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Deidre Bunch

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Awesome advice everyone but there’s been a lot of information shared. So, should I keep up with the water change % based on the amount of nitrites I have or just do 50% until I finish my cycle? Every day or every other day. Also, my first filter is clogged and I have water coming out of the overflow. My second filter has only been on about a week and I’ve tried “swishing” the old filter in PCW water to help unclog it but it didn’t change anything. What should I do?
 

FishGuest5123

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Can you place the old filter media behind the new one to keep the cycle? Remember that doing a 50% water change will cut your nitrates in half.
 

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Thank you, Byron for explaining correctly.
I thought ammonium wasn’t as toxic as ammonia. Am I wrong? I also thought chloramine contained ammonium, not ammonia. Now I’m confused!
 
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Deidre Bunch

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Can you place the old filter media behind the new one to keep the cycle? Remember that doing a 50% water change will cut your nitrates in half.
I want to decrease the levels with the water changes, right? I’m not sure if both filters will fit but I can look to see.
 

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Just the filter media, not the whole filter. You can cut the old filter media and just stick it behind the new. Yes, you want to decrease the nitrates
 
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Deidre Bunch

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I’m sorry if this sounds stupid but I don’t know what you mean by “just the filter media”. Are you talking about taking the mesh type bag and cutting it up and putting it in behind the new mesh bag?
 

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I have well water but when I tested it I did get a small amount of ammonia. Wouldn’t that just add to how much is in the tank though and still be counted as harmful?
Time to get confusing :)

Your well water is contaminated and you should investigate the source of ammonia in the well water. If it's contaminated with ammonia it could have other chemicals/ poisons in too.

If you are using well water you don't need a dechlorinator. However, because you have ammonia in the well water, you should continue using the water conditioner that binds to the ammonia and makes it safe.

The best thing to do is filter the well water before adding it to the aquarium, then you won't need to worry about the water conditioner and you won't be adding ammonia to the tank. Get a large plastic container and fill it with well water. Fill a box filter or power filter with Ammogon or Zeolite and run that filter in the container of well water. When the ammonia has been adsorbed, you can use that water to do water changes. Aerate the water while doing this.

The Ammogon or Zeolite can be recharged after use.

You should also have some carbon in the filter to adsorb any chemicals that might be in the water.

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Get some Water Sprite plants (Ceratopteris thalictroides/ cornuta) and grow it in the tank. It is easy to grow, and multiples rapidly and uses lots of nutrients in the water. If you get too much you can plant it in the substrate.

You can use it in the water container to help get rid of the ammonia too. Just add some plants to the container of well water and give them light. Monitor the ammonia levels in the water and when it is 0, use the water to do water changes on the tank.
 
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Deidre Bunch

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Wow that’s a lot. I’ll have to read it again, lol. I just tested my tank and I even included pictures for you to see. It kinda looks like Nitrite is 0, Nitrate is 10 and Ammonia is 0.5. The second test with the Ammonia is water straight from my tap and they look about the same..
 

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Deidre Bunch

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Time to get confusing :)

Your well water is contaminated and you should investigate the source of ammonia in the well water. If it's contaminated with ammonia it could have other chemicals/ poisons in too.

If you are using well water you don't need a dechlorinator. However, because you have ammonia in the well water, you should continue using the water conditioner that binds to the ammonia and makes it safe.

The best thing to do is filter the well water before adding it to the aquarium, then you won't need to worry about the water conditioner and you won't be adding ammonia to the tank. Get a large plastic container and fill it with well water. Fill a box filter or power filter with Ammogon or Zeolite and run that filter in the container of well water. When the ammonia has been adsorbed, you can use that water to do water changes. Aerate the water while doing this.

The Ammogon or Zeolite can be recharged after use.

You should also have some carbon in the filter to adsorb any chemicals that might be in the water.

------------------------
Get some Water Sprite plants (Ceratopteris thalictroides/ cornuta) and grow it in the tank. It is easy to grow, and multiples rapidly and uses lots of nutrients in the water. If you get too much you can plant it in the substrate.

You can use it in the water container to help get rid of the ammonia too. Just add some plants to the container of well water and give them light. Monitor the ammonia levels in the water and when it is 0, use the water to do water changes on the tank.

I have a little bundle of water wisteria, an anubias nana, two different kinds of crypts and a sword. Would these be sufficient to help?
 

Colin_T

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I have a little bundle of water wisteria, an anubias nana, two different kinds of crypts and a sword. Would these be sufficient to help?
They won't do much to remove ammonia from the water because they are slow growing plants. And they will be harmed if you pull them out of the gravel and move them.

Get some floating plants (Water Sprite or Duckweed) and grow it on the surface.
 
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Deidre Bunch

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They won't do much to remove ammonia from the water because they are slow growing plants. And they will be harmed if you pull them out of the gravel and move them.

Get some floating plants (Water Sprite or Duckweed) and grow it on the surface.

Alright, I’ll leave them where they are and look into the floating ones. I got the slow growers because I was told I couldn’t have anything else is my size tank.
 

Essjay

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Floating plants are very useful. Because they are near the lights and can take up a lot more carbon dioxide from the air, they are fast growing which means they'll use more ammonia. And if they start to take over it is very easy to remove some plants without disturbing the substrate. Mine go in the compost bin.
 
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Deidre Bunch

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Floating plants are very useful. Because they are near the lights and can take up a lot more carbon dioxide from the air, they are fast growing which means they'll use more ammonia. And if they start to take over it is very easy to remove some plants without disturbing the substrate. Mine go in the compost bin.

Those are all good points that I hadn’t thought of. I will ask about them when I go to the store later for the extra sponges for my filter. I’m returning one of the ones I have because I just don’t like the look in my tank. I got it from petsmart and it hasn’t looked well the entire time I’ve had it, which shouldn’t be a surprise since they sell the plants I’m thise little tubes. Other than the floating plant mentioned above, water sprite, any other floaters or fast growing plants I should look into?
 

Byron

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Good floating plants are the more substantial ones; duckweed and Salvinia are floaters but they are not "substantial" so they provide less benefit than the larger plants. Water Sprite is absolutely ideal. Others similar are Frogbit and Water Lettuce. Some stem plants grow very nicely left floating, and Pennywort is my favourite for this.
 
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Deidre Bunch

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Good floating plants are the more substantial ones; duckweed and Salvinia are floaters but they are not "substantial" so they provide less benefit than the larger plants. Water Sprite is absolutely ideal. Others similar are Frogbit and Water Lettuce. Some stem plants grow very nicely left floating, and Pennywort is my favourite for this.

Awesome, I’ll look into water sprite later today. I have a water wasteria stem plant but it doesn’t look like it’s doing to well and I can’t keep it in the substrate. I was thinking of going to one of the smaller aquarium stores in the area and seeing if they had any that looked better than the petsmart one. Would that be a good idea or should I replace it all together with a different plant?
 

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