In order to maintain a healthy environment for your fish, it is crucial that you keep the ammonia levels in the aquarium to a minimum. In reality, no ammonia in the tank is ideal, however, this is nearly impossible to achieve. Therefore, your primary goal should be to keep this level as low as possible.
Ammonia is a combination of hydrogen and nitrogen and if the levels are too high, it could jeopardize the health of your fish. Ammonia can be created by fish feces left in the tank, overcrowded tanks, poor water quality, uneaten food, and decaying plants. If these issues are not taken care of properly, it could cause ammonia toxicity in your fish.
Dangers of High Ammonia Levels
High levels of ammonia can be toxic to your fish and could cause death if not fixed correctly. This is because as the ammonia level rises, the oxygen levels will decrease. Your fish will not be able to survive without the required amount of oxygen. This toxicity can happen very quickly if you are not checking your tank.
Signs of High Ammonia Levels
If the level of ammonia in your tank begins to rise, your fish will start to show signs of distress. Signs of ammonia toxicity include floating near the top of the water gasping for air, reddening or paling of the gills, lethargy, loss of appetite, and little to no swimming.
If your fish are displaying any of these signs, it is crucial that you check the ammonia level right away. You can purchase testing kits at the store that makes it very easy to check the level of ammonia in the water in just minutes. In fact, it is a good idea to test the ammonia levels in your tank on a regular basis, whether your fish are displaying signs of distress or not. If the test reveals high levels of ammonia in the water immediate action is required.
How to Reduce Ammonia Level
The best way to reduce the ammonia level in your tank is to clean out the entire aquarium. You can store your fish in a separate tank while completing this process. You want to remove all the water from the tank, clean the sides and the bottom of the tank, and clean off any gravel, rocks or decorations in the tank. Once this is done, bring the water to the correct temperature and check the ammonia level again. If the level is still high, it may be your tap water. Try using another source or water, such as bottled water, and check the level again.
Maintain a proper ammonia level is imperative to keeping your fish healthy. There are many things you can do, such as avoid overcrowding the tank, not to overfeed the fish, clean the tank on a regular basis, and install of filtration system, to ensure your ammonia levels remain low. Monthly checks of all chemical levels, including your ammonia levels, should also be performed. This will alert you to any problems in the tank before they become a health risk to your fish.
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Last update on 2019-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API