High ammonia and aggressive platy

Essjay

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For the record, hardness of 13.6 mg/l calcium = 1.9 dH and 34 ppm (those are the two units used in fish keeping)

It is very soft.
 

ClownLurch

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Hi. All other parameters are fine. Water is extremely soft but other than that they all test ok and did yesterday too.
I did think maybe the plants weren’t as good as the ones from the aquarium suppliers which I bought initially. But as you say, much more aesthetically pleasing. I ended up with a load of snails which came in on the first lot. I’ll look out for those you’ve mentioned and replace a couple soon. Do they need time after planting to start doing their job?
I don’t know what to do about the male/female issue. The original shop said we’d be fine with a male and 2 females as the male would divide his time. The guppies are ok and haven’t produced any fry yet, though he isn’t interested in the second female. The Platies were the same apart from the regular fry. He only bothered with the female he came with but now he’s really aggressive towards the second female for some reason.
It’s actually my daughter’s tank and she’s be devastated to have to lose any of them other than naturally over time so it’s a dilemma. Would having only males lead to fighting? Would having only females be better (though they tend to not be as attractive)
Your plants wont need replacing. Simply add plants that are more beneficial to water cleansing. Water lettuce and Frogbit are floating plants and they help more than most.

PAH sell tropica plants and their chief selling point is no snails or chemicals.
 
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Fish&chips10

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Hi all. Thanks so much for all the advice. I’ve just ordered some plants that are good for absorbing ammonia. I Won’t buy from PAH again. I was enticed by the attractiveness of them and the lack of snails. They still look exactly as they did when I planted them 2 weeks ago.
I changed 50% of the water earlier today and there wasn’t very much waste as I’d only done it on Sunday. But the eggy smell was very noticeable and I haven’t noticed it before, even on Sunday. It seems to have suddenly happened. I tested the water again afterwards and it was still at 5-6ppm. I’m concerned the new plants will take a couple of days to arrive and then won’t be enough to get the levels down alone. Is there anything else I can add to remove the ammonia?
 
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Fish&chips10

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Hi. I posted a little while ago a thread about high ammonia in my fish tank. I’m relatively new to this hobby. My nitrate and nitrite readings are fine, as is everything else but ammonia levels are still high.
since my last post I have replaced my plants with recommended plants that are good at absorbing ammonia. I’ve reduced feeding from twice to once per day. I’ve changed water regularly, firstly around 50% then 30% every 5 days or so. I also bought a liquid ammonia test kit in case the strips weren’t working properly.
My nitrate and nitrite readings are very low but my ammonia is still reading at 1.5mg/l. And it smells eggy when I vac it whereas it never used to.
what more can I do to get ammonia levels down? Thanks
 

Colin_T

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Small water changes don't do anything to dilute chemicals.

If you do a 25% water change, you leave behind 75% of the bad stuff in the water.
If you do a 50% water change, you leave behind 50% of the bad stuff in the water.
If you do a 75% water change, you leave behind 25% of the bad stuff in the water.

Just do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate any day you have an ammonia or nitrite reading above 0ppm, or a nitrate reading above 20ppm.

The big water changes will get your ammonia down much more effectively.

Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it's added to the tank.
 
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Fish&chips10

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I appreciate the on their own they aren’t enough but surely by doing the 50% clean and then a 30% clean a few days later, I’ve cleaned up to 80% of the water and then subsequent changes on top. Why has it not diluted at all over those changes?
And I worry about doing a 75% change as I don’t have another tank so could this massively steer the fish?
 

Colin_T

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You don't remove the fish when doing water changes. you leave them in the tank and drain some water out, then refill the tank with dechlorinated water.

As long as the new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine, and has a similar temperature, pH and GH to the tank water, it is fine to do big water changes. The pH and GH will not change much during the course of the year because the water company controls that and likes to maintain it at a constant level. The temperature can be matched by using a bit of boiled tap water mixed with cold water. If you have an instant gas hot water, you can use warm water from that.

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If you do a 50% water change, you leave 50% of the bad stuff behind and the tank has then been diluted by 50%.

If you do a 30% water change a few days later, you are diluting the entire tank by 30%. This does not give you an 80% water change because it doesn't work that way. To dilute the nutrients a lot, you need to change a large volume of water at one time.

You also get nutrients building up between water changes.

As to why the ammonia continue to go up, this is caused by fish food and waste in the aquarium that is breaking down and producing ammonia, and no beneficial bacteria in the filter to convert the ammonia into nitrite and nitrate. In a few weeks time some good bacteria should have grown and the ammonia should drop to 0ppm. When that happens the nitrite will start to go up. A couple of weeks later the nitrite will drop to 0ppm and the nitrates will go up. When this happens the filter will have finished its cycling process and you should no longer have any ammonia or nitrite problems unless you change the filter media/ material, and this is not recommended.
 
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Fish&chips10

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Hi. Thanks for the response. I do understand that 50% change and then 30% change doesn’t equal 80% change, which is why I said ‘up to’. I just knew it meant somewhere between 50% and 80%!
in terms of cleaning 75% of the water, the reason I was asking about another tank is because I worried that with a tank so small (60l) there would be such a small amount of water left for the fish that they would get very stressed all bunched together at the bottom.
Presumably I’d also have to empty the tank of everything too?
For the filter, it has a rough sponge to act as mechanical, some ceramic pieces for bio and a bag of carbon. I’ve read that it’s good to change the carbon each month so I’ve done that, and just rinsed the sponge in the emptied tank water once a month too. So the bio should have been working the whole time? It’s been several weeks now with the new plants so I would have thought the cycling would be done?
Thanks
 

The_Labyrinth

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in terms of cleaning 75% of the water, the reason I was asking about another tank is because I worried that with a tank so small (60l) there would be such a small amount of water left for the fish that they would get very stressed all bunched together at the bottom.
Do two 50% water changes within 24 hrs and it would basically be a 75%-80% water change equivalent. I do not believe in anything more than that as it will cetainally stress your fish regardless of the initial water conditions.
 

Colin_T

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Presumably I’d also have to empty the tank of everything too?
no, just leave the fish and plants and stuff in the tank and drain it down then fill it up. unless the fish are high bodied like angelfish or discus, they will be fine swimming around in 3 or 4 inches of water for a few minutes.
 

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