Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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racerx 10-23-2012 06:25 PM

frustrated by water
 
My appologies if you already saw this, I posted on the wrong forum before.
It's now been 6 weeks and I'm pulling my hair out over this darn water cycle
I have a 36 gallon bow-front tank with a Marineland 150 Bio-Wheel,Jebao Bioforce 818 canister filter,and a hydro-sponge filter with plenty of air and water circulation

Water temp-79.3 degrees
Ph-7.4
Ammonia-4.0
Nitrite-5.0
Nitrate-5.0
Water is crystal clear and all fish are acting normal (no erratic behavior)
mollies-2
cory cats-2
tetras-3
zebras-2
All fish are tiny (1-2 inches)
Only feeding once every other day (bloodworms, next time flakes, next time shrimp pellets)
Can't seem to get this water chemestry to balance out. I do a 10 gallon water change every 2 days and treat the new water with conditioner and Bio-boost. Also, I'm getting water from faucet with Pur water filter to make extra sure there's no chlorine.
I'm at a loss. I've had multiple tanks years (and years) ago and never had any problem like this.
I tried to give as much info as I thought you would want, even stopped using aquarium salt so I could eventually get live plants
LFS told me that I was changing water too much,and I should try going a month withouit changing water to see if it stabilized (Huh??)
Dosen't sound right so I'm coming to the experts.
Please help save my water and whats left of my hair
Thanks

Ogre44 10-23-2012 06:44 PM

How are you testing your water parameters, Strips of Liquid test kit?

Geomancer 10-23-2012 06:44 PM

"Normal" for a cycle is 4 to 8 weeks, so you haven't crossed that line yet.

You have a whole lot of filters on that tank, any particular reason why? The main purpose of filters is to remove floating particles in the water so it looks 'clear' but it has to be balanced with the fish, as many are forest fish and do not like strong currents.

Bacteria colonize everywhere in the tank, not just the filter(s) but in very new tanks you likely have more in the filter than elsewhere, but in old tanks the opposite is true.

A PUR water filter is just activated carbon (same stuff in fish tank cartridges), it does not remove chlorine (I don't think) but still, it's not necessary to use water from one.

You can't really do too many water changes when a tank is cycling. If Ammonia is there ... bacteria will form to eat it. Same goes for Nitrite.

Have you tested your tap water? Not all that uncommon to find Ammonia/Nitrite in tap water.

And what water conditioner do you use? Something like Prime detoxifies Ammonia and Nitrite which would explain why the fish are not showing stress.

racerx 10-23-2012 07:06 PM

water testing is done with API liquid test kit.
water from the tap is .25 ammonia
the conditioner I use is Tetra Aquasafe

Thoth 10-23-2012 07:43 PM

Make sure that you use the dechlorinator every time before adding water to the tank and in the correct amount. Chlorine can kill the beneficial bacteria that removes the ammonia and Nitrite. Give it another couple of weeks.

TitanTDH 10-23-2012 10:59 PM

Hey mate,
Ive been using the API test kits and had a nitrate spike at around 80ppm. It has since fallen with reduced feeding but i am still registering 20ppm on the testing at home. Did a little quality control and took a water sample to the LFS and results were nitrates at around 5ppm. Checked the bottles and have discovered that they are getting close to the use by date.

Maybe take a water sample to your LFS and ask them to test it. Cost me five bucks to get a comprehensive test of all parameters, but the peace of mind is priceless.

Hope it helps

Cheers

smit3183 10-24-2012 02:27 AM

Their is no way possible for those fish that you have listed to be alive with the ammonia and nitrite that high. Are you sure those parameters are correct and that your conducting the test correctly?

willow 10-24-2012 03:02 AM

i say carry on with the water changes,don't clean the filters.
make sure there is no uneaten food left over too as this will add to your trouble.
and glad to see you in the aquarium section :-D

racerx 10-24-2012 02:24 PM

API test kit shows expire date 2017, so that should be good. The substate is gravel and I did another water change today. I'm going to take sample to LFS and see what it reads. I double checked and I'm conducting test right, but everyone says that my fish would be dead with those numbers,but they're acting fine with no signs af stress or problems. (SIGH!!)

willow 10-24-2012 02:28 PM

well perhaps they'll wether the cycle..stranger things happen :-D
keep going,and don't loose heart.:-)


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