Controlling Ammonia In A Fish Aquarium - Petcha

Overtime fish waste and uneaten food will accumulate in your gravel and start to produce ammonia.
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The cycle is complete when you have zero readings for both ammonia and nitrIte for more than a couple of days in a row. At this point you can test for nitrAte which will be very high. Keep topping up the ammonia to 2ppm after the daily test until you are ready to get fish. At that point do a very large water change (80-90 %) to remove the excess nitrAte, and remember to dechlorinate the fresh water before adding it. No ammonia should be added once fish are present.
Ammonia buildup is also common in  to safely house fish or otheranimals and fish tanks that are .
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Whenever you have true ammonia in the tank, yes, it is toxic, but the overlooked problem is that often people assume the test kit is only returning ammonia readings - that is usually how it is sold, when in fact it is showing the sum of two compounds instead. Treating for ammonia when it is actually ammonium can cause chemicals to be added to the water that are not always healthy and don't need to be there. When pH is low, ammonium is what is actually there, and it is non-toxic - you don't have to worry about it and it will not hurt the fish. The compound produced when an ammonia compound is broken down, nitrite will still be produced, though, and that is toxic at all times. That is the one I usually worry more about. The same is true for your fish. The ammonia in the water, if leftunchecked, can lead to  and .
Photo provided by FlickrAmmonia never came down. 6 days ago, my fish contracted a fungal infection and I lost 12 fish.
Photo provided by FlickrAmmonia levels greater than 2 mg per liter will cause toxicity symptoms in the fish.
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Like all living creatures, fish give off waste products (pee andpoo). These nitrogenous waste products break down into ammonia (NH3),which is highly toxic to most fishes. In nature, the volume of waterper fish is extremely high, and waste products become diluted to lowconcentrations. In aquariums, however, it can take as little as a fewhours for ammonia concentrations to reach toxic levels.The desired species of nitrifying bacteria are present everywhere(e.g., in the air). Therefore, once you have an ammonia source in yourtank, it's only a matter of time before the desired bacteria establisha colony in your filter bed. The most common way to do this is toplace one or two (emphasis on one or two) hardy andinexpensive fish in your aquarium. The fish waste contains theammonia on which the bacteria live. Don't overfeed them! More foodmeans more ammonia! Some suggested species include: common goldfish(for cold water tanks), zebra danios and barbs for warmer tanks, anddamselfishes in marine systems. Note: Do not use ``toughies'' or otherfeeder fishes. Although cheap, they are extremely unhealthy and usingthem may introduce unwanted diseases to your tank.How much ammonia is too much? The quick answer is: if a test kitis able to measure it, you've got too much (i.e., it's in a high enoughconcentrations to stress fish). Consider emergency action (water changesand zeolite clay) to reducethe danger. (A more detailed discussion of can be found later in this section.)The exact concentration at which ammonia becomes toxic to fishvaries among species; some are more tolerant than others. Inaddition, other factors like water temperature and chemistry play asignificant role. For example, ammonia (NH3) continually changes toammonium (NH4+) and vice versa, with the relative concentrations ofeach depending on the water's temperature and pH. Ammonia isextremely toxic; ammonium is relatively harmless. At highertemperatures and pH, more of the nitrogen is in the toxic ammonia formthan at lower pH.