wondering asked in PetsFish · 7 years ago

My fish are dying after a water change, I changed the water because of Ammon levels that I cannot get rid of!?

I just had 2 guppies die, after I changed the water this weekend, I only changed 1.5 gallons but I have been struggling with ammonia ever since I put the fish in there! I also have 2 African dwarf frogs in the tank. Is everything probably going to die now? What the hell do I do to get rid of this ammonia?!? Because the stuff they gave me at the pet store is not at all working. I kind of feel like I should just empty the whole damn tank and start over again. This is very frustrating. They said it should take a month to get the system set up and for the ammonia to lower, & something about a biological filter? but it's going on like 3 months now and I'm still struggling. Can someone please help me!


Angela, how can I email you?

There is 1 guppy left and 2 ADF. It is a 10 gallon tank. The frogs really don't seem to be bothered, or maybe I just can't tell. 2 guppies, dead so far. I may be over feeding! I don't know! The filter really messes with the food, I think it's too strong, it makes it fall to the bottom right away. And now that the fish were sick it was like just blowing them around in there. I'm literally about to cry! My email is arahk5@aol.com. I'm feeling very overwhelmed right now! And sad. Don't want my fish to die.

4 Answers

  • Angela
    Lv 6
    7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Sorry I missed a part where you stated you have been at this for 3 months? You have a stalled nitrogen cycle. Get the stuff and get your cycle going. Once you get your test kits test your tap water. If you have ammonia in your tap water then it will be OK just get Prime as a water conditioner.

    Hello :)

    OK take a deeeep deeep breath. I can walk you and your fish through this.

    Before that though I need some info from your tank. All tanks are different.

    How big is your tank?

    What filter are you using?

    Do you have a heater?

    How many guppies do you have left?

    So you only have the 2 ADF and nothing else in the tank?


    Stop adding ammonia blockers; this is only temporary relief and it will not fix the issue at hand.

    The fish store dudes are stupid as most are. Sorry fish shop peps; I don't much either, but I am learning.

    They got you to do what they wanted which was for you to buy their products and get frustrated because no product will help you cycle a tank.

    Do not listen to them any more. Go on here or join a fish forum and ask questions because usually the employes don't know anything about the nitrogen cycle.

    You need to get the testing kits for PH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. You must cycle your tank.http://www.apifishcare.com/aquarium/testing

    You need to test regularly and do water changes accordingly (If you see more than .25 of ammonia or nitrites do a 50% water change with Prime).

    You need a good water conditioner: https://www.google.com/#q=seachem+Prime

    Here is more info about the nitrogen cycle: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOnDyDPDhy0

    Youtube thumbnail


    Youtube thumbnail

    Don't get frustrated. Just read this and then re-read it. It is not difficult once you understand the concept.

    Ammonia kills fish. Ammonia is fish poop, left over food, and other decay matter in the tank. If your fish are dying it is because of the ammonia as you already know.

    This fish poop is ammonia and it can kill your fish. Well there is this good microscopic bacteria that starts to colonize in your tank (mainly in the filter; it is the brown gunk you see; yes that stuff is golden).

    This cool bacteria that we can't see with our eyes eats/processes the ammonia; which is great for the fish! However, it takes 3-4 weeks to establish depending on the tank size and fish waste (bio load).

    Your tank is not cycled and you already have fish in the tank so now you must do daily 50% water changes. This will help and this will maintain your fish and invertebrates alive. The fish are hardy fish, but your ADF are very delicate and hate ammonia.

    You must match the temp of the new water to the one in the tank to avoid shocking the fish. You should also check the PH and make sure it is the same (just do this when you have the kit, right now just do a water change).

    If you have gravel or sand you must clean it. Here is how to clean gravel (with sand you just skim the surface and move the sand with your fingers): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6Re04cYJcY

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    Do not over feed. Ammonia is left over food too. Only feed as much as your fish can eat in a couple of minutes then remove the rest. For your Frogs put in food and do not let it sit for more than 5hrs. If you feed blood worms or pellets or whatever and they don't eat them take them out. This is easier if you just feed them what they need and do not over feed. You just know how much to feed them; just monitor them and don't over feed them. I know exactly how much my fishes eat and never over feed them.

    You must do water changes to keep your ammonia down. This is the only way. Do daily 50% water changes and test your water. You will see results because in a few weeks you will start to see nitrite and no more ammonia.

    Fish less cycles are better. This is where you feed raw ammonia to a tank with no fish. You can let the ammonia get very toxic, but because there is no fish the ammonia harms nothing and there is only food for the beneficial bacteria. You should always do fish less cycles. Cycling with fish is just a lot of work and like you already saw some fish die. Some fish die even if you do daily water changes. http://www.drtimsaquatics.com/resources/how-to-sta...

    E-mail me if you have any questions. I can walk you through the cycling process. Hang in there. You just have a lot of work ahead of you with those water changes.

    Source(s): Hope I provided enough information. Hang in there :) Don't give up this hobby. It is truly wonderful. Just have some patience and do those water changes. We all had to learn about the nitrogen cycle after we had fish in the tank like you. It sucks, but we learn to do fish less cycles.
  • 7 years ago

    I had very high ammonia levels about 5wks ago and lost a fish also, and.. yes it does take while for the levels to lower. I was advised by an aquarium to do frequent partial water changes (wkly, though twice in first week as levels were so high..) and I added ammonia removing solution plus solution to help the tank cycle quicker.. and after 5 wks, ammonia is now gone, it takes while agree for the biological filter to work (and for the tank to cycle) and remove the ammonia.

    Have you ever had yr tank water tested by an aquarium ?

    Do you have a filter for the tank?

    how big is the tank?

  • 7 years ago

    I hope you are always using dechlorinated water using a good water conditioner in the tank? If you can get hold of some Seachem Prime as a water conditioner, then get that as it can help against ammonia as well temporarily while your biological filter is established. If ammonia does not start to come down, unfortunately you will loose fish. Also get a small bottle of Stresszyme which contains enzymes that help create a friendly environment for bacteria to colonize and do a large water change with dechlorinated water or water treated with Seachem Prime or a good water conditioner.

    3 months is a long time for ammonia and my only suspicion is that you are not using enough or proper dechlorinater and the chlorine in the water is destroying your biological filter setting you back to "Day 1" stage of your tank.

    Best of luck,

  • 7 years ago

    Dont start over!!! How big is your tank, the smaller the tank the harder it is to keep levels steady. second big factor is how much food are you feeding, and how much is not getting eaten?

    What I would do is...do a fairly good clean of the rocks with a tank vaccum. only take out 25% of the water ...re-add fresh water with "prime" I absolutely HATE cycle product, its a pain in the ****! Its best to get a good natural cycle going on. Then next day do another 10% water change, do NOT vaccum rocks again. re add fresh with prime...do this over and over until your levels stablizie, as long as you aren't overfeeding, and your tank is adequate size for the amount of fish you have, it should stay cycled and you shouldn't have to clean it often. It should get very low maintaince.

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