Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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wendex 06-04-2008 12:43 PM

What's the best way to get rid of ammonia in new tank?
I thought my tank was cycled cos I got readings 0 for nitrites and ammonia but just over a week after getting first fish the ammonia went up to 0.25 and fish weren't moving much.

I was advised to do a 50% water change and told that the chances are my tank wasn't cycled. After water change I treated the water with cycle and the fish have been swimming around and looking quite happy since but my ammonia readings are still 0.25 even though the cycle bottle says it gets rid of ammonia and I can only use that every 7 days.

Should I do water changes until ammonia reads 0? Will this prevent the build up of good bacteria? I think I may have over fed the fish and there's a lot of food on the bottom of tank but I was told not to clean the gravel cos it's a new tank but I'm thinking it might help if old food makes ammonia levels rise.

Please can anyone advise me what to do cos I don't want the fish to get sick.

willow 06-04-2008 01:17 PM

do a water change and just hoova above the gravel to get
rid of the food.
you may have made a spike due to the amount of fish you added,
may have been to many for ther filter to cope with.
keep checking the water and let us know how you get on.
but don't panic. :)

herefishy 06-04-2008 02:46 PM

Patience and water changes.

Flashygrrl 06-04-2008 04:56 PM


Water changes if levels are at or above .25, otherwise it takes longer to fully cycle. It's possible the Cycle stuff is giving you a false reading so you may wish to avoid it to know what your parameters are doing.

okiemavis 06-04-2008 06:35 PM

Flashygrrl is right. A lot of those treatments will "detoxify" the ammonia so it doesn't hurt the fish, but the water tests will still get readings of ammonia.

wendex 06-07-2008 03:28 PM

Hi fish seem ok, they tend to be inactive for about a day after I do a water change 20% I'm testing every other day to check ammonia levels the test water is ever so slightly green not even reading 0.25 now so that's good I'm hoping. I'm thinking that I should I revert to weekly water changes to give the tank a chance to build up it's bacteria, cos the fish don't seem to like it when the water's changed and it seems to be causing them stress. I'm not sure what's the best thing to do now?

okiemavis 06-07-2008 03:40 PM

Are you treating the tap water to remove chlorine and other things? Is the water you are adding the same temperature as the tank water? You need to use an accurate thermometer to test this, NOT just your hand.

wendex 06-07-2008 04:13 PM

Yeah I'm using a water conditioner and a thermometer, I'm boiling a kettle and adding hot water to get the right temperture water b4 adding it to the tank, and I thought maybe cos I'm not letting the water reach room temp. slowly maybe the water conditioner I'm putting in doesn't have time to work b4 I add water to tank, this is the only thing I can think I'm doing wrong. The water conditioner doesn't say it gets rid of ammonia, but I've been told the ammonia levels that I've got shouldn't be having 2 adverse effect on fish. Thanks for taking time to help :)

okiemavis 06-08-2008 07:44 PM

why don't you test your water right before adding it to the tank so we know for sure?

Andyandsue 06-09-2008 07:36 PM

Water changes and patience are the best thing for cycling a tank once it's been started. Sounds to me like it may have been cycled and then you added more fish? If you got a 0 reading on nitrites and ammonia without any fish it's because there was no ammonia to get the cycle started, unless you did a fishless cycle by adding ammonia.

Read up on cycling here. It is the easiest way to understand it.

Some people do not like this product or have not had good luck with it, but I HIGHLY recommend Biospira. I can't say enough about it. It's a natural product, and will give your cycling a huge jump start by adding nitrifying bacteria to rid the tank of ammonia overnight. I have used it to cycle every one of my tanks. It does not cycle the tank completely, but gets rid of ammonia. It must be purchased at a reputable LFS with a high turnover, and it must be refrigerated to ensure freshness. I've never had a fatality during cycling with with thanks to this product.

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