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About Me

  1. I think my 15 gallon planted tank is cycled. My betta, Phinneas, has been hanging out in my 5 gallon quarantine tank for the last 4 weeks while I have been setting up his future home. I am wanting to move him to the larger tank this week but I don’t know how to accomplish that without causing him harm due to very different water parameters despite all of my water coming from the same source. The Fluval Stratum substrate and the plants have significantly altered the parameters of the larger tank. See the chart below for additional information. Additionally, I noticed the water in the 5 gallon tank has been sitting at .5ppm ammonia every time I’ve tested it in the past week despite water changes. After a 50%ish water change last night to try to lower that number, then seeing the same number today I decided to test my tap water. Found the problem! My tap tests at .5ppm ammonia. As a result of these numbers, I’m looking for advice for two questions: 1. How do I safely transfer Phinneas to his new home? 2. How concerned should I be and how do I combat the ammonia that occurs in my tap water? Thanks in advance for any insight!
  2. Hi. I have a 36gal aquarium for about two months. I have 2 guppies, 1 male 1 female, 1 coridora emerald and around 8 guppies fries. I feed them once a day a few flocks for guppies and a couple of pellets for the cori. The water has been cloudy, but it cleared by itself now. I have a Fluval canister 207 with the media that comes with plus polish pads that I add. I've done a couple of 50% water changes and washed the media with tank water. Ammonia levels are slowly rising while Nitrites and Nitrates are 0. Here are my last two readings with the API test kit: April 9 April 17 Temp - 78.0 77.9 ph - 7.4 7.8 Ammonia - 0.5 2.0 Nitrite - 0 0 Nitrate - 0 0 GH - 18 19 KH - 6 7 What am I doing wrong and how can I solve this? Thank you for your time and help. P.S. - In case you haven't noticed...I'm a very big amateur/newbie/rookie. 🙂
  3. Hello hello! So it's been about a week or so since I've last posted. I feel as if I've made little progress but am not getting very far with it. I believe last week I had no nitrites and 2ppm of ammonia. The beginning of this week, I decided to take a bio-media bag out of my cycled tanks filter and plopped it into this newer tank. Everyday for the past week, I've tested for ammonia and nitrite. I've had the same numbers all week. 2ppm ammonia and around 0.50ppm of nitrite. I thought that it would have cycled the ammonia but it did not. I don't know why but I thought if I dosed in some more ammonia is would cycle. Don't ask. Sometimes I just do things. It clearly did not work. So now I'm back to having this same issue. Why won't my tank cycle? I've taken out the hide I had in it because I thought maybe it was effecting the cycle. Again I don't know why I thought that. I have 3 Java ferns and 3 lucky bamboos. I think in my previous post I was told to get more plants but my biggest concern is that this tank is for an axolotl. I fear that he will dig up the bottom substrate (very fine sand) and eat the fluval stratum I have in one spot under the sand. I did this on purpose for the fact that I'm anticipating him to dig around in the area I plan to feed him. I'm sure many know they're very messy altogether so I'm also trying to keep it easy to clean. Anyways, I guess I'm asking again as to what I should do. I want to use the "more plants" situation as a last resort. I hope this all makes sense. Thank you in advance for helping out.
  4. I was going to get started on doing my crystal red shrimp tank but I wanted to know if fluval stratum leaches out ammonia. Also, what is your experience with the substrate overall? Does it really change the ph and what are your tips for using it?
