Can You Test Your Water Right After Vacuuming The Gravel?

Hjwhits

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I did 25 percent change because my ammonia was a little high but right after the change I checked it again and it was the same. Is that because I just vacuumed of us that mean I need to change more.

I also have a 10 gallon crescent moon tank with the top fin 10 filter and 4 glo fish and one
Otocinclus Catfish I am getting mixed answers from the pet stores about if that’s over crowded or not.
I checked aquadvisor and it seemed fine
No life plants
 

SinisterCichlids

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First, I would test your tap water or wherever your water is coming from. I doubt there is ammonia in it, but save yourself the headache by at least knowing that isn't the problem. I would also up your filter, it will make your life easier. As for your question, it is my opinion you can test your water whenever and however as often as you would like. I have a feeling your tank isn't cycled.
 

AngryRainbow

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I agree test your tap water for ammonia. I wouldn't worry about messing with the substrate changing your water values. But at least in bigger tanks (not sure that this would apply to a small volume like 10 gallons) you want to wait an hour or so after testing to make sure the new water is able to properly mix and dilute the old water.

As far as stocking, the otocinclus shouldn't be in the 10 gallon. They need more of their own kind to feel comfortable and also a 10 gallon won't produce enough biofilm and algae to feed them. They don't always eat commercial foods so its important that the tank provide food for them.
 

GuppyDazzle

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Are you using an API Master Test Kit or similar? If you're using test strips, they are notorious for being unreliable.

If you're using the Master Test Kit, you probably need to change out more water to get a lower reading for ammonia. The increments on the color chart are 0, .25, .50, 1.0, and 2.0. It's basic math. If you have an ammonia reading of 2 ppm, you need to do a 50% water change to reduce the level to 1 ppm. If you did a 25% water change (a good response by the way, and will help some), you probably didn't do enough of a change to result in a lower reading.
 
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Hjwhits

Hjwhits

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There is ammonia in the tap water!!
And there is ammonia in the water after I treat it to before I put it in the tank!
Should I get ammo lock?
 

Rcslade124

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1st thing is to get the tank cycled. Buy some seachem prI'm to bind the ammonia while the tank cycles. Then the added ammonia from the tap will just get eaten up by bb in no time.
 

SinisterCichlids

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Wow, I have always heard of people saying 'ammonia is in there tap water', but never actually heard of it being true. So you are at a bit of a disadvantage here. The first problem: I don't think your tank is cycled because it's not handling the trace amounts of ammonia in the water and in your tank. Like Rcslade124 said, prime is going to be your new best friend. Do not add any fish!!! I would suggest even rehoming a few until you get that tank cycled. Take it from me who did fish-in cycled, it can ruin the fish keeping experience.

A fish-in cycle is a constant battle. You want fish, but fish produce waste and waste is turned into ammonia and if you have no beneficial bacteria, it can't convert the ammonia. Having an overstocked tank is going to only make this harder on yourself. This is probably the most common reason people quit fish keeping. I would also suggest seachem stability to help your tank hold on to whatever beneficial bacteria is in your tank if any or help it reproduce.

I don't like API products. (only melafix for minor fin rips) I don't think they work well and that is just an opinion of course. Hopefully, someone else comments on their use of ammo lock. best of luck and message me if you need more details or help with the tank.

I believe prime detoxifies 1ppm amount of ammonia for 24 hours. I would suggest 50% water changes every day for 3 weeks. This will also get you into a routine once the tank is established. Also if you're using API test strips, keep those as a backup and get yourself an API test kit as those are probably most widely available and more reliable. If your putting trace ammounts of ammonia in your tank from your tap, prime will be able to conquer that for you while your tank builds beneficial bacteria and the stability helps in the process.
 

Sheldon13

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For reference on what a cycled tank can do...

My tap water is 0.5ammonia. I hate it. But when I do water changes it only takes 4-6 hours and it’s GONE because the established colony of nitrifying bacteria is so stable.
 

SinisterCichlids

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Exactly like Sheldon13 said. Trace amounts of ammonia should be demolished by a stable beneficial bacteria colony very quickly.
 
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Hjwhits

Hjwhits

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Ok so I got prime and got the ammonia down in the water I was adding.
The tank is currently not good!
It’s
Ammonia .5
Nitrates is at 5
Nitrites are at like a 2 to 5.

Should I be doing a 50 percent change or give it a change to cycle?
 

Sheldon13

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With fish in it you MUST keep the ammonia lower, but not nonexistent. Most target 0.25-0.5. I would suggest making the lower end your goal. It takes longer to cycle this way but you are less likely to lose fish.

Yes I would do a 50% change.
 

Truckjohn

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Test your incoming water. Mine normally reads 0.25-0.5 out of the tap. Sometimes you can smell the chemicals when they purge the lines - and it's well over 1.

once the tank is cycled - it will take care of the normal ammonia in tap water in a few hours.
 

Fljoe

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You have gotten some very good advice about your ammonia situation so far. Using prime with your water changes should correct the ammonia in your tap water. As far as your original question.... I’ve heard to wait 12 hours after a water change to test your water parameters. Also while your tank is cycling, don’t vacuum the entire substrate. Your beneficial bacteria also grows in it. Only do parts of it with each WC.
 

kallililly1973

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Hjwhits said:
Ok so I got prime and got the ammonia down in the water I was adding.
The tank is currently not good!
It’s
Ammonia .5
Nitrates is at 5
Nitrites are at like a 2 to 5.

Should I be doing a 50 percent change or give it a change to cycle?
I would do an 80-90% WC if your nitrites are between 2-5
 

SinisterCichlids

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I don't believe that changing your water affects your cycle. In fact, it gives your tank a chance to catch up and build beneficial bacteria to help those levels drop. With those numbers, I would at minimum be doing a 25% water change every day until those levels drop significantly.

Good choice on the seachem prime, if you are serious about keeping your fish alive during this "fish-in cycle" I would consider upping your filter. When filters say "up to 10 gallons" never really is ever enough. I would suggest something with 50+ GPH. Also, I suggest Seachem stability to help the beneficial bacteria sustain itself. Also use an API test kit, not those test strips because they are unreliable if you aren't already.

Note: Make sure the carbon in your filter doesn't neutralize any products you are putting in the tank. You can google more about that, I don't think you want to hear me rant anymore.
 

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