please help this newbie!
hi yall this is my first post on this forum but i have spent many hours on here. i have learned a ton from everyone here already, but obviously not enough. a lady on craigslist wanted to trade a 75 gallon aquarium for a 65 gallon. it just so happened i had a 65 and was wanting a 75 to replace it with. in my 65 gallon i had just gravel and used homemade root tabs and liquid fert and had adequate but slow plant growth. i have wanted to add better substrate for a long time. i got to read a total of 10 minutes of emergency research before i had to meet her to swap tanks. being on a budget i opted for the walstad method using dirt. went to wally world and got what i thought would work best. the selection was very limited as it is one of the only walmarts left that is not a super center.
i ended up getting a bag of nurture naturally compost. the ingredients says: this product is regionally formulated with one or more of the following: aged and processed forest products, sphagnum peat moss, reed sedge peat; compost (leaf compost, mushroom compost); and lime as needed to adjust pH.
after setting up the tank and refilling it it instantly turned to mud. i have other tanks in the house but they are set up with different species of fish so these fish had to go back in the mud water. i instantly drained the tank and refilled. this made the water much more clear. i only have an ammonia test kit so i tested before the water change. 6 ppm! ouch! after water change 2 ppm.
this was all on saturday. monday after work i proceeded to buy some seachem prime to continue to reduce the ammonia. i have been doing 90% water changes daily and dosing prime once after water change and again in the morning. this has been keeping the ammonia in the 1 ppm-2 ppm range. i lost one molly saturday during the transfer. this has been the only loss to my knowledge. i still have several ghost shrimp alive so that is a good sign. i have nothing i can do with these fish except hope they live. today i also ordered seachem purigen from ebay to further reduce ammonia and tannins.
sorry for the ramble just wanted to let everyone know the situation. onto the questions.
1. what else can i do to ensure the best chance of survival for my fish?
2. how long can i expect this ammonia problem?
3. how long can i expect this tannin problem?
i have tons of java moss, 4 swords, 1 anubias, some java fern, 4 dwarf lilys, 20 or so dwarf sag, some crypt, 4 or 5 aponogetons, around 12 moneywort starts, and some water wisteria all of which seems to be growing faster than ever before. they aren't keeping up with the ammonia being leached into the water though. thank you very much.