I need help with a 10 gallon - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 20 Old 01-30-2008, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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I need help with a 10 gallon

It's a 10 gal that's been cycling for 2 months or so. I've got one betta and two panda cories and live java moss and 4 amazon sword plants. My problem is....the fish were at my Mom's house for 3 weeks and I guess she was overfeeding them or something and my ammonia levels shot up to 8 ppm (they had been at 0). I moved them back to live with me and have done two water changes in three days hoping to decrease the ammonia. It's gone down to 2 ppm but I had hoped that it would have gone down significantly more as I did a 75% water change the first time (using amquel and novaqua) and then I did a 25% water change yesterday with the same chemicals. Do I just need to continue daily water changes until the ammonia levels return to normal? My nitrate/nitrite levels are 0 ppm. Also, my pH is waaaay too low. It's around a 6. What do I do to bring up the pH (the guy at the fish store told me that city water with the novaqua and amquel would have a normal pH, but clearly that's not the case)? Also, my amazon swords seem to be wilting and turning brown. I keep pulling out the leaves that are mostly-completely brown and it keeps regrowing and then dying. I've got an overhead light so I don't understand what the problem is. Help!

1. 10 gallon aquarium
2. Freshwater
3. 9-10 weeks cycling
4. 1 male betta, two panda cories
5. java moss and amazon swords
6. Penguin biowheel 100 with a 100watt heater
7. No direct sunlight
8. Water was last changed yesterday at 10 pm
9.Two OSI sinking shrimp pellets and freeze dried bloodworms
10.Fluorescent lighting
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post #2 of 20 Old 01-30-2008, 05:00 PM
I'm not familar with those chemicals but I would think that they are your problem. Do you have any driftwood in the tank? Was the tank cycled before you added the fish? How much are you feeding them and what filter media are you using? What is the ph from the tap? Sounds like all the nutrients are being stripped out of the water and the plants aren't getting any. I think your dealing with 2 seperate problems. The high ammonia wouldn't hurt the plants. How are your fish acting? Are they trying to jump out of the water and gasping for air?

"Cycling best friend is a good liquid regeant test kit, and a good barber to fix your hair after you pulled half of it out."
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post #3 of 20 Old 01-30-2008, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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Novaqua and amquel are just water conditioners. They were suggested by the guy at the store. I don't have any driftwood. The tank was only cycled one week before the putting in the betta (long story). Two sinking pellets per day and maybe 1/8th of a teaspoon of freeze dried bloodworms. I'm not sure what the pH from the tap is, but the guy at the store stated that in his experience the tap pH was 7.1. The fish are acting fine. The betta doesn't spend all of his time at the top of the tank and the cories are still very playful together at the bottom. I'm not sure what filter media I'm using. It's the "rite-size A" cartridge that came with the Penguin filter.
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post #4 of 20 Old 01-31-2008, 01:25 PM
You shouldn't need two differant things as a water conditioner. That's my fist concern. Tap water varies in differant locations so just becasue his is at 7.1 doesn't mean yours will be. I fear your getting bad info from the fish store. What temp is your tank at? Was the tank new when you get it? Did you use anything else in the tank? The ph might be low since the ammonia is up so high but if it was trully that high, your fish would be trying to jump out of the tank. I'm going to do some research on those water conditioners to see if I can find anything out that will help but something is definatly off.

BTW..your tank isn't cycled yet. Your still cycling which will take anywhere from 4-12 weeks to complete. Don't add anymore fish till it's complete or you risk loosing them.

"Cycling best friend is a good liquid regeant test kit, and a good barber to fix your hair after you pulled half of it out."
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post #5 of 20 Old 01-31-2008, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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His exact words were something along the lines of "If you are using this city's water, then the pH will be fine...around 7.1." The tank is at 76.5 degrees, but it fluctuates between 75.5 and 77.5. The tank was not new, it had been used for hermit crabs. I cleaned it out with dish soap, let it dry, then with 10:1 bleach and let it air dry for a day before putting in gravel, etc. All of the accesories were new and cleaned with hot water and bleach and air dried (except for the gravel, it was just rinsed with hot water). I haven't used any other chemicals but the two described. Thanks for your help so far!
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post #6 of 20 Old 01-31-2008, 04:57 PM
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i have heard that cleaning with bleach isnt good. is that right? actually i think i read a sticky about it... or was it just a post.... anyway is it a good idea to clean with bleach?
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post #7 of 20 Old 01-31-2008, 05:35 PM
Cleaning with bleach is OK. Dish soap can be a problem. When cleaning with bleach, rinse, rinse, and then rinse some more. Let it air dry for a day or two. If you still smell bleach, rinse more and repeat.

I looked up Amquel and Novaqua (going from memory here, so if I messed up the names) and on their site, it recommends using both, so that shouldn't be the source of the problem.

The pH issue is the fact that your tank is cycling and that is going to change the parameters. I don't know about plants, so I dont' know if that is the problem.

From reading here on the forum, you should only do a maximum of 50% water changes otherwise you'll take out too many of the good little bacteria.

You're going to need some ammonia in the tank to grow the bacteria, so you don't want to take the ammonia readings down to 0.

Here's a link on cycling with fish:


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post #8 of 20 Old 02-01-2008, 09:41 AM Thread Starter
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Even with the daily 25% water change I lost my two cories this morning They were such beautiful fish. The betta is still acting normal (but from what I could see the cories were behaving normally last night). So I'm getting desperate to save my last fishie friend. Any help would be wonderful and thanks to those who have posted so far.
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post #9 of 20 Old 02-01-2008, 10:51 AM
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you might want to think about putting your betta in a fishbowl until you get his current tank under control.
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post #10 of 20 Old 02-01-2008, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
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That's a good idea. Should I use water from the tank to fill the fish bowl or start fresh?
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