Will Ammonia Ever Go Away???

FreedomGuppy

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Hi everyone. I've made multiple mistakes as a newbie, but I'm trying to figure this out. I got a 10 gal tank with a heater the beginning of March and added 3 guppies in 2-3 days. o_O In the past 2 months I've had a total of 9 guppies (not all at once) and I'm down to 2. I had the paper test strips and finally got the liquid kit. My ammonia tested out at 1.0. I did a water change and since then, it's been .5 for the past two and a half weeks. (with daily water changes) No nitrates or nitrites. Ph has been a little high, but I'm using regular drinking water to get that lowered. One guppy, Shaggy (who I've had from the beginning) doesn't seem real interested in eating a lot lately and hangs out at the top. I separated the two after the little one, George was biting Shaggy's tail. I'm guessing the ammonia is my problem, but will it ever go down?? 2.5 weeks of daily water changes is rough!! Also, another stupid thing I did before finding this forum is I changed the filter cartridge after the first month. I was also probably overfeeding them.
 

OscarHoya

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I was in the same boat for my 10 gallon. It doesn't sound like your tank has cycled. I had high ammonia tests with low nitrite and nitrate. to me that meant that there wasn't any good beneficial bacteria yet. I bought Seachem Prime and added my own homemade bio filter with K1 to get things going. Next thing you know my ammonia went away but my nitrite when sky high. Now I'm doing 25% changes every few days adding Seachem and my nitrite is slowly coming down.

I also bought a used 55 gallon tank yesterday. I'm convinced that it's harder to manage a 10 gallon tank than a larger tank in terms of the cycle. We will see...
 
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FreedomGuppy

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I've been using Prime and recently added Stability. I was also adding Top Fin Readistart Nitrifying Bacteria Starter and Stress coat. I've added Stress coat after Shaggy's tail got mangled by George. It's just very frustrating and I've come close to giving up. Started this whole thing 2 months ago, but due to my lack of knowledge I've set myself back. Good to know I'm not the only one!
 

GuppyDazzle

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I advocate cycling without all the cycle starter additives. I've cycled lots of tanks, and always used fish-in, with 25% water changes every other day, using Prime to condition the replacement water, along with testing with an API Master Test Kit on the days there weren't water changes. Everything always went smoothly, and the tanks were completely cycled in five or six weeks with no loss of fish. You could accomplish the same thing fishless by adding pure ammonia.

These are the reasons I avoid cycle additives. Not scientific, but clues in my opinion.

1. When you look at the people on this forum who have trouble getting their tanks cycled, it's about 100% are using cycle starters.

2. If you're cycling a tank, and you don't have a continuing source of ammonia available, your cycle will stop working. I don't understand how bacteria in a bottle is supposed to stay alive after the bacteria have consumed what ammonia there is in the additive.

3. With a 25% water change every other day, the ammonia was allowed to form, but not spike. This allowed the bb to grow and establish a colony.

4. My understanding of the cycle starters is they recommend less frequent water changes of higher percentage. Many also have other conditioning additives, which can interfere with the natural cycle.

5. I believe in adding only the minimum necessary in terms of cycling, medication, salt, etc. I think the desire to "make" something happen with the water often gets in the way of letting nature take its course. I see lots of people dumping in whatever is within arms reach whenever a problem arises.

6. I believe the best outcome from some of these additives is that they will mask some of the symptoms rather than solving the problem.

My two cents, and worth every penny.
 

GuppyDazzle

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You'll find people who have had success with Stability, but my opinion is not to use it and just let nature take its course. Moderate water changes every other day, and test the water frequently to make sure you're not seeing any spikes.
 
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FreedomGuppy

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WhoKnows said:
You'll find people who have had success with Stability, but my opinion is not to use it and just let nature take its course. Moderate water changes every other day, and test the water frequently to make sure you're not seeing any spikes.
Sounds good. Thank you!!
 
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