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Old 02-15-2011, 08:55 PM   #11
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No problem Joe. It is a common mistake for those new to the hobby. Did they do a liquid test for ammonia or did they use an ammonia test strip? Either way, the only "good" amount of ammonia is 0. If it is over 0.25ppm, it becomes toxic to fish. It is amazing how fast it can build up in an uncycled tank... but remember we are talking about parts per million, very small quantities. The test kit is necessary so you can keep the ammonia (and later nitrite) at safe, manageable levels until your biofilter is established.
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fort384 View Post
No problem Joe. It is a common mistake for those new to the hobby. Did they do a liquid test for ammonia or did they use an ammonia test strip? Either way, the only "good" amount of ammonia is 0. If it is over 0.25ppm, it becomes toxic to fish. It is amazing how fast it can build up in an uncycled tank... but remember we are talking about parts per million, very small quantities. The test kit is necessary so you can keep the ammonia (and later nitrite) at safe, manageable levels until your biofilter is established.
Yes it was the strip kind. Any recommendation on where to buy one of those kits? I want to get that ASAP. Also what about those bacteria starter packs?
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Old 02-15-2011, 09:01 PM   #13
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Is this it? API Freshwater Master Test Kit
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Old 02-15-2011, 09:04 PM   #14
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The bacteria starter packs... I would avoid them. They are hit or miss at best. Any product with live bacteria has a high chance of not being stored properly (i.e. temps to high or low) which would then kill off any living bacteria.

Nitrifying bacteria are aerobic anyways... so they aren't going to live for long in a sealed bottle.

Petsmart or Petco carry the API freshwater master kit. It is also widely available online.

Unfortunately, the LFS, and especially the big chain stores, are not the greatest places to get advice. They perpetuate a lot of myths and untruths... we see it all the time. The advice here is generally pretty dang good, and comes from people with a lot of personal experience. Many of the employees at these stores have likely never started a tank of their own, and don't have an understanding of the nitrogen cycle, which is about the most important biological thing happening in an aquarium. Rather than go with what works, they tend to recommend chemical treatments (like the ammonia remover stuff they sold you). The only chemical ever needed for healthy tank is a good dechlorinator, like prime. Anything else is basically a band aid fix. Problems need to have their root caused addressed, rather than a chemical solution.
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Old 02-15-2011, 09:08 PM   #15
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As for your specific situation, even before you get the test kit, I would perform a 50% PWC on your tank tonight. This will at least cut the ammonia in half and should help your fish.

I would follow it up with another 50% PWC in the morning.
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Old 02-15-2011, 09:13 PM   #16
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And use prime like fort said I have used about every water treatment product out there and that stuff is amazing
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Old 02-17-2011, 07:19 PM   #17
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Hey, Did a 20% PWC, wasn't sure if I should I leave the fish in the tank during a PWC????????
Tested my levels today.
pH Over 8.0
High pH 8.0
Ammonia 0.3
Nitrites 0
Nitrates 2.5
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Old 02-17-2011, 07:20 PM   #18
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Oh and Temp is 76...
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Old 02-17-2011, 07:30 PM   #19
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yes, you want to leave the fish in during a PWC.

Test again tomorrow and if the ammonia goes up at all, do a 50% PWC.
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Old 02-17-2011, 07:34 PM   #20
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Thanks Fort. I will do! Lost a few, but the the rest seem happy! Sucks due to my misinformation... Should I get that pH Up or Down Stuff, or just continue with the PWC's as needed?
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