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Old 03-17-2015, 01:59 PM   #1
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Ammonia Levels not changing

I have a 55 gallon freshwater tank and I have the API XL Cannister filter. I opted to cycle my tank with fish and i used 5 zebra danios until all levels stabilized. The tank has been up about 3 months. All the fish are living fine and well with no problems. I have
2 Black Mollies
2 Zebra Mollies
1 White Molly
1 Crescent Molly
5 Zebra Danios
5 Red Tetra
1 Opaline Gourami
1 Rainbow Shark

All the fish have been fine but my API water test kit for the past month has been showing me levels of ammonia between 1 and 2. It has also said 0 for nitrates and nitrites. I do 10% water changes 3 times a week and a 25% water change on the weekend. Can someone tell me what im doing wrong?
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Old 03-17-2015, 02:37 PM   #2
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Hi coniglio:

Those readings, if accurate, suggest that your tank is not cycled. Have you tested your tap water for ammonia? Do you condition your water to remove chlorine/chloramine? Did you do any significant maintenance to your filer (e.g. changing out or aggressively cleaning media)?

-Yorg

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Originally Posted by coniglio View Post
I have a 55 gallon freshwater tank and I have the API XL Cannister filter. I opted to cycle my tank with fish and i used 5 zebra danios until all levels stabilized. The tank has been up about 3 months. All the fish are living fine and well with no problems. I have
2 Black Mollies
2 Zebra Mollies
1 White Molly
1 Crescent Molly
5 Zebra Danios
5 Red Tetra
1 Opaline Gourami
1 Rainbow Shark

All the fish have been fine but my API water test kit for the past month has been showing me levels of ammonia between 1 and 2. It has also said 0 for nitrates and nitrites. I do 10% water changes 3 times a week and a 25% water change on the weekend. Can someone tell me what im doing wrong?
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Old 03-17-2015, 03:13 PM   #3
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Thank you for responding Yorg. Yes I condition my tap water every time before I put it in the tank and I have checked to make sure there is no ammonia in my tap water. But to be sure besides adding a dechlorinator to the water before i add it. Is there something else i should be using besides the dechlorinator. And i cleaned my canister about a week and a half ago. I cleaned all the filter pads but i didn't touch the media itself because i figured it needs to keep all its beneficial bacteria.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Yorg View Post
Hi coniglio:

Those readings, if accurate, suggest that your tank is not cycled. Have you tested your tap water for ammonia? Do you condition your water to remove chlorine/chloramine? Did you do any significant maintenance to your filer (e.g. changing out or aggressively cleaning media)?

-Yorg
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Old 03-17-2015, 05:00 PM   #4
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Do you use gravel or sand? If it's gravel there may be something berried under it messing with the water


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Old 03-17-2015, 10:13 PM   #5
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Hi coniglio:

It sounds like you're doing everything right. I'm at a loss to explain your ammonia levels. The only thing I can suggest at this point is to switch to the Seachem product Prime as your water conditioner. In addition to dealing with the chlorine, Prime will also neutralize the ammonia so that it doesn't poison the fishes (the ammonia will still be in the water, just in a form that's less toxic to the fish).

I suppose you could try a bacterial additive like Tetra SafeStart to see if you can get the cycle going and finished. SafeStart is okay to use with fish in the tank. Folks on the forum have reported pretty good results from it.

You could also try adding some additional aeration to the tank; the nitrifying bacteria like well-aerated water.

What is your ph? A low ph can sometimes stall or delay a cycle.

The only other thing I can think of to try would be a substantial water change (about 50%). That will sometimes kick-start a stalled cycle.

-Yorg

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Originally Posted by coniglio View Post
Thank you for responding Yorg. Yes I condition my tap water every time before I put it in the tank and I have checked to make sure there is no ammonia in my tap water. But to be sure besides adding a dechlorinator to the water before i add it. Is there something else i should be using besides the dechlorinator. And i cleaned my canister about a week and a half ago. I cleaned all the filter pads but i didn't touch the media itself because i figured it needs to keep all its beneficial bacteria.
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Old 03-17-2015, 10:36 PM   #6
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I have the same problem. 55gal tank. Been set up since end of December 2014. My ammonia is showing between 1 .0 and 2.0. Nitrates and Nitrites are where they are supposed to be. I've used the ammonia remover, i've added the bacteria supplement, vacuumed the gravel, and done water changes. I have well water so I know there is no ammonia or chlorine in my tap. Also cannot get my pH up. Its below 6.0. My fish seem happy and are doing well and my water is crystal clear.
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Old 03-17-2015, 10:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coniglio View Post
Thank you for responding Yorg. Yes I condition my tap water every time before I put it in the tank and I have checked to make sure there is no ammonia in my tap water. But to be sure besides adding a dechlorinator to the water before i add it. Is there something else i should be using besides the dechlorinator. And i cleaned my canister about a week and a half ago. I cleaned all the filter pads but i didn't touch the media itself because i figured it needs to keep all its beneficial bacteria.

When you cleaned the pads did you use tap water? If so that would explain the ammonia levels. Basically you didn't kill your cycle, you just reduced the amount of bacteria. Henceforth the bacteria that remains can not support the bioload and has to build back up. Explaining the ammonia readings. If you used tank water, well I'm back to the drawing board..


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Old 03-20-2015, 07:48 AM   #8
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Whats your ph?
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