New Tank- Water Parameters Not Changing Over Time? Question

  1. G

    GreenSpleen New Member Member

    Hello,

    Some background info: I am new to fish. When I went to Sandy's Pet Shop two and a half weeks ago, all I knew is that I wanted a betta fish. I settled on a blue-bodied, orange-finned Delta that I've named Rocket. I knew nothing of the nitrogen cycle at the time and I bought my 3 gallon tank (heated, filtered, baffled, substrate but no plants) the same day. I have since put a nerite snail in said tank with plans to upgrade them both to a 10 gallon which is currently being shipped to me.

    Now, fish nerds, riddle me this. If I have ammonia and nitrate in my tap (.5ish ppm ammonia, 5-7 ppm nitrate) and I have not changed my water in 5 days, only adding Prime and Stability every 24-30 hours, why is my ammonia consistently the same as my tap at .5 ppm? Why do I have no nitrites or any more nitrates? Surely, considering the fact that I have toxins in my tap and 2 creatures constantly producing waste, those levels should rise. I know that Prime does not remove toxins, it only detoxifies them and makes them readily consumable by BB. So, I am very baffled. I know fish-in cycling is ill-advised and can take some time, but this just doesn't make sense. I use the coveted API liquid test kit.

    Don't know if it'll help but my tap water has about 8.2 or so PH, which settles down to 7.5 or so over time.

    My only theory is that maybe there is enough BB to consume the ammonia produced by my fish and snail, but it doesn't have enough of a foothold to clear the baseline ammonia levels in my tap. But that idea falls through considering I have 0 nitrites.
     
  2. endlercollector

    endlercollector Fishlore VIP Member

    The problem with Prime is that it only detoxifies ammonia, nitrate, etc., for about 24 hours. When the drought got bad here a few years ago, we had a nitrate spike (I thought I was losing my mind, trying to cycle a new tank, and the nitrates kept going through the roof till I tested the tap water). For this reason, I switched to Amquel Plus (not regular Amquel) as members here recommended it. I have used it ever since. I just put it into the water that I'm going to add to the tank and don't put it directly into the tank unless there's an extreme situation.

    The bouncing pH is more worrisome to me, actually. You have a Betta who comes from soft, acidic waters. Granted, they're tough and can adapt to a high pH, but it should be even. In that case. I would at least let the water sit for a while before using it. It would be kinder to cut your tap water with RO water. Around here, they sell water in machines outside the grocery stores, and I have cut my tap water with 50% of the purified water. You could do it gradually, say a quart at a time each day so as not to shock your Betta. Once you get it down, stick to that percentage with your weekly changes.
     


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