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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Had an interesting conversation with a local cichlid breeder here in the UK, does this sound true..?

At present I have been having trouble with ammonia showing up in my water tests, anything from 0.5 to 1ppm
I'm doing 50 percent water changes approx 2-3 times a week
My tank has been running about 8 weeks now with 5 labs in from the start - (From my experience so far I would never do a fish cycle again)

Anyway, I told the breeder this and he asked if I had any nitrite or nitrates which I said - Nitrite 0, Nitarates approx 10
He asked if I had tested the water from tap which I said yes 0 ammonia.

He then said after 8 weeks the tank should be cycled and it sounds like its Ammonium NH4 which is not harmful like NH3
He then told me to fill a glass with tap water and leave it on the kitchen top for 2 days and then test it.
Wow it read 0.5ppm of ammonia from the API test kit.

I have also had a lab hold which he reckons would be impossible if I had bad ammonia in the tank

Does this sound plausible and is my tank actually cycled now..?

Just added a single female Damansoni which seems to be ok with the labs so far.
 

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Although pH may change after 24 hours after the water leaves the tap the ammonia should not.

You may get a 0.25ppm ammonia reading from your tank due to the dechlorinator, but nothing higher than that.

Keep in mind every time you add fish you may again get toxins until more bacteria can grow to handle them. But a month after adding new fish you should be back to zero for ammonia and nitrite.
 

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Fry in a net inside the adult tank are at risk of adults eating them, even through the fine mesh. Put some substrate on the bottom if you have no separate fry tank.

I don't feed fry flake, but you can if it is small enough and nutritious enough for them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I could give it a try but only feed a small amount once a day. It's all gone in 30 secs normally.
Results from the other night were strange. I'd done a water change 4 days previous.
The results are below, the nitrate result puzzled me the most as surely I'd expect to be at about 10-20 after 4 days..

Ammonia about 1
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Could the ammonia be anything to do with my filter. The only thing that's in there is about 6 trays of sponges and a bag of this plastic media in a mesh bag that sits at the bottom.
 

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If your filter is dirty it could be contributing to the ammonia reading. But if we are talking about food and/or fish waste debris, it is odd that your nitrates are not higher as well.

And even with a reasonably dirty filter, my bacteria have always been able to process the ammonia.

The amount or quality of the media is not a factor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hey guys,

Decided to test my ph today as not done that in a while.
The ph before has been constantly 7.4 for about 2 months now same as what comes out of the tap.
Tonight's reading was between 8.4 and 8.8 (dark purple).
The only thing different since I last tested has been I added 5 more fish and last night I took one of the sponge filters out and replaced with some JBL nitratx balls.

Reading
Ph 8.4 ish
Ammonia between 0.5 and 1
Nitrite 0
Nitrates 5

Now as I have still not managed to solve the ammonia problem is the ph jumping from 7.4 to 8.4 now more dangerous as I read somewhere that it makes ammonia 10 times more toxic with higher ph levels..?
 

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Did you ever try leaving your tap water sample out on the counter for 24 hours and then test the pH? If not, try it and post back the results.
 

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Taking out the established sponge filter removed a large portion of beneficial bacteria. Can you put it back for a while?

Deeda has advised you on the pH issue.
 

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shiftyfox, you have a few different questions and issues going on in this topic so it's a bit confusing to me.

Normally a pH of 8.4 isn't a problem but the reason I asked to let a sample rest for 24 hours is to see if there is a difference between freshly tested tap water and tap water that has rested for 24 hours is to see if the pH changes either by going up or down.

Your original question regarding ammonia levels kind of got lost. When you tested your tap water ammonia level immediately, you got a reading of 0ppm but after 48 hrs it was 0.05ppm? Seems odd to me. Did you use a clean glass container for the sample? Are you thoroughly rinsing the test tube and cap multiple times in tap water after you are finished?

Did you rinse the sponge filter out to clean it after you removed it from the aquarium? What do you mean you wrapped it in tissue?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have put a glass of tap water on the kitchen top, will test the ph in 24

The tank has been running for about 8 weeks now, with fish in from the start.
I'm kinda puzzled why I have ammonia readings still from tested tank water.
I thought by now the nitrogen cycle would have kicked in to deal with this.

However the nitrite readings have been 0 for the past month or so.

I use test tubes from the api kit and I'm meticulous about rinsing out several times before doing any fresh tests in them.

I have not lost any fish from the beginning which I guess is a good thing.

Did a 50 percent water change last night and decided to clean the filter out by tipping water out of it and also checking no dead fry were in it causing ammonia problems. I also decided to take one of the filter sponges out and replace with some nitrate balls.

On testing earlier tests still showed 0.5ppm ammonia.
And I noticed the ph had gone up by 1.

The sponge filter that I took out I wrapped in tissue and left in the cupboard. I presume it would be no point in putting back in now after a day because bacteria on it would be dead..???
 

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The reason you have ammonia is that you removed a chunk of the beneficial bacteria. It sounds like it is dry (wrapped in tissue) so not worth putting it back.

Put back the sponges as well. Don't take anything out of your tank. as the bacteria grow on the surfaces.
 
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