Exasperated With Water Parameters

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Nefersmum, Aug 4, 2019.

  1. Nefersmum

    NefersmumValued MemberMember

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    I'm not sure what is going on with my water parameters but I'm hoping for some advice.

    I have a 90 l with 12 wc and Gold Mountain minnows and latterly 2 x nerite snails.

    On Tuesday I tested the water parameters prior to a water change and found the ammonia to have made an unpleasant appearance - not high 0.5 - but definitely unwelcome with nitrites at 0 and nitrates at 20 so I did a big water change of around 45%. Checked the water on Friday and all was well, Ammonia back to 0, 0 nitrites and Nitrates 20. I did a small water change which I routinely do on a Friday.

    I tested again tonight and again the ammonia is up to 0.5, Nitrites 0 and nitrates 20.

    I'm new to this water testing malarky so I'm not sure if this kind of rise and fall is normal.

    I'd be glad of any words of wisdom/reassurance from more knowledgeable souls.
     
  2. Heron

    HeronValued MemberMember

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    It sounds like something is upsetting your cycle. Don't worry it's not broken it just not right. Is your filter overworked? What media are you using? Are the ammonia readings higher soon after a water change? If so you may have ammonia in your tap water, to check fill a container with tap water, let it stand a couple of hours then test it. Don't test water straight out the tap it always gives weird results.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Nefersmum

    NefersmumValued MemberMember

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    Thanks for your suggestions. I tested again last night - yet another water change required. There are a couple of things that may be causing the problem. I've had some plant problems recently which may have left some decaying matter although I was sure I'd removed it all. I recently started using Seacham Flourish for the remaining plants and it these spikes have come on since then [guess what will be staying in it's bottle for the forseeable!]. It has also been very hot in this part of the UK and even without the heating on the aquarium temperature shot up.

    For all that the fish seem fine without any signs of problems.

    Is it worth rushing out for any of the ammonia reducing products?
     
  4. Morpheus1967

    Morpheus1967Well Known MemberMember

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    It is very difficult to differentiate between 0 and .5 if you are using the API test kit. What you may see as 0 I will see as .5, and vice versa. What I would do is get two test tubes. Fill one to the appropriate level with your tank water, and the other with water from your tap. Test for ammonia. Compare the two results. I am going to guess that you won't be able to tell the difference.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Nefersmum

    NefersmumValued MemberMember

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    I use an NTL kit rather than API - I just couldn't get on with it. I did test both and of course they did come out the same.

    I think best is probably to totter on as is, test at the end of the week as I would do normally and see how we go on. The troops don't seem to be showing signs of failure to thrive so we'll hope for the best
     
  6. loner556

    loner556Valued MemberMember

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    I had some ammonia show up in an established tank after I started to dose Flourish about a month ago. Big water change seemed to have fixed it.

    Then, 2 weeks ago, I decided to rescape a little and had a big piece of driftwood that's been in there for months decide it still wanted to float when I moved some rocks. It disrupted a lot of sand in the process. I fought ammonia and nitrites for about a week and a half after that with Prime and water changes. Finally, the night before we left for vacation, I was back to 0,0,10. What a relief.

    I think it was the Osmocote + in the sand that got kicked up when the driftwood floated. I stopped dosing the Flourish until everything settled back to where it's supposed to be. I'll let you know if I see any ammonia show up after I start dosing flourish again.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Nefersmum

    NefersmumValued MemberMember

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    It's interesting you noticed problems when you started Flourish. I've kept goldies for years without a single drop of additives but was persuaded to use them when I decided to keep minnows and I use Prime with every change. After that I get a bit lost.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Nefersmum

    NefersmumValued MemberMember

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    Mystery solved. I had recently added a pair of nerite snails to the aquarium with the idea that they would help deal with algae etc. Unfortunately they seem to have other ideas and hadn't moved a millimetre since they went in. If anyone heard a very girly squeal a few minutes ago it was me, discovering that both snails had died only when I picked one up and it fell out of it's shell in a smelly lump.

    Poor thing.


    I don't seem to be destined to have snails in this tank.

    At least the source of the ammonia might well have been resolved.
     
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