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Old 01-07-2021, 10:17 AM   #1
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Ammonia high over two months

Hello, my wife and I have been having issues with two 10 gallon tanks, only tanks we have. We bought them in November and have been having problems ever since. Ammonia doesn't seem to go down even after partial water changes. Normally it's anywhere from 2-4ppm. I tested our tap water and it's close to .5 which is a light green using the api test kit. I kept telling my wife we just have to give the nitrogen cycle a chance but it has been way to long. Also the aquariums get slimy inside rather quickly. Even after a water change. We only have two guppies and two frogs in each tank now. We don't over feed them so I'm not sure about that. I add dechlorinator and bacteria at start up and during water change. Not so much bacteria anymore just for the first month. Any advice would be appreciated. A friend of mine told me to start using distilled water instead. Thoughts?

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Old 01-07-2021, 11:09 AM   #2
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How often and how much are you doing water changes?

Do you have your other water parameters? pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate?

Does ammonia go down at all immediately after a water change? Try testing directly before and after a water change.

Im assuming there is a filter in the tank.

0.5ppm ammonia in your tap water doesnt sound like it could cause that much issue. A cycled tank would filter that out quite quickly. Ammonia could be coming from chloramine. Do you know if your water is treated with chlorine or chloramine?
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Old 01-07-2021, 02:52 PM   #3
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You haven't said anything about your filter or what type of media is in it. This will do all your ammonia oxidation in the tank. Did you cycle your filter? Hopefully you are not cleaning it too thoroughly and washing all the good brown bacteria down the drain. As mentioned above, really need to know your water parameters.
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Old 01-07-2021, 03:10 PM   #4
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Was doing weekly water changes in November. Like 20-25%. Now only do monthly. Haven't had it that long though.

Ph is high like 7.8
Nitrite less than 2.5
Nitrate 0
Ammonia like 4.0 or less

Filter is hanging top fin 10gallon

Dont know if it's chlorine or chloramine. I figured it was the latter since there is ammonia in the tap.
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Old 01-07-2021, 05:08 PM   #5
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I think your issues are simply that your tanks havent cycled yet and you arent doing enough water changes to keep your ammonia and nitrite at safe parameters. Your nitrate is 0 so you have no cycle happening.

Your water change schedule should be enough to keep your ammonia + nitrite combined below 0.5ppm until you are cycled and they consistently stay at 0ppm. If your tap water is 0.5ppm ammonia that might be difficult, but water changes should be able to bring it down lower than they currently are. Once your system is cycled the ammonia in the tap water shouldn't be an issue. Cycling a tank typically takes 6 weeks but can take much longer. Introducing some filter media from an established filter is the best way to speed this up. Perhaps you have a friend who keeps fish who could let you have some?

If you wanted to use an alternative water source, i would say your options are bottled water, distilled water, RODI water, or rainwater. I think its Caliban who posts regularly on here who recommends rainwater.
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Old 01-07-2021, 05:18 PM   #6
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Looks like you need to continue with a Fish-in-Cycling as your tanks are not cycled like Aiken says above.

Click here for help with a Fish-in-Cycling with fish.
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Old 01-07-2021, 06:30 PM   #7
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So actually I retested the tap water and it's actually closer to 1 ppm. Should I use benificial bacteria during every water change? I don't have any friends that have aquariums but I might see if a fish store will help out.
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