Water Chemistry Issue Help!

cara89

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Hi there
So i have an established 3.5 gallon with normal 7.0ph but my ammonia is .50 or 1? I'm not sure what is going on.
My water test
Kh 3~7
Gh 11 ~12
Nitrate is 0
Nitrites 0
Ph 7.0
Ammonia .50

I've buffered my kh a bit using baking soda as recommend in various places. And the tank ph is more stable but now the ammonia is very high. I noticed that a few plants leaves started dying or melting. So i checked and everything seemed ok till the ammonia test. Not sure what is wrong?

Ive also done water changes recently but to no avail.
fitz complete water conditioner which worked well for my tap water ammonia.
 

Discus-Tang

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It would appear you aren't cycled. What live inverts will you be putting in there?

I would also advise against baking soda as it causes pH swings and does not actually buffer the hardness.
 
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cara89

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Ugh. I cycled the tank?! Been setup since February. 1 betta and a bunch of plants. betta been sick with fin rot and I lost my snail end of march which is why I got the gh/kh test kit. I wanted to add another snail to the tank. Thatd not popossib if it wont hold a cycle. Unfortunately I have no where to put a 2nd tank while i cycle it. Id have to move the entire setup in one day and im not keen on that.

Also my tap is 1ppm of ammonia which i noticed is not being removed by anything i have on hand including the ammonia remover?
 

cody2posh

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cara89 said:
Ugh. I cycled the tank?! Been setup since February. 1 betta and a bunch of plants. betta been sick with fin rot and I lost my snail end of march which is why I got the gh/kh test kit. I wanted to add another snail to the tank. Thatd not popossib if it wont hold a cycle. Unfortunately I have no where to put a 2nd tank while i cycle it. Id have to move the entire setup in one day and im not keen on that.
Couple more questions - how long has the Betta been in the tank? Also what are you using that assured you the tank was cycled? Finally, did you ever treat the fish with any medicine that could've killed the bacteria in the tank, or had a water change where you maybe forgot to dechlorinate the water? Anything that harms the bacteria in the tank could easily cause a mini cycle or perhaps a totally new cycle altogether.

We just need more information to make an educated guess
 
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cara89

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Betta was added around beginning march end of February. i did a fishless fish food cycle which, unfortunately did the 1st crash when I added my betta. I did not get enough food into the tank. my fault. Tank restarted, more water changes and it stablized long enough that hydra started taking over which i treated with dog dewormer. More water changes later, hydra has gone and the tank was running good. During this time i got a snail and had it in plastic QT container for the whole month. Everything was going ok. Did more water changes before I added in the snail. Snail started dying, 2nd crash. That was sometime beginning of April. I attempted to save the snail but was to late. He never recovered. My kh/gh got here to late. Betta was doing good, dispite my hard time with water the plants and betta started doing good. But then he tore a fin and contracted black fin rot. I tried water changes but it did not improve. Soon all his fins turned dark. Tried artemiss which my lps recommend. After a few weeks he didn't improve. Someone recommended kanaplex by seachem. I tried two rounds. He didn't worsen but didn't improve. That ended over a week ago. My tank was clear and everything seemed good. Ammonia has been a constant issue throughout but never overly high after i figured out that my tap water was the problem. Which brings me to this week... I attempted to buffer the kh a little bit to stabilize my ph because for the entire length of the time ive had this the pH dropped to 6.6. even though my tap is 7.0+ . Within 8 hours after a water change it lowers to 6.6.
Now I'm guessing either the kanaplex or the baking soda but from my understanding neither of these things would reset my cycle? Or am I miss informed

AquaticJ said:
What kind of filter?
I have biomaxx hob filter.

cody2posh said:
Couple more questions - how long has the Betta been in the tank? Also what are you using that assured you the tank was cycled? Finally, did you ever treat the fish with any medicine that could've killed the bacteria in the tank, or had a water change where you maybe forgot to dechlorinate the water? Anything that harms the bacteria in the tank could easily cause a mini cycle or perhaps a totally new cycle altogether.

