Help Please!!

  1. h

    honeyooo Valued Member Member

    Hi Everyone,

    Need a little help. I just updated my profile with everything that has changed. I also gave current readings of my water levels. So here is the problem, the tank is was a white milky but now it seems a little green to me.

    My tank has been neglected and I needed to clean everything. Last weekend I did about a 50 to 60% water change and vacuumed out through all of the gravel. I replaced the filters in the bio wheel and cleaned the whole unit as well, cleaned the glass as I was getting black spots all over(it gets a lot of sun in the morning), I conditioned the water when I put the new water in, pulled all the bad leaves off of the plants. I cant think of anything else that I did.

    My levels are all over the place and Im guessing because I did such a huge cleaning that I messed with the bacteria(huge mistake, I know) in the tank. I did another water change on it yesterday and I am planning another one for today after I finish with this post but Im not really sure what I should be doing. My Nitrate levels are really high, 20ppm.

    Also, I have a fluval 3 and a fluval 1 I think it is in there. I have unplugged them for right now and it seems like the water has cleared up a little but I cant be for sure. I think the little white pellets(thats the media right?) in the one fluval may need replacing but Im not sure. I believe they are about a year old.

    Im still so new to all of this its confusing reading all of the algae bloom, bacteria blooms....any help getting my tank back to where it needs to be would be greatly appreciated!!

    Oh and Im going to try and add a few photos so you can see first hand what I am dealing with.

  2. hollie1505

    hollie1505 Well Known Member Member

    Hello :)

    So, Ammonia 0.25ppm, nitrite 0.25ppm, nitrate 20ppm?

    It looks as though you're going through a mini cycle (more from changing the filter media than the cleaning you did). The nitrates aren't too high (under 20ppm is suggested) so I would keep up with regular water changes until the mini cycle is complete. You can also use Prime water conditioner or amquel plus which will detoxify the ammonia between these changes. I would do daily 25% water changes until your mini cycle is complete.

    It sounds like a bacterial bloom which happens with new tanks (as you've recently done a thorough clean it will be similar) and although unsightly will go away with time.

    Filter media rarely needs replacing, just swish them around in dechlorinated or old tank water during your water change. Unless they are falling apart in which case they may need replacing but only change one at a time. You may go through a mini cycle when changing your media too.

    Keep an eye on those parameters and if they go any higher do a larger water change. Aim to keep them at what they are or (most preferably) lower. This may stress your fish a little, but shouldn't do too much harm. This is where Prime and Amquel plus come into their own!

    Best of luck.xx
  3. OP

    honeyooo Valued Member Member

    Thanks for the info Hollie. I will go do another 25% water change right now. Yes, those are what I have for my levels right now. After I do the water change how long should I wait before I test the water again? 1 Hour, 2 hours, 8 hours? Ill pick up some of the Prime or Amquel. I have heard of those but I try to stay away from any chemicals going in to the tank. Ive read that its best to try and keep chemicals out of the tank but Im still so new at this I am just trying to keep my fish safe and I dont know what is ok and what is not ok to put in there other than water conditioner. Thanks again Hollie!!

  4. hollie1505

    hollie1505 Well Known Member Member


    Well, Prime is a water conditioner so you could replace your current conditioner with prime if it makes you feel better about the amount of stuff you are adding? It's really good. It stops the levels harming your fish and at times like these, gives you that peace of mind. You will have to dose the entire tank daily (it lasts 24-48 hours) whilst you are having problems but it only takes a couple of drops per gallon so is much more economic than other conditioners.

    I recommend waiting 12-24 hours before retesting. If you do it right before a water change you can adjust the amount of water you are changing accordingly. Ie. if your nitrates are 80ppm and you ideally want it below 20ppm, you would need to do a 75% water change to get it to 20ppm.

    The prime will turn the ammonia into ammonium and the API freshwater master test kit (and I assume some others too) don't distinguish between the two. So although you may have a 0.25ppm ammonia reading, if you are dosing with prime it will be ammonium which isn't toxic to the fish.

    I'm rubbish at explaining things so I can try and clarify that if it doesn't make sense! I emphasise the try ;) xx
  5. OP

    honeyooo Valued Member Member

    Yes, I am using the API freshwater testing there a better kit or strip that can give better accurate results? I am using the API water conditioner but the prime is better you think? So when you say dose the entire tank, do you mean give a full dosage of the water conditioner for the full 55 gallons or should I only be adding the 5ml per ten gallons when I do a 25% water change? Together it almost sounds like we make sense loll No, you are doing a great job explaining it to me, thank you!! I will test the water again tonight and then again tomorrow morning before I do the water change again, see if the levels have changed.
  6. ricmcc

    ricmcc Well Known Member Member

    I would just add to hollie1505 's post that Prime is far more cost efficient, and yet better (a rare combination) than any other agent to treat water that I have found,
    I'd also add that quite obviously Holly is not rubbish at posting or explaining matters :).
    I am rubbish at spelling, which I blame on studying Joyce in College.---rick

    If adding prime to a bin of water intended for a W/C, dose to that amount; if doing a W/C directly into your tank, dose for the full volume of the tank----no idea why, but as Seachem says, I do.--rick
  7. OP

    honeyooo Valued Member Member

    Thanks ricmcc, I was looking at it online right now and it does seem like a much better product and its getting rave reviews too. I will make sure I start using that instead of the API.

