Ask Aquariaman
Advice column all about aquariums by J. Hotelling
Subject: Ammonia Problem

Hello Aquariaman,

I have an ammonia problem with my freshwater tank. It is a 55 gallon tank with two Red Pacus in it. One Pacu is about 12 in. and the other is about 5 in. I have tried everything that my local petshop (Petland) has given me. However, nothing worked. According to the Ammonia test kit, the ammonia level in my tank is over 8 ppm. What should I do?

Dear Sir/Madam:

First of all I would need to know if the tank was properly cycled? If not, that is your problem. The normal cycling takes about six weeks. If you put these large Pacus in there earlier than six weeks, that would explain the ammonia. Assuming the tank has been cycled, there are also several factors nvolved. Chances are that your two friends are just too large for your tank. Depending on the species of the smaller Pacu, he/she will probably outgrow the tank altogether. Two twelve-inch fish is just too much for a 55 gallon.

One would be adequate. This also assumes all your water parameters are correct as well. Sounds like you have a choice to make. You do need to make it though; your fish are in a constant state of stress, which may lead to their death.


Subject: Help! My betta is nuts!

I am hoping you can help me with my betta. He is a strange little bugger.

When I feed him he spits his food out immediately. I have tried feeding him

different amounts and in different intervals with no luck. Please let me

know what I am doing wrong.


Robyn Pelli

Dear Robin,

You say he “spits the food out.” Does he ever finish the food? Many fish exhibit this behavior, but finish the food in the end.

There could be many other factors involved here, but without knowing them I would guess that he doesn’t like the food you’re giving him.

You may want to try our foods; they are very popular among large-scale hobbyists. If you only have this one fish, it may be tough. You may have to order a few other things to meet our $20 US min. order.

Feel free to ask further questions, but give me as many details about the fish and his tank conditions as possible.



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