Colorblind So Need Help With Water Testing

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minicupracer1

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I’m a lil colorblind so I need some help with reading my tank levels. I have a week old 60 gallon tank and just added live plants and have had 5 Molly’s for 3 days now. What should I do to get my levels right? I know I should get my ph down but I’m kinda clueless on the other parameters.
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Niki Rose

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Ph is 7.6 (meaning you also need to do the high ph test in order to get your true ph level)
Ammonia is 1.0
Nitrite 0-0.25
Nitrate 0
 

chadcf

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Looks like ammonia is 0.5 - 1ppm, no nitrites and maybe 0-5ppm nitrates.

If fish are already in there I'd do a large water change and then go get some Tetra Safestart immediately and add it in, along with Seachem Prime. You can get both at petco / petsmart or any fish store.

Then read up on the nitrogen cycle and fish in cycling. That ammonia level is unsafe for your fish though it's not insanely high yet, but it will be.

Your options at this point are either to keep changing water frequently to keep it safe for the fish or try bacteria boosters like safestart to get the cycle going.
 

ambush0908

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I think you just need to wait. It looks like you have high ammonia reading and no nitrites or nitrate. This is probably the first stage of your cycle and you can expect nitrites to go up next and ammonia to go down. The one concern is that you do have fish in the tank which may be harmed by the process. You may want to consider water changes (maybe 25%) every few days to help the fish. It may prolong cycle but keep the fish happier. I would also see what other feedback you get.
 
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minicupracer1

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I did add safestart before I put anything in. Do you think I should do a water change and then add some more safestart? Also I have kinda hard water so what do you recommend to take care of that?
 

chadcf

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If you put safestart in then you are supposed to not do any water changes or use prime. You basically gotta hold steady and let it do it's thing and hope it's not too hard on the fish. Did you add the safestart at the same time you added the fish? If so there should be nitrites soon hopefully which would indicate the cycle is going. 5 mollies in a 60 gallon is not much so it might not get too bad for the fish. If you added safestart I'd probably give it a few more days and avoid doing anything unless the ammonia gets higher. If you do change the water you'll need to redose safestart.

I would probably not do anything about hard water. Most fish can adapt and handle it fine and it's probably better for them to live in your steady hard tap water than it would be to deal with swings if you tried to adjust it. Just perhaps avoid fish that might be sensitive to hard water...
 
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minicupracer1

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Yeah I added the water and safe start and I didn’t put anything in it for 3-4 days. They do seem pretty edgy (swimming up and down the sides of the tank pushing on the glass) so the only way to get rid of ammonia is water changes and keeping it clean right?
 

chadcf

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Ok that's not ideal... The bacteria in the safestart needs a source of ammonia, without it the bacteria will starve and die. if they had no food for 4 days a lot of it might have died off.

In that case I'd probably do a large water change and then add another bottle of safestart after.
 

Seasoldier

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Hi, looks like your Ph is 7.6 or higher so as Niki Rose says you need to do a higher Ph test to see what it really is. To me your ammonia looks to be between .5 & 1 ppm & this needs to come down to zero, your nitrites look to be about .25 which again need to be zero & your nitrate looks at around zero ppm. This all indicates that your tank is not cycled, this means your beneficial bacteria colony in your filter is not established, the BB turns ammonia into nitrite & then nitrite into nitrate, both ammonia & nitrite are highly toxic to fish & nitrate not so much but still needs to be kept between 5 & 10 ppm. As you already have fish in your tank you are in what's known as a 'fish in cycle' which means you're going to need to keep a very close watch on your water parameters so you'll need to test daily & do water changes if the ammonia & nitrites go higher which they probably will. My advice would be to do a good dose of something like JBL Denitrol or safe start which is a good starter bacteria culture & will help your filter medium mature quicker, watch how much you feed & only do so sparingly & any food that doesn't get eaten straight away take out of the tank with a net. I wouldn't use prime as that will neutralise the ammonia & the bacteria needs a certain amount to feed on or they will die so just do good water changes to keep the ammonia & nitrite levels down until the bacteria is strong enough to take over. I know that sounds a lot but it is doable, I did it with a 400 litre tank & a group of 19 Glowlight danios last November & didn't lose a fish but you do have to stay on top of the water parameters every day until the cycle kicks in properly.
 

JLeeM

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What kind of water conditioner do you use? If it's Prime, then all your bacteria from TSS are dead. TSS can only be added 24 hours after Prime. In fact the only conditioner I can think of to safely use with Tetra SafeStart is Tetra AquaSafe. Some say that isn't true, and they only say that to promote their brand. I believe it's a combination of that as well as the fact that AquaSafe does not neutralize ammonia, thus it does not starve the bacteria. However, this very fact is also why it's not as good of a conditioner.
 

Seasoldier

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As JLeeM said above there are certain bacteria starters & water conditioners that work well together but prime isn't one of them, I like JBL stuff, always found it very effective so I use Denitrol as a starter & Biotopol as a water conditioner, it neutralises the heavy metals, chlorine & chloramine found in tap water but not the ammonia so this allows the BB in the filter media to feed & grow which is what you want, it also has other compounds in it to actively protect the fish.
 
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minicupracer1

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So I should probably do another safe start then it seems like. Also how much should I use? Because I’ve heard different things from different people.
 

JLeeM

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minicupracer1 said:
So I should probably do another safe start then it seems like. Also how much should I use? Because I’ve heard different things from different people.
For starters, I would do a 50% water change. If you use Prime as a conditioner, then you can't add the new TSS until 24 hours later. Personally, if it were me, I'd go ahead get a bottle of TSS+ (stronger, has more bacteria, unfortunately a little pricey) and a bottle of Tetra AquaSafe (pretty cheap). Go ahead and use these products together as directed. Or being that itsi a 60 gallon you could put some extra TSS+ for a boost.
 

Eirelav_mcgoo

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You can use safe start but not any or most water conditioners. There is a post about it somewhere in fishlore, a q&a with tetra and they said that any water conditioners that lock up or neutralize ammonia will not work with TSS. If you're going to use it, follow the directions which I believe is to shake really really well. Add it and leave it for 14 days. Because your levels are going to be all over the place.

The other option is a little more time consuming. Using prime and stability together with water changes and consistent water testing. Stability adds the BB but because the two can work together, prime will neutralize you ammonia but allow the BB to process and convert it.
 

chadcf

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FYI I had pretty good luck with stability and prime too. I cycled two smaller tanks with it (used TSS in my bigger tank) and both had nitrites within 3 days using stability. It seems to have more mixed reviews than TSS though, but I suspect it might depend on the shipping conditions and how long it's been sitting on a shelf.
 
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minicupracer1

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I think I’m going to start from scratch and use dr Tim’s. Seems like that works pretty good.
 
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