Wierd test results.....opinions?

MissMTS
  • #1
My first 3 tanks that I set up were completely cycled as of 6 weeks ago. Ammonia was at 0, Nitrite was at 0, and Nitrates were between 5 and 10. I was a bad girl and when work got busy and I was working 80 hours a week this past month, I didn't have time to do all of my routine water tests (all of my water changes and tank maintinace was done diligently though). I did tests on the tanks that were still cycling to make sure that they were okay, but I assumed that as long as I kept up on the water changes on the cycled tanks they would be fine. I did a 75 percent water change on each of my tanks yesterday and I tested the water today. My readings are in my Aquarium Info. Each of the tanks had a ammonia spike and I am not sure what caused it. Here is what I am thinking:

Aquarium 1: 40 Gallon
I took out almost all of my adult cichlids and replaced them with some baby yellow labs, so the density of the fish in the tank has dramatically decreased. The presence of ammonia in the tank really confused me. There is only one possible thing that I can think of: My kitten didn't realize that the top was off of the tank a few days ago when I was rearranging plants and he jumped into the water. I pulled him out right away of course but is it possible that something that was on him could have caused ammonia to be present in the tank?

Aquarium 2: 29 Gallon
I am thinking that the ammonia is due to the bn pleco that I recently added. Ammonia spikes can happen when fish are added so I am assuming that this tank will just balance itself out.

Aquarium 3: 29 Gallon
I originally had this tank stocked with tetras and cories and the tank was overstocked a little bit. I moved the tetras to other tanks and I put the cichlids in with the cories. There is exactly 29 inches of fish in the tank right now (less because they are not yet at their adult sizes) and ammonia has appeared in the tank. The only thing that I could think of is that the cichlids are possibly producing more wastes than the tetras did, even though the tank was much more heavily stocked before hand.

Please let me know what you think about this. I was a little confused, but I am hoping that the ammonia will just cycle and the tank will go back to normal.
 
SereneReyn
  • #2
have you tested your water straight out of the tap lately?
 
kra-z-fishmumm
  • #3
Just one thought, you made too large of a water change. The biggest change I hear suggested on the forum is 50%. Also, did you change the filter or rinse it in tap water? always rinse in old tank water.
 
sunstrip
  • #4
have you tested your water straight out of the tap lately?

My thoughts exactely..I know in my area...they don't use Chlorine anymore...they use Chloramine...FISH KILLER...not to mention....for peeps with heart conditions...PEOPLE KILLER !...WAY too many Nitites !

Use RO water and add Freshwater RO Right....but only use half of what they recommend on the label...using the whole dose will raise the salts too much.
 
MissMTS
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Our tap water always has ammonia in it, but the dechlorinator usually binds up the ammonia and it does not effect the tanks water conditions. Also, I did water changes on all 9 of my tanks. If the ammonia from the tap was going to effect the tanks conditions after I added the dechlorinater it would have shown up in all of my tanks, not just three.

I did not rinse my filters this time around and when I do I always rinse them in tank water.

I don't think that a 75 percent water change is to much because due to the amount of waste that the fish produce (especially cichlids), they need as much fresh water as possible. Fresh water can only promote the health of the fish and once the tank is cycled, I have never heard of water changes messing up the biological filtration or good bacteria in the tank. The bacteria covers the surface of the gravel and biological filtration media within the filter which should not be effected by a water change. I know that there are others that have different oppinions when it comes to water changes, but they have done nothing but help my tanks and promote the health of my fish in the past.
 
kra-z-fishmumm
  • #6
was just a thought. My ammonia always go wacky if I do more than a 50% water change, I'm on well water/w water softener, so maybe that's why it affects mine that way.
 
sirdarksol
  • #7
Is there any tap in your house that isn't treated by the water softener? Water softeners replace the minerals with salt, which is just as bad, or worse, for the fish.
 
sunstrip
  • #8
Ya hit the nail on the head with water changes....BUT...there are very few dechlorinators (water conditioners) that affect anything in city water with Chloramines in it...especially if the conditioner uses binders...if your tap water shows Ammonia and Nitrites...use something else...take my word on that one....if you go to the water site of my county...they have a huge warning not to use the tap water for aquariums....after reading this...I started testing all the bottled water in my area...they ALL had Nitite readings..all be it low...but none the less..they where there....that's why I changed to RO water...I control what's in it....just my opinion though.
 
sunstrip
  • #9
Forgot to mention...if your county is not using Chloramine...and you test for Ammonia...my dear...your water supply is polluted...DONT DRINK IT !!!! And I'm very serious about that !!!
 
SunnyC
  • #10
Here's the link to our local water supply that Sunstrip was talking about...
 
sunstrip
  • #11
was just a thought. My ammonia always go wacky if I do more than a 50% water change, I'm on well water/w water softener, so maybe that's why it affects mine that way.

See my previous post !!!! Drinking water SHOULD NOT have ammonia in it !!!!...seriously !!!!
 
MissMTS
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
Maybe I will try using RO water. I can get it at my LFS. How much do I use? I also am worried about my african cichlids because they like a high pH and hard water. Should I use a percentage of RO water a percentage out of the tap? I don't ever drink the tap water. We buy bottled water. I am sure glad that we have always done that because I didn't find out about the ammonia in our tap until about 2 months ago
 
sunstrip
  • #13
If you use half RO and Bottled...you should be fine...I am definitely not an expert on adjusting water for fish...as most RO is neutral....and I am never concerned about PH...most fish will adjust as long as it stays the same and doesn't shift too much (the nice thing about RO..it's always the same)...that's one of the benefits if the RO Right...it raises your KH (buffering)...which will stabilize your PH...you can also use baking soda to raise PH and KH..but start in small doses on that one...it can swing your PH big time...and that ain't good...don't use chemicals..they are useless.
 
MissMTS
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
This is my only concern..... I have 1 40 gallon tank. 4 29 gallon tanks, 2 10 gallon tanks, and 2 2.5 gallon tanks. That is a LOT of gallons of water to purchase on a weekly basis. If I do a 50 percent water change each week I will have to buy and transport almost 100 gallons of water. Eeeeeeeek! Any suggestions on how to make this work?
 
sunstrip
  • #15
I understand completely....hence the reason I went out and bought a undersink RO unit (4 stage)...about $265 at Home Depot....paid for itself in a few months in water changes...not to mention the fact of my families health and having to replace my dam coffee machine every 6 months !
 
MissMTS
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
I am in an apartment right now. Is this something that they would let me install or would I have to take apart the sink?
 
sunstrip
  • #17
Nope...super easy to install...all the connections are quick connect fittings...no big modifications to be made...except maybe an extra hole in your sink for the tap...but there are ways around that (extra hole that is)...don't bother to tell the landlord...if you ever leave the apartment and take it out...you'll only have to do a small cap off..and if you decide to make an extra hole in your sink...they make covers for that...they will never know you had it...no biggie.
 
MissMTS
  • Thread Starter
  • #18
Sounds good
 

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