Originally Posted by gzarr
I have tested my tap water and the ammonia is close to 1ppm. And I used to overfeed my fish (2-3 x/day) but have since learned that it was too much and cut back to a small pinch of flakes OR 2-3 bits of betta food for the betta and a sinking pellet forthe cory. He doesn't get fed again till it's gone. As far as the filter, I have swished it in old tank water once to remove some debris and changed the carbon out of it once. That's it. And thanks for the cost-effective tips!
I usually leave the lights on around 8 hrs or so a day. I turn them off if we leave. I didn't want to contribute to more green water. The substrate I have is just the regular gravel you can buy. I plan on getting a larger tank in the future once I get this tank under control and want to put in finer stuff. Maybe I can move the corys) there then.
Our ph is closer to 8 or even 8.5 so I don't think that is the issue. However we do have a water softener so do you think that maybe has something to do with it? And if so, do you have suggestions as to what to do?
Thanks everyone for your help getting me closer to cycling this frustrating tank! :)
I might try using three times the dose of AMQUEL+ for tapwater and try this in a bucket of the tapwater and check for ammonia after 24 hours. Would also aerate the bucket with airstone while this takes place.
I am wondering if the 8.0 to 8.5 pH reading is after the water passes through the water softener or before. Would also wonder if you are using the high range pH test from your API master kit or the low range. Most use the high range test when keeping fish that do well in hard alkaline water such as many of the Cichlids. Otherwise for most fishes, I would use low range test for pH .
It is said that domestic water softeners do not produce water that is good for longterm health of fishes. They remove minerals or salts that fish need and those same minerals or salts, also help buffer the water to help maintain stable ph. The water softeners replace the minerals and salts they remove such as calcium and magnesium, with sodium salts that over time depending on species of fish, can cause problems.
I might be tempted to use water from outside spigot on house or apartment and test the pH of this water. So long as ph is not below 6.0 using low range test or above 8.0 this would be water I would use after treating it with dechlorinator perhaps at three times the recommended dose and heating the water before using it for water changes.
Do be sure when performing tests that you allow solutions to set for the recommended length of time for tests to be accurate. Letting then set too long can also render inaccurate results.
If you still record ammonia at levels above .50 ,,A R/O system may be consideration. It will remove everything from your tapwater or source water and additional buffers will need to be added before you can use it for the aquarium.
Another option is to get large tub and fill it with tapwater or source water . If the source water contains ammonia ,,then adding a hang on the back filter to this tub of water will allow the ammonia in the water to essentially cycle the filter on the tub and the water would eventually be safe to use in your aquarium. course this will take time for you are essentially cycling this tub of water to produce water safe for water changes. It would be same as fishless cycling an aquarium only instead of using fish food,shrimp,or fish,you will be relying on the ammonia that is present in the tapwater to feed the bacteria.
I would still treat the water with conditioner before using and after water change,, I would refill the tub with this tapwater. thye size of tub in my view, should be large enough to hold enough water for two to three water changes .Depending on the size of the aquarium,, this could be smaller tub,or larger. Hope some of this helps.
P.S. What ever your pH is,,, I would keep fish that are comfortable in THAT pH. It makes things much easier than trying to adjust water to suit the fishes.