Confused about the water conflicting advice? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 30 Old 05-29-2008, 04:10 AM Thread Starter
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Confused about the water conflicting advice?

Hi guys got my first fish for new aquarium about a week ago. The shop where I got the fish does free water tests and advised me to use them instead of getting my own tests to begin with. They said the water was fine for fish.
I went back yesterday to get 2 more fish and when they tested my water I asked for the results:

Ammonia 0.6
Nitrite 0.1
Ph 7
Nitrate 5

From what I've read the Am. and Nit. should be 0?

The two guys in the shop disagreed one said I can get more fish, just need to do another water change. The other said I should treat the water and gave me some liquid to get rid of the nitrites and ammonia (to use for 10 days). I decided to wait. What should my Nitrate level be?

The guy who advised me to treat the water also said I should only feed the fish I've got once as day.

Am I getting good advice?
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post #2 of 30 Old 05-29-2008, 04:20 AM
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Re: Confused about the water conflicting advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wendex
Hi guys got my first fish for new aquarium about a week ago. The shop where I got the fish does free water tests and advised me to use them instead of getting my own tests to begin with. They said the water was fine for fish.
I went back yesterday to get 2 more fish and when they tested my water I asked for the results:

Ammonia 0.6
Nitrite 0.1
Ph 7
Nitrate 5

From what I've read the Am. and Nit. should be 0?

The two guys in the shop disagreed one said I can get more fish, just need to do another water change. The other said I should treat the water and gave me some liquid to get rid of the nitrites and ammonia (to use for 10 days). I decided to wait. What should my Nitrate level be?

The guy who advised me to treat the water also said I should only feed the fish I've got once as day.

Am I getting good advice?
They're quite wrong. Ammonia and nitrites should remain at zero at all times. You'll need to do plenty of water changes until both are zero. What test kit did they use? Buy your own API liquid test kit. LFS are not to be trusted all the time to check your water parameters. Nitrates should not exceed 40 ppm so you should be fine. Your only problem is the ammonia and nitrites.

What size is the tank? What fish are in the tank? How often and how much water is replaced? One guy in advising you to feed only once a day. Better underfeed than overfeed. The only chemical to use is a dechlorinator.

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post #3 of 30 Old 05-29-2008, 04:41 AM Thread Starter
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hi thanks for ur help. I'll get a test kit today.

The tank is 63l, I've got 3 cherry barbs in the tank, had them for about a week and I've done one 20% water change since getting the fish. Hope the fish'll be ok, they're quite active chasing eachother. I'll do another water change tonight and put dechlorinator in, how much water should I change?
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post #4 of 30 Old 05-29-2008, 04:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wendex
how much water should I change?
Until both ammonia and nitrites go down to zero.:)

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post #5 of 30 Old 05-29-2008, 12:36 PM
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Hi,
Your tank is not fully cycled yet. I would not add anymore fish until it has completed the cycle which means you'll have readings of 0 for ammonia and nitrite and some reading for nitrates. It sounds like one guy just wants to sell you more fish. You don't need to add any chemicals to get rid of ammonia or nitrites. You'll just need to do frequent water changes. Buy the liquid test kit (API is one of the best) and test your water often for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Do frequent water changes to keep the ammonia and nitrites levels down. Once your ammonia and nitrite stays at 0 and you have some reading for nitrates then your fully cycled and can just do weekly water changes of about 25%.

How long has the tank been set up?

150 Gallon - Mostly American Cichlids
135 Gallon - Angelfish Community
75 Gallon - Odd couple (Polleni/Angelfish)
55 Gallon - African tank
20 Gallon Long - QT
10 Gallon - Empty
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post #6 of 30 Old 05-29-2008, 02:12 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by wendex
.... how much water should I change?
I would recommend 25%-50% as needed. Your tests will dictate the amount of water to be changed. Do not sweep or clean the gravel!! At least not yet. A large part of the bio-bed is located in the gravel and it, obviously has not had a chance to full develop. You do not wish to remove any bacteria unless absolutely necessary.
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post #7 of 30 Old 05-30-2008, 06:57 AM
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ALWAYS use good dechlorinator when doing water changes. that is only chemical you need to add to water. OOPS! Just saw you ARE using dechlorinator. :)

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #8 of 30 Old 05-30-2008, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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Hi guys thanks for ur replies. I had tank for just over a week running b4 adding fish (I was given a bottle of something which I cant remember now what it was called, but I can find out, which I was told added bacteria to speed things up) and the 3 fish have been in for a week now. When I changed the water unfortunately I made 2 mistakes, I rinsed filter using tank water taken and partially cleaned gravel of excess food. I've got API tests and readings I've just got are

PH 7.2
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite:0
Nitrate: between 5-10

Is the tank ok now or should I wait for nitrates to increase?

Fish seem happy enough, very active and as suggested I have started feeding once a day and today they all swam to the top of the tank to get at the food instead for waiting for it to sink hope they're not going hungry?

The next fish I want to get are Cory catfish cos they don't grow very big and I thought 2 would be ok for the tank size.

This is a great site most helpful for beginners
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post #9 of 30 Old 05-30-2008, 02:17 PM
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The readings look good. Nitrates are fine. You want to keep them under 20 ppm.

I would wait awhile before adding anymore fish and keep testing the water because you've only had the tank set up with fish in it for about a week and that seems very quick to have it already cycled. Was the bacteria they gave you called Bio-Spira? Usually it is kept refrigerated and can help speed up the cycle. The other one I'm thinking of is called Cycle which does not need refrigeration and there are varying opinions on whether it works or not.

Do daily testing for the next week or so and if you stay at 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites then you should be good to go. Nitrates will rise a little but you keep these low by doing weekly water changes.

150 Gallon - Mostly American Cichlids
135 Gallon - Angelfish Community
75 Gallon - Odd couple (Polleni/Angelfish)
55 Gallon - African tank
20 Gallon Long - QT
10 Gallon - Empty
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post #10 of 30 Old 05-30-2008, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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OK I'll wait and keep up the water changes. I'll need to go back to shop to remember what I used to speed up cycle time. Waited years to get the tank so no probs waiting another week or two :D.
I wouldn't have got the fish so soon if the shop hadn't given me the all clear when they first tested the water, but I didn't ask for the results at the time cos I was 2 excited about choosing the fish, just pleased the water's testing ok now.

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