ammonia, nitrate algae help
I have a 10 gallon tank that i did do a fish less cycle on, and it was done, added the betta and everything was fine for a little over a month then we started to get green algae on the sides of the tank, so i put a few plants in there, and bought a snail. I tested the water yesterday and got a .50 ppm of ammonia. Did my cycle get messed up because of adding the snail? Or the decaying plants? i cleaned them as best i could.
Also how should i clean and replace the filter media to keep the cycle going? I have the aqua clear 20 on the tank. With a sponge, carbon and biomax. Should i replace the media? the sponge is not white anymore. But that could be from the carbon sitting on it.
How should i lower the ammonia now without running anything else? nitrites are 0 and nitrates are 40 ppm , but my tap has high to begin with around 30, so thats had to keep low.
Should i use a mix of distilled water to reduce nitrates in my tap? I have really no other way to get nitrate lower water, agriculture area. Unless i start collecting rain. The rain here is usually around 7.8 in PH like my tap. I thought all rain was acidic, must be not.
1st I would remove the carbon, due to the plants, the plants may help with the re-cycling of the tank,get another biomax and add that instead of the carbon, try adding some Seachem Stability, try using distilled water whenever you do a water change if possible..., Im not an expert and only just learning, but I hope that helps, the other option is to use fish, that is able to cope with the high P.H, due to the fish/snail/s added it may have upset the balance a tad, I would wait until it ALL settles down again, and possibly wait 2 weeks after it settles down before adding fish, it may be going through a mini cycle event
Even though your source water is high in nitrates, you should do a water change to get the ammonia level down.
You don't need to replace the media, except for the carbon which is only good for about a month, then should be replaced. A lot of folks don't think you need carbon, but I'm not one of them as carbon can help purify the water. However, you may not need it all the time. As far as cleaning, always rinse sponge and bio-max in NON CHLORINATED WATER to ensure you don't kill beneficial bacteria.
Now as for nitrates. There are a couple of products you might use to lower tank nitrates when you have high nitrates in your source water (since obviously, water changes aren't the answer). Fluval Lab Series Nitrate Remover (FNR) and API Nitra Zorb are products that remove nitrates. These are scavenger resins that adsorb nitrates and can be recharged in salt water. I have used FNR and it works well.
Now for water changes, you might mix your source water with bottled water or you might explore filtration in an RO, RO/DI or DI system. I got the API Tap Water filter which works well but in my case will only yield about 55 gallons per filter cartridge.
I will use this in conjunction with FNR filtered water for water changes. I'm also boosting filtration/purification to reduce the volume/frequency of required water changes while still maintaining a high quality tank water chemistry.
I hope some of this helps.
Regarding cleaning filter media, I'd clean it gently in the old aquarium water you remove during your water change. Cleaning too thoroughly can cause more harm than good by removing beneficial bacteria.
so the carbon is bad for the plants? Thanks ill have to look into that Nitrate remover. Ill do some water changes to get the Ammonia down.
Do you filter your water in the FNR before adding it or is it in your filter?
Sharon Emond from Hagen support indicated that the FNR's use life is shortened by prolonged fish tank use as dissolved organics plug the pores. I used it in the fish tank for only 24 hours or so at a time. Using it to filter nitrates in clean fresh water (I bucket tested before setting up a filter 10g station in the garage) better ensures it will have a longer life with recharging in brine.
Note: I did several partial water changes with bottled and 'city' water and found that it's very difficult to reduce high tank nitrates with modest water changes.
How much did this reduce the nitrates in the water?
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