Thanks OFL. Bought Jungles 30pk Ammonia test strips that failed the test and they sent me 2 bottles of 100 both in Tetra's Ammonia test strip and their 6n1 test strips. I've already figured out they make pretty good guide lines when working to tell you to pull out the test kit to see whats up since they are more exact. Noticed with API after the time passes that the test tubes should be read the color doesn't get any darker like it does in test strips. Will get the reagent KH/GH test kit and later when I need the other replaced may go with theirs.
Yes I've heard and read up about Prime but haven't priced it so good to know you get more bang for your buck which is what I want. So it's on my list of things to order this week-in.
I thought tannins did make water softer thus lowering the GH, but I don't have a clear picture of how they all interplay with each other.
*****I honor your opinons, but you lost me on IMO...too many risk due to being unstable!!!!!
Was that about trying to lower pH to make the ammonia more ionized thus not the toxic gas type or about using the Oak leaf tannin?
***Not up on what R/O/DI is. Bought some spring water tonight to see what that test's out as, but I can't afford to start buying water. Priced coastal today which was $16.50 a bale, sure glad I stocked up back when it was $9 and $10 for the winter and onto May's second cuttting. Car got it's second water pump/etc. for $400 then had to turn around and replace all 4 tires since 1 blew out coming home from the VA and the rest where over 10 years old. So money is tight while I try to put some back into saving in case the water well goes out.
*****Got your plant list and depending on price and if you can order them on the net I'll be getting some soon.
Will they need additional fertilizer or have enough ammonia to live off of?
Do you know a good reliable cheap source I can order plants from?
Yeah more research, haven't even done enough on the 2 I have now :).
Oak leaf tannin I wouldn't mind the leaf litter except I need to get a bigger hose to sypthon something like that out, but that would be only after there are enough plants to keep any ammonia in check. In my livestock (donkey & mule) tank I use to keep goldfish in it year round to keep mosquitos down. They would have a lot of leaf litter between cleaning the tank. Biggest one got to be about 6" before I guess the coons got it due to low water level and they where hungry.
Right now I have small mud puddles outside and the temps have hit the hi of 50 in the day, LOL cold to me. Have a small bag I collected on a rainy day and let dry out before bagging them, but will grab a bunch more since I don't care to go out in the cold hunting them. Pretty much around all year round unless the wind blows them off. Lost several trees the past few years though. Tallest one went down in a wind storm out in the field. New one is coming back where 2 had been before they died. Good to know I can just get them at any time of the year.
As teenagers we had a family fish tank and I had one with guppies and my brother had betta's. He read up on them and got them to mate and had hatchlings, but I don't remember what happened from there except a lot of cups where bought. I do remember it was very interesting to watch letting the man do all the work, but I doubt I will get into breeding them. Sounds like you have it down pat though and a neat setup. One in your avatar is very nice, but have to admit I've never had a red one. Highly partial to blue :). Last time I had guppies I got over populated with them and could take them to a pet shop to find new homes.
If adding Prime and the plants you mentioned fail to do the trick on my ammonia problem I'll slowly one by one set up filters and cycle the 5 gal plastic containers for each betta and later get some 5 gallon glass aq so I can see them. I might chance a 10 gallon divided to keep costs down (initial and electricity), but I've seen too often what happens if fish get past store bought dividers years ago. Have some old tanks in storage I can't get to, but they might need some glass replaced and definately the silicone. We use to replace glass or silicone and never ran into problems with 5 or 10 gallons but they set outside to make sure they didn't leak before coming in :). In the long haul I do plan on getting them in 5 or 10 gallons even if I do solve my current ammonia problem. Hopefully when we make it out of the drought that will not be an issue. Last time I had betta's 13 miles from here on a water well there where no close neighbors with livestock in smaller pastures like there is around here. I'm up on a hill so I doubt my 2 are adding much to the problem. Still think I recall now having had a piece of driftwood I had in the trash can I used to cure their water in.
Thanks for all the great info, my hopes are up that I can naturally get this under control now without trying to mess with adjusting pH, etc.