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Anna
Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11424
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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My ammonia in my tank is 1 I have been doing water changes

Customer Question

My ammonia in my tank is 1 I have been doing water changes to get it down everything else is fine in the tank nitrite nitrates ph. Do I keep doing daily water changes to get it down or is there something I can put in there to take it down faster? I also need to start using melgafix ad my fish had a couple of spots. The tank is a 40 litre only one fish I know the tank is too small but I can't get another one at the moment. So until I can I have to use this one. Your help would be great thank you. I had to take out the live plant also as I was having huge trouble with snails.

Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Anna replied 4 years ago.
Hello again,

I'm sorry to hear you're still having trouble. Yes, you will need to keep doing water changes. The Melafix isn't going to work very well as long as there is ammonia in the tank. When a tank starts to go through the cycling process, ammonia is the first by-product produced. If cycling cannot proceed (as when a tank is too small), you're not likely to see nitrites or nitrates, just ammonia.

Since the ammonia isn't going down with only water changes, and you can't get a bigger tank, you may have to use a product that removes ammonia. Many aquarium water conditioners also remove ammonium. Ammonium is actually a form of ammonia with an ion attached. It is less toxic to fish than the non-ionized form of ammonia, but not harmless. AmmoLoc, Prime, and even AquaSafe all do this. They all contain a similar ingredient. AmmoLoc is sodium hydroxymethane sulfinate. AquaSafe contains sodium thiosulfate pentahydrate and Prime contains complexed hydosulphite salts. Note that each of these contains a form of sulfur, which is what causes the reaction to remove the unwanted chemicals. They all work in the same way. Many experienced aquarists believe that we use too many water conditioners and that such use isn't good for fish. They use the conditioners only to condition water for small fish bowls where complete water changes are done, when more than 20% of the water in a tank is changed at once, or when there is some kind of "disaster" in a tank. Your situation qualifies as one of those disasters. Here's where you can read more on the subject:

http://www.aquariumfish.net/information/water_conditioner.htm


These products are not something you can use once and solve the problem. You'll have to keep using them regularly. This won't be good for your fish, but it's better than ammonia. The amount of ammonia you now have is enough to be fatal if you don't do something about it. So, yes, at this point I would recommend going to a pet store and buying an ammonia removal product such as those I named above. I hope that between water changes and the removal product you'll be able to get the ammonia down. If you need anything else, don't hesitate to ask.

Anna
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Anna could I do a big water change like 50%? I have been doing 25% ones and adding 1/2 ml of stress coat and I add quick start. Would a big water change help? I did an ammonia check today and it was nearly 0.5ml. If I can get it down without using the other product would be good. also why does these two spots keep coming they go away then come again is it because the ammonii there is only two spots white ones. I feel horrible there is anyways some thing wrong it seems I do weekly water changes and keep it clean.

Expert:  Anna replied 4 years ago.
Yes, you can do a big water change and it will help temporarily. Nothing will help permanently except a bigger tank and/or more powerful filter. But anything you can do now to get the ammonia down will be good. An ammonia reading of .5 is enough to stress a goldfish and make it prone to getting sick, so that could be why the white spots (which may be fungus) keep coming back. So, yes, go ahead and do a big water change, but use the conditioners.

Anna
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

thank you for your help just did a big water change will get a bigger filter tomorrow and look out for a bigger thank you

Expert:  Anna replied 4 years ago.
That's a good plan. If that doesn't get the ammonia down, go ahead and use an ammonia removal chemical. That's better than letting the ammonia build up.

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!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hello Anna the ammonia is good now I did a big water change did a good gravel vac and have a new filter. Will look into getting a bigger tank soon. I have noticed for a while now that my fish is swimming a bit crooked. Then other times he's fine. He doesn't have swim bladder but just he swims off to one side sometimes not all the time. is this normal? I looked on the Internet and they said its ok if he's not floating up the top of the tank or lying on the bottom. But i wanted to check other than that he seems fine

Expert:  Anna replied 4 years ago.
Hi,

I'm glad to hear you got the ammonia under control. As long as the fish seems fine in every other way, he probably really is fine. I would just keep an eye on him to make sure it doesn't change for the worse in any way. No treatment is needed.

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!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for that. I have started treating him for the white spots on his head they look a lot better already thanks again for your help I will keep an eye on him

Expert:  Anna replied 4 years ago.
You're welcome. With the ammonia down, the white spots should now respond to medication. I hope you won't have any more trouble.

I'd appreciate it very much if you'd take a moment to rate my answer. Even after you do that, you can still ask follow-up questions just as you have been doing. Thank you!

Anna