The Ammonia Spike
If your fish are struggling, test your ammonia levels with a test kit. If you
have an ammonia spike, here are some things you can do to help correct the
problem right away:
Do a 20% water change with dechlorinated water and continue
to do this every day until the ammonia level drops. The best ways to
dechlorinate the water are to let it sit in a bucket a few days or to use a
product like Seachem, which also removes ammonia. Be careful with other chlorine
removers as these can also kill the valuable bacteria you
are in need of.
Test the water daily for ammonia levels. If they
remain high, you'll need to change more water.
Keep good aeration in the tank to help develop bacteria.
Avoid using medications, as these kill bacteria.
Don't feed your fish at all if your ammonia readings are
high, as this will cut down on the ammonia that the fish produce.
Don't clean the gravel. You want to promote bacteria and
gravel is an excellent location for this.
Don't change your filter material. Allow bacteria to