We just need more information to make an educated guess
Not to my knowledge. I always add in dechlorinator into the fresh water bucket and mix it up before ever putting in the tank.
 

cody2posh

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Okay so the best piece of advice I can give you is don't mess with the water so much! The constant water changes prevent the bacteria from becoming established, which was probably already weakened from the rounds of meds. All of this is going to ruin the slime coat on your fish which is basically the only protection they have against their ecosystem. Also the buildup of ammonia and constant water changes along with plant material can lower the pH, especially if the water doesn't have a buffer. Are you treating the water before changes?

Let the water sit, let the tank cycle. Feed as little as possible to avoid the ammonia building to levels which would require a change, do it ONLY if necessary. Recycle the tank and be careful about upsetting the water balance. You'll cultivate a biome unique to your tank, adapted to YOUR conditions. Your job is to keep the water stable in parameters the fish can tolerate so that these bacteria flourish and your Lil Guy will appreciate you more for it.
 
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cara89

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cody2posh said:
Okay so the best piece of advice I can give you is don't mess with the water so much! The constant water changes prevent the bacteria from becoming established, which was probably already weakened from the rounds of meds. All of this is going to ruin the slime coat on your fish which is basically the only protection they have against their ecosystem. Also the buildup of ammonia and constant water changes along with plant material can lower the pH, especially if the water doesn't have a buffer. Are you treating the water before changes?

Let the water sit, let the tank cycle. Feed as little as possible to avoid the ammonia building to levels which would require a change, do it ONLY if necessary. Recycle the tank and be careful about upsetting the water balance. You'll cultivate a biome unique to your tank, adapted to YOUR conditions. Your job is to keep the water stable in parameters the fish can tolerate so that these bacteria flourish and your Lil Guy will appreciate you more for it.

I agree and really don't try messing with it. At first i did a lot of changes but once it seemed to be ok, i let it go. I tried to up and level the ph to make water changes less dramatic with the ph difference. I was also concerned that his fin rot was due to the water quality being unhealthy. That said, he's still suffering from fin rot. Should I continue to do a treatment or just wait.
 

Discus-Tang

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cara89 said:
I agree and really don't try messing with it. At first i did a lot of changes but once it seemed to be ok, i let it go. I tried to up and level the ph to make water changes less dramatic with the ph difference. I was also concerned that his fin rot was due to the water quality being unhealthy. That said, he's still suffering from fin rot. Should I continue to do a treatment or just wait.
Treat with malachite green, I have used this and it did not effect my bb.

Also I would strongly recommend upgrading your betta to a 5 gallon. In anything les I have found that they just don't have enough room for swimming.
 
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cara89

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I prefer to use treatment that do not kill plants and doesnt stain the plastic. i don't have an established qt tank or the room for it.. I was going to try metroplex since kanaplex did not work to well.

He actually seems to like his tank. The couple time ive tried to put him in a container for a dip he panic and jumped. So i just put him back and besides being freaked for a minute seemed to calm down. So i guess hes ok with my tank setup..
15263941674941269433892.jpg
 

cody2posh

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The thing about fin rot is that it usually will resolve on it's own as soon as the fish's immune system is back on par. I breed guppies and believe me, those things end up with fin rot all the time, whether it's males getting into disputes, females getting harassed by males, **** sometimes the females are even nipping. Never at other fish, just other guppies, but you get the idea.

I'd really try to focus on getting the pH stable along with the other water parameters before doing too much more about the fin rot, otherwise any time it starts to heal, the water is just going to promote reinfection.

Try getting the water and setting it aside for a couple days before your next water change. Give it some time to sit and stabilize out of the tap. Also I ALWAYS use SeaChem Neutral Regulator with my pwcs. It contains buffers that will either raise or lower pH to 7.0, as well as conditions the water, removes chlorine and ammonia, softens the water, the stuff absolutely rocks!

But yeah ime fix the water and the fin rot fixes itself, just try to live by the rule "less is more" when messing with water parameters
 
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