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Old 03-31-2013, 03:02 PM   #1 
Phantom Miria
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Issue with Ammonia in planted 20g tank

Hello,

I have a newly planted 20 gallon aquarium that has 10 val corkscrews, 5 micro sword bunches, 4 bunches of frogbit, 3 java ferns, a red tiger lotus bulb and an Aponogeton Ulvaceus bulb. All were planted nearly a week ago along with 10 olive nerite snails being placed in the tank. I have used prime to clean the water, used API aquarium salt, and API stress zyme. I have good water movement and a correctly sized sponge filter. The substrate is flourite, I am using flourish tabs, and I have pool filter sand as the cap. I am using a marineland LED light setup found here that is a few years old;
http://www.amazon.com/Marineland-Dou.../dp/B0032536QK (I believe my model is an older one and puts out 10000k)

2 days ago before I added my female betta the Ammonia level was 0, Nitrite level read 0, and Nitrate levels read around 20-30. I tested my water today and my ammonia level has spiked to around .25-.5 ppm. Should I be worried? Is this normal or should I take action such as a water change?

I've read Nerites climb out of the tank if the ammonia levels begin to get high. Around half of them seem to be climbing all over the walls at a time but none of them have crawled out of the tank (they have been doing this since day one).

Any help is appreciated!
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Old 03-31-2013, 04:27 PM   #2 
shellieca
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Well you are doing a fish IN cycle so ammonia is normal & expected. You need to do a 50% water change to bring the ammonia back to 0. Test the water daily with a liquid test kit, do a 50% water change if ammonia or nitrites are >.25, nitrates >20 or Ph is <6.7. Be prepared to do lots of water changes for up to 8 wks.
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Old 03-31-2013, 10:36 PM   #3 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shellieca View Post
Well you are doing a fish IN cycle so ammonia is normal & expected. You need to do a 50% water change to bring the ammonia back to 0. Test the water daily with a liquid test kit, do a 50% water change if ammonia or nitrites are >.25, nitrates >20 or Ph is <6.7. Be prepared to do lots of water changes for up to 8 wks.
Thanks for the response!

I went ahead and did a water change. The ammonia level seems to have decreased but is still not the crystal clear yellow (I am using the API master test kit) and is showing around .25 ppm. I tested my PH again and I am getting a dark blue color which indicates a PH a little over 7.6 (I estimate it is 7.7). However I am getting the same results for the PH every day. The nitrite levels are a solid 0 ppm (dark blue) and the nitrate levels are surprisingly high, around 30-40 ppm represented by a dark amber.

I am making sure to look at all the results clearly, in a well lit room, against the chart.
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:21 AM   #4 
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Good. The ammonia always gives me fits because I swear I always see a tinge of green when I put it up to the chart but then if I put the vial against something white it looks pure yellow. I know that my established don't have any ammonia but it never looks the same yellow as the chart shows. You should see nitrites pop up in about a week or two & they can last for what seems like forever.
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:28 AM   #5 
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Why are you using salt?
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:22 PM   #6 
Phantom Miria
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shellieca View Post
Good. The ammonia always gives me fits because I swear I always see a tinge of green when I put it up to the chart but then if I put the vial against something white it looks pure yellow. I know that my established don't have any ammonia but it never looks the same yellow as the chart shows. You should see nitrites pop up in about a week or two & they can last for what seems like forever.
Perfect, thanks for the advice! I did an ammonia test yesterday and one today. Its ever so slightly greener and I estimate my tank's ammonia is rising around 5 ppm a day.

As for the API salt I'm using, I read its a good idea to use it especially with new tanks. It also helps prevent sickness in Betta's as far as I know but correct me if I am wrong.
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:50 PM   #7 
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Originally Posted by Phantom Miria View Post
Perfect, thanks for the advice! I did an ammonia test yesterday and one today. Its ever so slightly greener and I estimate my tank's ammonia is rising around 5 ppm a day.

As for the API salt I'm using, I read its a good idea to use it especially with new tanks. It also helps prevent sickness in Betta's as far as I know but correct me if I am wrong.
You're doing good keep it up. Is the ammonia rising around 5 a typo?

As for the salt, it is said if used long term with Bettas it can cause kidney problems. It is OK to use for 10 or so days at a time. Most aquarist I know say only use it if you are treating for something specific but its not needed long term. It doesn't dissipate so if you don't dose correctly you could have issues quicker.
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Old 04-01-2013, 09:09 PM   #8 
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You're doing good keep it up. Is the ammonia rising around 5 a typo?

As for the salt, it is said if used long term with Bettas it can cause kidney problems. It is OK to use for 10 or so days at a time. Most aquarist I know say only use it if you are treating for something specific but its not needed long term. It doesn't dissipate so if you don't dose correctly you could have issues quicker.
Oh my lol I meant .5 ppm xD My ammonia levels have never been anywhere near 5. Today specifically they look to be right around .25 ppm and I did around a 60% water change yesterday.

Yes the salt says it doesn't evaporate out but I will end up cycling it out with water changes and just discontinue the use of it for now, thanks for the heads up. Definitely don't want her to have kidney problems!
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