If you own a fish tank in your house, you most probably already struggled with the ammonia level in the tank. In a general sense, ammonia is a highly toxic chemical and fish can’t survive in the water contaminated with excessive ammonia. Therefore, you have to take some necessary steps to reduce the ammonia level in your fish tank. Now, if you don’t know how to get rid of ammonia in fish tank, today I am going to tell you about this.
Reducing ammonia in the fish tank is not rocket science. However, you have to know all the basics to do that. First of all, you have to find out the potential sources of ammonia. Then you have to measure the ammonia level accurately. After knowing the actual ammonia level you can plan accordingly to reduce the overall ammonia levels.
For instance, you can partially change the water and remove the unnecessary organic matters from the tank. Besides, changing the food level, lowering the PH level, and increasing the beneficial bacteria to the tank will help you out.
I know you want to get rid of ammonia from your favorite fish tank. In this comprehensive guide, I will tell you everything you need to know to save your fish from excessive ammonia.
Finding Out the Potential Sources of Ammonia
If you want to completely get rid of ammonia, it is a wise decision to check for the potential sources of ammonia. Because, you always want to remove a problem from the root of it.
First of all, you should check the ammonia level in the tap water. I know, unless a very rare situation, it is highly unlikely to find excessive ammonia levels in the tap water. But, trust me; you should make sure that the tap water is free from ammonia.
The next thing you want to check is the decomposing materials inside the fish tank. Because, they are one of the most potent sources of ammonia in the fish tank. You may have some aquatic plants or microorganisms in the fish tank which can create excessive ammonia in the water.
Besides, any excess food in the water which is not taken by the fish can increase ammonia level by breaking down the water. Another significant factor that you should note that the number of fish should not be excessive than the capacity of the tank. Because, excessive fish waste can increase the ammonia level in the tank.
How to Get Rid Of Ammonia In Fish Tank
Now that you already know about the potential sources of ammonia, you should start your work to reduce the ammonia level in your fish tank. To get rid of ammonia in the correct way you should follow these steps properly.
1. Partially Change the Water of the Fish Tank
This is one of the basic steps to reduce the ammonia level in the fish tank. Besides, you’ll get a cleaner tank for the fish as a bonus. Generally, it’s a good practice if you do the partial change of water at least once a week.
However, you can check whether you need more partial water change by testing the substrate gravel of the water. If you find many floating debris in the tank surface upon stirring the gravel with the help of a net, you may need to change the water partially more than one time in a week.
First of all, you have to remove chlorine from some freshwater which you are going to pour into the fish tank for the partial changing process. You have to be careful enough to maintain your hygiene by washing your hands carefully.
Then you have to make your hand dry correctly. You also want to make sure that all of the electrical appliances near the tank are disconnected during the process. It will ensure your maximum safety. The rule of thumb is you can change thirty percent of the water from the old tank.
Now, you have to drain out the required amount of old water from the tank by using a tube. Then again pouring in the freshwater will complete the entire partially changing process.
During this water changing process you don’t need to remove any fish. But, you should be careful enough so that no fish become injured from you. Besides, you may also want to clean any algae from the tank wall. It will increase the overall durability of the tank.
2. Remove Unnecessary Organic Matters
The next thing you should do to get rid of the ammonia in the fish tank is scooping out all kinds of unnecessary organic matters from the tank. You’ll find many decomposing organic matters which can increase the ammonia level to a large extent.
Now, organic matters include uneaten foods, fish waste, dead plants or dead fish, etc. To remove these decomposing materials you can use a fishnet. Besides, you need to clean out the entire filter of the tank to get maximum assurance.
3. Stop Providing Excessive Foods
If you provide excessive foods to your fish, it is highly possible that there would be a lot of uneaten food. Given that uneaten food can increase the overall level of ammonia in the fish tank, you should try to stop providing excessive foods to your fish.
However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your fish need to starve for food. Provide enough food to your fish, but stop providing excessive foods. Therefore, you should know how much food your fish will need every day. If you can reduce the quantity of uneaten food, it will surely reduce the ammonia level in the tank.
4. Enhancing the Number of Beneficial Bacteria
In a general sense, bacterial colonies in the fish tank turn ammonia into other chemical components which are not harmful to fish like the ammonia. However, if you are a beginner level fish tank owner, you have to note that a relatively new tank may lack adequate bacterial colonies.
This phenomenon in turn increases the ammonia level in the fish tank. Therefore, you can introduce beneficial bacteria to your tank to reduce the ammonia level. Now, you can do this in two ways.
The first option is you can put one or more than one inexpensive fish to the tank. The science behind this is pretty much simple. The waste of that fish will increase the bacteria in the tank.
The other option is you have to add some gravel to the bottom of your fish tank. You have to collect the gravel from any old fish tank. Introducing beneficial bacteria will surely reduce the ammonia level in the fish tank.
5. Reduce the pH Level of Your Tank
According to science, ammonia is highly toxic and dangerous for fish when the pH of the water is basic. Therefore, you must reduce the pH level of your tank to save your fish. However, it might not give you a permanent solution, but you can reduce the danger level to some extent for sure.
Now, to lower the pH level of your tank, simply you can use PH adjusters. In most of the cases, you’ll find the pH adjuster in your nearest local pet shop. Besides, using the original gravel at the bottom of the fish tank will lower the pH level to some extent.
6. Aerate the Water
I know ammonia (NH3) is a toxin that can kill your favorite fish. Now, knowing how to get rid of ammonia in fish tank will make your day shiner. Another way to reduce the ammonia level in the tank is by aerating the water. Generally, ammonia remains dissolved in the water.
If you increase aeration in the tank water it will make ammonia gas to be diffused out of the water and it will be released in the air. A simple aeration pump will help you out in this task. However, keep your tank uncovered so that the diffused ammonia gas can go out in the air easily.
7. Buy Neutralizing Drops
Another simple way that you can follow to reduce ammonia is by using neutralizing drops. However, it is not a permanent solution. The drops can make the ammonia harmless for fish. Therefore, you will get a temporary solution from excessive ammonia. You can get the drops in your nearest local pet shop.
I believe, as you are reading this sentence, you already get all the necessary information to get rid of ammonia in the fish tank. However, you have to be careful when measuring the ammonia level in the fish tank. You’ll find some standard test kits in your local shop which can check the ammonia level for you.
In this comprehensive guide, I tried to provide you with every piece of information you need to know to reduce the ammonia level to save your favorite fish in the tank. My firm belief is now you know how to get rid of ammonia in fish tank in the right way.