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Old 11-04-2012, 12:10 PM   #1 
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Question Ammonia

I seem to have high ammonia (about 1 ) all the time no matter how many times I change the water, no matter how many times I treat the existing water, etc.

I have about a 2.5 gallon tank, gravel, a little castle, and a silk plant. Please don't respond saying that I don't have a good set up b/c when he gets bigger I want to get a 10 gallon tank for him but for now its perfect size for him. I got him as a baby and he's grown a little but I feel like he should be bigger. Unless he is a SHE (which I still can't tell yet) but he is so happy and lively. He wiggles and gets so excited when I talk to him, even when I'm not feeding him.

I don't know what to do about his water... I do about a 25% water change but should I do more? It seems that the ammonia NEVER changes. I have a small filter that came with the tank and a heater on its way in the mail.

Any ideas?
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Old 11-04-2012, 12:41 PM   #2 
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2.5 is a good home for your fishy friend but you do need that heater.

What conditioner do you use? Prime helps with ammonia so if you have traces in your tap water, it might be a good choice. Also natural plants will help but it'll depend if you have good lighting to maintain them.
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Old 11-04-2012, 12:55 PM   #3 
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I do use prime. I DID have live plants in there but my husband convinced me not to b/c apparently it can somehow increase ammonia? I thought that was sort of odd when he said that but I don't know I listened to him.

I think the problem is that I never let it cycle first all the way. I am a totally new fish owner and really didn't research the way I should have. And now I research like crazy and its a bit late... but I just am so scared junior will eventually start becoming sick and die. I really love him just as I would my furry pets.

I have never had a problem with Nitrites, Nitrates, PH, only ammonia. I even use prime like you said and it STILL doesn't help. I have a tiny gravel vac so I do remove some waste and I don't overfeed him. I make sure he eats all of his food and only feed him 2 pellets which I have to chop) a day. He's not like BABY baby, but he's still pretty small and I still can't tell if its a boy or girl.
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Old 11-04-2012, 08:01 PM   #4 
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You could try a 50% or even a 100% water change to see. Also if you could test your untreated tap water to see if it has ammonia in it already which can sometimes be difficult to get rid of.

Do you use strips to test or drops? If it's strips it may not be accurate.

As for the plants, plants eat ammonia. The only way for it to raise your ammonia is if the plant dies and you just leave it in the tank. I use to always have .25 of ammonia in my community tank. I did a fishless cycle but as soon as I added the fish, ammonia reading. Finally put a bunch of plants in and no more ammonia.
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Old 11-04-2012, 08:21 PM   #5 
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Prime will help to detoxify the ammonia but it won't remove it, in other words it won't make the test readings go down.

Healthy plants will help with ammonia. If they are unhealthy with dying leaves falling off then those leaves will rot and produce more ammonia. So both you and your husband were kind of right.

At this point you really need to be doing 100% water changes. If you really have 1ppm ammonia in the tank then that is extremely bad news for your fish. Your goal should always be to have 0 readable ammonia in the tank, so you need to be changing as much water as it takes to reach that goal.
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:26 PM   #6 
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Also, have you tested your water source? My tap water has ammonia in it, I get a reading of .25 from the tap water without conditioner in it. (I haven't tested it with conditioner, so I don't know if the kind I have makes a difference or not)
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:11 AM   #7 
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Prime is one of the brands that will turn ammonia into ammonium, which will test the same as ammonia, but it's not harmful.

So you may not have ammonia at all (especially if you did a water change and used the conditioner), but rather you are testing the ammonium in the water.
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