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Old 01-15-2011, 12:00 AM   #1
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Strange Water parameters?

Ok, ive had a 30 gal community tank with sand for about 5 months now, and i admit i havent been up to date on checking my ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels. Last i checked my levels were fine (that was 3 months ago) but now when i checked them my

ammonia is at 5.0ppm
nitrite is at at 0ppm
and nitrate is at 0ppm

how is this possible? lol my tank really shouldve cycled by now, cood it hav something to do with an sand substrate? thanks
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Old 01-15-2011, 12:06 AM   #2
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Depends on your cleaning habits of the tank and filter.
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Old 01-15-2011, 12:10 AM   #3
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as far as cleaning the tank i dont do much.. partial water changes about twice a month and replacing filter cartitages every month
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Old 01-15-2011, 12:41 AM   #4
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If you changed the cartridges monthly, I think that you have been removing the good bacteria, because the majority of the bacteria live in the filter, less live in the sand, and even less in the ornaments.
I think that you broke the ammonia cycle with these monthly changes, you will need to do PWC daily to reduce the ammonia and wait for the tank to cycle again.

Don't change the filter cartridges, unless they "disintegrate".
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Old 01-15-2011, 12:44 AM   #5
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I doubt its the sand itself.

What kind of test kit are you using?

And how often do you do PWCs?

I'm surprised to see ammonia and no nitrate.

Also, changing filter cartridges can cause mini-cycles, especially if you clean out the filter at the same time.

Manufacturers say to change them monthly so they can sell you more cartridges. Just rinse them in old tank water occassionally and only change them when they begin to fall apart. That way you don't lose all the beneficial bacteria that lives in the filter and cartridge.
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Old 01-15-2011, 12:55 AM   #6
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mudraker, about twice a month, i guess ill start doing them daily untill it cycles again. How much should i change a day? 20%?
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Old 01-15-2011, 12:59 AM   #7
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50% is best to keep ammonia down.

What kind of test kit are you using?
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Old 01-15-2011, 01:31 AM   #8
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Its the Freshwater Master Kit by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals
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Old 01-15-2011, 01:42 AM   #9
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Well, hopefully its just a mini-cycle and will pass.

Just keep up with your water changes until your test reads clean and don't change the cartridges so often. You might also want to up your PWC schedule to weekly.

Also, be sure to follow the instructions very carefully on the nitrate test, as its easy to get a false 0 if you forget to shake the #2 bottle long or the test tube long enough.
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Old 01-15-2011, 01:45 AM   #10
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thanks very much mudraker, to b honest i didnt think PWC's were very important to my tank but i guess they are lol
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Old 01-15-2011, 02:01 AM   #11
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Frequent PWC is the number one thing you can do to keep your fish healthy and give them a long life.

It might seem like a hassle, but it sure can prevent other problems in the long run that are much a bigger hassle.
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Old 01-15-2011, 02:02 AM   #12
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Plus, I'm one of those dorks who actually enjoys a good PWC
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Old 01-15-2011, 02:05 AM   #13
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50% daily tho? i have a deep 30 gal i just got done doing a 20% i didnt stress my fish out to much..
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Old 01-15-2011, 02:06 AM   #14
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Are you missing any fish or had any dead fish lately? Ammonia doesn't just go up for no reason. something had to cause it. Are your fish acting funny like breathing hard? do you have alot of excess food on the bottom?
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Old 01-15-2011, 02:08 AM   #15
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i had a danio die for no apparent reason recently.. The fish arent really breathing heavily, my tank however is getting a yellow to it, and theres some algae growth on my fake plants and rock
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Old 01-15-2011, 02:16 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blakskall
Ok, ive had a 30 gal community tank with sand for about 5 months now, and i admit i havent been up to date on checking my ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels. Last i checked my levels were fine (that was 3 months ago) but now when i checked them my

ammonia is at 5.0ppm
nitrite is at at 0ppm
and nitrate is at 0ppm

how is this possible? lol my tank really shouldve cycled by now, cood it hav something to do with an sand substrate? thanks
How is the pH ?
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Old 01-15-2011, 02:29 AM   #17
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You definately need to do more frequent PWC if the water is yellowish.

Your fish will get used to the PWCs. Mine actually get in the way. My corys (most are shy and skittish) nibble on my fingers when I keep my hands in there for long.

The algae in and of itself won't hurt your fish and if there are no live plants, won't hurt anything. Just wipe off the sides with a paper towel or appropriate scrubber.
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Old 01-16-2011, 11:34 AM   #18
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please don't use a paper towel not a good, sorry mud. take her second suggestion.

good luck

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Old 01-16-2011, 12:47 PM   #19
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Paper towels are safe as long as there are no dyes in them. I should have clarified.
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