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Ammonia won't go away, help!!!!

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Ammonia won't go away, help!!!!
Old 03-02-2012, 09:29 AM   #11
 
you can also ask your store or a friend if they have some gravel or anything from there aquarium they can give you . Some times something as simple as a piece of wood would help a lot for the cycling. and if you get a lot of plants it wont only help it will almost eliminate the ammonia spike and eat it all. so plant will help no mahter how many even a little :)
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:32 AM   #12
 
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To emphasize two points-
Since you're essentially doing a "fish in" cycle, it is vitally important to do at least 50% water change any time the Ammonia or Nitrite readings are over 0ppm, the Nitrate is over 20ppm, or weekly (whichever comes first). Vitally important!

Getting a ton of fast-growing plants (like Byron said) will help immensly. "Fast growing" is the key- the faster the plant grows, the quicker it will suck up the Ammonia before it gets a chance to hurt the fish. Good choices for this the plants that Byron listed, and also Duckweed. (You can click on the shaded names of plant or fish species to read more about them.) If you post the info about your lighting and water parameters (temp, pH, hardness, etc.), we can recommend the best plants for your tank.

And since you mentioned having a tank at work-
Another great way to help your cycle is to "seed" your tank with biomedia from an established, HEALTHY tank. Its important that the tank not have a history of any disease. "Biomedia" means anything on which the beneficial bacteria can grow- substrate, filter media, decorations, plants. Its important NOT to rinse off the biomedia before placing it in your tank, as the chlorine, etc in water will kill the bacteria we need. Just keep the biomedia wet in tank water and get it into your tank as quickly as possible.
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Old 03-02-2012, 05:34 PM   #13
 
Ok, every thing in my tank except my corycat died sometime this morning before I could get home. It looked like their scales were falling off, they were white. Should I start my cycle over? I have the corycat but should I treat the cycle like a no fish cycle? I am going to buy the plants tomorrow, how often should I test to monitor the levels? I do t want to Dd fish simply because I think the cycle may be over. I'll grab one of my decorations from work tomorrow to out in my tank. Any advice on how to proceed from this point is much appreciated.
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Old 03-02-2012, 06:03 PM   #14
 
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The cycle is not completed. Without intervention (i.e. using a ton of fast growing plants, or seeding), the cycle takes about 6-8 weeks to complete.

You cannot do a fishless cycle method with a fish in the tank. This would be murder, there's no way a fish could survive this.

Right now- do TWO 75% water changes, back to back, immediately! Its the cory's only chance at survival. Not only is the water still polluted with the same toxins that killed the other fish, but there is now the additional toxins released from the dead fish's decay. You must do this immediately, for the sake of the cory!

You'll test your water daily during the cycle. You'll do a 50% water change every time your Ammonia or Nitrite is above 0ppm. This very well might mean daily water changes for weeks during the cycle (unless intervention is utilized, either heavy planting or seeding or both, in which case you'll still test the water but will find the cycle is MUCH shorter). After the cycle is complete, you'll also do 50% water changes any time your Nitrate is above 20ppm or weekly, whichever comes first.

When you go to buy plants tomorrow, be care to only purchase the ones we've mentioned, or otherwise come back here and tell us about them first so we can inform you. Some plants sold in pet stores are not actually aquatic plants, and will slowly rot and die. They certain won't help your cycle, and will only makes things worse by adding more Ammonia with their decay! Other plants won't be suitable for your tank because of their requirements, usually light requirements. Since they can't grow well, they won't help your cycle. And their eventual death will only add more Ammonia. Some plants will do fine in your tank, but don't grow quickly enough to help with your Ammonia problem. So, unless you have a lot of money, its best to avoid those for now and instead spend money on the plants that will help the most. So, outside of Water Sprite, Hornwort, Brazilian Pennywort, and Duckweed, be sure to ask us before any other plant purchases.

And def avoid the temptation to buy more fish! I know its tempting, all those beautiful fish, but it will only make matters worse. Good luck!
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Old 03-02-2012, 08:52 PM   #15
 
I'm on it! I did an 80% change this afternoon and am doing a 75% change now! I don't want to murder anything!! Thanks for you help, I'll keep updating!

I will NOT buy anymore fish though i would love to see sonething swimming in our tank, i could not bear another dying on me! I promise to only buy the suggested plants. I think my local pet store has at least a few of what was suggested! I never thought of seeding my new tank at home from my tank at work sinice it's been established for 4 years( its only 10 gallon and I never knew of "cycling" so my fish survival was purely by chance and luck)! My 8 year old would especially despise it even though our "bad" water and dead fish only adds good to our compost for the garden, he is exponentially affected by the death of our fish family! Thanks from myself and son for helping educating us in extending our family!

Last edited by Hollydolly1318; 03-02-2012 at 09:03 PM..
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:05 PM   #16
 
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Fish water does make excellent water for plants! My indoor plants have been exceedingly happy since I started my fish tanks back up.

