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  1. Default Having issues...still!

    0 Not allowed!
    Tuesday - 25% water change
    Wednesday - 50% water change
    Thursday - 75% water change
    Wednesday night I added 5 ounces of the Start Smart Complete

    Still this morning I am seeing 1-1.25 ppm Ammonia and zero nitrites and nitrates, What gives?

    Are the water changes hurting the cycle? I am turning hte filter off during the change.

    Water Temp 80 degrees. I have only lost 1 fish due to tank issues, but the other fish are starting to look stressed.
    Last edited by ddavis1979; 10-19-2012 at 04:03 PM.
    55 Gallon Freshwater Tank (semi-planted) 48"x21"x13"

    Video of 55GAL Tank - DEC 2012

  2. #2


    0 Not allowed!
    Looks like you are trying to cycle with fish

    Have you been basing the size of your waterchange on the ammonia and/or nitrite levels ?
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL=""]

  3. #3


    0 Not allowed!
    I would be doing more than water change each day until the reading is down to .25ppm - change at least 50% and wait an hour or so until you read the results on a test.

  4. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by andreahp
    I would be doing more than water change each day until the reading is down to .25ppm - change at least 50% and wait an hour or so until you read the results on a test.
    +1 to what Andrea said

    How big is your tank? How many fish? How long have you been cycling?
    30 g FW planted:corys, female ABNP, blue angel, harleys, zebra danios, rummies,
    15 g FW planted:2 male guppies, neons, pygmy corys, clown pleco, 4 types of shrimp, assassin snails
    90 Gal Journal:
    fishless cycling:
    fish in cycling:

  5. #5


    0 Not allowed!
    Did you ever check your tap water for ammonia? I asked that in another thread but don't know if you answered me or not? Ammonia in tap water would indictate your water is being treated with chloramines and chlorine. Perhaps just chloramines. Most treatment plants now use both and why Prime is good to use as it works on both. But, if very high levels of chloramine is used, then it may take a couple capfuls of Prime to neutralize the chloramines.

    But........without a tap water test, we will not know that.

    You simply do not have enough bacteria grown for the amount of ammonia the fish and the food is producing. If you had bacteria, that ammonia will fall right off. But if you are doing all these water changes and simply adding ammonia back into the tank via tap water containing ammonia, then that may also be what we are seeing here.

    I know nothing about StartSmart but I know of no bacteria boosters that require adding 5 oz all at once. Each one I used was one capful each day. I wonder if that product is messing up your test readings. According to what I just read online, you are supposed to dose ONE CAPFUL for 40 gallons, not 5 oz.

    Another thing I would like to know is what is your pH?
    Last edited by Lady Hobbs; 10-19-2012 at 06:36 PM.

  6. #6

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    0 Not allowed!
    Which fish died? Was it one of the Cories? They are usually one of the first to go in a stressed tank.

    +1 to all the above posts and hang in there.

  7. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Yes one of the cories died and now one of the tetras died. All tiger barbs still going strong.

    It was totally my mistake. The Start smart is not a "booster" as far as I understand, it is the bacteria itself. The product as well as the fish store recommended adding the appropriate dosage which is 1 ounce for every 10 gallons starting out. Then adding the fish and the tank should cycle itself in a few days. The label says 24 hours but i dont buy into that. They also recommend putting your full load of fish in the tank and I backed off that too and only put about half the fish I was looking at. But like an idiot I put one cap full per 10 gallons and not one ounce. (stupid oversight on my part) That was about one sixth of the amount needed to get the tank going. I didnt realize my mistake until 12 days after I added the "insta-cycle" and the fish.

    After 9 days of having zero ammonia readings I added a few more fish and figured that tank was doing its job. Now, it seems like i cant escape the ammonia. It spiked all at once on day 10.
    55 Gallon Freshwater Tank (semi-planted) 48"x21"x13"

    Video of 55GAL Tank - DEC 2012

  8. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    To answer the follow up question, which is a much bigger issue, I tested the tap water and its giving me huge ammonia readings about 2ppm. This could certainly be part of my problem.

    I made sure the test kit was not tainted and that I was testing properly by running the test on some distilled water and it did return a zero value.

    So my next question....What do I do for a fish tank with tap water testing 2ppm ammonia? Running a 55 gallon tank with and not being able to use tap water seems impossible.
    55 Gallon Freshwater Tank (semi-planted) 48"x21"x13"

    Video of 55GAL Tank - DEC 2012

  9. #9


    0 Not allowed!
    This is just what I figured was going on. It made no sense having such high ammonia levels each day so this is how I reached this conclusion.

    Your city water is being treated with high levels of chloramines. In order to break that chloramine bond, you must add more Prime. I would add 4 capfuls to your sized tank and that much has to be added with each water change.

    Still.......once you get your bacteria grown in your filter, the bacteria will take care of that ammonia.

    Now, to change things, you will have to stop doing those large water changes. You are simply adding too much ammonia by replacing it with high ammonia levels in your tap water.

    The StartSmart is simply a bacteria booster to give your bacteria time to grow while it helps keep the fish safer. NOTHING cycles the tank for you but either ammonia from a bottle (fishless) or using fish themselves and the ammonia they produce.

    According to the directions I got from the web, it's says to dose the StartSmart one capful per 40 gallons. If your bottle says something different, dose it per what it says on the bottle.

    You have to stop scaring us with the capfuls being mixed up with ounces!

  10. #10


    0 Not allowed!
    Can you tell us once again what filters you are using? You will need very good filtering on that tank so you have a lot of room to grow bacteria. The more bacteria you have in the tank, the faster you can get rid of the ammonia water will you be adding.

    You don't have the best thing going for you right now and this tap water problem is causing you far more problems than was needed.

    What is the ammonia level in your tank today?

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