Help!!

emma jean

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I’m new to fishkeeping and I need advice!!
I have a platy and a molly in a 5 gallon tank, they were given to me as a gift a few months ago. Everything was generally fine up until a week ago! My tank water got SUPER cloudy almost overnight, it’s all thick and gross like milk. I thought it was a bacterial bloom so I let it sit but then I saw that my ammonia was through the roof (over 8.0 ppm!!!) so I did a 50 WC and added API Ammo Lock. It’s been a few days and quite a few PWCs and the ammonia is still so high!! I’ve cleaned out my filter mechanisms for gunk and rinsed the biological component (in tank water). The water is a little less cloudy now but ammonia is still concerning. Any tips???
-ammonia >8.0 ppm
-nitrate 0
-nitrite 0
-pH 6 (I need help getting that up too..)
- water temp 81 degrees
 

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eatyourpeas

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Ammonia should be 0. Is there a chance you forgot to add dechlorinator during your last water change and accidentally killed the bacteria? It could have triggered a mini cycle. Daily water changes are necessary to keep the ammonia down. Do you have plants? Hornwort would be a great ammonia eater and help with this as well.

I just did this last week :rolleyes:, and added extra bacteria in a bottle, as well as daily water changes. My ammonia never went up, but I did get a bacteria bloom that lasted an hour or so.
 

Slaphppy7

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Platys or mollies do fine in a fairly wide range of temps, 78F would be ideal...the main concern is getting that ammonia down, fast

What kind of test kit are you using? What water conditioner?
 
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emma jean

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Ammonia should be 0. Is there a chance you forgot to add dechlorinator during your last water change and accidentally killed the bacteria? It could have triggered a mini cycle. Daily water changes are necessary to keep the ammonia down. Do you have plants? Hornwort would be a great ammonia eater and help with this as well.

I just did this last week :rolleyes:, and added extra bacteria in a bottle, as well as daily water changes. My ammonia never went up, but I did get a bacteria bloom that lasted an hour or so.
I’m fairly certain I’ve done the conditioner every time! I use API Stress Coat, so it dechlorinates, but doesn’t remove ammonia I don’t think... I’ll keep doing daily water changes, and maybe get a plant!
 
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emma jean

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Platys or mollies do fine in a fairly wide range of temps, 78F would be ideal...the main concern is getting that ammonia down, fast

What kind of test kit are you using? What water conditioner?
Ok, I’ll bring the temp down. I use the master test kit (liquid, not strips), and API stress coat+ for conditioner. I just tested my tap water and the ammonia is 1 ppm. I think I’ll start using bottled water for the time being.
 
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emma jean

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Also, your water is too warm for the fish you have. I am no expert on platys or mollys, but @Slaphppy7 or the mods should be able to help with that. Also, do you have an air pump?
just realized I forgot to answer your second question. No, I don’t have an air pump, I have a HOB filter with a waterfall surface agitation bit. (Top fin)
 

Slaphppy7

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Get the Seachem Prime, as advised above, best stuff out there, IMO...today, if you can, and do a big WC, treat for the entire tank amount.
Prime is dosed at 1 ml/10G, so you would need 1/2 a ml...medicinal syringes are great for measuring out accurate amounts of Prime, since it is concentrated and used in small amounts....medicinal syringes are marked in ml, making them perfect for the task.
US 5 gallon tanks are actually 5.5G, and Seachem states that you can dose up to 5X the recommended dose safely, for extreme conditions...I'd dose a full 1 ml in this situation, with a large (75%) WC.
Be sure to preserve the BB colony in your filter media by rinsing it in old tank water ONLY, not tap water...check params 24 hours after the WC, and report back here.
Lastly, be sure to match the new water temp to the temp of the tank, drastic temp changes stress/harm tropical fish.
 

Essjay

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Just to point out that water conditioners don't remove ammonia, they detoxify it for 24 to 36 hours, after which it becomes toxic again. Water changes are still needed to remove the ammonia but the water conditioners such as Prime willl keep the fish safe between water chnages.
 

Colin_T

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The temperature is fine for livebearers.

Don't adjust the pH if you have an ammonia reading of 8.0ppm because the acid water is all that's keeping your fish alive. If the pH was above 7.0 and you had 9ppm ammonia, everything in the tank would be dead.

