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Old 01-11-2017, 11:39 AM   #1
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Newbie trying to get tank started

We set up our 20G tank over a month ago. Water was testing fine so we bought 3 black skirt tetras, and a dwarf frog 6 days ago. We picked up a snail 2 days ago.

We have been getting amonia readings of 0.5 to 1 the last few days. Our PH has always been high and we were told by pet smart that it should be fine. I feel leary of this. Anyways did a 50 percent water change and vacuumed the gravel 4 days ago. The amonia reading was better but yesterday i was getting a reading of 0.5 to 1. I know I need to give the tank a bit of time to cycle the new water. Not sure what to do from here. Any help would be great!
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Old 01-11-2017, 02:46 PM   #2
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Have you got any plants. They help to balance things out x
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Old 01-11-2017, 02:47 PM   #3
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No but we could get some. I would just buy them and place in tank?
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Old 01-11-2017, 03:05 PM   #4
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I haven't quite mastered the art of keeping plants to be honest. They are quite difficult to maintain. I just bought cheap ones to begin with until I got used to the water parameters and up keep of the fish. I am now trying to get my head around plants, lighting and substrate etc. Sorry I can't advise you much further
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Old 01-11-2017, 03:10 PM   #5
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Ok not a problem. Thanks for the help!! there definitely is so much more to aquariums then one would think.
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Old 01-11-2017, 03:10 PM   #6
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Do you use a water conditioner?

The people who said that .5ppm ammonia is okay are flat out wrong. It's likely that your beneficial bacteria just needs to catch up to the stock

Do water changes more often while your tank catches up. Every other day or so.

As for plants, you can get one of the things like java fern tied to a piece of driftwood or something that floats. Otherwise it would depend on your substrate and lighting.
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Old 01-11-2017, 03:15 PM   #7
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First question I have is did you cycle the tank, or did you just set it up and add fish. If you just set it up and added fish the tank is not cycled would be my guess. If your tank is cycled properly then the only time it should spike ammo is when adding new stock and that should only last 24hrs.
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Old 01-11-2017, 03:22 PM   #8
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I did run the tank for over a month before adding stock. I have sand substrate. But we only used a water conditioner. We have since bought a baterial suplement to add. I will see if i can take pictures of it all. Does the filter need to be changed after the month? It's pretty dirty looking.
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Old 01-11-2017, 03:28 PM   #9
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What kind of filter? You want to change filter media as rarely as possible, with one exception. Rinsing it in old tank water should be enough.

The exception is for activated carbon. It's value as a chemical filter only lasts a few weeks. I recommend changing it out for SeaChem Purigen.

Letting the tank run before adding stock was a great thing to do. Unfortunately, unless you added an ammonia source, there was nothing for the nitrifying bacteria to consume. Which bacteria in a bottle did you get?
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Old 01-11-2017, 03:32 PM   #10
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We have a top fin 40g for our 20g tank.

We have used nutrafin aqua plus water conditioner and top fin baterial supplememt
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