  5. I just finished cycling a little over a week ago (at least I thought I did) as I was able to dose my tank with 2ppms of ammonia and 24 hours later ammonia and nitrites were 0. Since then I’ve been dosing 2ppms of ammonia daily and ammonia and nitrites are always at 0 the next day. Suddenly today I test the water and both ammonia and nitrites are at 0.5 ppms? I can’t think of anything that could have caused that? I don’t see any snails in the tanks, I haven’t dosed any anti bacterial medications or anything like that all I’ve been doing is dosing 2ppms of ammonia daily. Is there anything I might be missing? I do weekly water changes every Friday, and during my last water change which was 5 days ago I trimmed and removed some dying plant leaves. Thats the only change I could possibly think of but every day since then the tank was able to process 2ppms of ammonia until now so I don’t think that affected it. Does this mean my tank isn’t cycled? Did beneficial bacteria just die off? Also I’m not sure if this is relevant but my ph was also 7.6 today, which I thought was strange because when I test ph before my weekly water change it’s usually 6.4 - 6.6, I was going to add crushed coral to raise my kh and hopefully my ph too but now my ph is 7.6 and I’m just confused. Any possible explanations or advice would be appreciated 🙂
  6. I fed some cubes of frozen brine shrimp from a frozen freshwater multipack to my baby ranchus yesterday. They ate it all up pretty quickly like usual, but the water smelled off. I tested it and it had what looked like barely .5 ppm ammonia using a Coop test strip. Has anyone else had this happen before? I guess I am just going to avoid that brand from now on. I have a good sense of smell and it was like the smell of rotten food, nit sharp but like a compost with the balance off a bit. I did a big water change with Fritx Complete and threw in some more duckweed. All the fish are fine and behaving normally. I have not had this happen with any other food this week. After the water change I added some live brine shrimp from my outside tub and they had an enthusiastic hunt. The tub has 10 baby ranchus growing out in about six inches of water. I test and change it pretty frequently to encourage growth. I am growing them out and then acclimating them to deeper water to go in a 75. I will have to share a few of them when they are bigger. So far they are eating well, not showing balance issues, and their color is spectacular. They came in great condition from East Coast Ranchu. I am also following all of her directions for growing them out except for 100% daily water changes with aged water. I used a cycled sponge filter to start the tank, added some stability in with the first water changes, and also have cuttings of hygrophila and duckweed for them to munch on.
  7. I'm trying to cycle a new tank. Levels are ... Ammonia- 3-4ppm, Nitrites- 0, Nitrates- .25-.50, Ph- 6.8-7.0 My question is ... is it safe to put plants in now? Or should I wait until fully cycled? (plants- Anubias nana "petite", Cryptocoryne Lucens, Cryptocoryne Tropica, Dwarf Hairgrass, Cryptocoryne Wendtii Green, Mini Bolbitis (Baby Leaf), Christmas Moss) Thank you 😊
  8. Hello, I am testing my water and I was wondering if ammonium being present in my water would contribute to the readings of the ammonia test in the API water parameter testing kit? My tank is fully cycled (tank has been set up for probably 2 or 3 months at this point) and I am working on getting it heavily planted. I would say that roughly a third of the canopy is covered in water lettuce and frogbit, About half or a bit more of the floor is covered in amz sword, moneywort, val, and dwarf sag. I have small tetras that I am feeding regularly to get them grown out. I know that the amount of food is the likely culprit for my increased ammonia levels. I am just wondering if the plant life is converting ammonia into ammonium in a way that is throwing my test readings off? date pH Ammonia Nitrites Nitrates temp Ferts? 09/21 6.4 2.0 ppm .25 ppm 5.0 ppm 74 F dosed 09/20/21 09/22 6.4 3.0 ppm .25 ppm 0 ppm 74 F dosed 09/20/21 bonus question if anyone cares to venture a guess/soluition: I recently started dosing with CO2 and my pH use to sit at around 6.9 to 7.0, its now sitting around 6.4; while i welcome my drop in pH i dont want it to bottom out on me while I am dosing the plants. The tank has tetra in it and they dont seem to mind. My kuhli loach is a bit of a recluse so i dont know how he/she feels about the drop. I am wondering if i should add some bone rock to the tank to try and organically bring the pH back up while still dosing CO2 for the plants. For reference my drop checker is still showing blue/green (i.e. still not sufficient levels for the amount being consumed by the plants in the tank) As always thank yall for lookin.
