Originally Posted by 1077
Were it me, I would purchase the API freswater master kit if you don'y already have one. The test kits that use strips are not all that accurate. I would stop using salts in the aquarium. I would not vaccum the gravel and would continue to feed fish sparingly maybe once a day. For right now,, I would change 10 percent of the water and wait 24 hours and test for ammonia again. Do try and get the API test kit. Watch the fish closely. If they appear stressed (swimming near the surface, rapid gill movement) perform another 10 percent water change. Have no expierience with the water conditioner you are using but I would look for water conditioner such as PRIME which is what many or most use or AMQUEL+ which is another good product. One of these is all you should need in the aquarium. No stress this, cycle that, or ammolock. Some of these products may alter water tests and some in my view are useless. Don't add anymore fish, don't overfeed , don't clean anything in the tank. Your tank is still going through nitrogen cycle or maturing. Too much food or over cleaning the tank and or gravel at this point will only cause trouble. I would also return the shark. They get way too large for most aquariums.Remember,,, If fish look stressed ,,change 10 percent of the water . if after 24 hours or sooner if fish still display stress,, perform another water change. ALWAYS add water conditioner to the new water BEFORE it goes in the aquarium. Don't stress about cloudy water it will clear on it's own once the tank has completed the nitrogen cycle and assuming you do not overfeed the fish. DO get the API freshwater master kit if you can or take a sample of water from your tank to fish store and ask them to test it. If they use strips the results could be false . Might be a good thing to call them or other stores until you find one that uses test that requires drops of liquid. Post your results soon as you get em and we can go from there. In the meantime DON"T add any chemicals other than dechlorinator or water conditioner and try and find some PRIME or AMQUEL+.
I dont mean to give you more conflicting opinions, but tend to agree w/ 1077. Loose all the additives but the dechlorinator. I cant not believe lfs would sell set first timer w/ just UGF, Most lfs will try to add more items to sell. Although can be done, requires patiences and little know-how w/ just UGF. Lots of oldtimers that i learn good amount of knowledge/technique about fish keeping/breeding, used to use just UGF. Have done it myself once gained enough knowledges and know-how.
Do have some questions before i go on.
Your pH is on slightly alkaline. Can you test your tap water for pH to see if your tap is as high. As 1077 mentioned that equilibrium b/n toxic Ammonia (NH3) and non toxic Ammonium ion (NH4+) is pH dependent. As pH goes acidic, more of NH4+ than NH3. I do agree Amoonia is toxic but must understand this concept before doing massive changes. Such massive changes can disturb whatever bio-actvities it took this long to established which in return cause delay in cycling process which in turn will cause unnecessary stress on your livestocks and YOU. I have learned that small and more frequent water changes are way to keep the stablillity of the water. Idea is to keep the water stablized.
Usually tank that is 33 days old should have gone thru first stage, NH3 oxidized to Nitrite (NO2) and be in middle of NO2 spike or decreasing process, NO2 is oxidized to Nitrate (NO3).
I do not know the test log since starting the tank. If you have the record of all the testing it will help to undertand the situation better thus better opinions can be given. Also Since nitrate is registered, I am also wondering that by adding so much additives, you may be getting false/distorted reading on NH3. As 1077 has said, bottles which can help add beneficial bacteria might be the source of sudden NH3 increase.
I do not know Amquel+ but I do know that Ammolock and Amquel used to say on the bottle that w/ these product, you must use NH3 test kit which has 2 reagents (Salicylate Method). W/ Nh3 test kit that has 1 reagent will not give you correct reading.
Taking all these possibilities, dont want to to any massive disturbances to the system such as 50% partial water changes (pwc), gravel vacuuming at this time. Do the test for next few days and post the reading.
Do consider acquiring canister filter if tank is well againt the wall.I am sure you can run intake and return tubing if utilize each back corners. Sooner the better.
1. Post the record of all the testing w/ dates if available
2. Post the reading of tap water.
3. If NH is present/increasing after few small pwc (20-25% ea for few days) w/o using additives (zyme, cycle, etc), consider dropping the pH slightly on new water being added to drop pH in the tank slightly UNLESS you have fish requiring high pH.
For all I know, your tank may have gone thru cycling process but being disturbed/geting false reading due to massive changes/additives, respectively.
Hope this helped rather than confuse you.
**Dont worry about cloudiness at this point (I call this new tank syndrome) which will go way w/ time. Massive changes can also add to cloudiness.