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Ammonia poisoning of fish aquarium


If the aquarium fish are well cared for, health problems are rarely installed. But when fish get sick of tunc is essential to have some basic information about the symptoms and the measures to be taken, depending on condition. Treatment that is specific to each disease condition.

Ammonia poisoning is one of the most common causes of death, aquarium fish and occurs most often when installing a new aquarium. Fish can be poisoned with ammonia (NH3) and when they were added at the same time too many aquarium filter water when not working or there is sudden change in water conditions.

The most common symptoms of ammonia poisoning are:

- Fish trying to breathe at the surface
- Gills are red or purple
- Fish are lethargic
- Lack of appetite
- Fish are on the bottom of the aquarium
- Red spots on the fins and body

Ammonia poisoning can occur suddenly or over several days. At first, the fish might come to the surface to try to breathe. Gills become red or purple and they seemed to bleed. Fish will start to lose their appetite and will increasingly become lethargic. In some cases, fish can be seen on the bottom of the aquarium, while freezing the fins attached to the body. As ammonia poisoning continues tissues will be affected and this will be signaled by bloody stains that appear on the fins and body. Fish begins to have internal and external bleeding and eventually dies.

Steps you can take:

- Lower the pH below 7.0
- Replace between 25% and 50% of water
- Substances which will neutralize the ammonia Folosti
- Reduce feeding fish

If ammonia levels exceeding 1 ppm (parts per million), as indicated by a specific instrument, start treatment immediately. Lowering water pH will be very helpful for the health of fish. The same effect it will have to change half the water (make sure you put the water in the aquarium has the same temperature as the fish are). It may be necessary to change the water several times to lower the ammonia.



If fish are affected, the use of substances that neutralize the ammonia is recommended. Feeding should be done less frequently and to reduce waste levels. No need to add new fish in the tank until the ammonia and nitrites in the water does not drop to zero.

Since ammonia toxicity is related to pH levels tested both ammonia and pH is essential. Ammonia becomes increasingly toxic as the pH rises above 7.0. At a level of 1 ppm or 1mg / l of ammonia, fish suffer even if it does not show very obvious symptoms. Even lower levels can be fatal if the fish are exposed for several days in a row. For this reason it is essential to daily check the ammonia and continue treatment until the level drops to zero. When the amount of ammonia in water is great for a longer period, the fish may continue to die and after you start treatment.


- Populate the aquarium with fish gradually
- Feed fish with small amounts of food
- Remove food fasting
- Change the water regularly
- Test water regularly to detect early any problem

The key to avoid fish death due to ammonia poisoning is to not over-populated tank immediately after you have purchased. Add only two or three fish until you cycle the tank. An aquarium is the only bacteria that do not need to have a stable life cycle. Even in an old aquarium fish do not add only a few at a time. Fish fed with small amounts of food and remove food that is not consumed in five minutes. Clean the tank weekly, taking care to remove dead plants or other debris. Partial water change at least once a week, more often if heavily populated aquariums. Check the level of ammonia in water at least twice a month to detect problems before they worsen. If water filter stops, check ammonia levels after 24 hours to ensure that bacteria that remove waste from the aquarium were not affected.