So should I not bother getting the strips or meter and just continue to do the drop test a few times a day? And maybe feed less? I just feel like I am testing 2-3 times a day and a strip or meter I could do more often for piece of mind...I would still do the drop test once a day to be safe since I know they are more accurate.
I'm not an expert at cycling by any means, but if it was me with high ammonia, I'd try some of the bottled bacteria stuff just because it'll (if it works) immediately cycle your tanks, and then you won't have to worry about your high ammonia water.
I've used the API Quick Start with good success (just follow package directions) and only buy a small bottle because it's only good for a couple of days after you open it. (the bottle says it's good for longer, but that's just crap. The BB's are dead after 48hrs of opening.) The Dr. Tim's One and Only is also recommended, along with the Seachem Stability (I believe...it's the Seachem one for cycling a tank.). You could try any of them.
Beyond that, just to save your poor fishies, if you still want to do the fish-in regular cycle, what about purchasing those 5 gallon jugs of filtered water? Or if you have a filter at home that removes ammonia (most do, but check) then you could do that. Bottled water isn't great for them because it lacks minerals, but it's better than high ammonia well water, and it's not forever. Just until you get your tanks cycled. :) Once you're cycled, your good to go because the cycle will take care of the ammonia in your well/tap water. :)
You don't need to bother with bottled water IMO. Once the tank is fully cycled, which can take 8 wks give or take, the .5 in your source water won't be a factor. If it were me I would do 50%+ water changes when your tank ammonia is at 1, this will drop it to .5, the Prime will detox that no problem until your next water change. Test once daily, do a 50%+ water change daily if need be. Don't stress over it all too much.
I'm not an expert at cycling by any means, but if it was me with high ammonia, I'd try some of the bottled bacteria stuff just because it'll (if it works) immediately cycle your tanks, and then you won't have to worry about your high ammonia in water.
It won't immediately cycle it but it is a big help at avoiding spikes. Dr. Tims only and only is said to be the best with tetra safestart being one of the better store bought brands. Safestart helped me along with nitrites in around 24 hours
Thanks everyone...I will do the 50% water changes everyday and Prime every day until things are under control. I may do half bottled water (just got home with it) for my changes today esp for the 4 gallon b/c that fish deff seems stressed. :(
I have the Stability bacteria supplement, but where do you get Dr. Tims? Does Petsmart or Petco carry it or should I look online?
Dr Tims on and only can only be bought on amazon and his website http://store.drtimsaquatics.com/One-...aria-_p_3.html
Dr. Tim was the brains behind tetra safestart. That's why it is usually the bought in store suggested brand. Just make sure the safestart is a fresh bottle