Still a beginner after 2 years! - Aquarium Forum
New To The Freshwater Aquarium Hobby This forum is a friendly place for all the people that are new to the freshwater hobby to post their questions. This section makes it quick and easy to find useful information for beginners and get answers to your questions. Please don't be shy and post a thread with your thoughts. Our friendly community will promptly reply and give you advice, and if you have your setting enabled, you'll get an email when someone responds to your thread. Click the link to get started.

  Members currently in the chatroom: 0
Who's Online
The most chatters online in one day was 17, 09-12-2012.
No one is currently using the chat.

 2Likes
  • 1 Post By Stacie187505
  • 1 Post By Gizmo
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-01-2017, 02:09 AM Thread Starter
 
Stacie187505's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 3
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Welcomes: 0
Welcomed 0 Times in 0 Posts
Still a beginner after 2 years!

Hi everyone!

Ive kept tanks for about 2 or 3 years on and off and am just now finding out about the nitrogen cycle on my own. Im trying to get my aquarium on the right track but im having so many problems with ammonia. My 20g tank has been set up for probably a month now and my nitrite levels are rising but my nitrate and ammonia are off the charts every single time i test my water. I have an API water testing kit with the little vials and everything, i dont know if maybe this isnt a very reliable kit or not and maybe thats my problem. I have 3 mollies and thats it. I feed them once a day and once a week i give them blood worms. Ive been testing my water every other day and doing close to 75% water changes every other day as well as using AmmoLock to help with the ammonia. I use water dechlorinator, stress zyme, and i used a ph upper because my water is usually closer to the lower 7's and i read that mollies like something closer to a 7.5-8.2. I just started discovering the different types of filter media so i went to my local petstore and got sponges that like neutralize ammonia and put one on my intake and cut one in half and crammed it into my filter. I also got a little bag of the rings you put into your filter to help the growth of beneficial bacteria I forget what theyre called. Im at a loss... I really feel like the work that im putting into my aquarium should show but it doesnt seem like it is. My fish look great, theyre very active and ive even seen breeding but i know mollies do that constantly lol Please help?
Mukesh Dahiya likes this.
Stacie187505 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-19-2017, 07:32 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: In the deep blue sea
Posts: 20
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Welcomes: 0
Welcomed 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re: Still a beginner after 2 years!

Maybe feeding too often and not doing regular water changes ?
Grouper is offline  
post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-16-2018, 08:43 AM
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 33
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Welcomes: 0
Welcomed 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re: Still a beginner after 2 years!

I don't think you should worry too much about pH since what you have is fine, the fish will adapt fine to it. In fact it's better that they have a steady pH that might be slightly on the low side rather than you messing with it and causing it to change.

Changing that much of the water can be too much as you're removing also some of what you want to stay in the tank. It might be better to do a 40-50% water change every day rather than 75% every other day. It could also be that your water supply has some chemicals in it. While it would be small amounts, it's not helping. For example our water supply tests about .25 ppm ammonia. So I would recommend adding Prime to your water before adding to the tank (not just a dechlorinator). There is also a bacteria sample called Stabilize that would be a good bacteria to add to your tank every day during this time.
jeffnc is offline  
 
post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-16-2018, 09:04 AM
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 181
Thanks: 35
Thanked 14 Times in 12 Posts
Welcomes: 26
Welcomed 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re: Still a beginner after 2 years!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stacie187505 View Post
Hi everyone!

