10-01-2011, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by KimJackson2005
I have the test strips and according to them everythings fine but I'm thinking their not very accurate. I was doing 20% water changes a few times a week for a few weeks. The water was pretty cloudy so I spoke to a lady at the LPS and she said that was WAY too much. I should only be doing a 20% water change once a month. She said when I change the water I'm removing some of the good bacteria and that whats causing the cloudiness.
When I look at some of the posts on here though people are doing bi-weekly water changes so I don't know who to believe.
A couple things, petstore people usually know nothing. If your tank isn't cycled you need to do water changes daily if necessary, if ammonia or nitrites are present. Good bacteria isn't really in the water, it's stays in the filter media, and on things in the aquarium. Also, test strips are pretty inaccurate. Get the API liquid test kit for ammonia and nitrites first. You'll need it for nitrates too at some time soon.
Getting started can get pretty pricey. Second, you need to use a good water conditioner such as Prime (it's great). It can detoxifiy for 24 hours any ammonia, nitrites or nitrates (if they are too high) which you probably don't have, and with weekly 50% water changes, shouldn't have if you aren't overfeeding etc). Nitrates is not you problem at this point, I'm sure.
Let me know how it's going. There is lots of good information on this site for cycling. Many people learn the hard way by losing fish.