Cant get ammonia levels to rise in new dwarf puffer tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2015, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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Cant get ammonia levels to rise in new dwarf puffer tank

Hello,

Recently I have setup a hightech 5 gallon planted tank. To cycle this aquarium, I have added a fake plant from an established tank, and cycled filter media. I am going with a fishless cycle, using fish food till my ammonia arrives in the mail. I have added a pretty decent amount of fish food 3 days ago, and more today. I am using a finnex pf-5 filter with new filter media along with fabric that I cut off my old filter cartridge. I cycled my old tank with two filters with the new five gallon in mind.

The issue I am having:
I can't get my ammonia levels to rise at all, even with a ton of fish food in there. Any solution?
Thanks

ps. currently soaking a piece of Malaysian driftwood to add to this tank Click image for larger version

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2015, 08:28 PM
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I would wait for the ammonia, leave a little food in to feed the bacteria thats there but dumping fish food into a new high light aquarium is gonna cause issues.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2015, 08:32 PM
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It sounds like you had a plan already to have BB ready in this new tank (fake plant and cycled filter media).
You are adding Nitrogen via ammonia (fish food). Maybe it has already converted to Nitrates? Have you tested these levels to see if they are on the rise?
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2015, 09:45 PM
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I had the same issue in my 55. Couldn't find pure ammonia so I used fish food. Over6 weeks I never had an ammonia reading ! So I went ahead and added some fish. With 6, then 20 ish fish in there for a week each I am finally reading ammonia but at <.25ppm. Nitrites ansnitrates are 0. So far so good! Its heavily planted though.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2015, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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Everything is reading at zero except for neutral ph... I might just go ahead and add the puffer and do daily water changes to be safe...

Anyone know how long fish flakes take to decompose?

Thanks.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2015, 11:32 PM
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Something (Nitrogen) doesn't add up. You mentioned 'pretty decent' amount of food. The Nitrogen is somewhere in the tank.
If it were me I'd:
1) Put some fish food in a small jar, wait about 1-2 hours, and test for ammonia.
2) The Nitrate tests are known to fail because the bottles were not vigorously shaken. If I get ammonia in #1, I'd retry Nitrates in your tank.
But maybe there just wasn't enough fish food to make a dent in the tests.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-19-2015, 12:07 AM
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You say this project started recently.How long ago?
Fish food is not as reliable as ammonia to show quickly.Depending on food it could take a while,maybe a week?
I agree with imc that pre cycled media could be dealing with it OR the food has not decomposed yet.
A raw shrimp in a net from grocery store is better and can be removed(in net) easily.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-19-2015, 12:15 AM Thread Starter
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This tank started last Sunday. I tested the Nitrates and shook the bottle vigorously. No Nitrate, or Nitrite, which indicates it's not cycled. It's a bummer because I leave abroad the thirtieth and was hoping to get this up and running by then...:/

I may try a live shrimp or maybe some brine...Thanks for all the responses.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-19-2015, 10:49 AM
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you can get amonia in any drug store without prescription. it is used for inhalation to avoid loss of consciousness.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-19-2015, 07:31 PM Thread Starter
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may have to try that. it seems like there is some misconception about how effective fish food is.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-20-2015, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxB View Post
may have to try that. it seems like there is some misconception about how effective fish food is.
i tried that once. results were same as yours. it does not produce any significant amount of ammonia needed for cycling
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-20-2015, 01:58 PM
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The best source of ammonia is indeed ammonia.

However, since you have added cycled media and the decoration from a cycled tank, I would go ahead and add a single puffer.

However, puffers prefer a tank with more places to explore, things to do.
A fishless cycle would give your plants time to grow, and for the driftwood to sink.

I agree that fish food takes a little while to decompose to the point of adding ammonia to the system. Use a high protein fish food. Also, in a new set up there is a low population of decomposer organisms, so even adding the shrimp from the grocery store might not show immediate results.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-21-2015, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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I added two white cloud's yesterday, nitrates are at 5ppm...Doing a water change then heading over to my japanese ada guy to pick out a prime specimen. The stoke is real. Can't wait to get some meditation goin while watching the way he/she behaves.

Thanks guys!!
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