"Wizard's of Smart" Come one come all!
Ok..I'll try to keep this short and sweet!
20GL....cycled, planted. 1 Platy, 1 Sailfin, 4 Pink Corys, 2 Platy fry (in breeding net)
Cannot get ammonia down to zero! Tap water reads .25 ammonia. I add Prime every time I do a H20 change. Today I did a 50% H20 change with bottled H20 (tested 0 for ammonia). Tested after H20 change...still read .25??????????
Here's the kicker......we also have a cycled 10G with 2 comet goldfish !!! Yes, I said GOLDFISH!!!!! Same H20...tests 0 for ammonia...all the time!!!!!!!!
I have a Masters in Business, so suffice it to say I ain't no dummy....I figured how hard could it be to have a stupid fish tank?????? Well! I am very humbled here! LOL! The more I learn and research, the more I realize I don't know......
Any and all help is so very appreciated!!!!! Thank you, Kathy:lol:
hmmmm maybe cut down on the feeding for a week and see what happens. I might also try putting some filter media in the goldfish tank to maybe pick up some of the good bacteria and then transfer it to the other tank. Although I think (I don't know for sure) that there might be some problems with sharing bacteria between the tanks.
What is the condition of the substrate in the 20g. I'm just spitballing here, but a fair amount of decaying detritus in the substrate could produce a fairly steady amount of ammonia.
Newly established tank's may not process that which contributes to toxic condition's as fast or as efficent as more mature tanks.
Other factors that could apply are .. too many fish in newly set up tank's,over cleaning of filter material in tapwater,and or more than one person feeding the fish,removing too much filter material before beneficial bacteria has esablished elsewhere in the tank,too aggressive with gravel vaccuming in new tanks,or all of the above.
Prime will detoxify ammonia for up to 24 hours and render it ammonium which is not toxic, but many test kit's will still show ammonia for they measure total ammonia present, both toxic ammonia,and non toxic ammonium.
Thank you all so much for responding. Everything you all suggested makes sense. I used to do pretty aggressive substrate cleaning in the beginning but since I have added my plants about 3 weeks ago I have just been lightly vaccuming the surface. My substrate is basic 1/4" gravel.
Feeding? I feed once a day. A little pinch of flakes for the Platy and Molly. I also drop 4-5 shrimp pellets for the Cories. My fry were a "surprise"...I found only 2 about a week ago and decided to keep them. I feed them just a teeny tiny pinch of crushed flakes once a day. Is this too much food or the correct food?
If the Prime only detoxifies for 24hrs...do I need to do a H20 change everyday? I plan on adding more plants (love my plants!!!). As my tank matures and becomes more established will I be able to get to a zero reading on my ammonia?
I don't plan on adding any more fish, as I have purchased a 40G breeder tank which I am going to set up this summer...I want to take my time and learn as much as I can before diving into my second tank.:-D
Another note. I don't clean my filter media with tap H20...I use my old tank H20.
The advice for how often/how much to feed fish is another of those guidelines with no set rules (like frequency and amount of water changes). It is important not to over feed as this would be unhealthy and create an excess bio-load in the tank (excess decaying organic matter) - and whether it's in the substrate or the filter, unless it's a heavily planted tank, it serves only to potentially foul the water.
Many here believe feeding once per day and only what the fish will consume in a minute or two.
Some also believe that withholding food a day a week is a good thing - that fish can go without food for several days and be fine. (well, so can humans, but I don't know that's it's the best thing!). I read here one fella that only feeds his fish once a week!?
I have read that in the wild, fish forage for food most of the day, every day...and some days are better than others. It goes without saying that anytime you approach the tank, the fish will come 'running' since they associate our presence with food. I think feeding very lightly a couple of times a day is best, ensuring we don't over feed. An exception is fry that need special attention.
Prime detoxifies ammonia, nitrite and nitrate (as well as heavy metals) but this lasts for only 24-48 hours according to Seachem Tech Support. However, during this period, the biology in the tank is working to convert these elements into [more] harmless compounds.
If when the tank is heavily planted, it is nearly moot as plants use and convert the ammonia so cycling is relatively unimportant. Of course plants bring other requirements of light, substrate and fertilizer to do well.
I often hear of test results showing zero ammonia and zero nitrites with some nitrates. It would seem that since ammonia is being constantly produced, there should always be very small amounts of both ammonia and nitrites along with nitrates, but perhaps the testing for these elements just can't reveal these minute amounts. Once you have an established tank, water testing is not really required - at least it hasn't been for me since the biology of the tank self manages. Of course, you need to guard against rapid changes in bio-load.
When you test the water in your 20GL what type of test kit are you using?
How much do you feed your fish per day (If less then let us know as well)?
Also what type of food are you feeding (depending on the ingredients the rot may be bad)?
I use the API test kit.
When I said 1/4 gravel I was referring to the size not the depth. I think I have a little over an inch in depth....is that too shallow?
I feed once a day. A tiny pinch of Tetra Color Plus Tropical flakes for the Platy and Molly. And I feed the 4 Corys either Hikari Sinking Wafers (4-5) or Shrimp Pellets (5-6). I feed the two fry Hikari First Bites....the tiniest of tiny pinch.
I just did a 50% H20 change on Sunday with bottled H20 and I just tested my H20 and my ammonia is at 1.0...so I plan on doing another water change tonight.
You mentioned plants previous, what species? Plants will normally assimilate all the ammonia you can throw at them, esp if they are fast growing species.
On another point, the larger gravel does cause problems with waste that easily gets down and trapped. Bacteria cannot quickly break it down. Snails help in this, but so would a finer grain of gravel.
Did you test the bottled water for ammonia? [This is not as silly as it may seem.] And your tap water that I assume you were using previously at water changes?
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