Please Help 29 Gallon Tank

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by carmine_96, Mar 25, 2010.

  1. carmine_96

    carmine_96New MemberMember

    Hello all,
    I currently have a problem with my 29 gallon freshwater tank. It has been running for about 2 months now and I've always had problems with ammonia so i have been doing water changes twice a week. I am currently housing 6 gold barbs and 5 cherry barbs. About 3 weeks ago when i tested the water i found the ammonia reading to be 2.0 and the pH to be 6 or lower. Is this bad? Has this happened to anyone here before? Can anyone help with this problem?
    Thanks in advance.
  2. redlessi

    redlessiWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to Fishlore!!!!

    Do you use prime for your water conditioner? If not I would suggest you get some as it will also detoxify the ammonia. I would also suggest you up the water changes to every other day until you get the ammonia to 0.

    Are you familiar with the nitrogen cycle? It sounds like your tank never completed the cycle. If you click on the link, it is very informative.

    What are you using to test your water with? Test strips are not that accurate. Most member on the forum use the API freshwater test kit.

    Good Luck........
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2010
  3. navyscuba

    navyscubaWell Known MemberMember

    If you are using test strips I would trow them away as they don't work. Like said above suggest API master test kit. Did you put all the fish at once or did you added them slowly? Sometimes when you add fish at once it affects the cycle since the bioload is higher than before. Increase water changes. And do readings before and after water changes.
  4. OP

    carmine_96New MemberMember

    I do not use the test strips, I use the API liquid test kit. I also did not add all the fish at one. I first started with 2 gold barbs and 2 cherry barbs, then I decided i would like more so after a month i got the others. For water changes I use a water conditioner, the brand is Aqueon and i will now start doing partial water changes every other day as redlessi has said.
  5. Jrobber

    JrobberWell Known MemberMember

    Perhaps adding a bottle of Tetra SafeStart can help with ammonia problem. How often are you feeding your fish?

    What's the pH of your tap water, if that is what you use for water changes?
  6. navyscuba

    navyscubaWell Known MemberMember

    How old is your test kit? API have expiration dates. Have you pulled you filter media out to do maintenance or vacuum the the entire tank at once? The only thing that comes to me is a mini cycle but other than that keep your water changes. :;th
  7. jdhef

    jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    Did you cycle the tank before adding fish?

    Any amount of ammonia in the tank will cause damage to your fish. One thing to note though is that at a ph below 7 ammonia turns into ammonium, which is less toxic to fish.

    I would recommend that you do daily 50% water changes using Prime as your water conditioner. The Prime will detox ammonia and nitrites for 24 hours, when you will be doing your next water change.

    When you have zero ammonia and zero nitrites and some nitrates (say above 5) you are cycled and can stop the daily water changes.
  8. OP

    carmine_96New MemberMember

    The pH of my tap water is 7.6. My test kit is only a month old so im pretty sure it is not expired. I have never done any maintenance on my undergravel filter or my over the edge filter but every time i do water changes i vacuum the gravel. I dont think the tank has ever completed the cycle. I will do my next water change tomorrow after i get some prime and a bottle of tetra safe start. Oh and I feed my fish once a day. Thanks guys for all the info.
  9. AngelFishLuv1

    AngelFishLuv1New MemberMember

    im not a fan of tetra safe start. i've been using nutrafin bio cycle for years with wonderful results. its sounds like your tank didnt cycle before you added fish. changing to much of the water at once will shock the cycle, your fish and make it take longer for your tank to establish itself. if possible move your fish to a quarantine tank, use the water from your 29 gallon to fill it. change 50% of the water and treat with nutrafin biocycle. let your tank cycle for at least 3 days. check your levels, and if there's still a lot of ammonia, nitrite's, or nitrate's, treat with AmQuel Plus. And Ph up or down drops will fix your Ph problem. Always treat only the amount of water your adding, and not the whole tank in water changes. AmQuel plus is an amazing product, i've always had luck with. let it cycle for another day or two, then slowly add your fish back.
  10. mosin360

    mosin360Well Known MemberMember

    Going from 7.6 in your tap to 6 in the tank sounds really strange. Do you have anything in your tank that naturally changes the ph like driftwood, coral, ect?

    Also, it's really a bad idea to use chemicals to change your ph as it could radically change on each water change or if you skip a water change or ect ect.... You won't find many members who recommend it.
  11. OP

    carmine_96New MemberMember

    Sadly i dont have a quarantine tank. Is there anything i use instead of a tank? It really is strange how the pH goes from 7.6 to 6. There is nothing in my tank that would change pH well, i dont think. I have a fake rock, fake driftwood, and fake plants.
  12. potatos

    potatosValued MemberMember

    is that bad to do? i do it weekly...
  13. jdhef

    jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    SafeStart is a great product if used properly.

    1. When using SafeStart do not use it until at least 24 hours after using Prime or Amquel+ or any other water conditioner that detoxes ammonia and/or nitrites.

    2. Do enough water changes to get your ammonia and nitrite levels as close to zero as possible. SafeStart was designed to be put into a new tank that has no ammonia or nitrites at the same time you add two or three fish. Too much ammonia will overwhelm the bacteria that SafeStart contains.

    3. Use the entire bottle of SafeStart, you can't overdose, but you can underdose.

    Good Luck!
  14. jdhef

    jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    With all respect, I'm not a fan of Cycle. It contains terrestrial based bacteria that dies off after a week or so in an aquatic environment. That is why you need to continually add it to your tank.

    SafeStart on the other hand contains aquatic bacteria that is self sustaining, hence you only add it once. Using SafeStart is the equivilent of using established filter media in your filter.
  15. AngelFishLuv1

    AngelFishLuv1New MemberMember

    Thanks. i didnt know that about nutrafin. I always had really good luck with it to get an aquarium started.
  16. OP

    carmine_96New MemberMember

    Thanks for the great info John! Good news, i just did a 50% water change and got the ammonia down to 1, pH is still 6 though.
  17. jdhef

    jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    I'm not 100% sure that SafeStart is as effective with a low ph. I think Shawnie (another member and moderator in case you are not familiar with her yet) knows a bit more about that. Hopefully she see's this and adds her input.
  18. bolivianbaby

    bolivianbabyFishlore LegendMember

    I can't comment on SafeStart in regards to PH, but any level below 6.0 prevents the nitrogen cycle from occuring. The nitrifying bacteria cannot survive below 6.0 or above 9.0. I have safely increased my PH by using crushed coral. With PH between 6-7, the ammonia is actually ammonium, which is not as toxic as ammonia, but still not good.

    I hope this helps.