Newbie w/Water Quality Question

  • Thread starter

lisab53

New Member
Messages
33
Reaction score
0
Points
156
Hello Everyone,

I recently setup a 20 gallon long aquarium. I used the product Bio Spria to getting going more quickly. After a few days of adding the Bio Spria I introduced three small fantailed goldies to the tank. I have several test kits, both regents and dip sticks, that I have trouble reading the results with. I can't seem to decide which color on the charts the test matches up to. I put the Mardel ammonia reader in the tank and it shows caution all the time. Even after water changes it remains the same. So I took my tap water and started testing it. The water company says they us Chlorine so I drew my water for water changes and treated it. I took the ammonia test kit and tested the bucket of water. Still test high for ammonia. I than drew another bucket and treated it for chloramine, tested for ammonia and it still reads high. By the way by high I mean it shows 1.0 I stopped at the pet store and they sold me tetra ammonia remover and I treated a new bucket of water with that. I than tested for ammonia and got an even higher reading. I read online that unless you have a salicylate based test kit that you will get a false positive for ammonia. So, I went and bought a salicylate based ammonia test kit and guess what? That bucket still test high for ammonia. Is there anyway to get my tap water to be free of ammonia?

My tank is clear and my fish are doing great. My father has a well and set his tank up with well water. I tested his water from the tap and it of course is ammonia free and my first thought was to bring home water from his place to do my partial 25% water changes. Thought I had my problem solved however with further testing I find my ph level at about 7.5 and dad's well water is a whole lot less, around 6.0. I am not good with math and science but wondered if it is possible to do very small water changes every few days with the well water and gradually get the ph down that way. I also tested the spring water I buy and the ph was very low on that also. I had thought about using the spring water for my partial water change.

Any thoughts,
Lisa
 

Isabella

Fishlore VIP
Messages
5,250
Reaction score
37
Points
358
Experience
5 years
What test / testing kit do you use?
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter

lisab53

New Member
Messages
33
Reaction score
0
Points
156
My testers for ammonia are the liquid regents in a kit from API and the other one is mounted in the tank and is from Mardel. The rest of my kit for nitrites and nitrates is also API but is the test srips. My ph kit is from Tetra and also the drip strips. I must admit I really have trouble reading these things. I am always torn between which to colors mine matches closest too. I wish there was a test that gave you a digital read out.

Lisa
 

felixfefe

New Member
Messages
47
Reaction score
0
Points
156
I wish that too! A test where you just plonk the thing in the water, pull it out and read the results digitally! Simple!
D@mn these eyes and thier innability to judge those also d@mned test strips! Surely there must be some sort of device that performs this task though!! Does ANYONE know of such a thing?
 

Gunnie

Well Known Member
Messages
2,671
Reaction score
2
Points
198
Hi Lisa!  Welcome to FishLore!  

If you added the bio spira 3 days before adding any fish, it probably didn't survive because it had no ammonia to feed on.  Bio spira is meant to be added when there are fish in the tank.  Hopefully you will tell me you had some other ammonia source?

You probably have an ammonia reading now because your tank is not cycled.  Goldfish are very messy fish, and produce a lot of waste.  The general rule for goldfish is 20 gallons for the 1st fish, and 10 additional gallons for each additional fish.  At the very least, it should be 10 gallons per goldfish.  Your tank will require extra attention because it is overstocked.  If possible, try and get at least a 40 gallon tank for your babies ASAP.  The maintenance will be much easier on you, and your fishies will be happier.  Goldfish also can get quite large, and the 20 gallon would be much more suitable for fish that don't get as big as adults, like most tetras, cory catifish, mollies, platys, even rainbowfish.  The possibilities are quite large for a 20 gallon tank.     I have never used that tetra product for ammonia problems. What has worked for me in the past is Amquel plus. Make sure it's the plus type. It will help neutralize the ammonia and nitrites, but will still make it available to your bacteria for consumption. If you have the ammonia test that goes from yellow to green, then you will not get a false positive using the amquel plus. I also agree with you on smaller water changes to change the ph slowly to your father's well water ph. However, your ammonia issue is more of a priority right now, and larger water changes are necessary, so I would not worry about changing your water source until your tank is cycled for your fishies sake. They may not survive the high ammonia levels they might be subjected to with the smaller water changes. The amquel plus will help you with the ammonia right now, but you will still need to do a lot of water changes because your fish are continuing to produce ammonia in your tank. Hang in there!
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter

lisab53

New Member
Messages
33
Reaction score
0
Points
156
I had no other source of ammonia. I was going to follow the instructions the pet store gave my father on starting his tank. That was fill the tank and run filter for one week and add one or two small fish. So I set mine up and had the filter running for about five days. I happen to stop at a fish store to look around at their goldies and as I talked to the store owner he told me I could speed it up by adding the bio spria that day and 24 hours later I could put some fish in.

My tank looks good and I keep testing the water. My nitrite has been at 1 and the nitrate at 40 for eight days now. I have done several pwc. The fish seem to be doing well. I have a friend with a corner tank I believe is 30 gallons and she wants to sell it so I am looking around the house to see if there is somewhere I could put it. I would like to get another tank so I can split my fish up.

I am enjoying watching them and reading up on them online. Now if I buy this used tank, I'll have a whole lot more questions about getting it ready for my fish.

Thanks for the Welcome and Amquel Plus recommendation.

Lisa
 

jj

New Member
Messages
44
Reaction score
0
Points
156
Most people I know continue to buy one lot of testing products after another. It is appauling that in reality not many of them are acurate. I can't even find use by dates on them. My tank has been cycled for a few weeks now, yet I get a high ammonia reading every day....which leads to another water change. At the end of the day though, my fish are healthy and show no signs of stress. Sometimes I wonder if I am the one stressing too much, maybe just leaving the tank alone for a while will sort the problem out. Obviously though because of the ammonia reading we have to do the water change?? It is a bit of a 'cycle' isn't it? ;D
I think the only ones not stressing are the companies who sell these products. All the little dollars we pay out every other week would be better spent paying for the expensive one that really does do the trick. So at the end of the day....which one is the best?
 

Gunnie

Well Known Member
Messages
2,671
Reaction score
2
Points
198
jj said:
Most people I know continue to buy one lot of testing products after another.  It is appauling that in reality not many of them are acurate. I can't even find use by dates on them.  My tank has been cycled for a few weeks now, yet I get a high ammonia reading every day....which leads to another water change.  At the end of the day though, my fish are healthy and show no signs of stress. Sometimes I wonder if I am the one stressing too much, maybe just leaving the tank alone for a while will sort the problem out.  Obviously though because of the ammonia reading we have to do the water change??  It is a bit of a 'cycle' isn't it? ;D
I think the only ones not stressing are the companies who sell these products.  All the little dollars we pay out every other week would be better spent paying for the expensive one that really does do the trick. So at the end of the day....which one is the best?
The Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Master Test Kit is what you will see most recommended on the forums. It's economical to use and accurate.
 
Toggle Sidebar

Aquarium Calculator

Follow FishLore!





Top Bottom