Need Advice On Water Parameters....

Discussion in 'Aquarium Water' started by PurpleRose, Apr 8, 2017.

  1. PurpleRoseValued MemberMember

    I test my fish tank in the morning and before bed, I have 0 ammonia Nitrite is .25 ppm yesterday it was 0... Nitrate is always about 5.0. I do 10-15% water change every week and when Ammonia gos anywhere above .25 I was just wondering if I am doing the right thing ? I am still trying to understanding the chemicals and what to watch out for in the tank.. and sorta off topic about the chemicals but. one of my Java fern is growing white stuff on the roots, so I am not sure if that plant might be causing some of these levels?? I have a molly in my 20 gallon right now too.
  2. Bizarro252Well Known MemberMember

    Hi there, is the tank we are talking about the 20gal? Is the molly the only fish in there? How long has this tank been set up (do you know if you are fully cycled, if so about how long?) What kind of filtration are you running?
  3. PurpleRoseValued MemberMember

    we have had the tank running since March 3rd, I am not truly not sure if it has fully cycled as I have been using prime and stability but didn't dose today as the nit has never gone above 0... I took my cherry shrimp out a couple days ago, 3 nights I did a 10% water change, the filter came with my tank, I want to buy a bio wheel filter since mine seems to be pretty cheap. thank you I just want to save Haily my fish
  4. Bizarro252Well Known MemberMember

    A month should be enough time for you to be cycled, especially since you were using stability. Just to check are you dosing prime daily? If so are you doing it to detox ammonia? If not there is no reason to be dosing that daily, only when you are doing a water change (or emergency detox of an ammonia issue)

    You are right, the filter that came with your tank is probably a cheapo one :) Personally I am not a fan of those biowheel filters, I would suggest these two - the first that I know and love and is a pretty standard go to in the hobby - the second because it interests me, looks good, is from a good brand and my buddy @Tanks and Plants loves the thing :p

    Get a size approprate for your tank, or up one size from the stated ranges if you plan to stock heavy, or just love really clear and clean water as much as I do :)
    If you swap filters try to take anything you can from the old filter that would hold bacteria (sponges, bio material, etc) and jam it somwhere in your new filter for a few weeks to help seed it with good bacteria. You may still notice a mini cycle and small ammonia spike so just keep your eye on it.

    You can also do larger water changes, especially if you are having above 0 readings of ammonia or nitrite (with an i :)), 50% will not hurt anything, even more is fine if needed. I would be changing water more often and in larger amounts if you have fish in there and are seeing ammonia or nitrite.
  5. Tanks and PlantsWell Known MemberMember

    Thanks @Bizzarro252 and yes I do LOVE my Seachem Tidal filter! I personally think it's way better than AC's and I also use AC'S myself. The draw backs for the Tidal are.......

    1- it's BIG, pretty big for a HOB filter
    2- it's almost too good for itself. Meaning that it cleans my tanks so good that I have to rinse the filter material in it every couple of days. But if I were to rearrange the filter media I am pretty sure that it would last a lot longer.

    I love the skimmer part of the filter as it helps me keep the top of my water clean. Also you can adjust the flow and it has a good flow and a weak flow if you want. Also you don't have to Prime the filter, since the motor is Under the water you don't have to Prime it.

    Thanks "M" @Bizarro252 for the shout out!

    Good Luck OP!
  6. Bizarro252Well Known MemberMember

    Haha sure thing, I almost want one JUST for the skimmer part, that is such a good idea. I found myself this weekend skimming the top of my water with a cup, since any oils from my hands, etc seem to just stay in there - uhg.
  7. PurpleRoseValued MemberMember

    I was using both because of the level of ammonia about a week or so ago, I just did a 10% water change prime and Stability. I will look into that it looks like one I use to have when I had some goldfish years ago, I took the java moss/fern out because I have never kept any live plants and don't want it messing the water up since it has white stuff on the root I am thinking of trying to vacuum the bottom of the tank but don't want to take anymore good bacteria out so was thinking of just doing a tiny portion of it and if need be will do 10 or 15 water change in the morning. the water is clear its just the readings that are concerning I would love to get shrimp or snail but some have told me the fish will eat the shrimp and snails climb up tank. and my top has a large opening where the filter goes My filter is a marina s20, I would love to get more fish soon but until I can get water to safe levels I don't want to stress the little guys out, they are worth the work they always have my family watching the tank a good 5 minutes plus my kids have decided they want to start helping me out :)
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2017
  8. Bizarro252Well Known MemberMember

    Go ahead and gravelvac, it wont hurt your cycle. If you are really worried about it do half one day and the other half next time.
  9. Chloe676New MemberMember

    If your ammonia is 0, and you are seeing a lot more nitrates than nitrites your tank is almost full cycled You can probably do bigger water changes and less often now. You'll want a new filter before you get anymore fish, and once your new filter is set up you might want to wait a week or two just to make sure it's fully cycled again
  10. ArwenNew MemberMember

    The readings does show something, may want to look at
    0 nh3/4
    0 No.2
    Traces of no.3 will be a norm when the above 2 are attained. As initial reading of nh3/4 shows sign of benificial bacterias working on the waste, do give them some time to fully accommodate your existing bio load.

