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Old 11-12-2014, 02:01 PM   #1 
Jamila6452
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cycling-is it weird for ammonia to get to .5 in 1 day?

I started cycling my tank (w/ fish-in) on Saturday night. Ammonia was under .25 when I checked on Sunday, was at .25 on Monday so I did a 25% water change. Then yesterday, Tuesday, it was at .50. I did a 50% water change, but that seems like a big climb for 1 little betta. He's in a 5 gallon heated tank with no companions. I also added a bunch of live plants on Saturday (keeping an eye out for any rotting plant material, but don't see any). I was using Stress Coat, but after yesterday's WC, I ran out and got Prime too and added a couple of drops.

I'll check the levels again today. Does that seem weird or normal?
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Old 11-12-2014, 02:11 PM   #2 
Kithy
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Is there a chance that there was food rotting somewhere in the tank?

Either way, so long as you have some prime your fish will be okay.
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Old 11-12-2014, 03:12 PM   #3 
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Have you tested your tap (if that is what you use for water changes) for ammonia? A few people here get ammonia readings straight from the tap.
Are you sure there are no snails that hitchhiked on the plants? they poop a lot and add up in bio load (raise ammonia) quickly for such small invertebrates. You can do an up to 5x dose of Prime to safely bind ammonia and nitrite for up to 48 hours so that it does not harm fish, but is still able to be consumed by the plants and beneficial bacteria.
What sort of plants did you get? Some grow faster and consume more nitrates because of this more rapid growth.
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Old 11-12-2014, 10:24 PM   #4 
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Ugh, it IS my tap water!
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Old 11-13-2014, 11:55 AM   #5 
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Yeah I get between 0.15 to 0.25 ppm of amonia in tap. I dont cycle, I use prime daily with twice weekly water changes.
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Old 11-13-2014, 05:35 PM   #6 
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There's not much you can do about your tap water but at least it's nothing you're doing wrong. In a cycled tank that ammonia will generally go away after a little while. Keep using Prime as your primary conditioner. How long after water changes do you test your water?
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Old 11-14-2014, 07:21 AM   #7 
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It is not necessary to overdose Prime. Dose 2-drops/gal of tank size with water changes and 1-drop/gal daily. Even with Prime, it's a good idea to change half the water whenever ammonia approaches 0.50ppm - unless your tapwater reads that, in which case do the best you can. Watch your fish's behavior. Feed lightly with quality food. Clean/siphon thoroughly and frequently.
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Old 11-14-2014, 12:18 PM   #8 
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I've tested the water straight out of the tap a couple of times, it has ranged between .25 and .50. Tests of my tank water have been consistently above .50 since Tuesday (~24 hours after the previous night's water change). Last night it was 1.0 . I am changing between 20-50% of the water each night, with the gravel vacuum. I also turkey-baster up any food I see, but my guy has been a spitter lately so it's possible I've missed some.

I realize the only way through this and improve things long-term is to get the damn thing cycled, so I'm just gritting my teeth and dosing with Prime. I'm following the 2-drops/gal with water changes and 1-drop/gal daily rule, and my fish is looking far less lethargic and eating more, so I think that's good.

I am a little worried since I'm going out of town next week and my husband, who is totally hands-off with the fish, will be in charge of him. In the interest of making it very easy on him, do you think I'd be safe with having him do 50% PWC every other day plus the daily dosing of Prime? I know for sure he won't test the parameters. It's a 5g, if that helps.
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Old 11-14-2014, 09:36 PM   #9 
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That should be fine. Make a little list of anything to watch out for and how to treat it. Keep all the meds in an easy to find spot and write all the directions on them (like how much AQ salt to add if it's needed). Even if he ends up not needing any of them that's okay, better to not need and have it ready than to need it and not know what to do.

Lucky you that you can get him to help you lol My husband said if I'm not here to change the water in my tanks they're not getting changed >_>
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Old 11-15-2014, 02:14 AM   #10 
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Seachem likes to hide tidbits of information but, from what I can gatherr, 2-drops of Prime per gallon detoxifies 1.0ppm ammonia, hence the 2-drop/gal water change.

To make thinge easy oin your husband and you: 50% pwc every other day. And 10-drops per day will keep everyone safe until you get back.

Check ammonia AND nitrite before you leave. Report it here.

By the way, >0.25ppm ammonia from the tap is borderline for human consumption, in my opinion, especially if the supplier uses chloramine as well. What are the parameters of your tapwater according to your water-suppliers website?
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