Check the tap water for ammonia.

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Reduce feeding to once every few days and do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate every day until the ammonia and nitrite are 0ppm. Then do a 75% water change and gravel clean once a week.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it's added to the tank.

If you can get some liquid filter bacteria in a bottle, add a heap of that to the tank after you do a water change. Try to add it near the filter intake so the bacteria get sucked into the filter where they belong. You can add double the recommended dose every day for a week without any problems.
 
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emma jean

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Hi everyone, thanks so much for all your help. I’ve been doing 50-75% water changes every day and vacuuming my substrate. Ammonia is slowly but surely going down. I found out that my tap water had ammonia, so I switched to filtering it through my Brita before adding it to the tank. Brita filtered water has no ammonia/nitrite, and I just add my conditioner before adding. Water is a little less cloudy!
tank pH is 6.4
Ammonia is now under 8.0 ppm (doesn’t show up on chart but it’s lighter than 8 and darker than 4), and I have high hopes that it’ll keep getting better!
the temp is staying at 80 degrees
Nitrate is under 5 ppm and nitrite is 0
I’ll update once ammonia has gone down and I’ve added some bottle bacteria! Also considering adding a filter sponge..
 

Essjay

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Be careful about using Brita water. I tested mine a few years ago - it lowered GH and KH and dropped pH off the bottom of the scale of my tester - below 6.0. The FAQs on Brita's website at the time said it wasn't suitable for fish tanks. They work by swapping the hardness (GH) minerals for hydrogen ions, and pH is an upside down measure of hydrogen ions - the more there are, the lower the pH.


Whenever ammonia is more than zero you need to do a water change - 4 ppm is way too high.



Your tap water has ammonia because your water provider uses chloramine to disinfect the water. This is an ammonia and a chlorine joined together. Water conditioners split chloramine into chlorine and ammonia and remove the chlorine. Many water conditioners also detoxify ammonia for 24 hours. Chloramine and detoxified ammonia still show up in the ammonia test.
The best way to deal with ammonia is a water change whenever it reads above zero, using a water conditioner which detoxifies ammonia. This will keep the fish safe until the next day's water change.
Seachem Prime also detoxifies nitrite so when nitrite shows up it will keep the fish safe until the next day's water change.

Once the tank is cycled, using a water conditioner which detoxifies ammonia will make the new water safe until the bacteria have removed it - well before it can un-detoxify.
 
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emma jean

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Be careful about using Brita water. I tested mine a few years ago - it lowered GH and KH and dropped pH off the bottom of the scale of my tester - below 6.0. The FAQs on Brita's website at the time said it wasn't suitable for fish tanks. They work by swapping the hardness (GH) minerals for hydrogen ions, and pH is an upside down measure of hydrogen ions - the more there are, the lower the pH.


Whenever ammonia is more than zero you need to do a water change - 4 ppm is way too high.



Your tap water has ammonia because your water provider uses chloramine to disinfect the water. This is an ammonia and a chlorine joined together. Water conditioners split chloramine into chlorine and ammonia and remove the chlorine. Many water conditioners also detoxify ammonia for 24 hours. Chloramine and detoxified ammonia still show up in the ammonia test.
The best way to deal with ammonia is a water change whenever it reads above zero, using a water conditioner which detoxifies ammonia. This will keep the fish safe until the next day's water change.
Seachem Prime also detoxifies nitrite so when nitrite shows up it will keep the fish safe until the next day's water change.

Once the tank is cycled, using a water conditioner which detoxifies ammonia will make the new water safe until the bacteria have removed it - well before it can un-detoxify.
Do you have any recommendations as to a good water source? I can’t really use use tap water...unless there’s some way I can have my filter filter out the ammonia? Right now it’s doing nothing. Should I just use bottled spring water for the time being? I’m sort of stuck for a source for my water changes.
 
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emma jean

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Do you have any recommendations as to a good water source? I can’t really use use tap water...unless there’s some way I can have my filter filter out the ammonia? Right now it’s doing nothing. Should I just use bottled spring water for the time being? I’m sort of stuck for a source for my water changes.
Just tested water straight from the Brita. pH is 7.0/7.2. Is it still okay to use?
 
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