My water levels

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Stacie H., Apr 23, 2006.

  1. Stacie H.New MemberMember

    Okay, I made the mistake of trying to save a few bucks and use testing strips on my water.  <slaps self on hand>  I know...bad Stacie. 

    I *thought* my tank had cycled, but now I'm not so sure. And I got fed up after losing several fish and a snail.

    So I went out this weekend and invested the $30 in the Aquarium Pharmecueticals Freshwater Master Test Kit. Here are the levels I've gotten, both yesterday and today.

    I have to preface this by saying I did a 25% water change yesterday morning, and did not test my water until yesterday evening.

    Yesterday's levels:

    Ammonia--between 0.25 and 0.50 ppm (I couldn't tell, it was so close. My husband determined it was in between)

    Nitrate--0 ppm

    Nitrite--0 ppm


    I mostly have tetras, so I know I want the pH a bit lower. How do I do this?

    Did another 25% water change this morning, tested water again a few minutes ago.

    Today's levels:

    Ammonia--0 ppm

    Nitrate--0 ppm

    Nitrite--0 ppm

    pH--still 7.6

    Any feedback? I was planning another 25% wc tomorrow, but should I test right away afterwards, or wait until Tuesday?

    I have to say, my tetras (9 neon, 1 flame [had several others that died], and 9 rosys) have been a lot happier since the water changes/vacuums. The water is still just a *smidge* hazy, but much clearer than is was.

    Any tips/suggestions will be appreciated!!
  2. Stacie H.New MemberMember

    I forgot to add, my tank is 36 gallons.
  3. GunnieWell Known MemberMember

    I don't think your tank is cycled at all. I think you are at the beginning of your cycle. Don't worry about the ph. 7.6 is very common, and most fish in tanks live long lives at a ph of 7.6 or close to it. Now that you have your master test kit, you are well equipped to keep an eye on your cycing progress. Depending on what types of tetras you have, if your ammonia or nitrite goes above 1.0, then do at least a 33% water change to get it down. Some tetras like rummy nose are extra sensitive though and would require more water changes. Let us know what types of tetras you have in your tank. We're here to help you. ;)
  4. Stacie H.New MemberMember

    I did mention it, I thought.

    I have 9 neons, 1 flame, 4 rosys...and a rubbermouth pleco.

    How do I know when it IS cycled? How do I get it to that point...just keep changing water?
  5. fish_r_friendWell Known MemberMember

    I would say a week or 2 with out any nitrate amonia or nitrite
    P.S sry if they spelled wrong b/c spell check isnt working
  6. GunnieWell Known MemberMember

    Your tank is cycled when you have zero ammonia, zero nitrites, and above zero nitrates. Nitrates are the waste products of the bacteria and the end result of a cycled tank. A good reading would be to keep nitrates at 20 or below once your tank is cycled. Your neons are very sensitive to water quality so your cycle is going to take a long time. If you can find some bio spira locally from a reputable dealer, you may want to invest in a 1 oz. package. I don't usually recommend bio spira to newbies, but your case is an emergency. If you do decide to try the bio spira, please post back before you use it. It's meant to be used in a brand new tank from the beginning, so you will need to do a massive water change before using the bio spira.
  7. Stacie H.New MemberMember

    Thanks so much Gunnie!

    I should be able to pick some up tomorrow after work, but may not be able to do a water change then until Tuesday. The one store I think would carry Bio Spira (I'll call and make sure) is halfway across town. Houston rush hour is a pain!!
  8. vinWell Known MemberMember

    Stacie - To answer one of your questions about when to test your water? You should always test BEFORE changing your water to see what the parameters are before the change. This gives you a consistent base line. By testing after a water change, you've already altered the concentration of any chemical build up so your results would be inaccurate.

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