Hello from another newbie

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fishRfriends2

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Hello fishlore folks. I have been using this terrific site for about 3 mos now to learn what is needed for a freshwater aquarium setup and maintenance. Finally feel I have enough of a very basic idea of what is going on with my tank to join the forum. I know I will be asking more questions than giving helpful advice, but from what I have seen, this is a great group to be asking those questions to. Will try to give a brief background of what my fish experience has been that led me here. It all started when the wife brought home the classroom goldfish bowl to watch during the holiday break in Dec when kids were out of school. There were 2 goldfish and 1 guppy in the 1gal bowl with water so cloudy I almost had to take my wife's word there were fish in it. Feeling bad for the fish I got a 3.5 gal kit thinking how much better they would be with at least a filter. Well, fish never went back to classroom after holiday. I started reading about fish care and found out need more room for them. Bought 10 gallon tank and actually did somewhat of a cycle this time. Did more more reading and yes, that was still too small a tank. Found someone with a big tank that would take fish and all was well. Took the 10 gallon tank down. A short time afterwords, realized having the fish were nice and went ahead and got a 29 gallon tank that would surely would be big enough this time and slowing started adding fish (after doing a fish less cycle this time). Forward to present day,, I just picked up a 55 gallon tank at Petco so I guess I am on my way to admitting the fish have me hooked. Will be updating my profile. Thanks to everyone for helping me get to this point with my tanks. Here is a pic of my water test this morn. And yes I am one of those people with the "is it slightly green color with the ammonia?"
 

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Welcome! Glad you decided to do things the proper way. Soon, you'll be struck with MTS (multiple tank syndrome) and won't be able to stop!

And your ammonia does look like 0 (basically zero, which is what we aI'm for).
 

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Welcome to the forum

Are those results from the 29 gallon or 55g? What fish do you have in the 29? I want to say there's a slight tinge of green for ammonia. I could be wrong though.
 
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fishRfriends2

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Results are from the 29g. The 55 gallon is empty and still needs to be set up. Fish in the 29 gallon are:
4 platy.
2 zebra danios - will be adding more
6 JuliI cats
5 neon tetras
Filter Fluval AC50
Aquasky LED light
Been doing 2 pwc per week, about 5 gallon each time using Prime. Slightly planted with sand substrate. Have not used ferts, but may try Excel?
I have been on the Aqadvisor site also.
Is there something I should do about the maybe twing of green with the ammonia?
 

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When was the tank cycled? If it does look like 0.25ppm ammonia to you, you could dose Prime daily for the full volume of your tank size until you see 0. Also, some people still report seeing that trace of ammonia even after they've been cycled for months for some reason.

I do think that the nitrates would have been higher considering the stock you have, especially since you're slightly underfiltered for your tank size. If you're planning to stock more fish, I would upgrade to an AC70 which has 300gph since recommended is 8-10x the filtration for your tank size. Or you can add another filter that does 100gph.

I would also probably just do one 30% water change once a week instead of two smaller water changes per week as the larger water change would be more effective.
 
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fishRfriends2

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Thanks el337. I have been reading a lot about aquarium maint, but feel I am always behind the curve on things. Unfortunately I know I have done more wrong ways than right so far. Tank was cycled around beginning of April, but I was using test strips then so poss not a real full cycle then? Will do with Prime dose and one 30% pwc per week from now on. Here is a pic of my tank, it is very basic, but maybe the little plants I have are helping with the nitrates? Also have 3 Marimo moss balls if that helps any?

 

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Is there any ammonia or nitrate in your tap? It's possible you are cycled and while you're not heavily planted to really consume a whole lot of nitrates, the plants may be helping a bit. And you're not rinsing your filter media in tap water or replacing it by any chance, are you?

Edit: And are you banging nitrate #2 bottle really really hard against a counter and then shaking it really really well for the 30 seconds before adding it to the tube? Sometimes if you don't do this, you can get a false reading of less nitrates than what you may really have.
 

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The ammonia looks pretty yellow in the picture and there is some nitrates. If you feel there is a green tinge that is just not showing in the pic, then the advice to dose prime daily and do larger weekly water changes is good advice.

You can also make sure you are only feeding enough for the fish to consume within a couple minutes making sure none is left in the tank.

A better or additional filter is also good advice.

Congrats on catching the MTS bug, lol! And welcome to an awesome forum!
 
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fishRfriends2

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I swirl the filter media and bio max in the bucket of used tank water during pwc every other week.
Have not replaced any media, not running carbon.
Yes I bang nitrate bottle. Will try banging more than 30 secs next time. Here is current tap results. Ammonia looks more yellow than tank, does appear to be hint of nitrate?
 
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fishRfriends2

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Alphonsus said:
I'm just going to ask but what happen to the goldfishes?
Hi, I know someone at a pet shop who I trust and she found the goldfish a nice home. I did not want them to become feeder fish or cramped in a small tank.
 

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Yeah, try re-testing the nitrates out of your tank again and really bang/shake the life out of it. And you're waiting the 5 minutes before comparing the color to the chart, right? I don't mean to make you feel like you're not testing correctly but you'd be surprised at how many people didn't know to wait the 5 minutes or to shake it well enough for 30 sec or to even add the first or second nitrate bottle.
 
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fishRfriends2

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First off, thank you for your help.
Retest of tank water doing the following procedure:
Bang nitrate bottle #2 for one minute.
Added 10 drops #1, shook tube. Added 10 drops #2, shook tube for 1 min, waited 5 mins for results. Oh my, my nitrates are higher!! My poor fish!!
Should I do a pwc? How much water should I change?? Looks like at least 40 ppm...

 

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I'd do at least a 50% water change. Ideally, you want your nitrates below 20ppm.
 
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fishRfriends2

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I feel so bad. I must not have been shaking/banging the #2 bottle hard enough? I have been using the API tester since the beginning of June and was taking water samples to Persmart as a back-up just in case I was testing wrong. Everything was testing fine. Stopped doing petsmart back-up testing about a month ago, so my fish nitrates have been building up since then. So glad I joined this forum today!! Thank you, thank you from myself and my fishes!!!
 

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Don't feel bad. At least you're here and now you know!
 
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I think my nitrates are coming down now.
Did a 10 gallon water change, refilled tank. Then did a 5 gallon change immediately after the first pwc. Waited 45 mins for water to circulate, then did another 5 gallon pwc. So 20 gallon of water change total. I only have one food grade 5 gallon bucket to add water with and one reg 5 gallon bucket that has had chemicals in so only use it for the used tank water. Will get more buckets tomor and be able to do bigger pwc at a time.
I cannot tell the color shade difference between 10ppm & 20ppm, but pretty sure I am now at least close to or below 20ppm. Will let water circulate overnight and ck again in the morning.
Thanks again!!!
 

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We have all been there! This is a great place to learn from others and make a better, more healthy environment for our aquatic babies.

Consider a vacuum that hooks up to your sink. I have aqueon, but Amazon has Python right now. It has been a life saver for me. I only use bucket to siphon some tank water into for media cleaning. Except fry tanks get the old fashioned siphon into bucket and fill up pre-mixed water with dechlorinator already added.

It is putting your tap water directly into tank and adding water conditioner at same time so I position the end where it will be stable and add about half where the water is coming out and then bits at a time to minimize and hopefully completely prevent any exposure to the chlorine.
 

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