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I bought my first aquarium, a 30 gallon long. It has 30 pounds of pea gravel, Fluval 205 filter, Marineland Stealth 150w heater and a Mardel ph/ammonia meter. Everything was washed in warm water only before going in. The tank has been running for over a week and the Ammonia levels are high. I bought a sample water to the pet store and they had the same reading. I treated the water at first setup with Aqueon water conditioner and after about 3 days the ammonia level started to rise. I then treated the water with Top Fin Ammonia remover, waited for a couple of days and no change. I treated it again and no change. I am looking for some direction as to what might be happening. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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I would just let your tank go thru its cycle. Bacteria will form to break down the ammonia and turn it into nitrites then bacteria will form to break down the nitrites to nitrates and at that point your should have a zero reading on ammonia and nitrites and a high reading on nitrates then do your WC to reduce the nitrates to 5-10ppm's then you are ready for fish to be added at least IMO.
 

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Thanks for the help Scott. About how long does a tank normally take to cycle through before you can add fish? Also, I've seen the Tetra Safe Start. Has anyone tried this?
 

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Your tank will be in much better shape if you just let it go thru its cycle naturally it could take anywhere from 3-8 weeks. Just keep testing it every couple days until you see 0 on the ammonia then start checking the nitrites and when that goes to 0 do a WC and you should be ready to go.
 
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