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Old 06-21-2013, 02:06 AM   #1
Cynical Fish Guy
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Ammonia


So I changed up my bio-filter from one rated for a 10 gal to one rated for a 20 gal. My tank is 15 gallons w/live plants. I did the change about a week ago, so I know my tank is re-cycling. When I tested my H2O with my API kit, I got a low Ammonia reading of .25ppm, this kind of scared me so I quickly dropped some Ammonia safe tabs into the water. I continued to test for Nitrate and Nitrite, and to my astonishment both tested 0..... What is going on?????

My algae has practically vanished completely, and I don't feed my fish to much.... I also learned that the algae was the key to having successful ghost shrimp breeding. When I got rid of the algae, shrimp could no longer successfully make it. My fish enjoyed the extra plant matter as well, and now I actually have to feed my snail, and make sure ample food makes it to my catfish... However the water is crystal clear.....

I guess I could go back to my ultra-sun light which started my whole algae problem in the first place. The light was created to foster algae and my dumb-butt bought it.
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Old 06-21-2013, 02:21 AM   #2
Diana
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If you removed the media from your bio filter and threw it away that is where your bacteria were.

Now you add new media, and it does not have bacteria yet.

Roughly half the nitrifying bacteria live in the filter (all the media, not just special media for bacteria) and roughly half live on all the other surfaces in the tank.
By tossing the media, you have lost about half or so of your bacteria. The plants and the remaining bacteria are working as hard as they can to make up for this.
The plants are grabbing all the nitrogen they can in any form (ammonia, no2, no3) and the remaining bacteria are grabbing all the ammonia and nitrite they can.

But it is not enough.

Here is what I would do:
~Improve conditions for the plants: better light, CO2, make up for any missing nutrients
~Add more plants, especially fast growing ones.
~Stop feeding the fish. When you resume, half as much, half as often, then a little more as the bacteria and plants catch up.
~If the problem goes on more than 48 hours, or the ammonia or nitrite keep trying to spike, then go buy more bacteria. Read the label and only buy a product with Nitrospira species of bacteria.
~Keep up with water changes to keep the ammonia under .25 ppm and the nitrite under 1 ppm (for fish- I do not know the level for shrimp). Add sodium chloride (salt) when the test results show any nitrite. The dose is 1 teaspoon per 20 gallons. Again, this is fish and plant- safe. I do not know about shrimp.
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Old 06-21-2013, 06:29 PM   #3
Cynical Fish Guy
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Well I have a lot of Java fern with about 6 strands of Red Ludwigia and one strand of anachoris. I could get some more anachoris, as it is extremely fast growing..... I changed my light this morning.
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:17 PM   #4
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I checked the Ammonia this afternoon, it is less than .25ppm but not totally 0,at least that is how I read it. I dropped only half a tab of Ammonia safe in the tank. The fish appear fine too.

I will still get more plants, and I hope to God I can avoid Algae... I think the algae may have also helped keep all the waste down, the draw back is asthetics, as my fish sure didn't mind it, and actually ate it over flake food....Even the cats ate the stuff, and they are now cleaning any algae they can off my plants, but the plants are happier now.
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Old 06-22-2013, 03:53 AM   #5
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Anacharis is great for sucking up ammonia, as are other fast growing stems like water wisteria. Floaters like duckweed, water lettuce, etc are great too.
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