  9. Hello Fish Friends, I made a noob mistake. So my new 37 gal. planted tank cycled in about just over 3.5 weeks. I did a fishless, planted cycle. My parameters were good, plants had new growth, I had algae, everything was great! I added fish snails and shrimp, everything was still great. A few days later added some Hillstream loaches and everything was going along swimmingly. I took some filter media out of my HoB to hurriedly jump-start a quarantine tank because I had a fish arriving through the mail that I was not expecting ( long story, my previous post tells the tale. https://forum.aquariumcoop.com/topic/15305-frustrating-experience-ordering-fish-online/?tab=comments#comment-126385 ). Still everything is going good, my water parameters are stable, everything was as good as I could hope it would be. This is when I made a noob mistake. My water was cloudy and I had never changed the filter media in my HoB and it was looking pretty nasty. I figured that putting clean media in it might clear up the water. I thought it would be fine since I still have the sponge filter sponge and a large intake sponge with good bacteria on it in my tank. I did not clean the HoB at all, just replaced the media, but that was enough to get something off. A couple of days after that I started getting small spikes of ammonia and nitrites. So far I have not had ammonia over 0.25 or nitrites over 0.50 and my nitrates have been between 10-20. I have done water changes everyday since the ammonia and nitrite presented. I added Fritzyme 7 during 2 of the water changes. Still everyday, I have ammonia and nitrites. Am I doing the right thing by doing water changes everyday? I didn't add Fritzyme 7 when I did today's 50% water change because after the last two times I added it, it didn't really seem to help. Am I doing the right thing doing water changes everyday? Am I making it worse? I'm not sure what to do.
  10. Good morning all! I was wondering if, when testing chemistries, do you need to monitor for ammonia specifically? I just know that most testing strips go for nitrites and nitrates only. I understand that nitrate tends to be the end product when you have a heavily planted tank, but I just wasn't sure if NH4+ needs to be on my radar. I ask because my little 10 gallon is PACKED with plants and animal life. I can't keep count of everything due to there being so many hiding places and, I'm always wondering if there is a dead fish or shrimp somewhere. There's nothing going on that makes me suspect that, but just a ponderance. Thanks in advance!
  11. I had very little issues cycling my aquarium at work but my home aquarium Is going nowhere. I have two tanks going at home a 10 gallon quarantine tank and a 40 breeder both on my tap water. The KH in both tanks is 10 degrees and the GH is 17 degrees. I have a calcium test kit for saltwater that reads at about 5 degrees assuming it works in fresh water. The PH for both is about 8.2 as well. The test strips read 0 for chlorine but I did dose Prime. Temperature=75 degrees. July 23- set up quarantine tank with some water sprite and java moss, bare bottom with some small rocks. july 23-august 2nd added Seachem Stability (no ammonia to really test for) Aug 5th- added 3 lipstick goby - ammonia starts to rise up to 0.25ppm, nitirites=0, nitrate=10 Aug 5-aug 12 added Seachem stability- no decrease in ammonia aug 10th added med trio - light feeding every 3 days and ammonia rising up to 1.0ppm, nitirites=0, nitrate=10 aug 15-aug 18 heavy daily water changes to keep ammonia down- light feeding aug 18- fritz zyme 7 added- ammonia=0.5, nitirites=0, nitrate=10 (I did not change water for 4 days) aug18-aug 24 light feeding every 2-3 days and ammonia=0.25-0.5, nitirites=0, nitrate=10 -I did have some biofilm on the glass but the light is not powerful enough to create algae I guess. Then for my 40 breeder I am less worried about because it is new and a fishless tank. aug 16- tank filled with substrate and rocks. aug 18- plants added aug 22- fritz zyme 7 added, ammonia=1.0, Nitrite=0.25 aug 23- ammonia=1.0, nitrite=0.25 aug 24- ammonia=0.75, nitrite=0.25 Right now it feels like the the only thing keeping my ammonia down is my water changes. Does anyone have any other suggestions as to how to get the cycle started a bit quicker? Or what could be my issue in starting my cycle? I don't want to take a sponge from my work tank because the fish are sick and it has black beard algae. I could go get some RO water and see if the cycle will start in that. The Goby fish seem ok and are eating when fed, but I kind of feel bad that they have not been given that much. Thank you
