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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had a freshwater 23 gallon aquarium set up for 3 months. I have 7 black skirt tetras and 10 assorted platies. I use an a.p.i. filstar xp 1 and an aquaclear 30 for filtration. I have 3 small air stones and artificial plants. Every Sunday I change 20-30% of the water by way of a siphon. Replacement water is treated with a.p.i. water conditioner. I test the water with an a.p.i. master test kit. My nitrates are 0, nitrite 0, p.h. is around 7.5. But the ammonia level is always very high. My fish are active and do not appear stressed or unhealthy. I'm confused about this problem. This past week I purchased a bottle of ammo-lock. Of course ammonia still registers high, but supposedly it's converted. I would be most pleased to receive any advice.
 

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Sorry to hear you are having some troubles! What reading are you getting for Ammonia?
Have you ever tested your tap water to know what it is?
Did you ever see it go through a proper cycle? Ammonia spike first and then drop... then NitrItes spike and drop... and then a reading of 10-20 of NitrAtes? Have you ever seen any NitrAte readings since you set this tank up?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi, I have cycled the tank, I believe it was around 5-6 weeks when I initially started it up. Originally I had a monstrous ammonia spike , then it steadily declined. My nitrates subsequently began to rise, but I can't remember how much the reading was. I have had a few problems within the last few weeks though. I have been medicating for "ich" about 1-1/2 weeks using super ick remedy. Although my original ammonia problem hasn't changed during this time. I haven't tested the tap water, generally I just add conditioner to it. Is it possible that every time I perform a 20-25% water change, I unintentionally begin a new type of cycle? I have noticed the water has a slightly "silvery" kind of dinginess after a change for about 3-6 days. Then it is clear again, but by then it's time for another change. Ultimately I'm solely concerned about the health of my fish, and they seem to be happy and active, but I would prefer to have the most optimal of conditions. I certainly appreciate your time and expertise :)
 

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1) check the ammonia to see if it is locked or free. The seachem ammonia test kit measures free and total. The free is what kills the fish and ammonia locks lock up the ammonia to the safer form. But that still tests as ammoni with most test kits like the api test kit. Those kits cannot tell the difference. additoinal the seachem ammonia in tnk dots only measure the free ammonia so it is possible you test kit will test ammonia but those dots will test very low.

2) add live plants like anacharis to consume the ammonia.

3) stop doing water changes and just replace evaporative water that has not been treated.

With those three things I thin k you will find ammonia will drop down in a week or two.


One danger with the ammonia locks is that they do lock up the ammonia but in the process they also lockup oxygen. With over use you can actually suffocate the fish which gives the same symtoms as ammonia.


my .02
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I will definitely follow your advice. I have often had an internal debate about wether or not to keep live plants. Now that I understand how beneficial they can be I will start placing a few in my tank. The only reason I have been reluctant on the issue was the general consensus that live plants can be difficult to maintain. But it sounds like the benefits far outweigh any maintenance. I'll get an ammonia test as well. I certainly won't mind foregoing a water change on Sunday. Thank a million for sharing your tips :)
 
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