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Old 02-26-2013, 11:50 PM   #1
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Back to this hobby and it's definitely changed.

I used to have a 10 Gal fresh water stocked with several neon tetras, a plec, and 2 Tiger Barbs. Also had 2 live plants and did a pwc of about 10% a week. That was about 10 years ago. My girlfriend got me a 5.5 Gal tank for Valentine's day this year and I was quite baffled because I mentioned getting my 10 Gal tank out of storage from my parents. Nevertheless I laid about 7lb of gravel and 2 fake plants and got a heater set to about 76°. Runs on a top fin 10 with a black foam and then the carbon filter media. It's been a long time away from this so some of the lingo is either new or going to need to be refreshed in my mind. Long story short I've actually been reading through a lot of the posts on this site and it actually helped me so far but yet still left me in sort of a situation that I have several options with. I believe the cycle has completed and then took the water for testing at the store and did my own as well and all levels were normal. We picked out 3 guppies to our liking and everything has basically chasing our fins from there. Nitrite fired up to 1 to 3ppm and Ammonia went to about 3 to 6ppm, (everything else remained normal with a 7 ph roughly, 120 Alkalinity, soft 75 hardness, Nitrate at 0). I know that's not exactly specific but still a good idea that these ranges are a little high beyond comfort. I did a 15% water change, I know we started off overfeeding with a different kind of food than I'm used to, Tetra Crisps Color Enhance. We've cut back on the amount at twice a day. There was a cloudiness in the water, added some more "Quick Start" after another water change to the dechlorinated tap. This cleared up the water for a short term but was still high... After a few days I did another water change of about 30% or so. This time I added distilled water and changed the filter media and added more quick start. The next morning I checked the levels and it was still high so I added an Ammonia Tab to help detoxify the levels. Tested it after a few hours and Nitrite finally fell to 0 but Ammonia remains strong at that same about 3 to 6. I know sometimes the Ammonia tabs can give false readings on the tabs but I still have a cloudiness to the water and with the light off its got more of a green shade. This is basically caught up to what is happening right now. I've been running the light nightly for about 6 hours since I first started the tank 2 weeks ago. With the green cloudiness, its more of an algae boom which I think is a good thing in the direction of this tank in terms of progress but still a little bit of work to do. Therefore I've blacked out the tank for almost a full 24 hours and I will continue it until morning. I'm also going to buy some live plants tomorrow morning, I saw a moss ball as an option as well as several other plant options. Does anyone have any suggestions or ideas as to what's going on and causing the cloudiness with a high ammonia still. Thanks in advance and the guppies are still swimming strong in all this.
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:50 AM   #2
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Hi Chad... it sounds like we have a similiar problem.

Aside from some ammonia absorber that you can put in your filter.. the best thing for high ammonia levels is water changes.

I was told to do them every other day until the levels come down.

Another thing that helped was removing all my decorations from the tank., while leaving the fish in of course and using a gravel siphon to remove all the junk that falls in and under the gravel.

After a couple of very thorough gravel cleanings I was able to get my ammonia levels where they should be.

Hope that helps
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:01 AM   #3
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Helps a lot! Thank you! I will be doing a water change tomorrow and I'll test my tap water, i think that got the tank off on the wrong foot to begin with. Are you using any live plants?
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:01 AM   #4
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Did you add an ammonia source to cycle the tank before you got fish? It sounds like your tank isn't finished cycling. If you were cycled you wouldn't see any ammonia or nitrites, only nitrates. So it seems like you are now in the middle of a fish-in cycle. There are some great articles on this site about fish in cycling, you should check them out. You're just going to have to keep testing and doing water changes to keep the ammonia and nitrites in check.
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:05 AM   #5
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I havent added live plants because my freshwater tank is pretty far from natural sunlight which the plants would need to grow. I believe i read some where that some plants help with filtering out ammonia as well. I dont know much about that but it is worth doing some research on.

The water changes will also help with you cloudy water problem!
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alyxx View Post
Did you add an ammonia source to cycle the tank before you got fish? It sounds like your tank isn't finished cycling. If you were cycled you wouldn't see any ammonia or nitrites, only nitrates. So it seems like you are now in the middle of a fish-in cycle. There are some great articles on this site about fish in cycling, you should check them out. You're just going to have to keep testing and doing water changes to keep the ammonia and nitrites in check.
Thanks! The more I read up on this the more I'm leaning to what you're saying... Kinda figured a 5.5 gallon would've cycled quick.. I will read those articles on fresh eyes in the morning.
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
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I havent added live plants because my freshwater tank is pretty far from natural sunlight which the plants would need to grow. I believe i read some where that some plants help with filtering out ammonia as well. I dont know much about that but it is worth doing some research on.