  12. In my tank I can never seem to get my Ammonia levels to zero. Even after a 50% water change. They seem to hover around .50PPM . I have over kill filtration happening. A Fluval 407 on a 60 gallon tank. I large bubble sponge filter plus I put the large course sponge over the intake for the 407. The 407 has Bio Media rings as well as a basket of Biohome. So it goes through the large sponges first. A medium then a find sponge, a basket of Fluval Bio media rings, a basket of Biohome Ultimate and the final basket has a bit of pumice and some Purigen. I have the filter just under level with the tank to optimize outflow so the pump doesn't have to push UP the water as far. I have 3" of Eco-Complete substraight. (about a month old) The fish show no signs of stress. They eat with vigor as each meal will be their last. They do the nice swimming around and normal fish activities. I think trying to get that perfect zero PPM Ammonia is chasing a ghost. I do 50% water changes every other day. There are no blooms of any kind and the water is crystal clear. Is this all good? I sometimes feel the test are a bit skewed to get you to buy/use the also sold chemicals.
  13. I have a 60 gallon moderately planted tank with moderate light (fluval aquasky2.0) its been established now for over 2 years with most of the fish being in there for that time. i currently have 1 rainbow shark was 8, now 6 tiger barbs 6 neon tetras 8 danios was 4 now 2 otto cats 1 nerite snail I recently tried to add 6 khuli loaches to the tank but they all died most likely due to the tiger barbs. When i took them back to pet supplies plus to get a water test the lady there told me i needed to increase my PH and get some API ammolock. at the time my ammonia was around .5 to 1. So i got the ammo lock and in addition i got some seachem alkaline booster. I put a half dose of each in the tank. The night i put the ammo lock in the tank it got cloudy for a few hours then seemed fine. The alkaline booster arrived a few days later so i added it then. Now my ammonia levels are off the charts. I have already done a 30% water change today but all my fish are surface swimming and i already lost 1 tiger barb. im in the process of doing another 50% water change and i will not be using the ammo lock or alkaline stuff until i can figure out what is going on. My normal ph has been in the range of 6.0 with a carbonate hardness of 0
  14. Hi all. I have a tank that is 3 months old. I am familiar with the nitrogen cycle and water parameters. I use API test kit which works good on other 3 tanks. This 20L though has had high ammonia the whole time and will not go away. It is a planted tank with eco complete planted substrate and Fluval 207 canister filter with two baskets full of Biohome Ultimate. After two months of high ammonia I decided to start doing water changes. I have done so many water changes I’ve lost count and this last one was 50 percent. Ammonia stays at 2 ppm even after a 100 percent water change. I think the tank is cycled but there is a steady source of ammonia coming from somewhere. I use reminerlized RO water and have no livestock in tank. Did a fishless cycle. Any ideas on where all this ammonia is coming from?
  15. Hey so i have had my tank set up for 2 weeks now i have a little journal tracking my progress and today I popped up with .25 ammonia 0 nitrite and 5ppm nitrate i have had .25 ammonia for about a week now with no changes i have also tested my tap water and I keep getting .25 ammonia... i do not have access to rodi water and I have a 5 gallon lowtech planted tank that will be having one betta and maybe some amano shrimp in the future I used fritz fishless fuel and turbo start to boost my cycle and i cant figure out whats going on so any ideas?