    One more thing....when I was doing the water change a bit ago I noticed green algae on one of the filters.........bad or good?

    And I agree, she is not rubbish at explaining!! Doing a great job I think, very helpful!!

    I am able to get the garden hose right to the tank and fill it from there....Im taking out and then adding about 15 gallons for the W/ Im a little unsure about what you said....since I am adding the water right in to the tank I should dose the whole 55 gallons? Just want to make sure I am doing this right :)
  8. hollie1505

    hollie1505 Well Known Member Member

    Sorry about that, I'm back now!

    I personally find the API master kit the best although I have heard good things about the nutrafin mini master test kit but I am unsure whether that would also read ammonia as ammonium. Either way you want to get rid of the ammonia so do the water change according to the reading anyway, it can't hurt to remove more grobblies!

    Yes, you would dose the whole 55 Gallons, straight into the tank and then add your water. I think it is because if you put it straight into the tank, the water you are putting it into will use some of the Prime whereas if you put it into say, a bucket, the bucket water would absorb (? this definitely isn't the right word but I have no idea what the right word actually is!) the Prime instead of the tank water.

    Test the water as much as you deem necessary, if you wish to do it once an hour, that's entirely up to you! Not that I don't think you've got better things to do than spend hours testing water!

    This is what I mean about being unable to explain anything... I babble on far too much. However, thank you both for disagreeing. Maybe you just understand my ramblings more than my own brain does ;) x
  9. ricmcc

    ricmcc Well Known Member Member

    Having been a main care giver to our daughter from age 1-5, they can addle a brain--mine still does, yet we love each other, which is a good sign, I guess. Yet I should note that both you and your kid are lovely, very cute, and your brain not addled at all---get back to me on the 12th Birthday on that, though:)--rick
    Btw, the background of the photo reminds me of the large rock behind Edinburgh; is it?

    Sorry, I rather muddled my first attempt at this post, hope that this bears some resemblance to the Queen's English
  10. OP

    honeyooo Valued Member Member

    Thanks Hollie, You are doing a great job explaining it. I understand what you are saying...its like a ratio kind of thing....I cant even think of a good example but I get what you are saying. Like if you put the water directly in to the tank and only put in a dosage for that amount it would get diluted too much to work. Dont worry, Im getting the babbling....babbling is my first language too loll

    Im worried about the Nitrates at 20 ppm...isnt that too high? Im worried about the ammonia too but Im sure with my water changes it will level out soon...and same with the nitrates but they just seem so high. Dont want to end up with dead fish.

    Thanks again for all the help....honestly, I think the plain English babbling is really helping rather than technical terms because thats when I get confused loll
  11. hollie1505

    hollie1505 Well Known Member Member

    Then I'll babble away :)

    Dilute is the word I was looking for. Dilute! Yes! It was annoying my brain. You know when something isn't important but it bothers you that you can't remember the name of it? Well, that!

    The recommended nitrate level is below 20ppm so I wouldn't worry about it too much. Just do your water change in the morning. Ammonia is more toxic than the nitrate but at 0.25ppm you still don't have anything major to worry about. Plus, you've just done a 25% water change so that would make your ammonia.... 0.20ppm (I am also terrible at maths although, I think I may have actually got that right). Hope that eases your mind a tad.

    Rick, I have already decided that my son isn't getting any older. He's going to stay this age forever. Except he will sleep better! Oooooh teenage girls! Good luck with that one ;)

    The picture is actually taken outside Scarborough Sealife centre. You can never have too much aquaticness in your life. Oh dear, now I'm making up words to babble!x
  12. OP

    honeyooo Valued Member Member

    lolll yes, I do! Its one of those things you will think about all day and then wake up at 2am with the answer loll I was worried it was too high but after what you are saying and I reread the little test kit book and it say exactly what you said, 20ppm or less. My ammonia is still at .25, just tested all of them again. Really no change in anything just yet but maybe tomorrow. Ok, I feel a little better now that you are saying its not so bad.

