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Old 12-09-2013, 01:47 PM   #1 
aggee99
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New here, need help with water test readings

Hi everyone! I am very new to the betta community. I am so in love with my little guy and he has such a personality! I am trying so hard to do everything right.

I have a 5 gallon filtered tank with no plants. I have had him in there for 3 weeks now and the first week in a NEW tank I used seachem stability like the instructions said. I did a 25% water change the second week and added stability again with the change. The third week my strip tests were saying the nitrites were high...so I began to FREAK. I did a 20% water change two days in a row also adding the seachem stability.

Today, I bought a fancy shmancy API freshwater master test kit...here is what it read:

pH- A little darker than 7.6
Ammonia- about 1.0 ppm
Nitrite--probably about 5.0ppm
Nitrate-5.0 ppm

Should I do another 25% water change? I bought some seachem prime as well and read on their site that it could be used in conjunction with the seachem stability.

HELP! I just want to do everything right. This is so confusing for a new fish mom! I'm used to the furry kids! :)

I did read your stickys up top, but still feel dumb...or maybe haven't found the right one.

Thank you so much for any advice.
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Old 12-09-2013, 04:25 PM   #2 
rickey
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Need to keep the ammonia and nitrite under 1 ppm
You need to do a partial water change.
Just a very little bit of salt to prevent nitrite poisoning at this point

R
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Old 12-09-2013, 04:32 PM   #3 
aggee99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickey View Post
Just a very little bit of salt to prevent nitrite poisoning at this point

R
Ok, I will do another partial change. When you say salt (sorry if this is dumb, please humor me) do you mean like a pinch of regular salt? I only have kosher...
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Old 12-09-2013, 04:56 PM   #4 
rickey
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Kosher salt or rock salt is what you want (no Iodised salt)
1 teaspoon will good for 5 gallons is great a little goes a long way

R
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Old 12-09-2013, 05:24 PM   #5 
aggee99
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Thank you so much for your response and help. Should I keep doing daily partial changes until it lowers?
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Old 12-09-2013, 05:34 PM   #6 
rickey
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The tank is cycling, so I would test every day or 2 and keep the ammonia and nitrite down with water changes when need. In the next few weeks you will see these numbers drop to 0

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Old 12-09-2013, 05:47 PM   #7 
aggee99
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Ok, thank you SO much. I just worry! :)
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Old 12-09-2013, 09:55 PM   #8 
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Prime will help detoxify ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates, though they will still show up on water tests. It can be used at up to 5 times the normal dose to keep levels down between water changes, but I think it's only active for a day or two. When I was cycling my tank I did partial water changes every 2-3 days and added extra Prime on the other days. My tank was cycled within two weeks, though the plants probably helped with that.
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Old 12-10-2013, 03:43 AM   #9 
Hallyx
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Use Prime (2-drops/gal) every day while your tank is cycling, and with every water change. More conservative keepers recommend you keep your ammonia and nitrie below 0.50ppm by doing 50% water changes (with Prime). In other words, change 50% of your water whenever ammonia or nitrite rise above 0.50ppm. That will be your water change schedule. After your ammonia and nitrite reach 0.0ppm, change 50% weekly for the life of the tank.

Stop using salt as soon as the ammonia and nitrite decrease to 0.0ppm. Don't worry about nitrate.

NOTE to experienced keepers of a conservative inclination. I recently cleaned and re-cycled a 3g tank. I again found ammonia readings between 0.0ppm and 0.25ppm hard to distinguish (residual ammonia and all). I realized the difficulty new keepers might experience trying to interpret these low readings. My ammonia conversion chart indicates that 0.50ppm @ 7.6pH is below the 0.020ppm danger cutoff for free ammonia. So from now on I'll be recommending a 50% water change at 0.50ppm ammonia and 0.50ppm nitrite.

Comments and criticism invited on this thread. We can move to another thread if we need to.
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Old 12-10-2013, 04:14 AM   #10 
Hallyx
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There may be different opinions when it comes to using salt. As you will be keeping your nitrite low and under control with water changes, I think using salt is not necessary.
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