Do you have excessive ammonia in your fish tank? No worries! It is a very common problem and can be resolved. However, if you have ammonia in your fish tank, it is time to monitor the situation and rectify it as soon as possible. In this article, we will discuss in detail how to get rid of ammonia in fish tank? But before digging in deep, let’s understand what causes ammonia in a fish tank and what is ammonia in fish tank symptoms?
Ammonia cannot be avoided in a fish tank, in fact, it is naturally present there. Good movement of the water and sufficient substrate for colonizing of the bacteria is something that helps in keeping the ammonia levels at check.
Do you know the ammonia is one of the most harmful things for your aquatic friend? The invisible enemy can kill your fish. So how to get rid of ammonia? But first, let us understand a few things about this invisible enemy.
What is ammonia?
The first and foremost thing that you need to know about ammonia is that it can kill your fish because it is very toxic. Unfortunately, it can kill the fish in a fish tank or aquarium too. Only 0 ppm of ammonia is a safe habitat for the fish, anything more than that can kill your aquatic friend.
Now, the most obvious question that must be crossing your mind is where is this ammonia coming from?
Breakdown of organic waste results in the release of ammonia. The organic waste can come from the pee or poop of fish, fish food, algae, dead plants, and fish breathing. If the fish tank is in good condition how to get rid of ammonia is not a question, as ammonia is naturally removed. Though changing the water of a fish tank can also naturally remove ammonia, but it is not always beneficial.
The organic waste can come from the pee or poop of fish, fish food, algae, dead plants, and fish breathing. If the fish tank is in good condition how to get rid of ammonia is not a question, as ammonia is naturally removed.
Symptoms of Excessive Ammonia in a Fish Tank
So, how do you know the invisible enemy has invaded your fish tank? Is it ammonia that is killing your fish or something else? That is why you need to know ammonia in fish tank symptoms.
Excessive ammonia results in ammonia poisoning and as a result, the ph level of the fish tank rises. One thing you need to know about ammonia is that even small levels of ammonia can cause damage to the fish so make sure ammonia levels are always 0 ppm.
Here are some of the ammonia fish tank symptoms that you must check before learning how to get rid of ammonia.
Ammonia build-up can be either happen in a few days or even suddenly. Ammonia tends to affect the gills of the fish first, in most cases. So, you will find fish wheezing for air on the top of the water surface. Many times, the gills turn light purple or red, which might look like they are bleeding.
Many times the fish start eating less food and gets very exhausted, primarily because the body parts stop functioning properly. After prolonged exposure to ammonia, the body of the fish starts developing red streaks. Soon, it starts damaging the nervous system of the fish and the fish starts dying because of hemorrhage.
What Happens When Ammonia Quantity is Very High?
Once the levels of ammonia start increasing this is where the problem starts. Lower levels of ammonia start affecting the gills of the fish which puts the fish in immense stress. And this is when the fish starts dying, as discussed earlier. However, there is one thing that you need to know before getting to know how to get rid of ammonia. Not every fish has the same tolerance capacity against ammonia.
Even if your fish can tolerate high levels of ammonia and is not dying, it is not something your fish wants to live in. Ammonia is not something the fish likes to have in its habitat. It puts the fish under a lot of pressure. When your fish is stressed, it will start developing problems. So how to get rid of ammonia is something you must know.
What Can Cause Excessive Ammonia in a Fish Tank?
These are things that can be the reason behind excessive ammonia or ammonia poisoning in your fish tank:
- Your fish tank is overstocked with a lot of fish.
- You are feeding your fish way more than required.
- The filtration in the fish tank is very poor.
- The filter process does not include any nitrifying bacteria.
- Poor daily maintenance of the fish tank
How Can You Test For Ammonia in a Fish Tank?
Though, ammonia for fish tank symptoms can help in detection so that you can start getting rid of it. But these are not clear symptoms. Moreover, detecting the invisible enemy in the fish tank is a difficult task. And, the time you understand how to get rid of ammonia it might be too late for your aquatic friends' life. So, you need to test for ammonia from time to time.
If you are noticing something unusual along with ammonia in fish tank symptoms then it is time to test for ammonia. If you are sure it is ammonia, you might not require a test. But it is always good to be sure as the fish could be dying because of other reasons too. You can get an ammonia test kit from the market to make sure that ammonia is the cause for fish death.
Now, when you are sure it is ammonia that is killing your friend, this is when you can plan on how to get rid of ammonia in a fish tank?
How to Get Rid Of Ammonia In Fish Tank?
So, once you test for ammonia and you are sure it is the invisible enemy, you must get rid of it immediately. Here are some of the best ways that can help you in getting rid of ammonia in fish tank.
- Immediately change the water: As soon as you realize ammonia is the invisible killer of your fish you need to change the water in the fish tank ( half of the water).Though changing the water will not allow a complete reduction in the levels of ammonia, it will lower the ammonia levels. This allows the biological cycle to start working on it.
- Clean the gravel from the fish tank: The dead fish, biological waste and uneaten food settle down in the gravel of the fish tank. This results in the production of ammonia. That is why you need to make sure to clean the gravel of the fish tank.
- Get rid of the uneaten food: First of all, it is always better to never overfeed your fish. However, if you have, then it is always good to get rid of the uneaten food daily. Also, make sure to clean the food that settles down the fish tank.
- Clean the dead, decaying and rotting plants: The rotting dead plants in a fish tank not only look unpleasing and bad but they also produce ammonia. So, make sure to get rid of them as soon as they are dead and start decaying.
- Get rid of the dead fish: Dead fish is very heartbreaking to see in a fish tank. However, you must bid goodbye to your friend. Get rid of the dead fish in the tank. They can be hiding somewhere in the fish tank so make sure to check the corners of the fish tank properly. They might be hiding up there and cause excessive ammonia in the fish tank.
- Reduce the food intake for the fish: When the ammonia levels are high the fish starts eating less. Though you must make sure the fish eats properly. Provide food that is required as excessive food might accelerate the production of ammonia.
- Unclog the filters: Filter in your fish tank is very important, and you must check it from time to time. It is where the important bacteria of your fish helps in breaking down the ammonia. Moreover, the filter ensures the biological cycle in the tank is always working right. Clogging of the filters does not freely move the water in the fish tank, hence the ammonia does not break down. This results in higher levels of ammonia. So, make sure to unclog the filter from time to time. Moreover, the pellets in the filter help in reducing ammonia.
- Do not overstock the fish tank: Though you would like to add as many fish and decorative items to your fish tank, never overstock it. Make sure the fish in your tank is sufficient, as much as the bacteria can handle.
- Use Chemicals: Chemicals should only be used if the above-mentioned strategies do not work. You can find chemicals that can help in getting rid of the ammonia in the fish tank.
I hope this article can help you find the solution on how to get rid of ammonia in fish tank? If ammonia is the problem in your fish tank, make sure to rectify it right there using the above-mentioned methods. It is also important to take necessary preventive steps to keep ammonia at bay. To do this, it is always good to keep changing the fish tank from time to time.
Affiliate links & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. Last update on 2020-10-21.
Top Editor's Choice on Ammonia In Fish Tank
Subscribe to our Newsletter!
Join our mailing list to receive the latest tips and news of our blog.