    Rick, Im going to stick my nose in here about teenage girls, hope you dont mind.....teenage girls are easy but you have to be patient loll Ive got a 17 year old and my trick was be her friend...but be FIRM first and to be as open as you can with them, trust them and let them know they can trust you....and dont betray that trust or they will lie to you about everything. Everything is "within reason" with her. She wanted to dye her hair black and I said no way, so she went with blonde and pink...its hair, it washes out, it grows big. She wanted to get her nose pierced, I said no way, let her get her belly button pierced instead. Its all within reason. You have to give a little on some things. Thats what is working best for me anyway. And the sass mouth...that one you need to nip in the bud right away and let them know...ohhh no way, thats not going to happen lolll I get it a little from her once in a while but really not bad at all, I cant complain. Just remember, within reason....if you are too strict you push them away and they wont be open with you because they feel you dont understand or will get mad, if you arent strict enough they run all over you loll Im open with both my kids, they both know they can come to me about anything...and they do. We talk about sex, and boys and drugs and drama at school....they know I wont get mad at them unless they have done something stupid that they knew not to do in the first place. Work with them, not against them :;hf
  13. hollie1505

    hollie1505 Well Known Member Member

    honeyooo I'm always having that lightbulb moment at 2am, usually just after I've settled the baby to sleep and got comfy on bed! The trick is not to worry too much. Ha! Says she. Ah well. What I mean is you can only do so much and you have to trust in yourself. You're monitoring things and performing regular water changes. As I said before, this is where Prime comes into it's own. That peace of mind that minor readings won't harm your water babies :)

    and... Great advice! Although the fact you say "teenage girls are easy" concerns me about what my son will be like in a few years time. Hopefully this works for them too ;) xx
  14. Mortisha

    Mortisha Valued Member Member

    I would also address the issue with the direct sunlight that is probably causing the green water.
  15. OP

    honeyooo Valued Member Member

    Thanks Hollie, you have been a tremendous help and I thank you very much!!!

    As far as the teen one of those as well, 15 now. Hes a little more sassy than his sister and I have to keep him in check once in a while. He is starting to come in to his own with the whole sex thing but his pool is somewhat limited. We live in a small town and he is gay so not a lot for him to choose from lolll We have had the talk many times and hes not real comfortable with me talking about that stuff yet, not like his sister is but then that is girl girl and this is mom man/boy....Im hoping for the best though loll I apply the same rules with him as I do with her....within reason and compromise loll They are both close to 18 and still alive so I must be doing something right lolll Im sure if you just teach your son right from wrong, good from bad and to be honest and respectful, you will have no problems with him!! I just try to show them the respect that I think they should show me, or any other adult or person. And never let them forget.......Im the mom/adult, end of story. We can talk about things but when all is said and done, I get final say so. They get it, they understand and respect that....may not always like it but are good about it. They know I have a good reason why I say no to things.

    You will have a wonderful son!! I can tell just by the way that you have helped me today that you care and if you care enough to help me, a stranger, then you must really care about your son and the people in your life. Caring really is the biggest part of parenting, I think anyway. Its easy to not care and let them do what they want...the hard part is being there for the long haul, day in and day out, the arguments and the saying no and watching them get their hearts broken, am I right??loll :)

    Oh and one more thing..........the best place that I have found to talk to your kids is IN THE CAR!!! They are trapped with no distractions and cant get out so they have to listen to you lolll

    I know that is a problem for my tank Mortisha. unfortunately I dont have another spot for it now. My sons piano is there now so I ended up having to put it closer to the window. Its not real close but it does get the direct sunlight in the morning. I have been keeping the blind closed until the sun is up and over the window so I am hoping that will work.

    Can you think of anything that will help with that issue since moving is not an option right now? Im not sure what else to do other than keep the blinds closed as best as I can when the sun is shining in
  16. Mortisha

    Mortisha Valued Member Member

    Honeyoo along with keeping the blinds drawn you could take a large towel and cover the tank during the morning hours when the sun hits it. Good luck :animal0028:
  17. OP

    honeyooo Valued Member Member

    Thats a good idea Mortisha!! Ill try that!! Thanks!! :)
  18. Mortisha

    Mortisha Valued Member Member

    Your are very welcome honeyooo.

    You could also try the static window tint. You can get it at Lowe's or Home Depot. It comes in really dark shades and it so simple to put it on. That may be the answer to your problem and it esthetically looks good. I've used it on my tanks before.
  19. OP

    honeyooo Valued Member Member

    Ill have to look in to that as well. The tank wont be moving to a different spot any time soon so it might be nice to have something that is easier than using a towel! Thanks!!
  20. Mortisha

    Mortisha Valued Member Member

    If it's gonna be there for awhile the window tint would be the way to go. Get the darkest they have and make sure it's the static cling kind. I didn't buy the application kit. Just mix water and a little dish soap in spray bottle and spray it on the tint and position into place. You can use a plastic ruler to remove air bubbles and excess solution, work from the top down then side to side. Don't go up because you don't want to get soapy water near top. Hope this helps.