Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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crazyplaty 08-03-2011 09:08 AM

ammonia problem
 
so this is the first time i have set up my very own tank, i did so at the end of june and i am still having a hard time getting rid of ammonia...

it stays at about .25, i have tested water for nitrites and nitrates but there is none. my aunt who has experience with keeping fish and getting the levels where they need to be doesnt even know why i am still having this problem. we have tried different methods to getting the good bacteria growing to form nitrites

i have managed to keep pretty much all my fish alive surprisingly (i am told it is hard when you first start a tank) and the fish seem happy for the most part but i just wont feel at peace till i know that the ammonia is gone and i have the stuff that needs to be in there.

any one have any suggestions at all?! or anyone have this problem?

ladayen 08-03-2011 09:19 AM

Have you tested your tap water? What substrate do you have? What exactly do you do when you change your water? What fish do you have in there? Are you using any chemicals in the tank?

crazyplaty 08-03-2011 09:23 AM

i have tested the tap water and there was zero ammonia,
i have 2 platys, 2 zebra danios, 2 coreys and a snail.
i have only been using the water conditioner when i change the water in the tank, i have been suggested to use something that is pretty much called bacteria in a bottle, and i only put that stuff in once in a while, and it seems to help for the most part. i also have a couple live plants in there and thats pretty much it.

ladayen 08-03-2011 09:26 AM

How big is your tank and do you know what kind of plants they are?

Byron 08-03-2011 10:13 AM

If this is the "Main Tank" in your aquarium log, it is a 10g with fake plants.

First, which bacterial supplement are you using? Some of these do work, and ammonia may be noticed, as I can explain when I know the one.

One caution, Zebra Danio are shoaling fish, they need a group; most consider 6 the minimum, but in my view that is too many for a 10g tank. Danio are active swimmers, needing space, and a 20g long is minimum for this species. You can read more in our profile, click on the shaded name to see the profile. Profiles of many fish are under the second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top.

Can you return the Zebra Danio for exchange? Another Cory would be good, a group of 3 is best.

Byron.

crazyplaty 08-03-2011 12:36 PM

@ladayen-will have to check, i dont have it available at this time, it is a red liquid though, i am not sure the name of the plant, i do have fake but also 1 live one

@byron-i originally had 3 zebras however 2 of them killed the other, and the other day my aunt had given me some of her neon tetras (about 4), however i was out of town but when i got home there was no evidence that i had any new fish.

i want to make sure the problem with the ammonia is fixed before introducing anymore fish to the tank...tempting as it may be lol

Byron 08-03-2011 01:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by crazyplaty (Post 764175)
@ladayen-will have to check, i dont have it available at this time, it is a red liquid though, i am not sure the name of the plant, i do have fake but also 1 live one

@byron-i originally had 3 zebras however 2 of them killed the other, and the other day my aunt had given me some of her neon tetras (about 4), however i was out of town but when i got home there was no evidence that i had any new fish.

i want to make sure the problem with the ammonia is fixed before introducing anymore fish to the tank...tempting as it may be lol

I agree, no new fish until the cycling issue is settled. But the Zebra Danio are not going to work, as you've already seen evidence of, without a larger group and a 10g is too small for them, that's all. Both the small tank size and the fact that the group is too small will contribute to heightened aggression.

What is the bacterial supplement?

crazyplaty 08-03-2011 01:40 PM

Special blend micro lift...
(i dont have it in my hand at this moment, i have someone txting me the name lol)

crazyplaty 08-03-2011 01:44 PM

should i consider getting an ammonia remover instead? does that stuff even work?

Byron 08-03-2011 02:16 PM

I had a look at their website and Microbe-lift Special Blend breaks down organic waste among other things. This produces ammonia, so while they say it eliminates ammonia, it in fact causes it initially. Breaking down organics by bacteria produces ammonia, along with CO2, naturally. I prefer to let the bacteria build up in the substrate and not "push it" like this. Just my opinion.

I would stop using this product. Use a water conditioner that detoxifies ammonia along with chlorine and chloramine; one that also detoxifies nitrite (as this will occur next) would be advisable in a new tank. I know of two that do both, Seachem's "Prime" and one called "Ultimate" [forgot the maker]. These will handle ammonia/nitrite for 24-36 hours. If either continues, another partial water change.

To add some beneficial nitrifying bacteria, Seachem's "Stability" and Tetra's "SafeStart" both work. They do not do what Microbe-Lift does. I have used Stability and it does seed the bacteria quicker.

Live plants also help in this.

I would not suggest ammonia products aside from the water conditioner. An aquarium must establish itself biologically, and it is best to do this by natural means. With fish in the tank, this is dangerous, since ammonia and nitrite are highly toxic and can cause permanent fish damage if not kill them outright. The natural approach above is best.

For further reading to better understand bacteria and how all this fits together, have a look at my article on bacteria in the Freshwater Articles section, here's the link:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-74891/

Byron.


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