Trouble With Ammonia Levels

kinsey12345

Hi! Im pretty new to keeping bettas and i posted last week about a rescue betta that my work got. It was being kept in a small bowl so I did not have time to let the tank i set up complete the nitrogen cycle before putting the fish in, so we are currently doing a fish-in cycle with a 5 gallon tank. I have been testing the ammonia levels everyday and adding Prime everyday. I have also been doing 50% water changes every other day. However, the ammonia levels have been around 0.25-0.5 since day 1 and I’m not sure if this is normal for a fish-in cycle or not? or how to fix it? The nitrite levels are testing 0 and nitrate is testing about 15-20 ppm. Any suggestions?
 

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ChrissFishes01

It wouldn't be uncommon for low levels of ammonia and/or nitrite to be present during a lot of the cycling process.

The API Ammonia test kit is pretty bad for having false positives on the low-end - a lot of kits will read 0.25 ammonia no matter what you do. Plus, Prime has a tendency to mess with test kit readings, if I remember correctly.

Is there any foam collecting at the surface of the water? The presence of ammonia can cause water to have a bunch of suds on top, kind of like dish water.
 
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kinsey12345

It wouldn't be uncommon for low levels of ammonia and/or nitrite to be present during a lot of the cycling process.

The API Ammonia test kit is pretty bad for having false positives on the low-end - a lot of kits will read 0.25 ammonia no matter what you do. Plus, Prime has a tendency to mess with test kit readings, if I remember correctly.

Is there any foam collecting at the surface of the water? The presence of ammonia can cause water to have a bunch of suds on top, kind of like dish water.
Thank you for your reply! That’s good to hear, I’m not seeing any foam or suds of any kind in the tank so that’s a relief!
 
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mattgirl

Have you run the tests on the water you are using to do the water changes? Since you are seeing nitrates this high this early in the cycling process I have to think you will find them in your source water. It is also possible this low ammonia reading is also coming from your source water.
 
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kinsey12345

I will go test that quick! That sounds probable. Thank you!
 
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Ruckus08

I am having the exact same readings with the same test for my 29 gallon w/ 4 zebra Danios for a live cycling. Everyday for the past 3 days .25 to .5 for ammonia, 0 nitrites and 5-10 nitrate.
 
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