Ive kept tanks for about 2 or 3 years on and off and am just now finding out about the nitrogen cycle on my own. Im trying to get my aquarium on the right track but im having so many problems with ammonia. My 20g tank has been set up for probably a month now and my nitrite levels are rising but my nitrate and ammonia are off the charts every single time i test my water. I have an API water testing kit with the little vials and everything, i dont know if maybe this isnt a very reliable kit or not and maybe thats my problem. I have 3 mollies and thats it. I feed them once a day and once a week i give them blood worms. Ive been testing my water every other day and doing close to 75% water changes every other day as well as using AmmoLock to help with the ammonia. I use water dechlorinator, stress zyme, and i used a ph upper because my water is usually closer to the lower 7's and i read that mollies like something closer to a 7.5-8.2. I just started discovering the different types of filter media so i went to my local petstore and got sponges that like neutralize ammonia and put one on my intake and cut one in half and crammed it into my filter. I also got a little bag of the rings you put into your filter to help the growth of beneficial bacteria I forget what theyre called. Im at a loss... I really feel like the work that im putting into my aquarium should show but it doesnt seem like it is. My fish look great, theyre very active and ive even seen breeding but i know mollies do that constantly lol Please help?

It sounds like your tank is still cycling. A complete cycle is required before your tank stabilizes and that will take 6-8 weeks.

Cut down on the feeding. Every other day is fine for fish. Don't keep adding chemicals and changing filter media in order to speed things up with the cycle adding the various quick-cycle chemicals could slow down the stabilization in the long run. Test every day or two and do water changes daily as needed until the cycle stabilizes.

If you know someone that has a healthy and stabilized aquarium as for some of their filter media. Put that in your filter or hang with a bag in your tank.
jimsz is offline  
post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-25-2018, 01:35 PM
What do fish think about?
 
Gizmo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: East Bremerton, Washington
Posts: 3,684
Thanks: 818
Thanked 1,343 Times in 1,130 Posts
Welcomes: 559
Welcomed 0 Times in 0 Posts
Send a message via Yahoo to Gizmo
Re: Still a beginner after 2 years!

Hello, and welcome to the hobby, as well as the forum!

The pH stabilizer, I'm sorry to say, is a waste of money. It's a phosphate additive that artificially buffers the pH, while at the same time flooding your tank with phosphates, which isn't a big deal for mollies, but other more delicate fish and invertebrates like shrimp and snails are very sensitive to phosphate. As stated above, it's better to just let your pH stabilize on its own, as many fish (especially mollies and platies and goldfishautolinker.com autolinking image) can adjust to a pretty wide range of pH. If you're still dead-set on lowering your pH, consider a mesh bag of sphagnum peat moss (you can find the bags at PetsMart or PetCo, and peat moss in the gardening section of your hardware store) in your filter. Peat is great for adding tannins and lowering pH. But that's not really necessary with mollies, in my opinion.

Also, you should stop using ammo-lock. While it does bind with the ammonia ions and renders them non-toxic, the new molecule is harder to digest by the nitrifying bacteria living in your filter and tank, and in addition the binded ammonia still registers on your ammonia test kit, so it's sorta like a false-positive reading. As stated, if you want to help things out, SeaChem Prime is a great water conditioner.

The ceramic bio-media and your mechanical fiiltration (sponge) are really all you need in your filter, as well, so you can ditch the carbon. Carbon is really only necessary to strain medications out of the tank, otherwise it's just a waste of money. I've been running my 10 gallon for 4 years with no carbon. If you want to add something to your filter in place of carbon, double the amount of ceramic bio-media in your filter, or add a bag of peat moss as suggested above. And don't change it unless it's literally falling apart, otherwise you're wiping out the majority of your nitrifying bacteria colony every time you put fresh media in.

The API Master freshwaterautolinker.com autolinking image Liquid Test Kit is a great investment, good job on selecting the best out there. The liquid titration you do when you mix the tank water with reagents in the vials is much more accurate than test strips, and you literally bought about 100 tests for $35, instead of 20 for $10 like you would if you bought the strips. The ammonia kit does measure free and binded ammonia, however, so even crystal clear pristine water sometimes gives a 0.25 ppm false reading.

Let us know if you have any other questions, we're here to help!
lonedove55 likes this.

ClearForLife 10G Acrylic, 4 HET rasboras, ~80 RCS, various snails. Ludwigia repens, various moss. Eheim 2211 Canister, 50W heater, Finnex FugeRay Planted+ 17W LED.

"Give me your penchant and I shall grant you deliverance." - Falcor
Gizmo is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Aquarium Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome