How To Lower Ammonia Levels

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This article has been peer-reviewed by Sarah Gehrke, RN, MS. Sarah Gehrke is a registered nurse and licensed massage therapist in Texas. Sarah has over 10 years of experience teaching and practicing phlebotomy and intravenous (IV) therapy using physical, psychological and emotional support. She received her massage therapist license from the Amarillo Massage Therapy Institute in 2008 and earned an M.S. in Nursing from the University of Phoenix in 2013.

How To Lower Ammonia Levels

How To Lower Ammonia Levels

There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

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Ammonia is a normal byproduct of digestion that is normally removed from the body by the liver. If you have high ammonia levels, it is usually due to a problem with liver function. However, there are ways to lower ammonia levels and improve liver function. This includes taking medication, supplementing your diet and changing what you eat. By using a combination of these methods, you can reduce the levels of ammonia in your body.

This article has been peer-reviewed by Sarah Gehrke, RN, MS. Sarah Gehrke is a registered nurse and licensed massage therapist in Texas. Sarah has over 10 years of experience teaching and practicing phlebotomy and intravenous (IV) therapy using physical, psychological and emotional support. She received her massage therapist license from the Amarillo Massage Therapy Institute in 2008 and earned an M.S. in Nursing from the University of Phoenix in 2013. This article has been viewed 195,624 times.

The content of this article is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, examination, diagnosis or treatment. You should always contact your doctor or other qualified healthcare professional before starting, changing or stopping any type of healthcare treatment.

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Increased levels of ammonia in your body can be the result of your liver not working properly, but by making changes in your diet and taking medication, you can reduce it. Probiotics contain good bacteria that help the body digest food, so try to eat foods rich in probiotics, such as yogurt or sauerkraut. You can also try eating more vegetables, such as beans, carrots and broccoli, instead of red meat, as plant proteins release ammonia more slowly because they take longer to digest. High ammonia levels can often be linked to medical conditions, such as liver disease or hepatitis. That’s why it’s important to consult with your doctor, who will check your ammonia levels and set up a treatment plan. You may be prescribed lactulose, which is a medicine that can help your body get rid of ammonia. For advice from our medical co-author on how to use supplements to lower ammonia levels, read on! When setting up any aquarium, water quality is one of the most important things to consider. High levels of certain chemicals such as ammonia and nitrates can be incredibly harmful to fish health, while lower levels of oxygen can also be harmful.

The most important thing to note is that with proper care, maintenance and testing, you can avoid the harmful build-up (or lack thereof) of these chemicals that are important to your fish habitat.

We’ve collected the best tips, information and help in one place to consider when learning how to reduce ammonia levels in fish tanks, so read on to find out more!

How To Lower Ammonia Levels

Ammonia, known in the chemistry world as NH3, is produced naturally in the aquarium by fish waste, as well as by the decomposition of organic matter such as dead fish, dead plants and uneaten food.

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In the terrestrial environment this nitrogen is important for plant growth as part of the nitrogen cycle, but in your fish tank it can cause nothing but trouble!

Ammonia levels are usually measured using an aquarium test kit, which can tell you exactly how much ammonia is in your fish tank and check your water’s pH scale.

In most cases, this ammonia test kit consists of a simple strip that you dip into your tank, which then produces a different grade of color.

Under normal circumstances, there are beneficial bacteria in the fish tank that can get rid of the ammonia over time.

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However, when there is too much ammonia for this natural system, it can cause serious problems for your aquarium fish and plants, such as toxic shock.

The process of ammonia reduction by beneficial bacteria actually produces its own harmful byproduct, known as nitrates, which are then broken down in turn by a second group of good bacteria.

Ammonia and nitrites are two things that most test kits will measure, as both can negatively affect the health of your aquarium when left unchecked.

How To Lower Ammonia Levels

This two-step biological filtration process of the aquarium’s nitrogen cycle is incredibly important when designing and maintaining a long-term healthy tank, as it can take time for each of these healthy bacteria to reach the level appropriate for your aquarium.

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At first it may be difficult to notice, but over time the symptoms of ammonia poisoning will become increasingly difficult to avoid, until it may be too late and they die of toxic shock.

The signs and symptoms of this incredibly painful disease are listed and described later in the article, but suffice it to say, it’s not pretty!

It’s not just fish either, but plants, invertebrates and eventually even bacteria that are damaged by all the ammonia in your tank.

None of these organisms do well in this type of hazardous environment, and reducing the nitrite and ammonia levels to a safe level of 0 ppm is important to the health of all your aquatic friends.

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Fish waste (i.e. feces) will naturally release ammonia and can build up quickly over time without a proper filtration setup and water flow in your tank.

Since each fish (as well as the invertebrates in your tank!) produce their own amount of waste, we need to see how much of each is actually appropriate for the tank we want to keep the ammonia level low.

NOTE It is important to consider how many fish you want to keep in the tank at one time when you first set up your tank, as too small a tank with too many fish can quickly lead to high ammonia levels. Ammonia from uneaten food.

How To Lower Ammonia Levels

Uneaten food also produces ammonia. While some people like to think they are doing their fish friends a favor by putting a little extra in their food, chances are that extra food won’t be eaten and will start to break down quickly.

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Over time, the food releases ammonia into the water as it breaks down, adding to the overall ammonia level in the aquarium.

When feeding fish, and especially when giving them something they may never have had before, such as human food, try to remove any uneaten food still present in the tank after 30 minutes.

This will ensure that uneaten fish food is not wasted and does not end up being another cause of high ammonia in the tank.

Dead plants, invertebrates and fish also produce ammonia when they begin to decompose. Dead fish are usually quite easy to spot and either sit motionless at the bottom of the tank or begin to float to the surface.

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Over time, they will produce an unpleasant odor and may begin to swell as they fill with ammonia gas, so it is best to remove dead fish from the aquarium as soon as possible. For information on the proper disposal of dead fish, see this guide.

While it’s usually obvious to see that our friends are no longer moving, with invertebrates it can be a bit more difficult.

If you have something like a snail or other slow moving creature, try to pay attention to where it is in the tank if you suspect something.

How To Lower Ammonia Levels

If it still hasn’t moved after a few hours, try poking it for a reaction. If after a day or two you still see no movement, consider removing the poor animal from the tank to reduce the risk of ammonia.

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In addition to natural causes of ammonia, such as dead and decaying organic matter and fish waste, there can also be some man-made causes of aquarium ammonia being too high.

A number of different factors can lead to potentially high ammonia levels, and these are usually fairly easy to correct with the right attention to detail.

The best way to make sure you are meeting the right needs for your particular setup is to talk to your local pet store, or wherever you buy your fish, and determine their individual needs in terms of waste production .

However, in the event of an emergency, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to find one, so make sure you put them in an easily accessible location!

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Also, be sure to dispose of used pads and filter media once they have completed their cycle

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