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Discussion Starter #1
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?
 

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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?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
@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
 

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@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?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Special blend micro lift...
(i dont have it in my hand at this moment, i have someone txting me the name lol)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
should i consider getting an ammonia remover instead? does that stuff even work?
 

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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/freshwater-articles/bacteria-freshwater-aquarium-74891/

Byron.
 

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.25 is toxic to be sure but I wouldn't use ammonia remover quite yet. Better to save that for drastic spikes. Figure out whats wrong and fix it without adding any other variables. Ok byron snuck in there and explained that in better detail.

Have you looked in your filter and lifted up the hidey spots to check for bodies? They have to be there somewhere, unless someone else puled them out. Danios wouldn't eat an entire fish like that. Are you sure you actually got the fish, or does your aunt still have them at her house waiting for you?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
thank you very much, i will most certainly try that. as you can probably tell i am new to this and i want very much to keep my fish happy and alive lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
@ladayen- no she brought them and put them in, my dad said she had brought about 4 and wouldve been too big to get in the filter, and i looked all around the tank, and in the hiding places and didnt find one single tetra
 

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Discussion Starter #14
it is surprises me to think that the fish are gone, yet the shrimp i got last week are all alive lol
 

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Discussion Starter #16
i have, but found absolutely nothing. we are all just completely stumped lol
 

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Discussion Starter #17
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.

my aunt just had a few questions to that...(she is also a fish keeper)

1. If the ammonia and nitrites are detoxified for the fish, will they still be available for the bacteria to feed off of?

2. And will it still show up on tests?
 

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Well I'm not certain if they will still be available for the bacteria to process, they will still show up on most tests.
 

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Most ammonia detoxifiers work by changing toxic ammonia into basically harmless ammonium. Bacteria will use ammonia/ammonium if it is available, regardless. And most of our test kits will read both as "ammonia" so don't be fooled by that.

Nitrites I am not yet sure of; from another thread I have asked Seachem to explain how Prime detoxifies nitrite. I know it binds it somehow, but I am not sure if this somehow removes it completely or if it remains in some form suitable to bacteria. And I don't know if it still shows with test kits. I have not yet had a response.

Live plants will assimilate a lot of ammonia/ammonium as their nitrogen, so this helps a lot. Nitrite is not produced during this process.

Byron.
 

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Did you set up your tank and put fish straight in? You didnt cycle the tank first, you are using fish to cycle the tank? This will help give me an idea of whats happening (I have a good idea but want to confirm)
 
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