There are many things that you’re going to be learning as a new guppy enthusiast. There are lots of steps that you are going to have to take to set up your new aquarium to accommodate the guppies. There are also many things that you have to watch for to make sure that no errors are made when you are setting up the tank. One of the biggest their concerns are going to have is the proper components of the water and that this means that you really need to watch the ammonia levels otherwise you were going to be dealing with ammonia poisoning with your guppies. There are a lot of things that can occur to put the ammonia levels out of whack in your tank, and this is often referred to as new tank syndrome.
One of the biggest factors is not having the right filtration system or that it has not fully developed for filtration and the ammonia levels are fluctuating. When a filtration system has been allowed to fully mature it can then develop the bacteria that is needed to handle the ammonia levels. This means that you have to know that the filtration system is ready to go and able to handle the water changes that are going to take place when you add the fish.
There are some that try and use a method called fishless cycling to prepare their system. What they will do here is intentionally add ammonia to the water to help stimulate the creation of the bacteria that is going to be needed to break down the nitrates. This can be a lengthy and complex process as it can take up to 4 to 8 weeks before the water is totally balanced out where the ammonia levels are safe.
While getting the water optimized before the fish are added to the tank is a important step, what has to be realized is that these ammonia problems can occur in the future as well. Even a tank that has aged and is established can run into various problems along with ammonia problems.
Some of the causes of this may be that too many fish have been added for the size of the tank. Perhaps the fish are being overfed, and the other significant cause can be that maintenance is not being done properly with the water changes that are recommended for the established guppy tank.
The problem is with too many fish being in the tank or overfeeding that the aquarium filter that is being used cannot handle the amount of waste that is being produced. While you also have to remember to keep up with the maintenance of the tank in regards to the water, you mustn’t forget that you need to include regular maintenance on the filter in order to keep it fully optimized and working properly. Make sure that you follow the directions that came with the filtering system that you are using.
Also, you have to remember that using tap water will kill all of the bacteria that is necessary in the tank to keep it optimized and to handle the ammonia levels. You are encouraged to use a proper water testing system to know what the various components of your water are which will also dictate the ammonia levels.
You will find indicators that something is wrong by the symptoms that your guppies may be displaying. What you may find is that the fish are keeping to the water surface while gasping for breath. They may be lethargic and not eating well and they may even do the opposite where they lay at the bottom of the tank. That you may see some signs such as purple or red gills or overall the fish appear darker in color. These are just a few of the symptoms of ammonia poisoning.