Cannot lower ammonia or get cycle going

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Cannot lower ammonia or get cycle going

Postby Mrmaccnz » Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:26 am

Hi everyone,

I am at my wits end, we set up a new 160L tank 2 months ago, since then we have added our fish slowly and carefully. However we have NEVER registered any nitrates and i don't understand how or why? I have been through the cycle info over and over again abd done everything I have been told. Here is my fish list:

6 mollies
2 plecos
3 cory catfish
2 albino catfish
2 guppies
2 ghost catfish (waste of time can't see them!!)
28 neon tetras

Water change regualrly, feeding every 2 - 3 days with only enough to ensure all food is gone inside 5 mins. Water testing daily and getting: PH between 7.0 - 7.8, Ammona 0.25 and cannot get it down, 0 nitrites, 0 nitrates.
Here is my tank:
Model: EG518HP (Triangle Corner Aquarium)
Aquarium Dimensions: 109 x 78 x 62 cm (LxDxH)
Water Capacity: 167 Litres
Pump Capacity: 1100 L/hr
Dimensions: 109 x 78 x 71 cm (LxDxH) Lighting: 2 fluro tubes
Blue Planet aquariums come complete with a fully pressurized, 3-stage filter and water pump, on-top of the aquarium unit. Adjustable flow regulator to suit various fish types or as required. Tanks are suitable for either Fresh & Saltwater fish.

HELP!!!!
Mrmaccnz
 
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Re: Cannot lower ammonia or get cycle going

Postby IndianoAnnie » Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:45 am

This probably wont help but have you tested you tap water/ water source as this could have a trace of ammonia. I have the same problem as my water source have ammonia trace, at least if you do this you can eliminate one or the other. There have been a few reports on this. Although I don't exactly know what we can do about it. It might be that your water source has the ammonia and not your tank and therefore your tank may have already cycled ?
Thanks,
Annie :)

55L planted
Red cherry shrimp
Cycled
Newbie-ish :)
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Re: Cannot lower ammonia or get cycle going

Postby Carylnz » Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:41 am

Or it could be your eyes. Test kits can be hard to decipher and I think your ammonia is probably lower than you think. Going from your user name, I assume you are in NZ? Are you on town supply, rainwater or well?
What are the nitrate levels of the tap water?
As long as the ammonia and nitrite are 0 you are fine as these two are the most toxic. If you cycled slowly and carefully you may not see a rise and fall of anything, as it happened so slowly it was not noticeable, but having added 45 fish over 2 months does not seem "slowly" to me!
Do you have any live plants?
I just realised you say the pH is between 7.0 and 7.8. Considering the pH scale is logarithmic, this is a major problem if it is actually swinging between the two. Are you using a liquid test kit or strips? The strips are pretty useless. I suspect you mean the colour on the test means the pH is somewhere between 7.0 and 7.8, not going from one to the other?
My home forum is The NZ Fishroom http://www.fnzas.org.nz
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Re: Cannot lower ammonia or get cycle going

Postby Mrmaccnz » Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:16 pm

Thanks everyone for your concern. To assist further - yes we are in New Zealand, yes we are on 'tank water' meaning we capture from the roof and hold two 5000L concrete tanks. We have tested the tap water and it is stupidly high in PH but 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites.
We are using the API liquid test kit as yes the strips are a wste of time but hey all part of the learning curve we go through! Yes the PH colour changes between the blue and aqua green colours.
No we do not have any live plants (I was trying to keep my stress levels and things that could go wrong to a minimum!!).
We are adding stability daily, water changing 30 - 50% weekly and have just changed out the carbon filter for a bg of something I can't remember the name of in the filter.
The fish do not seem that bothered so am I just being over caring as a newbie??? :?
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Re: Cannot lower ammonia or get cycle going

Postby Carylnz » Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:12 pm

The fish do not seem that bothered so am I just being over caring as a newbie??? Probably :mrgreen:
Where in NZ are you? I am in Blenheim. You could try my home forum (in my sig) as it is NZ based and they will be more up with the play on our water conditions. I know tank water can have its own set of problems and/or differences to the usual town supply. The concrete tanks are probably raising the pH as well, unless they are coated with some neutral sealant.
I have never used Stability so can't comment on that.
Live plants actually make it easier to stabilise the tank parameters. :wink:
My home forum is The NZ Fishroom http://www.fnzas.org.nz
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Re: Cannot lower ammonia or get cycle going

Postby Mrmaccnz » Sat Nov 10, 2012 9:00 pm

Hi everyone, so I am at a loss now, we got the ammonia down to .25 for the last few days by cleaning 25% water a day, adding stability and reducing the feeding as we have been told.

We fed them yesterday and added two new albino catfish, got up this morning did a water check and we are back up to between .25 - .50 WHY????

Our last thought is maybe the filter isn't coping, could that be hindering? We are using the standard filter that came with the blue planet paradiso tank, we are at our wits end as to why it keeps jumping like it is please advise!!!
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Re: Cannot lower ammonia or get cycle going

Postby Carylnz » Sun Nov 11, 2012 7:58 pm

I have never bought an aquarium with a built-in filter but have heard some say that some are not good enough and they add a second filtr. I suggest you do this and see what happens. I have asked where in NZ you are. I may know someone nearby who can offer some mature media.
My home forum is The NZ Fishroom http://www.fnzas.org.nz
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Re: Cannot lower ammonia or get cycle going

Postby SparkyST » Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:51 am

My built in filter I had in my old tank was next to useless. Had trouble with ammonia and nitrite. Changed to an internal Fluval filter and all was good after a week or so.
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Re: Cannot lower ammonia or get cycle going

Postby Mrmaccnz » Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:57 am

Thanks to all for your support and advice, apologies for the delay in replying.
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