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Old 05-22-2013, 08:11 AM   #1
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Question Why the ammonia still?

Specs:
46g bowfront freshwater community tank
Marineland penguin 50-70g biowheel
sand substrate
Not planted (yet)
LED single brights on for 12 hours a day
Fish in cycle: 6 zebra danio, 3 guppies, 3 oto, 3 bandit cory, black orchid betta
Readings out of tap: .25, 0, 0, PH 8.2
API freshwater master
Prime with wc's or in an emergency when I didn't have time for a wc


This originally started as a fishless cycle, but I am impatient and things weren't going well with ammonia dosing. So here's my issue. Once I took over sole care of this cycle (we decided we're going to do his and hers tank so hubby let me take over), I started testing twice a day and when the ammonia or nitrite got over .25 it got an automatic 50% pwc. I had my nitrite spike - holy crap was that intense - and have had nitrate for a while, but finally the nitrIte has been 0 consistently for a week and nitrAte's are rising accordingly. The problem is, my ammonia won't go below .25 ppm! I haven't done a wc for a week and the ammonia isn't rising so I didn't want to do a wc and just add that .25ppm back to the tank from the tap. Shouldn't that ammonia have been eaten up by now? I do head counts twice a day and everyone is accounted for. How do I get the ammonia down? These are the last 3 readings:
.25, 0, 5
.25, 0, 5-10
.25, 0, 10 ~ This AM

And while I have your attention, what is the best way to clean sand? It's disgusting and my gravel vac isn't strong enough to pick most of it up, plus I don't want to do a wc every time I need to vacuum which really is about every other day.
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46g bowfront Freshwater Community ~ 6 zebra danio, 8 fancy guppy, 2 oto, 3 bandit cories, 3 panda cories, 2 red fire dwarf gourami, 1 male black orchid betta
10g split with 2 female betta and 1 male betta
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Old 05-22-2013, 08:40 AM   #2
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for your ammo reading, test your tap water and tell me what you get
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Old 05-22-2013, 08:45 AM   #3
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Already posted that. It's .25ppm. But it's been 5 days since the last pwc, shouldn't that have gone down by now?
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46g bowfront Freshwater Community ~ 6 zebra danio, 8 fancy guppy, 2 oto, 3 bandit cories, 3 panda cories, 2 red fire dwarf gourami, 1 male black orchid betta
10g split with 2 female betta and 1 male betta
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Old 05-22-2013, 08:51 AM   #4
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sorry i missed that, what is the exp on the test kit
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Old 05-22-2013, 08:58 AM   #5
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It doesn't expire until 2018. I have another, unopened, test kit I could use but I don't see it would change the results. Also, I have tested both the tank and the tap at the same time and the results are identical.
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46g bowfront Freshwater Community ~ 6 zebra danio, 8 fancy guppy, 2 oto, 3 bandit cories, 3 panda cories, 2 red fire dwarf gourami, 1 male black orchid betta
10g split with 2 female betta and 1 male betta
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:11 AM   #6
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when your reading the results do you have it pressed against the chart are do you put a little space between the chart and the tube
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:14 AM   #7
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Yes. Testing tap and tank now. Will post photos.
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46g bowfront Freshwater Community ~ 6 zebra danio, 8 fancy guppy, 2 oto, 3 bandit cories, 3 panda cories, 2 red fire dwarf gourami, 1 male black orchid betta
10g split with 2 female betta and 1 male betta
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:29 AM   #8
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The tap reading is a little more green than it looks. We're about to get rain so it got dark.
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46g bowfront Freshwater Community ~ 6 zebra danio, 8 fancy guppy, 2 oto, 3 bandit cories, 3 panda cories, 2 red fire dwarf gourami, 1 male black orchid betta
10g split with 2 female betta and 1 male betta
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:36 AM   #9
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pull it from the chart a little bit, but those look like zeros to me, maybe someone else can comment on that
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:58 AM   #10
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Nails look good!!! Agree with the 0s
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Old 05-22-2013, 10:04 AM   #11
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I will test again tonight and take pictures. I swear there's green in that color. Maybe I've just been staring at tests too long :/ This has been a long and frustrating cycle.

Any thoughts on the sand vacuuming?

Thanks on the nail.
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46g bowfront Freshwater Community ~ 6 zebra danio, 8 fancy guppy, 2 oto, 3 bandit cories, 3 panda cories, 2 red fire dwarf gourami, 1 male black orchid betta
10g split with 2 female betta and 1 male betta
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Old 05-22-2013, 10:12 AM   #12
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Can you give a picture of the sand
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Old 05-22-2013, 10:13 AM   #13
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It's carribsea black.
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46g bowfront Freshwater Community ~ 6 zebra danio, 8 fancy guppy, 2 oto, 3 bandit cories, 3 panda cories, 2 red fire dwarf gourami, 1 male black orchid betta
10g split with 2 female betta and 1 male betta
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Old 05-22-2013, 10:23 AM   #14
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Here ya go
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46g bowfront Freshwater Community ~ 6 zebra danio, 8 fancy guppy, 2 oto, 3 bandit cories, 3 panda cories, 2 red fire dwarf gourami, 1 male black orchid betta
10g split with 2 female betta and 1 male betta
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Old 05-22-2013, 07:01 PM   #15
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These are my pm readings. Pics taken a little further from card.
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46g bowfront Freshwater Community ~ 6 zebra danio, 8 fancy guppy, 2 oto, 3 bandit cories, 3 panda cories, 2 red fire dwarf gourami, 1 male black orchid betta
10g split with 2 female betta and 1 male betta
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Old 05-22-2013, 07:53 PM   #16
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when your doing these test, its best to do it in a well lighted room the difference in light make make the reading look different as well
here is some readings of ammo




all these pic are of the same reading just different lighting and the way its position on the card
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Old 05-22-2013, 08:02 PM   #17
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It didn't matter where I looked at it. It still looks like. 0.25 for the ammonia.
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46g bowfront Freshwater Community ~ 6 zebra danio, 8 fancy guppy, 2 oto, 3 bandit cories, 3 panda cories, 2 red fire dwarf gourami, 1 male black orchid betta
10g split with 2 female betta and 1 male betta
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Old 05-22-2013, 08:11 PM   #18
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For reference, the bottom of the vials are touching the card so they are not lifted much. i only took them that way because you asked, though I do believe the instructions say to hold it against the card. I try to always read my results with natural daylight. Unfortunately all sets of pictures were taken when it was raining today.
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46g bowfront Freshwater Community ~ 6 zebra danio, 8 fancy guppy, 2 oto, 3 bandit cories, 3 panda cories, 2 red fire dwarf gourami, 1 male black orchid betta
10g split with 2 female betta and 1 male betta
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Old 05-22-2013, 08:25 PM   #19
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instruction says, The tube should be viewed against the white area beside the chart. if your doing this and creating a shadow within the the tube, you will not get a accurate reading. just stating common errors people make. only other thing i can suggest is do a test on someone who has another tank. this would throw out the possibly that the solution might be bad
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Old 05-22-2013, 08:33 PM   #20
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Sadly the only people I know with tanks either have saltwater or a 40g with a snapping turtle and far too many goldfish and never test their tank.

When reading there is never shadows. Latest pics are with the test kit I have been using for 2 months and laying down. Previous pics of tank/tap were with the new kit.
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46g bowfront Freshwater Community ~ 6 zebra danio, 8 fancy guppy, 2 oto, 3 bandit cories, 3 panda cories, 2 red fire dwarf gourami, 1 male black orchid betta
10g split with 2 female betta and 1 male betta
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