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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm relatively new here, so I wasn't sure if this belonged here, but I wasn't sure where else to ask.
So, I just managed to get my hands on a water tester kit on Saturday, and I tested my aquarium today, and my water was reading between 0.25 and 0.50ppm for ammonia, so obviously my nitrate and nitrites were a little elevated too. Now, this seemed totally weird to me because I do water changes 1-2x a week, sometimes 3x if I just feel it really needs it. So after testing the ammonia again, I decided to test my tap water, and my tap water was registering at around 1.0 ppm.

I use Aqueon Betta bowl plus as my conditioner, but I guess that's not gonna really cut it in the long run. I'm gonna order some Prime on Amazon, but that's gonna take a couple of days to get here, and then maybe another day or two before my school's mail system will register that it's arrived. So in the meantime, what's something that I can do to lower the ammonia in my tank? I was in the middle of doing a 75% water change just because I could only manage to bring back 1 gallon of my fish's tank water to school. I tried diluting the 4 gallons of new tank water with some bottled water, but I don't really know how much that's gonna really help.

Thanks for any suggestions.
 

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Is your tank filtered? Some information I am reading on it suggested if you have a good sponge filter, cycled tank and use Prime that it should solve the problem. Petsmart has really small 2 gallon for $13 that you could upgrade to. That would make heating, cycling and keeping the water balanced a bit easier.
 

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First off, Betta Bowl Plus does detoxify (locks up) ammonia. Add a half dose every day, also with water changes. Prime is better and more economical. As long as the ammonia is rendered harmless by Prime or Betta Bowl, you don;t have to worry about using bottled water.

How long has that tank been running? If you're seeing a reduction in ammonia and an increase in nitrite and nitrate, that's a sign it is trying to cycle. Use this for reference. CYCLING: the two-sentence tutorial And let us now what your readings are.

Once the tank is cycled, your fish will have better water than you do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've this tank with this filter running for about a month now, but I never tried to actively cycle it because I didn't have a tester kit and I was having to haul my fish from school to home during breaks into a different tank, and I would just use the filter. But after just checking the ammonia again in the tank today it's reading between 0 and 0.25, so I guess my tank managed to start to cycle on its own with me actively trying.
 

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A tank will try to cycle automatically, given a good temperature and a little oxygen. You have to make an effort to prevent it.

All the keeper has to do is keep track of it all and to keep the ammonia from building up too much ... and to know when to switch to weekly maintenance (which isn't much different from cycling, as you have found out).

Thanks for the opportunity to point this out to everyone.
 
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