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post #1 of 132 (permalink) Old 08-17-2013, 01:29 AM Thread Starter
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Seriously need help.

I'm beyond frustrated at this point. I've tried everything, tested, tested again, tested after that.

That's all I've been doing and the results have been much of the same.

Tonight, after changing my 2.5 gallon tank (waiting for it to go into the cycle, after having it for about six weeks) tonight with a 50% water change, I used the API master test kit and these are the results:

PH = 6.0
PH High = 7.4
Ammonia = 0.50 ppm
Nitrite = 5.0 ppm
Nitrate = 5.0 ppm

These are pretty much the standard results I've been getting after every water change, so I decided to do it again, but this time at 75%.

I did a retest and my results:

PH = 7.6
PH High = 7.4
Ammonia = 0.50 ppm
Nitrite = 0.50 ppm
Nitrate = 0 ppm

I don't get it. I know that I want to have 0 ammonia and nitrite, but now I'm also wiping out the good nitrates. I don't know if it's because I just test the water straight away or if I'm not using products the right way.

The products that I have, what should I use each time?

My list:

Seachem Prime
Tetra: Ammonia Safe (I'm assuming that I use Prime instead?)
Tetra: Betta Safe (Again, does Prime replace this?)
API: PH Up and Down
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post #2 of 132 (permalink) Old 08-17-2013, 01:31 AM
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API test ammonia kits are said to be artificially sensitive. I have never experienced it myself, but the reef forums talk about it alot. I would purchase another brand of tester for ammonia and double check the levels.
Do you have fish? If so, play it safe for them and worry about the plants later.

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post #3 of 132 (permalink) Old 08-17-2013, 01:40 AM Thread Starter
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You see, that's the thing. Everyone says the same thing: buy this, buy that, buy this, buy that.

Well, I went out and bought the API test kit, because that's what this forum recommended. $35.00 out of my pocket and now... oh, it's not accurate. Well, then why do people recommend it?

Nothing is %100, I get that. This is just so frustrating.
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post #4 of 132 (permalink) Old 08-17-2013, 01:41 AM
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Honestly, just stop using everything except the Prime. You really don't need to treat the water with anything other than a dechlorinating product (ie. Prime).

You may still be showing some ammonia because of the breakup of chloramines caused by Prime. Could be also present in trace amounts from your tap...have you tested that at all? I can't remember off the top of my head from the other thread(s).

The loss of the nitrate is directly from the large water change itself. They are "good" as an indicator of bacterial activity, but all that means is that you removed enough so that the test kit cannot register the current level.
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post #5 of 132 (permalink) Old 08-17-2013, 01:46 AM Thread Starter
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JPappy: Thanks for telling me about just using prime, will do starting tomorrow.

Here are the results from my Tap water test:

Quote:
I tested my kitchen sink (main source) and the bathroom sink water source.

PH = 7.6 (both sources)

High End PH = 8.8 (both sources)

Ammonia = 0.50 ppm (both sources)

Nitrite and Nitrate are both 0 at both sources.

So, there we go.
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post #6 of 132 (permalink) Old 08-17-2013, 02:07 AM
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So ammonia directly from the tap, good to know.

At this point, the biggest issue is the nitrite. The ammonia, while not ideal either, will initially be taken care of by the Prime and then the BB colony. Not much else you can do unless you want to alter the source water.

Just need to keep doing the large and frequent water changes. The unfortunate thing about smaller tanks is that levels build up much more quickly, but until the nitrite can be processed completely it should be kept as low as possible.
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post #7 of 132 (permalink) Old 08-17-2013, 02:23 AM Thread Starter
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So, would you say 75% each time? Should I just use Prime only?
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post #8 of 132 (permalink) Old 08-17-2013, 02:53 AM
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Im glad you checked your tap water. I know you dont want to hear about buying manything else, but to feel more confident about your ammonia test, buy a gallon of distilled water. Test it. If your ammonia test reads anything other than 0, then you know your test is no good. Cost to you would be less than a dollar. Only use prime as mentioned. I would be doing 75% waterchanges bi daily. Do this until your testing reveals no ammonia or nitrite before doing waterchange. Wait a couple more days and test. Once you consistantly see those levels, you are cycled. I say to do it this way because I think there is a fish in this tank? Stay vigilant. Just a note. The amount of water you change is directly proportional to the removal of nitrates. A 50% water change will decrease nitrates by 50%. Hope this helps.
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post #9 of 132 (permalink) Old 08-17-2013, 02:55 AM
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Also remember since your tap has ammonia to it, after a waterchange you will always register it. Prime keeps it from harming the fish but leaves it to be fed on by your beneficial bacteria.
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post #10 of 132 (permalink) Old 08-17-2013, 02:59 AM
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Yes just the prime...and the larger, the better.
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post #11 of 132 (permalink) Old 08-17-2013, 03:28 AM
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50% water change, use prime, wait a day, test your levels. If they are still high your tank has not cycled. 2.5g tank shouldn't need huge water changes cause it's so small. You might just be hurting the cycle everytime

Patience once drove a man insane

Thanks for your time
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post #12 of 132 (permalink) Old 08-17-2013, 05:41 AM Thread Starter
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See, the difference in opinions confuses me even more.

I do have to java ferns in there, but they're slightly different from each other. One seems well enough and the other I'm consistently getting rid of brown leaves. I don't think it's getting enough light.
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post #13 of 132 (permalink) Old 08-17-2013, 06:14 AM
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I've never heard of a properly done water change harming or stalling the cycle in any way. With 2.5 gallons of water there's hardly a difference between 50 or 75 or even 100% as it is...the fact that it IS so small means ammonia/nitrite can build up much more quickly than larger tanks. Therefore larger and/or more frequent wc's are needed compared to tanks with more dilution power.
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post #14 of 132 (permalink) Old 08-17-2013, 06:21 AM
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Just keep up with the water changes and use only prime.

Since this is a fish-in cycle your goal is to keep ammonia and nitrite as low as possible, not grow a bacterial colony as fast as you can by letting toxins build up.

You should also just update this thread so all the info is here, i think part of the reason people are giving you such different advice is because all of the important details are spread out on other threads.

Try not to get too stressed about all this, we have all been through the cycling blues

100% agree with jpap


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Last edited by shambhalove.; 08-17-2013 at 06:24 AM. Reason: jpap fast
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post #15 of 132 (permalink) Old 08-17-2013, 06:31 AM
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Isn't prime know to register false ammonia readings?

That said if your source water has ammonia then your test kit is going to register ammonia. My API test kit will every once in a while give a slight ammonia reading when I know it shouldn't. If I shake the bottles up good and do it again it comes back normal. So it can be iffy sometimes.

I'm assuming you bought the master test kit for $35? Don't be upset that you bought it, it is a necessary tool, even if its not always 100% accurate. It is just an aquarium test kit, not a lab kit.

Most importantly, don't get frustrated.
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