Frustrated with a few things...

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Elvishswimmer, Nov 20, 2009.

  1. Elvishswimmer

    ElvishswimmerValued MemberMember

    Firstly... I just tried to test my nitrate in my water to see how my cycle was going. 2 weeks ago it said it was ~20. Today it said 0. I was so confused, I have no plants in my tank at all. The colours also changed differently than they did before (after putting in #1 and shaking it, it was a dark orange, then after shaking bottle 2 well and putting in #2, and then shaking for a minute and leaving for 5 minutes, it turns up straight yellow I did it 3 times, same result)

    So I checked the lot number, and it might be that my BRAND NEW (aka 6 weeks old, when I got my aquarium) API liquid tests are old.

    So I was wondering if someone could check my lot numbers to tell me if they have expired?

    1563A-06-1008 (both pH tests, Nitrate #2, Nitrite)
    1562A-05-0806 (both ammonia tests, Nitrate #1)

    I'm really frustrated that I spent all that money on the tests, only to find that it may be expired, and that my water chemistry may be different than what they really are!

    Another thing is my cycle. The test kits may be the problem with this, but so far, I feel like I'm going nowhere.
    The nitrites are off the chartsx10, and may or may not be turning into nitrates, seeing as my test results are different than a week or so ago.
    The ammonia is not being processed. By six weeks, and with nitrites, i'd expect that it should be processing ammonia very quickly now. Instead, it barely goes anywhere!!:;fru

    To top it off, I just went to the dentist to fix a tooth that hurt since they have 'fixed'(I came in with a cracked filling that didn't hurt, left with a perfect filling that hurt) it 5 months ago , put me through severe pain, said they 'fixed' it again, though I am almost sure they didn't, and had to pay an extra $100 because my insurance only covers one fixing like that every 24 months.

    Lets just say its not been the best day for me.

    I'm considering tearing down my tank, ordering my goldfish from online before it is freezing weather, and buying some TSS.
  2. flyin-loweWell Known MemberMember

    How long has the tank been set up and what method are you using to cycle the tank? What are the ammonia levels also. I know the last for numbers are the date but I don't know what order. I also don't know if that is the exp. date or the date it was manufactured. Somebody will come along shortly. When I test the nitrates I shake the bottle really good and band it on my knee or the coffee table. The is something in that test that crystalizes and it has to really be worked over good.
  3. alicemValued MemberMember

    From looking around I've found this post from 2007:

    Quotes below are taken from the OP's first post:
    It may be that the nitrate test #1 and ammonia test are dated 08/06 are likely expired.
    My personal belief is that test reagents have a shelf life (unopened) of about 2 years.
    Once opened, I use a sharpie pen to date the reagent and usually toss them after 1 year and get fresh.
    But that's just me being paranoid, I guess.

    I know this isn't what you wanted to hear and I'm sorry you've had a rough time lately. :-\
    Cycling an aquarium is frustrating. :;fru
    Is there any way you could get some seasoned filter media to jump start this thing?
    Do you have a reputable LFS that can/will take the time to do some testing for you?

    Best of luck,

  4. OP

    ElvishswimmerValued MemberMember

    Tank has been cycling for 6 weeks using pure ammonia.

    I keep putting in more ammonia, a little everyday to keep it around 5. Takes 2-3 days to get down to 2ppm.

    NitrItes are at 20ppm or so. (I diluted it to a level to calculate, I may have done the calculations wrong though, either way, its really high)

    Started Oct 15th.
    Oct 29th ammonia started dropping and I got my first nitrite reading. Nitrite spiked off the charts 4 days later.

    And now here I am, with my ammonia bacteria doing nothing, and my nitrates at 0 when before they were at 20.

    I know that when Nitrate test is done improperly, it would give a false 0, but how could I have gotten a false 20.

    I just redid the nitrate test, shaking it for 5 mins straight; banging it against the table for 30 secs at a time, shaking vigourously for 30 secs. Did the test immediately after, Nitrates still 0.

    I know my tank isn't cycled, because I've never got a good reading from any of my tests, I would just have expected at LEAST my ammonia bacteria to be more equipped after 6 weeks.

    I hope that it is the production date and not the expiry date.

    Where could those 20ppm nitrates go? And why does the nitrate test go from dark orange to yellow?

    ETA: Thanks for your response alicem. That really sucks that I purchased what I thought would be a brand new product only to find it is 4 years old. :( :(

    I don't live close to a fish store in order for me to go there everyday to get my water tested would be a huge amount of $$ on gas, as well as I just don't have the time with exams coming. I guess I'll just have to order new product and check it.

    Do you think if I contact API and tell them my situation of buying expired chemicals they might re-imburse me?

    I've called fish stores and they don't want to take the responsibility of giving me old media for bacteria (with the parasites and all) one tried offering me Stability, but I politely declined, which he seemed to get offended by, but oh well.
    None of my friends own fish. :(

    Last edited: Nov 20, 2009
  5. ABCDemily

    ABCDemilyWell Known MemberMember

    Didyou shake the nitrate bottles? Crystals settle at the bottom of bottle two and you really have to bang it super duper hard to get the test to work properly, otherwise you are left with unreliable readings :)
  6. Shawnie

    ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    the 06 bottle is no good....anything over 3 years, according to api, is expired...i still only keep mine a year as i dont trust it after that...i would contact the company you got it from and ask for an update kit!!!!!!

    in the meantime if it were me, and you can get TSS\, id tear it down and start fresh with tss and your fish...6 weeks is long enough patience for me ;D
  7. peacemaker92

    peacemaker92Well Known MemberMember

    Hi Elvish.

    So sorry to hear you're going through this. Hope everything gets better soon. Good luck!
  8. OP

    ElvishswimmerValued MemberMember


    Well I guess it's working out.
    I managed to find a website that ships Tetra Safestart at a decent price (one website i found the shipping was $80 0.o this one was only $20, still pricey but oh well). So I bought it.
    Tomorrow I'm going to see what Big Al's says about my expired test kit, but I don't think they can because I can't seem to locate the receipt. I'll tear apart my house one more time. But I think if I don't have the receipt they can't do anything because for all they know I could have had the test kit for 3 years. But I'll still take it and see. And I'll buy a new one.

    So TSS is in the mail, and once that arrives, I'll order my fish and hopefully everything will be back on track!
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2009
  9. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember

  10. OP

    ElvishswimmerValued MemberMember

    Yay! They Aren't expired!

    I just found out there are TWO numbers on the API test bottles.
    One that is on the label and one that is printed on, though one of the bottles it seems to have washed off!

    But anyways, the OTHER numbers I have found, the ones not on the label, indicated that it is in fact NOT expired!

    I hope that assumption of mine is correct!
    The printed on numbers say:
    26A0609 (or 0409 or 0709)

    I feel really stupid. :-[
    I'll try testing my water again. Maybe with me leaving it for a few days in despair it may have decided to cycle on me!
  11. emanluke

    emanlukeValued MemberMember

    I'm glad you found that out. As I was reading through the thread, I was looking over my API Test Kit, and was scared that I was in the same situation. Once again, Fishlore has saved me time and money. WHEW! :;thx

    That is great that you got it all figured out though. I hope your cycling goes a bit easier now. I know how tough to keep up with aquariums while school is going on, but I hope they bring you as much peace as they do me during exams :)

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