Got the API test kit.... Questions - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 5 Old 04-09-2011, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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Got the API test kit.... Questions

So I finally stopped using the test strips and got the liquid test kit.
I have .25 ammonia in every tank and the tap water looks like .125.
The nitrite and nitrate are fine.
I do weekly water changes.

So, what do I do?
Switch from stress coat to prime?
Feed them less food?
Give away a couple fish?

When you do the water changes
how often you you do a deep vacuum?
Every week, Every other, monthly?

I leave the lights on for 14 hours.
Should I get that down to 12 hours?

The fish are all doing ok for now.
Thanks for any ideas or advise.
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post #2 of 5 Old 04-10-2011, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SGDude View Post
So I finally stopped using the test strips and got the liquid test kit.
I have .25 ammonia in every tank and the tap water looks like .125.
The nitrite and nitrate are fine.
I do weekly water changes.

So, what do I do?
Switch from stress coat to prime?
Feed them less food?
Give away a couple fish?

When you do the water changes
how often you you do a deep vacuum?
Every week, Every other, monthly?

I leave the lights on for 14 hours.
Should I get that down to 12 hours?

The fish are all doing ok for now.
Thanks for any ideas or advise.

We have ammonia in our tap water as well. Just switch to Prime, it's a great product since it's a water conditioner and an ammonia/nitrite/nitrate detoxifier I love it. It really turned my fish around for the better. I'm still cycling as well, with fish in there.

I vacuum for every water change, it's good to get that stuff off the gravel because that's what leads to high ammonia levels. I vacuum and do a 20% water change like once a week. It's best to do small, frequent water changes so you don't upset the pH levels. However if you are doing fish-in cycling, the ammonia levels will rise and doing water changes will reduce the ammonia and keep the fish safe. BUT you are like me: you have ammonia in your tap water. So water changes won't really get ammonia levels down so that's where the Prime comes in. Get a clean bucket and put in the measured amount of Prime before adding the new water to the tank. When you test for ammonia after putting in the Prime it will still say you have ammonia but you just need to keep in mind that although it reads as ammonia on the test results, it is in actuality ammonium, which is non-toxic for fish.

Lights don't matter unless you start seeing algae growths. Then you might want to cut down on light time to slow down the growths.

So what size is your tank, how many fish are in there and what kind? And how often do you feed? I feed mine like 2 flakes per fish, honestly maybe a bit more! But they consume it all in under a minute so I suppose it's an ok amount for them.

Last edited by whitecloud34; 04-10-2011 at 10:53 AM.
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post #3 of 5 Old 04-10-2011, 10:58 AM
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+1 on the Prime. It's the only one I use even with well water... (old habits die hard).

As for water changes, I let the nitrate readings determine how much I change and how deeply I clean the gravel. Anything 20 or over, decent gravel vac. and 30% WC. Nitrates at 10 gets a light gravel vac. and about 25% WC.

If I'm doing filter maintenance, I'll just get the plant debris or anything obvious off of the gravel and change about the same amt. of water.

Animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers.
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post #4 of 5 Old 04-10-2011, 04:43 PM
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First question is, do you have live plants in the tank? This has a bearing on water changes and gravel vacuuming, and on light period.

With respect to my colleague Romad, I do not recommend that water changes or other maintenance be geared to nitrate or any other test numbers (except in an emergency, but that is not what we are considering here). By the time nitrates rise, it is too late, damage may well have occurred to the fish depending upon species and other factors. Water changes are our artificial way, inadequate though it is, of replicating what all fish have naturally--fresh water every second. I can go more into this when I know about plants.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #5 of 5 Old 04-10-2011, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
First question is, do you have live plants in the tank? This has a bearing on water changes and gravel vacuuming, and on light period.

With respect to my colleague Romad, I do not recommend that water changes or other maintenance be geared to nitrate or any other test numbers (except in an emergency, but that is not what we are considering here). By the time nitrates rise, it is too late, damage may well have occurred to the fish depending upon species and other factors. Water changes are our artificial way, inadequate though it is, of replicating what all fish have naturally--fresh water every second. I can go more into this when I know about plants.

Byron.
I want to hear what Byron says about plants, because now that I have sand subtrate, I don't see how to vacumn, except to hover over sand and pick up on surface. I also am wondering if plants use/eat some of the poop, and debris.

Gwen

Just because animals can't talk, does not mean they should not be heard
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