Good luck! And we're here to help with any problems you have!
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Old 03-03-2012, 03:21 PM   #17
 
Ok I went to the only 2 pet stores in the surrounding towns and got 1 Anubis plant, 1 pennywort(they only had 1) and 1 Asia fern. The gentleman at the pet store helped me find a book to see what they had that was the easiest to grow. 2 of those plants came from an establishe tank already and he gave me a hand full of some gravel as well. He did offer to let me bring the fish I have back so it doesn't die and they will give me an in store credit for what they would normally sell an emerald corycat for. I'm still deciding if I should take it back, I don't want to but it might save the fish! So I have 3 plants ad I bought my chemist test kit. I had a liquid test kit for ammonia prior but everything else was on a strip. I tested the water when I got home and logged it. Here are the readings:
PH- 6.0
High PH- 7.4
Ammonia- 4.0ppm
Nitrite- 0
Nitrate- 0
Based on the links I read from everyone the absence of nitrite and nitrates makes me think I am very early in cycling process; is that the case?
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Old 03-03-2012, 04:00 PM   #18
 
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Sounds like you have a great pet store!

I'm so glad you posted about this I'm doing my first conscious tank cycle right now with my son. We just tested the water this morning, 2.5ppm for the ammonia 0 and 0 for the nitrate and nitrite levels and our water is extremely acidic. 8.0pH. I snagged some pennywort and love the look of it, aside from the ease of growth. Sounds like we need to be doing some more water changes ourselves, no fish in ours yet, we're going to be hatching some killifish when the eggs arrive, but we've got a batch of pond snails keeping the plants "company". Only down side is, of course, I think they might be eating some of the plants (they're super tiny still, but even so I'm not sure how much damage they could be/are doing. If they're going to just eat everything in the tank.... I honestly have no idea how to get rid of them.

The tank was set up with just substrate, filter and heater for about three days, then the plants were all added. Haven't done any water changes yet. Snails were added at the same time as the plants (kind of hard to avoid. :/

Not sure if there are any other suggestions, other than patience on the project, especially on how to lower the acidity of the water. I haven't done any tests on our tap water to see what it's natural state is though. That will be our project for this evening, so we know what we're starting with.
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Old 03-03-2012, 06:05 PM   #19
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlainaToadpipe View Post
Sounds like you have a great pet store!

I'm so glad you posted about this I'm doing my first conscious tank cycle right now with my son. We just tested the water this morning, 2.5ppm for the ammonia 0 and 0 for the nitrate and nitrite levels and our water is extremely acidic. 8.0pH. I snagged some pennywort and love the look of it, aside from the ease of growth. Sounds like we need to be doing some more water changes ourselves, no fish in ours yet, we're going to be hatching some killifish when the eggs arrive, but we've got a batch of pond snails keeping the plants "company". Only down side is, of course, I think they might be eating some of the plants (they're super tiny still, but even so I'm not sure how much damage they could be/are doing. If they're going to just eat everything in the tank.... I honestly have no idea how to get rid of them.

The tank was set up with just substrate, filter and heater for about three days, then the plants were all added. Haven't done any water changes yet. Snails were added at the same time as the plants (kind of hard to avoid. :/

Not sure if there are any other suggestions, other than patience on the project, especially on how to lower the acidity of the water. I haven't done any tests on our tap water to see what it's natural state is though. That will be our project for this evening, so we know what we're starting with.
You should not be seeing any ammonia in a tank with live plants, unless you are adding it. Are you adding any ammonia to cycle? And have you tested your tap water for ammonia? It might be from there.

Wouldn't hurt to test the tap water for nitrite and nitrate too, just to know.

And the pH at 8 is not acidic, it is basic (alkaline). pH 7 is neutral, numbers below (5, 6, etc) is acidic, numbers above 7 are basic. The higher you go up from 7 the more alkaline, just as the lower from 7 the more acidic.

Test you tap water for pH too; put a small amount of water in a jar and shake it vigorously for a minute or so to drive out the CO2, then test it for pH. This will give you a more accurate reading. It also is good to find out the hardness, as pH is connected. The water supply people can give you this, they may have a website. We want to know the GH (general hardness) and the KH (carbonate hardness or alkalinity, not to be confused with the pH "alkaline"). For some background reading, have a look at this:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-73276/

And, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

Byron.
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Old 03-03-2012, 06:10 PM   #20
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollydolly1318 View Post
Ok I went to the only 2 pet stores in the surrounding towns and got 1 Anubis plant, 1 pennywort(they only had 1) and 1 Asia fern. The gentleman at the pet store helped me find a book to see what they had that was the easiest to grow. 2 of those plants came from an establishe tank already and he gave me a hand full of some gravel as well. He did offer to let me bring the fish I have back so it doesn't die and they will give me an in store credit for what they would normally sell an emerald corycat for. I'm still deciding if I should take it back, I don't want to but it might save the fish! So I have 3 plants ad I bought my chemist test kit. I had a liquid test kit for ammonia prior but everything else was on a strip. I tested the water when I got home and logged it. Here are the readings:
PH- 6.0
High PH- 7.4
Ammonia- 4.0ppm
Nitrite- 0
Nitrate- 0
Based on the links I read from everyone the absence of nitrite and nitrates makes me think I am very early in cycling process; is that the case?
If that ammonia reading is accurate, the fish will not last. Have you used anything for the ammonia, like Prime water conditioner?

The pH needs to be resolved, obviously one of those numbers is inaccurate. What is your tap water pH? When testing tap water, shake a small amount of water in a sealed jar for a minute or so to dissipate out the CO2, then test. Find out from the water supoply people what the pH should be, and the hardness too, as they are connected [see my response to the last post]. This will tell you which test to use.
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