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Old 12-19-2012, 01:35 PM   #11 
btook
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Duhhhhh..... feeling really stupid.... I'm getting my Ph mixed up with my Ammonia readings on my little results chart, they're both the same shade of green... my ammonia readings are .25 PPM.
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Old 12-19-2012, 01:42 PM   #12 
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Ahh, well that definitely makes a difference! Thank goodness its really not that high, especially if it was in your tap water! Now THAT would have been a huge issue....
.25 is still higher then you want it though of course. Still, what sort of testing equipment are you using and have you tested your tap water?
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Old 12-19-2012, 01:43 PM   #13 
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I did cycle this tank when it was new- is there something in addition I should be doing to keep it cycled? Pardon my ignorance....
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Old 12-19-2012, 01:44 PM   #14 
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Ahh, well that definitely makes a difference! Thank goodness its really not that high, especially if it was in your tap water! Now THAT would have been a huge issue....
.25 is still higher then you want it though of course. Still, what sort of testing equipment are you using and have you tested your tap water?
I'm using the API "Freshwater Master Test Kit". I did just check my tap water with the kit, and I think it's safe to say I didn't find any ammonia in there.
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Old 12-19-2012, 01:49 PM   #15 
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I stopped using gravel at all just becuase of the cleaning issues. It is SO much easier to clean a bare bottom tank. After you feed, just take a turkey baster and suck out any uneaten food, and that will do a LOT to decrease your ammonia levels. Prior to cycling my tanks, I was having to change the water in 10 gallon tanks once/twice a week, almost 100% just to get the ammonia levels down to near 0. But once I got rid of the gravel and started a few minutes of post-feeding sucking, I was only changing water twice per month, and even then they were only partial changes to keep the levels near to 0.
Since you're going to all the trouble of filtering and plants, is it possible to switch over to a bigger tank? That would make it possible to actually cycle it and then you'd not have to worry so much.
If you have a Petco, a PetSmart or a Pet Supplies Plus (this is my favorite), they'll frequently have 1$ per gallon sales on tanks, so you can get a 10 gallon for $10. Or, if you have a super walmart, they sell the 10 gals for 12$ all the time.
As for cycling, I did mine the regular way, but I had one tank that I added meds to without thinking...and killed my cycle. As an experiment, I bought some API tank startup bacteria because I'd heard mixed reviews about the effectiveness of the bottle bacteria. But, this one worked, and within 24 hours my tank was cycled. So, if you want to try an "instant" cycle in your new tank, you can try that stuff. It wasn't terribly expensive, and it worked. I did make sure to use water that was "old" and had about a 2.0 ppm ammonia level in it, so that the new bacteria had something to "eat" right off the bat. If you just added it to new treated water it might not work as well.

I agree with several of the others though...I'd really wonder if your readings are off...especially with plants and a filter, even in a small tank that seems really high.
Good luck to you!! :)
Thanks for the info! So it sounds like a thorough cleaning of my gravel would probably be very helpful. Do you know if it would hurt my java ferns to remove them and wash the gravel under them?

Unfortunately I'm stuck with the size tank I have- it's actually my daughter's tank, there are big space issues in her little room and that's the biggest tank we could fit on her desk and under her bookcase.
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Old 12-19-2012, 01:55 PM   #16 
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Last edited by Blue Fish; 12-19-2012 at 02:07 PM.
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Old 12-19-2012, 01:57 PM   #17 
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2.5 gallons are very difficult to keep in stable cycle as there is so little surface area for the beneficial bacteria to grow even with the proper water changes(2 50%s per week), so because you were only doing water changes once or twice a month, your tank was probably not holding any sort of stable cycle.....which is why your ammonia was up.

Since there is no ammonia in your tank water, at this point I would suggest a full and compete breakdown of your tank. Remove your fish in the Java ferns(no, it won't harm them at all. They are actually more of a floating sort of plant anyway, they do best tied to rocks/wood/decor and actually if you bury the rhizome, the stem area, it can kill them)into separate containers, take out ALL the water and rinse everything very well. Set everything back up, add your water conditioner, toss in the ferns and then re-acclimate your fish to the fresh water.
I would also suggest just ditching the filter all together and just preforming, since you have some live plants, 1 50% and 1 100% water change per week since going through the cycling process can be such a hassle in a smaller tank(and you'd still need to preform twice weekly water changes anyway).
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Old 12-19-2012, 02:05 PM   #18 
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Thanks for the info! So it sounds like a thorough cleaning of my gravel would probably be very helpful. Do you know if it would hurt my java ferns to remove them and wash the gravel under them?

Unfortunately I'm stuck with the size tank I have- it's actually my daughter's tank, there are big space issues in her little room and that's the biggest tank we could fit on her desk and under her bookcase.
Yup, I understand, space is a pain. :P I've got a bathroom that looks absolutely stupid because of all the tanks in it...but it's the warmest room in the house, I like having them all together for cleaning, and we don't need to use both of the doors to get in there anyway. ;)
And my guys are all huge, so they live in bigger tanks...normal sized fish don't need this much space. I don't know why they're huge, they've come from four different stores, and they're all different types. They just grow to enormity...and I still don't know why. ;)

Last edited by Blue Fish; 12-19-2012 at 02:08 PM.
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Old 12-19-2012, 02:08 PM   #19 
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Phew so GLAD to hear it wasn't the ammonia that high!!
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Old 12-19-2012, 02:28 PM   #20 
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Yah I wondering how 6.4 Ppm is possible.
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