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Old 01-05-2014, 02:45 PM   #1 
BettaMom6
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Water changes and Ammonia levels

We have a new 3gal tank with filter and fish and so we are going about the aquarium all wrong, I know. Today is day 5 of having it set up.

At the time our 3 gallon holds a mystery snail (maybe an apple snail, I'm not sure), an African Dwarf Frog, and 6 ghost shrimp. (The betta is separated in a QT bowl - trying to figure out what is going on with him on the diseases forum.)

So for my issue: every time I test for ammonia (API master test kit) it is at the .50 ppm level. I change 30-50% of the water each day after testing (I use Seachem Prime) and an hour later I test the level again and it is still at .50ppm. (Nitrite was between 0 and .25ppm, Nitrate was 0).

I am getting very concerned about the fish and wonder if I am changing enough water? Using the wrong water conditioner? Not changing often enough? Do I need to take somebody else out of the tank?

Thank you for your help!
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Old 01-05-2014, 05:55 PM   #2 
WhitneyLin
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Just a thought but: have you tested a sample of your water straight from your tap? Dont add any conditioner, just test it straight. It could be that your tap water already contains ammonia.

Prime is one of the best water conditioners out there. A lot of people use and recommend it on here.
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Old 01-05-2014, 06:49 PM   #3 
BettaMom6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhitneyLin View Post
Just a thought but: have you tested a sample of your water straight from your tap? Dont add any conditioner, just test it straight. It could be that your tap water already contains ammonia.

Prime is one of the best water conditioners out there. A lot of people use and recommend it on here.
Thank you! - I just tested the water straight from the tap and also some water treated with the prime. Both were negative for ammonia. I think I will move all my critters into temporary housing and give the whole tank a good gravel vacuuming and fill with new water - see if I can get the ammonia number down with that.
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Old 01-05-2014, 07:57 PM   #4 
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hmm. Well thats good in the long run. Im afraid im not much help past that. I've only had betta, though i'd like to try some shrimp in the 5g.

Please give an update after you've got everything changed. Though with that much stock you are definitely going to have to get another tank/get a bigger tank/or return some.

Was checking out your other thread. I'll go post on there a pic of my bettas head coloring.
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Old 01-05-2014, 08:53 PM   #5 
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FYI, Prime will bind ammonia for 24-48 hours, so it shouldn't harm the inhabitants. It does still show up on the water test results.
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Old 01-05-2014, 09:17 PM   #6 
BettaMom6
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Thank you for all the info and suggestions. The frog, snail, and shrimp are in various new lodgings 'til I can get something more suitable. On the 3 gallon, I did a full water change and rinsed out the pebbles and the ammonia level is at 0 now.

That's weird with the Prime and ammonia readings.
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Old 01-06-2014, 05:33 AM   #7 
Hallyx
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Prime and all the ammonia lockers read that way. The ammonia is still there, just locked up and detoxified.

A large snail, frog and shrimps. Your tank is overstocked even without the Betta. A 3g is fine for one Betta and a few (low-bioload) shrimp. The fact that your shrimp are still alive is testimony to the effectiveness of Prime.

If I were doing it, I'd cycle the tank with the Betta in it. A 50% wc with Prime @2-drops/gal whenever ammonia rises >0.25ppm, and 1-drop/gal daily until cycled (several weeks). Get a different, larger tank for your frog and snail.
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Old 01-06-2014, 09:32 AM   #8 
BettaMom6
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Prime and all the ammonia lockers read that way. The ammonia is still there, just locked up and detoxified.

A large snail, frog and shrimps. Your tank is overstocked even without the Betta. A 3g is fine for one Betta and a few (low-bioload) shrimp. The fact that your shrimp are still alive is testimony to the effectiveness of Prime.

If I were doing it, I'd cycle the tank with the Betta in it. A 50% wc with Prime @2-drops/gal whenever ammonia rises >0.25ppm, and 1-drop/gal daily until cycled (several weeks). Get a different, larger tank for your frog and snail.
Thank you! I have the frog and snail in their own place now. The shrimp are in the 3 gallon, and my betta is in a QT until we figure out what is wrong with him. He seems better, but not yet eating. Could be stress. We will head to the store soon to try new foods to entice him - so far the omega one is being completely ignored.

So you are saying that for cycling, besides using Prime with fresh water changes, I should also put 3 drops directly into the 3gallon tank each day until it is cycling? I will give that a try.
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