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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone, need some advice, here's the story... I had a smaller tank (10G) and decided to go big so I got 55G tank and set it up. I made a newbie mistake (as I am still kinda new to the tropical fish) and used the sand substrate from my smaller tank without rinsing it before transferring it to the new one. So my new tank is slightly cloudy, I take a water sample to my local petsmart and have it tested and the guy there said all the water parameters are perfect except the PH is too high for my fish and I have slight traces of ammonia. Now what he told me to do makes absolutely no sense to me.... He told me NOT to do any partial water changes for at least 8 to 10 weeks and to cut down the feedings. I normally feed 2 times a day enough that they can all eat within a couple of minutes. The pet store guy said to underfeed them and cut it down to once a day and only what they can eat in 30 seconds!!!!! Does this sound right? I have 5 TigerBarbs 4 Angelfish and a rainbow shark, and it usually takes the angels a little longer to eat. Im afraid if I cut it back that much they will either starve or it will stunt their growth cause they are still juvenile. What should I do???????

 

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Changing to a different tank is stressful for fish and you should cut back on feeding until you get your tank stable. Did you transfer your filter and filter media to the big tank? You should invest in a liquid test kit to test your water. Don't add any more fish. I think you should do water changes. How much and how often depends on ammonia. If you have ammonia, change water.
 

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thanks for the advice I do need to get a master test kit I just gotta wait till payday :-(, The fish seem to be fine and are very happy and active. I did not transfer the filter or media cause the new tank came with new and the old ones are way to small for the new tank. Sorry for the size of the pics I haven't quite figured out how to crop the size on here yet....

I also used safe start while setting up the tank, will I need to use again as I do the water changes?
 

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thanks for the advice I do need to get a master test kit I just gotta wait till payday :-(, The fish seem to be fine and are very happy and active. I did not transfer the filter or media cause the new tank came with new and the old ones are way to small for the new tank. Sorry for the size of the pics I haven't quite figured out how to crop the size on here yet....

I also used safe start while setting up the tank, will I need to use again as I do the water changes?
The old filter , no matter how small, had the needed bacteria that consumes ammonia. But now you just have to stay on top of the ammonia. I have no experience with safe start but for sure it can't hurt. I believe its effectiveness depends on how fresh it is.P.S. The reduction in feeding means less ammonia in your tank. I've heard that a hungry fish is a healthy fish.
 

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The old filter , no matter how small, had the needed bacteria that consumes ammonia. But now you just have to stay on top of the ammonia. I have no experience with safe start but for sure it can't hurt. I believe its effectiveness depends on how fresh it is.P.S. The reduction in feeding means less ammonia in your tank. I've heard that a hungry fish is a healthy fish.
A very common thought. Add some chemical/treatement and it cant hurt.

I respectifully disagree. Chemicals, treatements, and what have do have very serious and dangerous side effects. For instance, common dechlorinators and ammonia locks also lock up oxygen while still testing positive for ammonia. So one can continue dosing and eventually the fish suffocate.

This is one reason I recommend so strongly plants to consume ammonia and condition the tank. With plants you actually reduce carbon dioxide and increase oxygen as opposed to the ammonia lock actions.


Still it all just my .02
 

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A very common thought. Add some chemical/treatement and it cant hurt.

I respectifully disagree. Chemicals, treatements, and what have do have very serious and dangerous side effects. For instance, common dechlorinators and ammonia locks also lock up oxygen while still testing positive for ammonia. So one can continue dosing and eventually the fish suffocate.

This is one reason I recommend so strongly plants to consume ammonia and condition the tank. With plants you actually reduce carbon dioxide and increase oxygen as opposed to the ammonia lock actions.


Still it all just my .02
I agree with you on chemicals but I was under the impression Safe Start was only bacteria in a bottle, no chemicals. I could have been wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I added 3 live plants to the tank hopefully it will help. Also I still have the old filter and media but its been out of water for almost a week, could I still use it in the new tank or would the bacteria in the media have died already? I also read that with plants its best to cut oipen the bags and remove the carbon pieces, any thoughts on that?
 