The water changes will also help with you cloudy water problem!
Ah I see, on a sunny day, the blinds open, the fish tank is well lit.. May try a plant when I do a water change.
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:17 AM   #8
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I would also suggest doing some research online for other solutions to try for lessening your ammonia problem. Please feel free to share if you find any thing interesting
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:24 AM   #9
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Does the tank have any sort of lighting? If it has some sort of fluorescent bulb it can grow low light plants. If it uses a screw on incandescent tube type bulb, you can replace it with a cfl (compact fluorescent) bulb. Plants are wonderful additions to an aquarium, and they do help bring down toxin levels.
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:28 AM   #10
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So you guys can see what I'm working with at the moment. About to do a water change. And the light is a standard incandescent bulb. I want to change to the cfl type will do that later when I get a live plant. The snow has closed a lot of stores around here.

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Old 02-27-2013, 12:54 PM   #11
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:19 PM   #12
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I did a water change this morning and added conditioner and gave it an hour and tested the water and the levels are at the same. I need to run some errands this afternoon if it'll ever stop snowing and I'll drop by Petsmart and pick up a plant and maybe a moss ball to help with the cycling process. 2 questions though; Will feeding hurt the cycling process? and Does turning on the light have any positive or negative effect on the process as well? The articles didn't exactly get into that for an in-fish cycle.. Thanks!
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
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I did a water change this morning and added conditioner and gave it an hour and tested the water and the levels are at the same. I need to run some errands this afternoon if it'll ever stop snowing and I'll drop by Petsmart and pick up a plant and maybe a moss ball to help with the cycling process. 2 questions though; Will feeding hurt the cycling process? and Does turning on the light have any positive or negative effect on the process as well? The articles didn't exactly get into that for an in-fish cycle.. Thanks!
Food = ammonia so during a cycle it will add that which is what's needed to cycle. Just be careful not to add too much during a fish in cycle. The fish will create ammonia as well.

Lights will help bacteria growth imo
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Old 02-27-2013, 05:46 PM   #14
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I got the plants installed from PetSmart, a moss ball and an "Anubias Nana". Got a Aqueon ColorMax Pink Mini Compact Fluorescent bulb as well and put this in and have it on, looks much nicer except for the cloudiness.

Now for a question that's been bothering me.

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This TopFin 10 filter is setup with water running thru a black foam pad then to the white filter cartridge... Is this correct or should the black foam pad be switched to after the white filter cartridge? The directions don't quite say and none of the articles i read seemed to pop out saying thw correct method, everyone seemed to have their own way of setting this up.
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:09 PM   #15
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It's probably a pre foam filter pad to catch larger particles
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:23 PM   #16
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Quote:
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It's probably a pre foam filter pad to catch larger particles
Okay, that's what I thought, just wasn't sure and the instructions only mentioned the filter cartridge.
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:16 AM   #17
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I like the building.. it looks like a pagoda of some type. From the looks of the water you definitely need a water change. My sons tank was like that and i had to do water changes every other day to clear it up!
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:32 AM   #18
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I like the building.. it looks like a pagoda of some type. From the looks of the water you definitely need a water change. My sons tank was like that and i had to do water changes every other day to clear it up!
Yup, I did one just after I took this picture. Yesterday, I'm about to do another water change this morning. Btw, I'm not doing any gravel vacuuming at this time correct? this is where most of the bacteria lies and I need to leave it on the bottom till this cycle completes, yes?

I tested the tap water yesterday and everything looked normal with no nitrites or nitrates and a little bit of chlorine. Ammonia was at a .5ppm which could be feeding the ammonia source in the tank a little bit. I just tested the tank water this morning and I think Nitrites is starting to show some sign of pink on the test which means it won't be too long. I will do another water change today.

And thank you on the pagoda, it looks kinda cool, I'll be adding more plants once it's established and it'll look cooler I think around the pagoda.
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:41 AM   #19
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Here's the current results so far, mostly the same.
Ammonia has fallen to a 1ppm.
Nitrate and Nitrite still at 0ppm.
Hardness is still holding at 75ppm.
Chlorine is at 0ppm.
Alkalinity is remaining at 80ppm.
pH is at 6.8.

I used to an tetra ammonia fizz tab yesterday after doing a 40% wc roughly. Coming down from a 3 to a 1 ppm is a great sign hopefully and now just have to continue doing wc every other day (no more ammonia fizz tabs for now) and watch for the nitrite to spike and the nitrate to climb up a little bit, yes? I saw the guppies pecking at the some of the decor and tank walls last night, would this be the little organisms that we need to get the tank fully cycled?
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:49 AM   #20
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Hey Chad.... how is the tank doing?

Are you still having trouble with cloudy water?
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