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Old 09-09-2006, 12:10 AM   #1
Aroboy II

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Default Ammonia Poisoning

In fish-keeping, ammonia poisoning is one of the common killers. The presence of detectable levels indicates that your bio filter is not working adequately, either because your tank has not yet cycled, or the filter is not functioning adequately (e.g., too small for fish load, clogged, etc.) It is imperative that you address the problem (filter) in addition to the symptoms (high ammonia levels).

Signs and Symptoms:
  • Fish breathing heavily at the water surface
  • Gills turn red or purple
  • Restless fish (looks like very lethargic)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fish rests at the bottom of the tank
  • Fins or body having red lines or bloody patches

Remedy:
  • Lowering the pH below 7.0 to “make” the toxic ammonia into ammonium which is non-toxic for the fish.
  • Do a 25-40% water change preferably with aged water.
  • Neutralize the ammonia by adding chemicals like commercial products like Amquel Plus*, Prime, Fritz, etc.
  • Reduce or stop feeding

Prevention/Counter Measure:
  • Increase the tank population slowly
  • Remove uneaten food immediately and sparingly feeding is encouraged.
  • Regular, frequent water changes (with small quantity)
  • Conduct water testing of water parameters to “detect” problems as early as possible.

As a final caution, several commercial products (e.g., "Amquel'' or "Ammo-Lock'') safely neutralize ammonia's toxicity. Amquel does not remove the ammonia, it simply neutralizes its toxicity. Biological filtration is still needed to convert the (neutralized) ammonia to nitrite and nitrate. Thus, adding Amquel causes the ammonia produced by the fish to be neutralized instantly, yet still allows the nitrogen cycle to proceed.

Test ammonia to rule out ammonia poisoning if the fish appears unwell. Failure in the filteration system, do a test for ammonia after 24hrs after adding the commercial beneficial bacterias just to make sure ruling out ammonia poisoning.

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