new and could use some help - Page 3 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #21 of 37 Old 11-24-2008, 04:57 PM
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hi
lovley tank, and i think a black backing will look awsome. :)
unfortunatly for you the levels you require are Amonia 0
nitrite 0 nitrate 10-40 have you any friends with a tropical tank.
if you do ask them can you have some filter media for your filter,
or go back to the store and ask them for a couple of used filter pads.
i don't know how the fish you have on order will cope with a cycle.
you will need to check the water almost daily,and preform water changes
to keep the toxic levels low enough,and perhaps the fish will be ok.
sorry to be the party pooper here :(

when you set up a new tank,hide an extra
sponge or two behind some decor,that way you have
something seeded for you next filter.
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post #22 of 37 Old 11-24-2008, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
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I just rechecked the levels, and they are:

Ammonia: 1.0
PH: 8.0
nitrite: .25
nitrate: 5.0

How large of a water change should I do tonight? I checked the levels in the tap water and there is also 1.0 of ammonia present...

Last edited by FlatsINC; 11-24-2008 at 06:33 PM.
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post #23 of 37 Old 11-24-2008, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlatsINC View Post
I just rechecked the levels, and they are:

Ammonia: 1.0
PH: 8.0
nitrite: .25
nitrate: 5.0

How large of a water change should I do tonight? I checked the levels in the tap water and there is also 1.0 of ammonia present...
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post #24 of 37 Old 11-25-2008, 06:56 AM
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You have 1 ppm of ammonia right out of the tap? That's not good at all. 1 ppm of ammonia is lethal to fish, not instantly but pretty quickly. There are some ways you might be able to get around that problem but none are pretty.

The best is to get a RO/DI unit that will make pure water for you. Unfortunately you'll have to buy a supplement to add to the RO/DI water to replace vital minerals the RO/DI unit will remove and add some buffering capacity. Before you spend a lot of money on an RO/DI unit you might want to contact the water company and find out if they are adding ammonia and if they are if its temporary. In fact if you're getting those kind of readings you should do that regardless. Also have you tested for nitrites out of the tap?

There are some products that will change ammonia (toxic to fish) to ammonium (not toxic) but dosing would be something you'd have to do constantly and your ammonia test would always reveal the presence of ammonia just because it doesn't diferentiate between the two. Those products might let you get away without an RO/DI unit but it's iffy.

If you have to add fish right now it's not the end of the world but you need to be prepared for a lot of work and potentially losing some fish. If you go the detoxifier route Prime ( Aquarium Water Quality & Conditioners: Seachem Prime Water Conditioner )has a good track record. According to the label it looks like you'd need to double dose in order to detoxify your ammonia levels. Just to be on the safe side I'd triple the dose.

Ok, so the steps.

1) Buy a product like Prime. Your LFS should stock Prime or something like it. Get a decent sized bottle, you're going to need it.
2) Do a water change. Call it 50% to get your nitrite levels down. Refill the tank.
3) Treat your entire tank with the Prime. Triple the dose.
4) Now acclimate and add your fish as normal.
5) When you do water changes you need to treat any water you add with that same triple dose of conditioner until your tap water no longer tests out as having ammonia in it.

Here's the disclaimer. I have no real experience with using a product like this to detoxify ammonia and nitrites. The science behind it is sound but I have no experience backing it up. You will still test as having ammonia in the water. You will want to carry out fish in cycling as normal but don't do water changes until ammonia levels rise above 1.25 ppm or nitrites rise above 0.25ppm. Keep a close eye on your fish. Once your filter matures it'll be able to remove the ammonia from the water and you'll see the level drop to 0. Be aware that even with a mature filter you still need to over dose with the conditioner during water changes.

All that being said, if the water company tells you the ammonia levels are going to be permanent then an RO/DI unit is your best bet. It'll remove the ammonia for you and you won't have to mess with overdosing Prime.

If there's anyway you can avoid picking up fish then I'd advise it and let your tank cycle without putting them through the stress.

Tetra Fanatic
Watch my tank progress from Craigslist salvage to fishy habitat: Aaron's Tank
The only things that happen quickly in an aquarium are bad things.
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post #25 of 37 Old 11-25-2008, 11:02 AM
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sound advise there ^^ :)

when you set up a new tank,hide an extra
sponge or two behind some decor,that way you have
something seeded for you next filter.
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post #26 of 37 Old 11-25-2008, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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I got the levels down, and now just need to let the tank cycle, treat and keep up with it...I hope all is good! What temp should the ater be 78deg?
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post #27 of 37 Old 11-26-2008, 01:27 AM
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78 is good.

I'm not sure RO/DI water is the answer for you. Such water will be extremely soft and won't have the high pH at which you'll maintain the tank for the African cichlids. I would think a water conditioner that detoxifies ammonia would be sufficient to make the ammonia coming out of your tap safe while it gets processed by your biological filter.

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post #28 of 37 Old 11-26-2008, 06:33 AM
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*Shrug* Well, you're not really going to get away without doing something to the water. My preference is to mess with something you can measure accurately. The water coming out will be soft but you can mess with the pH and accurately track that. Back it up with the right substrate in the tank and you can keep things fairly stable. While the products like Prime or Aquamel do promise to detoxify ammonia I've got no real way to verify that its really doing that the way I want it to. Either way will work, I just have my preference. Sorry if that wasn't clear.

Tetra Fanatic
Watch my tank progress from Craigslist salvage to fishy habitat: Aaron's Tank
The only things that happen quickly in an aquarium are bad things.
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post #29 of 37 Old 11-29-2008, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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now I am confused...I did water changes, I have added prime, and now my levels have spiked after adding fish...Also I have this yellow tinge to the water and it's kind of cloudy...Help!
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post #30 of 37 Old 11-30-2008, 12:11 AM
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The yellow tinge is likely tannins from your driftwood. It can lower your pH a little and is harmless to your fish. The cloudiness is probably a bacterial bloom brought about by your ammonia spiking. It's not surprising that your ammonia spiked after adding fish, since your tank wasn't cycled in the first place. You're just going to have to keep on top of water changes until the tank can cycle.

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