filters, cycles, and ammonia
Hey everyone, new to the site and the hobby in general. Had some noob questions i was looking for some help.
Marineland® 5-gallon Crescent Aquarium System - Aquariums - Fish - PetSmart
Tetra Whisper Internal Micro Filters - Product Reviews at The Age of Aquariums - Tropical Fish
This is the tank we picked up at petsmart and the filter that came with it :shock: now i really look like a noob! But ok some general questions.
- The tank is about 5 days through its first cycle and im getting ammonia levels off the chart, normal im assuming. So is it ok to continue adding ammonia remover to keep it at stressed levels( I figure there has to be some amount of ammonia) rather than toxic? Will it starve the bacteria im trying to grow?
- The other problem im having deals with pH. I cant get the pH levels to drop, even with three doses of pH down...nothing. It sits steady at 7.8 + - 0.1 It doesn't feel right dumping this much into such a small tank. Any other methods of lowering pH?
- Do you think the filter on this tank turns enough water for 5 cherry barbs and an apple snail? (70gph on a five gal)
-Is it possible to over aerate a tank?
Thanks for the help everyone!
With live fish in the tank, ammonia levels should be kept at or lower, than .25.
This is accomplished by daily 50 percent water changes using a dechlorinator such as PRIME or AMQUEL PLUS.(for use only with water changes)
Would throw away the pH up or down products for they create unstable pH which is stressful to fishes.
Would designate one person to feed the fish, and would feed three or four flakes crushed to near powder with your fingers once every two days, and no more.(excess food equals ammonia equals,dead fish)
Would not clean or disturb the filter for the next month. Filter should not get dirty unless you over feed the fish and the filter houses the majority of good bacteria that deals with ammonia from fish waste and or fish food.
Would google info on cycling a new aquarium and absolutely without fail perform the 50 percent water change daily, using dechlorinator's mentioned each and every day.
If you feed more than was suggested above,you will struggle with ammonia levels and will in all likelihood lose fish. Would also consider the tank stocked to capacity with the five barbs and would not add any more fish to such a small tank which is best suited for possibly one Betta and the snail.
I had a problem with high pH as well. How I dealt with it was actually prepping some distilled water mixed in a bucket with some tap water, which was then treated with some dechlorinator *I use prime* The ratio I used was something like 1 gallon of tap to 3-4 gallons of distilled water, so roughly 1 to 4 to bring the pH down to around 7.4-7.6. Let the water sit for a few hours, and when you do water changes, use that mixed water to replace it. It'll take a few water changes, but eventually your pH WILL go down.
Right now it would be helpful if you could post up what your ammonia levels are, as you do not want to cross the threshold of 5 ppm, as any higher would cause your cycle to stall. If you did want to jump start it, people have had varying success with using tetra safestart, so if you would like to try it out, petsmart has started to carry it in stock.
And yea, it IS possible to over-aerate, but this comes more in line with lowering your pH. Over-aerating gets rid of CO2 in the tank, and CO2 helps lower pH by turning into an acid over time. In terms of anything else over-aerating, not really, no.
And do you currently have fish in the tank?
There is no need to adjust the pH unless you are breeding specific fishes. The pH the original poster listed will accomodate a wide range of fishes.
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Ammonia levels sit at about 1.5 / 2.0 but will continue to rise if I don't add remover maybe once a day
@Excal88If I'm having trouble with lowering the pH couldn't that mean the tank is losing too much co2 possibly from over aerating (sp?)?
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That is a possibility. I bought a air control valve and lowered the air pressure so it's a nice stream rather than a huge wall. Try lowering a bit; results won't happen overnight, but it should help a little down the line
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The pH issue is more probably due to the hardness of the tap water; the two are closely related. Harder water means more carbonate hardness and that buffers pH to prevent it changing, at least up to the point at which the buffering capability is reached. Then it can suddenly crash, which means lowering fast and far, usually killing the fish. Without knowing the hardness numbers [you can get this from your water supply people] it is not recommended that you attempt in any manner to adjust the pH. As you have seen, chemicals do not work and that is I would guarantee due to the hardness. But I agree with 1077 that you don't need adjustment in your situation. Best left alone.
During cycling with ammonia and then nitrite levels above zero the water movement from filters or airstones will help the fish. Plus the daily water changes 1077 mentioned. Otherwise you will not have those fish very long. Ammonia and nitrite are very highly toxic to all lifeforms, and fish will frequently show the effects long afterwards even if they survive through the cycling.
Lastly, but not least, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.
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