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I added 3 live plants to the tank hopefully it will help. Also I still have the old filter and media but its been out of water for almost a week, could I still use it in the new tank or would the bacteria in the media have died already? I also read that with plants its best to cut oipen the bags and remove the carbon pieces, any thoughts on that?
If the media dried, it died. IMO carbon is only helpful if you're trying to remove meds from the tank. And it may remove good stuff also. I don't use it.
 

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thanks for all the advice marshall, I got the api test kit and the parameters all look good except the still fighting with a tiny trace ammonia...\

PH is between 7.4 and 7.6
Nitrites are at 0
Nitrates are at 0
and ammonia is at just under 0.5ppm
and no more cloudiness to the water.

This is all after the second water change.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
yeah I checked after doing the water change, the tap water is at 0 ppm. Im starting to think that cause the new filter and media there just isn't enough bacteria to neutralize the ammonia and I need to slow down and be a little more patient at this point, none of the fish have died or show signs of stress there all happy and very active. It just bugs me to know that its not right...
 

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thanks for all the advice marshall, I got the api test kit and the parameters all look good except the still fighting with a tiny trace ammonia...\

PH is between 7.4 and 7.6
Nitrites are at 0
Nitrates are at 0
and ammonia is at just under 0.5ppm
and no more cloudiness to the water.

This is all after the second water change.
Are you talking about the white fog? If so,IME, that means you have bacteria eating ammonia. If your API test kit is like mine it will appear to show small amounts of ammonia while actually it means 0. It's an oddity with that kit but you'll get used to it. If your sand stayed wet when changing you may have good bacteria on it.
 

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If your API test kit is like mine it will appear to show small amounts of ammonia while actually it means 0.
REALLY?! Cause my kit keeps saying something around 0.1, in both tap and tank, so this could actually be a 0 reading? That would be awesome!
 

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I had an ammonia issue when my 20 gal tank was getting established also. I added about 10-15 plants and some root tabs to help fertilize them and after about a week my ammonia problem was fixed.
 

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REALLY?! Cause my kit keeps saying something around 0.1, in both tap and tank, so this could actually be a 0 reading? That would be awesome!
As I remember the lowest reading above 0 on the api test kit is .25 ppm.

As long as your fish are doing fine I wouldn't worry.

Especially if you just added some plants.


What I would not do is add chemicals most especially ammonia locks/dechlorinators. Especially if you already have. The ammonia you are reading could be totally "locked" up and safe. Adding more chemicals will not only not reduce the "safe" ammonia but continued use will lock up oxygen and possibly suffocate the fish.


my .02
 

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REALLY?! Cause my kit keeps saying something around 0.1, in both tap and tank, so this could actually be a 0 reading? That would be awesome!
Yes with my API kit even on a tank that's been healthy for 1 1/2 years , my test never matches 0 completely.
 

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As I remember the lowest reading above 0 on the api test kit is .25 ppm.
That is true, but the color on mine is yellow, but not as bright as 0, so I'm estimating here.
Yes with my API kit even on a tank that's been healthy for 1 1/2 years , my test never matches 0 completely.
You cannon BELIEVE how relieved that makes me feel!!
 

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Always better safe than sorry, but in my experience, the key card for the API kit can vary slightly from card to card. I've found that the ones printed individually are a better match than the all-inclusive one you get with the Master Freshwater kit. If there is ammonia, you will see green. Even the slightest tint of green is worth taking note of. Clean water is always yellow, beautiful yellow! ^.^ If you aren't sure, it helps to put the test on a white piece of paper, if the green is slight you can open the vial and look down through the top. It's easier to see it that way.

Paranoid fish-keeper checking in ^.~

Ammonia in a tank is ALWAYS worth freaking out about, no matter how little there is! (imo!)
I hope you have yellow, BK!
 

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My first API test kit read bright yellow at 0.0ppm ammonia. Tests since then have not quite measured as bright. They seem to vary slightly from kit to kit. (My wife, the artist, has excellent color discrimination.)

Chesh is right. The color cards vary. Find a guarenteed 0.0ppm water source. Test it. Then use that test tube as reference/baseline.

My best look is to hold the test tube in front of a 6500K light bulb.
 
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