Testing The Water (literally)

Discussion in 'Test Kits' started by Heavy Metal Lion, Aug 6, 2017.

  1. Heavy Metal LionValued MemberMember

    new to the hobby.
    working on lower my ammonia level. was at 4.0, 2 water changes later and it was down to aroun .5ppm
    today i went to buy a nitrite/nitrate test and they didn't have any of the liquid tests, so i had to get a test strip kit (it was closing time on sunday, not a lot of other options). I know that these are know to be inaccurate, but i at least wanted an idea of what is going on. these are the results (also see picture below)

    Nitrate: 20-40
    Nitrite: 3
    pH: about 7.0
    KH: ? maybe between 40-80, strip came out weird
    GH: 180

    this is a 10gal tank that is currently housing 6 neons and 1 otocinclus (it previously also housed 1 betta and 2 zebra danios, the betta and 1 danio died; 1 danio just rehomed).

    the nitrate and nitrite is too high, right? what can i do to fix this problem?

    Attached Files:

  2. Machine11Well Known MemberMember

    Water changes, water changes and more water changes...

    What water conditioner are you using? If using Prime, there are instructions on the bottle to use more for assistance during nitrite spikes but this isn't a long term solution.

    Water changes and a beneficial bacteria product like Stability are the best things at present

  3. Heavy Metal LionValued MemberMember

    i'm trying to get my hands on prime, since everyone on here swears by it, but its out at my nearby pet supply store.
    I'm currently using Tetra betta conditioner for my premixed water and then API quick start and stress coat.

  4. Racing1113Well Known MemberMember

  5. ahmad.echolsValued MemberMember

    Here is a link to a liquid test that i use. Pretty accurate results. Strip tests are known for being not accurate.  
  6. Racing1113Well Known MemberMember

    Also remind me how long you've had this tank up and running? I don't remember if I mentioned this to you before, but otocinclus should only be in a mature tank, i.e a tank that has been up for
    about 6 months so there's enough biofilm and algae.
  7. Heavy Metal LionValued MemberMember

    i've only had this tank up for about a month, but the plants and media came out of a smaller thank that had an algae outbreak so he still has a lot of food in there... but again, no one told me he needed a tank that established :(
  8. AllieStenFishlore VIPMember

    Hi there. Welcome to Fishlore.

    You need to keep your Ammonia between 0.25-0.5ppm at the most with fish in the tank. And your nitrites about the same. With the nitrites at 3 I would do a 90% water change now. Even though you already did 2 today, you need to do a larger volume of water changes. It is difficult to cycle with fish, without using Prime. I would order it off of Amazon. Get the large bottle. You will use it with every water change after you are cycled. It will last quite awhile, but worth having on hand. Might as well order the API Freshwater Master Test kit also. It's cheaper on Amazon than in the stores. You will be glad you have it.

    Okie dokie. Soooo here is the deal. Neon tetras don't tolerate cycling very well. You may lose one or more during this process. They aren't very hearty. They also prefer 20 gallon tanks. But I understand if you are doing the best you can. We have all been there with new tanks and cycling etc.

    If you can't get ahold of Prime, try to get some API ammo-lock. It will at least protect against the ammonia. (Prime protects against Ammonia, nitrites, & nitrates). It's a good secondary product to use.

    Follow this formula once you get Prime or Ammo-lock. It will help walk you through it.

    Ammonia + Nitrites = less than 1ppm add ammo-lock/Prime and QuickStart. Recheck parameters in 24 hours

    Ammonia + Nitrites = 1ppm or greater, do a 50% water change. Add ammolock/Prime and QuickStart. Recheck parameters in 24 hours

    Goal with water change is to get ammonia & nitrites down below 0.5ppm. So you may need to change more than 50% to achieve that.

    Prime dose for full tank volume is 0.1ml per gallon. Which is 1-2 drops per gallon. 10 gallon tank is 1ml.
  9. Heavy Metal LionValued MemberMember

    okay, so i have a 2.5 gal with an older filter that can be set up at any time. should i get that running and move the fish and clean everything in this stank since it's so unhealthy? or will that do them more harm than good?
  10. AllieStenFishlore VIPMember

    No, don't move them. Just do the water change. The 2.5 gallon is waaayyy too small for them. It will stress them out more. Once you get the levels down in the 10g, it will be fine.
  11. Heavy Metal LionValued MemberMember

    okay, so i was going through all the sample bottles that i've gotten with my different aquariums and i found Fluval biological enchancer "eliminates ammonia and nitrates" so i'm definitely going to give this ago
  12. AllieStenFishlore VIPMember

    This is just like API QuickStart. It is just bottled bacteria. It won't help anything. It doesn't protect against anything. Check the expiration date also. I wouldn't add it if it is expired.
  13. Racing1113Well Known MemberMember

    Ok perfect. Just keep an eye on it and make sure he doesn't run out. If he does you'll need to supplement with blanched veggies. I've only gotten mine to eat veggies once but hopefully you'll have better luck. Your goal is to keep your ammonia and nitrites as close to 0 as you can while you're cycling. If you ever see them at 1.0 or above immediately do as many water changes as you need to go bring them down. I'm sorry I didn't elaborate on that before.

    You'll get a ton of help now that @AllieSten is following this thread! She's one of the people on the forum that I turn to first :)
  14. toolmanWell Known MemberMember

    The Fluval biological enhancer is just a bottle of bacteria (like stability or tetra safe start) it reduces ammonia and nitrites by cycling your tank(takes time) . Prime and ammo lock detoxify ammonia and prime also detoxifies nitrites. So in your case you still need prime or ammo lock to make your aquarium safe for the fish now.

    As mentioned before Amazon is your best friend if you can't get these locally. You really need them.
  15. Heavy Metal LionValued MemberMember

    aww man, i thought i found a hidden gem :( thanks for the info.
  16. Heavy Metal LionValued MemberMember

    i was considering order from amazon, but i don't want my fish to have to wait. i know the petsmart in the next town over has Prime in stock, they just close early today and i wasn't able to make it in time, so i will get some tomorrow. do i need the seachem stability to?
    i really need to get the gravel clean, but the gravel vac i order from amazon is either too tall or i'm too incompetent to figure out how to work it, so i gotta figure that out...
  17. AllieStenFishlore VIPMember

    What kind of gravel vac do you have? I have found with my 10 gallon, it is more difficult the taller it is. I purchased this one, and it has worked the best so far. It has two different tips on it. One is quite short and works well for the 10 gallon tank.

    If you had a bigger tank, I would suggest getting a python water changer. They are the best, but overkill for a 10 gallon. Although Python does have a hand siphon that I've heard is excellent also.

    Amazon.com : Genuine TERAPUMP Aquarium Cleaner Aquarium Fish Tank Gravel Sand Cleaner with Long Nozzle N Water Flow Controller - BPA Free (model: TRFTCLN) : Pet Supplies

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