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Old 10-24-2014, 10:21 PM   #1
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Can someone tell me what I'm doing wrong? I'm tired of losing fish.

20 gallon long, 78F, 5 mystery snails, used to be 7 glolight danios but i lost another 1 today so down to 6, 1 mellow betta, 4 ADF and 4 ghost shrimp.

I have been doing water changes every single day but my perimeters are completely whacky. Ammonia keeps going back up to around 1ppm, nitrite keeps going up to 0.5ppm, and nitrate hovers around 5ppm.

I make sure to clean the sand so there is no waste accumulates, there are no dead fish in the tank, and my filter media hasn't been touched. I pull out all the decorations every time i clean. I've done a water change every single day this week.

Am I doing something wrong or what's going on? I don't want to lose any more fish.



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Old 10-25-2014, 12:41 AM   #2
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How long has the tank been running and are you using a dechlorinator with your WC's ?


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Old 10-25-2014, 12:43 AM   #3
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6 months and yes. I just did a full test of my tap water with dechlorinating drops in it and it turns out that my water is the culprit. The ammonia tested at 1ppm!

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Old 10-25-2014, 12:54 AM   #4
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Overstocked


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Old 10-25-2014, 12:55 AM   #5
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Not at all. Aqadvisor says I'm only at 68% capacity.

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Old 10-25-2014, 12:56 AM   #6
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Did you cycle your tank before you put the fish in to establish the bacterial balance in it?

Also, causes of whacky levels could be over feeding. I'd say a lot of fish waste but danios don't really create much waste.

A good thing to invest in is the Jungle Complete Water Care Kit. ($4 at Walmart; it will do your 20g once.) has a bacteria enzyme tablet, water dechlorinator and a Ph balance tab. I use it monthly with my 50-75% water changes. I do 25% weekly in my 29 gal and that's all I need to do, I rinse the filter media between changes to keep the tank established.

Daily water changes are so bad for your tank. And honestly, snails create a lot of waste and "cloudy" or "slimy" water as it is. Your culprit may be the mystery snails.


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Old 10-25-2014, 12:58 AM   #7
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The tank had been set up for 6 months, snails have been there through it all. My tap water is the culprit as its coming out now with 1ppm ammonia.

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Old 10-25-2014, 01:00 AM   #8
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Walmart also has a Jungle brand tablet that regulates ammonia levels.


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Old 10-25-2014, 01:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
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The tank had been set up for 6 months, snails have been there through it all. My tap water is the culprit as its coming out now with 1ppm ammonia.

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I'm sorry people don't read before replying.

Is ammonia in the tap water a new thing?
You should contact whomever supplies your water and see if something has changed in the processing.
Are you testing the tap water before or after using dechlorinator?
Are you using something that also handles chloramine, because if not when the chlorine breaks down, you are left with ammonia.

if it is not present before treating the tap water, but present after treating, you need a better quality water conditioner like Prime.

other than that it looks like a RO/DI unit is in your future or trips to the store for bottled water.
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Old 10-25-2014, 01:21 AM   #10
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I had the same thing happen to me in 2012 (ammonia 1 ppm, nitrate 5 ppm out of the tap). At the beginning of 2013 it went to zero/zero.
I had decent bio filtration (Emperor 280 on a 20g tank) but I limited the weekly water changes to 25-30% because of the ammonia in the tap. I was able to keep the ammonia and nitrite at zero each. Once I forgot about the WC limit and did a 75% change. Later that day I saw 0.5 ppm ammonia and 0.5 ppm nitrite the next day. Both went back to zero the following day.
While daily water changes are great for resolving tank water quality issues, it might not be advisable when the source water is worse than to water in the tank. Might need to do RO/DI and re-mineralize it. Or reduce the weekly WC %. Purigen may help as it absorbs nitrogenous waste. Zeolite might be another option you could try.


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Old 10-25-2014, 01:27 AM   #11
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It's present before and after treating the water. Yeah it's new, just in the past week or so. I do my water changes every Monday night and since 2 Mondays ago I've lost 3 danios and all my snails are hanging out at the top of tank. My snails are usually my first indicator that something is off, only because I've had them so long and know their behaviors.

The water conditioner says it takes care of chloramine. I added some Fluval bacteria and am going to let the bacteria do it's thing and not do water changes until i get paid Friday and can go get some ammonia neutralizer and bottled water. My faucets don't work with any add-ons.

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Old 10-25-2014, 01:36 AM   #12
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Just curious, what filter are you using in this tank?
As mentioned by PB Smith, if you can get a hold of Prime, then it will help reduce the toxicity of ammonia and nitrite.
Another suggestion might be to add water to a few large, clean 5 gallon buckets and treat it with a chloramine neutralizer followed by soaking some bags of purigen or zeolite to absorb the liberated ammonia. This will get you a supply of new water with little to no ammonia present.


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Old 10-25-2014, 01:38 AM   #13
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It's a Top Fin 30 power filter. But it's a hand me down so i was planning on buying a new, slightly bigger filter to run along side it for a few months until out has enough bacteria to run on its own.

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Old 10-25-2014, 01:55 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squiffy View Post
It's a Top Fin 30 power filter. But it's a hand me down so i was planning on buying a new, slightly bigger filter to run along side it for a few months until out has enough bacteria to run on its own.

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I would definitely add a second filter to the tank to give the BB more places to colonize. Perhaps an AquaClear 50. The sponge and ceramic media in it is great for hosting BB and if you take out the carbon bag, you will have more room for addition bio media or floss. I run TWO of them in a very lightly stocked (5 small tetras and danios) 20g long. Despite the high flow rate I still do 30-35% weekly WCs.


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Old 10-25-2014, 11:47 AM   #15
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Underfiltered

Would increase that before adding more purifying chems

Definitely like the aquaclear 50


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