    Things to take note of are when readings goes out of range. As of now let's look at 0 nh3/4, it's highly probable the rest will fall into place when the initial settings are in place, let's enjoy this wonderful hobby
  11. PurpleRoseValued MemberMember

    thank you, on saturday I did a 25% water change and did vac the bottom..yesterday only half I took the filter pads out today when I did a 5% pwc... and washed them in tank water. everything I tested is now at 0. ph is 7.4 now I believe I am seeing Bacteria Bloom in the tank since its kind of cloudy, I am looking into new filters the only issue is where the tank is I cant fit a bulky filter in the back which is why I am using the current one its very slim/small, I am trying to figure out if there is another way with the hood to put bigger filter in.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2017
  12. ArwenNew MemberMember

    If the tank turns cloudy, the cycle is kicking in proper that's is a good stuff. For me will normally change water as usual as it doesn't affect the beneficial bacterias as long as we do not touch them. For the medias they can actually stay in place, as the bacterias needs to feed on them. I noticed that your live stock is a a very healthy level, maybe we can let the water clears up 1st before deciding if another filtration is required. Yup I agree with you with the current design of the tank hood does restrict modifications. Very happy for you with ph 7.4 now things looks better now, enjoy!
  13. PurpleRoseValued MemberMember

    thank you for that tip will remember that for sure, I am very glad that's finally starting to kick in as I really had no idea how long it would take, I test the water every morning and if the Nitrates or ammonia are high that is when I try to do 10% and if it's bad enough will do like I did earlier 25 % but will also do 15 to 10% weekly sometimes I have taken halfway about 50 around 2-3 weeks to make sure ,things are good, normally my tank is Crystal clear this is the first time that it was cloudy water.. how much should I be taking out during the cleaning of their water.??. I am so thankful for this site I had tried to keep fish 10 years ago to no luck, but now I am understanding much better and it really isn't too hard like I thought it would be when I picked up the hobbies again. the person at the fish store had said 20 g would be able to hold 2 honey dwarf garmi 6 fancy guppies and 6 neon tetras and the Mollie and some type of alge eater but I feel that is much too small for all those fish in my 20 g tank :)
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2017
  14. ArwenNew MemberMember

    Had been through that stage too, the changing water on a daily basis is quite challenging indeed. However it's the best option to keep the live stock during the cycling process. The percentage & method of water change is very much subjective - these can be asjusted with the parameters results taken. Yup you are right had little no chance of keeping the livestock alive for the past attempts. With the help of fishlore members that gave excellent pointers, I manage to understand more & there is more to explore.

    A rough norm of weekly water change will be about 20-25% depending on the bioload. If there are water flora that will be an area that I know very little or none of, may not be in the best position to elaborate much. Came across a hobbyist that said something quite true that I'm going to share is that "clear water doesn't necessarily means good water". For the tank ideal live stock, will probably look at the species maximum size & filtration capable to handling them. Just to make sure the water change regime is manageable. The selection process is actually quite fulfilling once everything is established, have fun stocking up!
  15. Bizarro252Well Known MemberMember

    Take a look into a python for your water changes if you get sick of carrying buckets around, it will make water changes MUCH more enjoyable, especially at the higher percentages :D
    And yep, cloudy water during a cycle is normal, and a good thing :)
  16. PurpleRoseValued MemberMember

    I actually just bought the python right after I picked up my fish tank.. it's really great and is a 3 in one product that so far been very easy to use, although I am looking to get the squeeze python gravel cleaner for when I am just doing my gravel cleaning,since I bought the 50 ft to reach the kitchen sink, since untangling the tubes can get annoying at times so I am being a little lazy in that area, lol :) I feel safest testing testing the tank water morning and will obviously test twice daily. this morning tests were ph is now 6.4 high ph couldn't detect it as higher, ammonia levels are 0.25 Nitrites 0 and nitrate 0... thinking I should do 10 or 20 PWC?? thank you for all of your help!!
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2017
  17. AllieStenFishlore VIPMember

    You may need to test your gh/kH to see why your pH is 6.4. It seems a bit low and can affect your cycle. Have you tested your tap water to see what the pH is? If your water is too "soft" it won't be able to keep your pH stable. There is an easy fix by adding crushed coral or seashells to your tank, but that's only if you need them. I would do a full set of parameters on your tap water so you can have a current set. To also see if your Ammonia is only in your tank, and not in your tap.

    If you have any amount of ammonia in your tank you should dose with Prime. If you are doing a water change anyways, just dose Prime for your full tank volume. Since you are showing Ammonia I would do a 50% water change.

    Be sure you are shaking that nitrate bottle hard and for 30-45 seconds. I bang it on my hand and shake vigorously. It won't give you accurate results if it isn't shaken enough.
  18. PurpleRoseValued MemberMember

    I did do a water test on my tap, not too much other then tell me we have hard water, that I already known for sometime.. I just did 25% last night, and 25% this morning since the ammonia levels were about the same.. I did dose the tank with prime and stability and my regular water conditioner. I am looking into different filters as I just learnt mine only came with charcoals and have seen many benefits of foam filters with the bag of white rock things (sorry don't know the name of it), on is better today was back at 7.6 and yeah I always hit it a few times on a dresser and shake it really good
  19. AllieStenFishlore VIPMember

    Here is my favorite video that describes the types of filter media. I learned so much and it helped me pick out my media.

    Also do a search on making your own filter media with your particular filter brand/size. You will find how tos that show you tips and tricks to modifying your filter.

    Here is the Seachem Tidal power filter video too. I just purchased the 55 and it is very nice.