a month or so.

I have 2 Mollies, (and now some fry!) and I had 3 guppies, but 2 have died and the last one is not looking too good, just laying on the bottom of the tank


We need to get the Ammonia down to 0, the Nitrites to 0 and the Nitrates less than 20ppm. The PH is fine. The way we are going to do this is with water changes. Leave the Charcoal filtration in tact. Replace 75% water today. Make sure you use either bottled spring water or Amquel in the tap water. The Amquel will help remove the Ammonia and Chlorine from the tap water. In the tank you can add some Fritzyme which is a biological filter and some Stress Coat to help with any injuries from the Ammonia.


We will do a 35% daily water change each day for a week and I want you to add an air stone to the aquarium. The extra air should help to increase oxygenation in the tank. We need to monitor the tank water parameters daily. If you notice a rise in the Ammonia or other levels you will need to do the water change. I am hoping if we do this for a week we can get this under control. You need to back off on feeding. Excess food can cause the levels to rise as well as the fish excrement.


If there continues to be problems, you may have to increase tank size if the levels do not straighten out. When you have a spike do not change the filter cartridge you need to change the water. The filter cartridge helps the bacteriological filter unless it is clogged up. Joan

Hi Joan

Thanks for the above, that's pretty much what I've been doing although I've only been changing around 15% a day, so I'll increase immediately. I have an air stone

What seems curious is that levels had been high but were dropping and the water was much less toxic, yet the fish deteriorated, and just when I changed the filters. Are you sure there is no correlation?

Also, I have a few snails in there. Will these be increasing the toxicity to a particularly large degree?


Removing the current filtration removes the biological filter that is there that helps to break down the Nitrites, and Nitrates which inturn cause the ammonia spike. That is why I said leave the filters in place, unless they are clogged up. We need to keep a good biological filter in the tank as that helps break down the waste in teh water. The Fritzyme is a bacteria that helps build up a biological filter and the Stress coat will replace body slime. Joan

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