So Confuzzled

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mollylovers

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This is a re-posting of what we put on the nitrogen cycle page.  Didn't get many answers there so thought we would try here as there appears to be more traffic.  Sorry if this is not kosher.

Hey everyone, its been a while since our last post.  Here is the story now.  Molly has gotten over her fin and tail rot, and the clarity of the tank in better than the day filled it with tap water.  She is really happy and swims like she is really enjoying her new home.  We are feeding her good food.  We recently got an API water test kit when we were in Toronto.  Got home thinking we have finally cycled this beast and lo and behold we got these readings.

Ammonia= 4.0
Nitrite= .25
Nitrate= 0
Ph= 7.5

That day we did a 50% water change and retested the water and no change.  We did a 30% the following day and no change.  Again a 30% waited a day and today we have these readings.

Ammonia= 4.0
Nitrite=0
Nitrate=0
Ph= 7.5

SO whats going on here?  We have insanely high ammonia levels even after the water changes.  They just do not drop at all.  This makes no sense.  We don't have gravel so we know that the food and waste are not sitting on the bottom so that cant really be what is causing the problem no?  I know that you will say keep doing the water changes but we feel like this will only result in the same conclusion.  So any ideas?  We have had this tank for 2 months already and expected to be at least somewhat into the nitrogen cycle not at the very start!

Thanks for your help.
 

chickadee

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What kind of filter are you using? You say that you do not have gravel in the tank and I am wondering what you do have. The gravel is like a second bacteria bed and I do not know just off hand if there is a difference in the cycling of a tank without gravel. What method did you use to cycle your tank, did you let the fish do it or did it go through a fishless cycle?

It is really good that you are testing but I do not have any idea just now of why you are still having high readings...one thought, try to test your tap water for ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates and see if you have "natural" ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. I know that they are present in water in a lot of locations, but only you can find out what the local water is like. (our system runs lethal levels of nitrate during the summer months, so I know that TAP water can be terrible. )

I am so sorry that the answers have been slow, it has really been a busy time and as much as we wish it did not happen, questions do get lost in the shuffle. I will try to keep an eye out to check on this post.

Rose
 
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mollylovers

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Thank you for the response. We have tested our tap water and got back low leves of ammonium. Do you think we should add a bit of gravel to the tank? We just prefer the look of not having gravel on the bottom. We did a populated cycle. We firstly had two fish and one died, then we moved from a 5 gallon to a 10 gallon tank. Anyway, thanks again for the response.
 

Gunnie

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Okay, so it appears you have ammonia already present in your tap water before adding it to your tank. Try using amquel plus as your water conditioner. Your API test kit will accurately show if your ammonia level goes down using the amquel plus. Amquel plus will neutralize your ammonia and nitrites, but they will still be available to your bacteria for consumption. If your water supply continues to show ammonia in it, you may have to use the amquel plus as your normal water conditioner. You could also try adding some live plants to the tank. They will help consume some of the ammonia and nitrites along with nitrates in the tank.
 
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