  16. I brought 8 ranchus 3 months ago my guess was 3 or 4 had ammonia burns. I was going skip quarantine just put them in 75 gallon since that’s the only thing in the tank. 1 set on bottom died. After few days with perfect water parameters 0 nitrate nitrites ammonia heavily planted. So another started sit on bottom moved to 15 gallon fluval salted they perked up. Then did the trio treatment 7 days 2 sit bottom and died I’m thinking ammonia burns and meds bad combo. But every time misted like treat them with trio. Sooo after 7 day quarantine one more started sit and died. So I just added them to 55 gallon had empty heavily planted and last one I have with red gills swiming very active and doing better. Black back ground is month old other is today think it’s ok paracleanse? I was told 3 weeks after trio dose paracleanse and it’s time. Only problems sitting on bottom and red gills that I had and of course dieing lost 4 out of 8. I’m 44 been keeping fish off and own my entire life never had ammonia burns problem to simple keep perfect water parameters there always perfect I use stick but check them against solutions. I
  17. What is an acceptable range of ammonia? My tank is currently at 0.25 ppm. Should I do a water change? All other perimeters are perfect.
  18. Probably too concerned about API test where ammonia 0 (Clearly yellow) to more usually 0.25 (not yellow but pale green)? I’m 4 months into hobby and enjoying my 125 immensely except for this issue. Clean tank, heavily planted, fish very active and appear healthy. Nitrite never have been over zero, nitrates usually 10 to 20. Eight snails and no deaths in these 4 months. Fish load: 1 German blue round, 2 gouramis, 7 Cardinals, 7 cherry barbs and 4 SAE’s.. No problems with algae overgrowth. Thinking now is safe to increase my fertilization to handle the large plant load and to get my nitrates up a bit. What do you think? I’ve also been reluctant to overfeed my fish, now only a couple of times a week. Thinking I need to increase that also. Any thoughts appreciated. Thanks
  19. Hi! Recently my tank has had a pretty major ammonia spike. I’ve been doing everything I can. I’ve been doing 50% water changes every day, and doing everything I can, yet my ammonia levels aren’t going down.
  20. Recently, I created a poll to illustrate some widely held misconceptions about the primary source of ammonia production in a freshwater aquarium. Now, I’m curious to know how many really understand the levels of ammonia that can be harmful to fish. Take the poll, and explain your answer.
  21. We spend a lot of time trying to manage the nitrogen cycle and it’s very “fish-toxic” precursor - ammonia. But how many really understand what is the primary cause of ammonia production? Let’s find out. Take the poll and explain your rationale, especially if you answered “something else”. To make things interesting, I WILL NOT personally throw a $20 Aquarium Co-Op gift card to the first person with the correct answer.
  22. Hi all, I’m new to the hobby and am looking for advice on keeping the ammonia down in my cichlid tank. I’ve got 15 fish in a 55 gallon tank. All mbuna with the exception of two orange splotched cichlids, a blood red parrot and a common placo. They all get along peacefully. I was going for the idea that they’re less aggressive when it’s stocked up. So far so good....except that ammonia level. I do weekly water changes (50%), use a marine land 375 penguin with the rotating bio wheels, stocked the media basket in the filter with ceramic media and stuffed the baskets of the filter with foam. The tank has been stocked with fish for at least 6-8 weeks. I do have Amazon swords in there. I used a piece of foam from another tank that was already colonized with good bacteria in the filter for a week before I added the fish. I’m going to add a sponge filter. Between the moving bed filter and the sponge filter, which one does a better job of bringing the ammonia down?? How much longer should I wait before I expect the see a healthier, more cycled tank? Any advice would be valuable.
  23. I did a water change and changed out my gravel out to the round pea gravel in my tank and all my water level are good but I cant get my ammonia to 0ppm its at 2.0 ppm. What can I do? or should I just let it run its course. I've add the suggested amount of prime to the water the bottle said.
  24. Hi, I have a quick question: My two betta tanks are cycled, but I always seem to see 0-0.25 ammonia when I test the water. It also kind of depends on the lighting, in some brighter lights it looks more yellow and in others more green (but I'm pretty sure it is reading 0.25). Does this mean both tanks are not fully cycled? They finished around a month ago. My tap water has 1 ppm ammonia but I tested before I did a water change, not after. Could this be caused by the test kit?? I have the api one.
  25. I use ammonia test strips and liquid test kits it seems.hit and miss with the ammonia test strips I have used in the past
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