“Good” Bacteria Vs Ammonia
is “good” bacteria and how does it help?
In simplest terms, the key to a successful aquarium
or pond is the balance between “good” bacteria and organic waste (ammonia).
In a new aquarium it takes 4-6 weeks for your “good” bacteria to grow and
become established. As your
aquarium ages this good bacteria will help keep the ammonia at a very low level.
This is why most problems customers experience occur when their aquariums
are new. In a stable aquarium the good bacteria will consume the ammonia and
makes it less toxic.
Ammonia is a toxic substance that is one of the
major causes of fish illness and death. Ammonia
levels should always be 0.5 parts per million or less.
Ammonia is produced by fish waste (adding too many
fish too quickly), uneaten fish food, decaying dead fish or ammonia based
cleaning products that come in contact with the aquarium water.
Ammonia is common in new aquariums and should be monitored closely the
first 6 weeks a tank is set up.
is Ammonia a problem?
Ammonia acts as a “stressor” to fish.
When a fish’s immune system becomes “stressed’, parasites and
bacterial infections are able to attack the fish.
In high levels ammonia will disrupt the breathing of fish and cause
do I recognize Ammonia Problems?
There are many symptoms of possible ammonia
problems: loss of appetite,
sluggishness, clamped fins, rapid breathing,
redness near the gills, illness
or unexplained deaths. If you suspect you have an ammonia problem have your water tested within 24 hours if you can (we will do this for you). If that is not possible do a 1/3 water change and have your water tested as soon as possible.
How do I test for Ammonia?
are many different types of ammonia test kits sold today.
Unfortunately most inexpensive test kits are unreliable and shouldn’t
be used. Either buy a
“professional” kit at our store or have your water tested here.
do I do if I have Ammonia?
your ammonia level is between 0.25 -0.5 ppm
do one 1/3 water change. Wait
2-3 days and have your water retested. If
your ammonia is above 1.0 ppm. do 1/3-water changes waiting 48 hours between
changes and have the water tested. Reduce
feeding during this time.
does pH affect ammonia?
your pH is above 7.0, your ammonia will be 2-3 times more harmful than if your
pH was under 7.0. Since it is
difficult to keep your pH under 7.0, we encourage our customers to be aware of
this harmful combination and always take steps to keep your ammonia low.
do I prevent Ammonia problems?
overfeed! Uneaten food is the
number one cause of Ammonia.
Feed every other day if the tank is new.
1/3 water change once a month with a “gravel siphon”.
smaller the tank the quicker ammonia accumulates.
The younger the tank the less “good” bacteria you have.
[ Back ]