Ammonia nightmare Help 

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dfisherman

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So here is my short novel. I have a 6gal tank with a Betta that was set up on 4/1. Have never used any bottled bacteria. On May 1st NO2 hit 0.50 for 5 days, then 20 on 5/6, 1.0 5/7, 0.50 5/9, has been at 20 since then. NO3 stays at 20. I do daily W/C 1-3 gal. and use Prime. My Tap water has 1.0-1.5 ppm Ammonia. This tank has never hit 0 on ammonia! 85% of the time it is 1.0 Should I remove the Betta and drain tank and start over with a fish-less cycle?
Not done yet, also have a 10 gallon tank with 5 guppies, start date 4/9. Have never seen NO2 at all. NO3 spiked at 80 on 5/28 & 5/29, now holds steady at 20.I have used TSS on 5/23 no luck & Dr Tim's on 6/4 no luck. Ammonia always reads 1.0 - 1.5 ppm.
Average PH on both tanks 7.6. If anyone has any ideals why Ammonia won't drop PLEASE give me some advice. Should I add some zeolite or something? Don't understand why ammonia won't drop to 0.
 

SFwriter

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What are you using to test the water?
 
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dfisherman

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jetajockey

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are you waiting 24 hours after changing water to test for ammonia? Doing a fishless cycle is an option. It probably wouldn't hurt to have more biofilter media in the filter housing, if you haven't added any yet. Bacteria need a surface to colonize on, so more surface = better colony.
 
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dfisherman

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The 10 gallon has a ViaAqua 100 with a regular cartridge a bio cartridge and a sponge pre filter, also has a hydro sponge with a air stone.
The 6 gal is a fluval edge with a 3 stage filter carbon, foam pad, biomax.
yes I wait 24 hours for prime to not affect readings.
 
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