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Old 12-19-2012, 11:40 AM   #1 
btook
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Question re plants and cleaning gravel

Question- I've had low level ammonia problems (6.4) in my tank for months now, and I'm thinking it may be due to the plant detrius in my gravel. Today I removed about 3/4 of the gravel and washed it out thoroughly, but I left the gravel my java ferns have rooted in- and still, ammonia of 6.4. (I also did a 50%- 75% water change.)

Should I gently remove the java ferns from the gravel and rinse out the rest of it too, or will this hurt them? Do they need some kind of stuff in the gravel?

TIA!
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:41 AM   #2 
ChoclateBetta
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6.4 Ammonia is very high. I would do a gravel washing but it depends on how much there is to clean. Remeber no soap. The Java Fern will be Okay. As long as the Rhizomes not buried.
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:48 AM   #3 
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Hold on a moment.

Where are you getting the 6.4 number? That's an odd number no test kit I know of would give, and after months of that nothing would be alive...

Are you sure you are not reading pH?
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:50 AM   #4 
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PH makes more sense.
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:31 PM   #5 
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Uhhhhhh.... (runs back to look at results chart)... yeah, I am reading PH. My ammonia readings are .25 ppm. They're both the same shade of green on the chart... Ooops.
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Old 12-19-2012, 01:37 PM   #6 
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.25 is pretty high.
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Old 12-19-2012, 01:45 PM   #7 
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Size of tank?

And have you tested your tap water? If yes, what is the reading?
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Old 12-19-2012, 02:04 PM   #8 
ChoclateBetta
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In smaller tanks bad water quality is easier.
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Old 12-19-2012, 02:27 PM   #9 
btook
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geomancer View Post
Size of tank?

And have you tested your tap water? If yes, what is the reading?
The tank is 2.5 gallons. I tested the tap water, there is no ammonia.
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Old 12-19-2012, 02:35 PM   #10 
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In a tank of that size, ammonia can build up very quickly. It wouldn't take a decaying plant or much fish waste to cause it. I don't know if you could even maintain a cycle on it.

What's your WC schedule? You have do to 100% changes fairly frequently to keep the ammonia down. Others will chime in on this, I'm a big tank girl.

Actually, a .25 ammonia reading isn't bad, but it shouldn't get above that or you risk hurting your fish. You have to do WCs and gravel vacs as needed to keep that number at or below your current reading. Fortunately on such a small tank it's not such a big deal to change water.
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