HELP! It seems that no matter where I go - net, pets stores, other enthusiasts, I'm getting mixed info all over the place. I've been reading this forum for the past two days and seem to see consistent advice as opposed to what I've been getting. My setup: 15 gal. set up. Whisper 30 Power filtration system, aerator w/ stone. I've used test strips and have taken water samples to local pet shop. Set up about 4 weeks ago. My situation: As of today: My readings using test strips: Nitrites - 0 Nitrates - 0 KH - 120 pH - 7.0 Ammonia - .25 Pet Shop Readings for pH & Ammonia only- pH - 7.5 Ammonia - 1 Why such drastic differences in ammonia readings? ??? I waited two weeks prior to putting fish in the tank and at the advice of a pet shop owner added fish as "the system hasn't started to develop without fish adding to the culture to form the bacteria". So, we added 3 green swords (1 male, 2 female) one of which was apparently pregnant unbeknownst to us and actually gave birth Saturday (1/7) to 3 fry 8) - two appear to be fine (swimming, eating) and unfortunately, one escaped into the population and was eaten by the male before we could get a breeding net set up. Reading levels had stabilized and late last week we then added 3 corys as we had been told by several people including a shop owner that not only are they peaceful fish, but they are pretty tolerant of water conditions. Sounded good...so...this afternoon I go down to check on the fry and notice that the smallest of the 3 corys had died..... I've also noticed that only the the largest of the 3 cory had any interest in rooting for food or swimming about the tank. For the most part they will move from one place to another only coming up for air every 20 minutes or so as I have read they do as part of their normal behavior. Took water to the pet shop the other day and ammonia was around .5 The 3 swords appear to be doing fine, however, the two females are swimming about frantically along one side of the tank. I'm wondering if one or both are still undergoing the birthing process...... :-\ I went to the pet shop the other day to get a reading and was told to change my water - 30% and filter media.....Did so and the readings above are what was the result.....I feed small portions every other day. Can someone please tell me what's going on? THANK YOU!!