is this normal?

  • gennyhere1
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gennyhere1 created the topic: is this normal?

So I'm using an API freshwater master test kit and I got a ammonia reading of .5ppm but I have no nitrite or nitrate readings. My tank is cycled and has been set up for more than 5 months now. I have 10 tiger barbs and 2 blood parrots in the 55g.
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Big-Ken replied the topic: Re:Re: is this normal?

I moved your topic to the water chemistry section please make sure your posting in right area

Have you cleaned or changed your filter lately?? If so can you explain your procedure of doing so
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gennyhere1 replied the topic: Re:Re: is this normal?

sorry yeah I was trying to figure out how to do that for like thirty minutes... anyway I usually change my filter cartridges monthly although I do water changes at weekly. I don't particularly clean my filter like scrub it down since I have read that that kills the beneficial bacteria that builds up, so I just change the filter cartridges at the beginning of each month
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Big-Ken replied the topic: Re:Re: is this normal?

What kind of filter do you have (make and model) and what is in it media wise?

If your have a HOB filter (hang on back) with just the carbon filter cartridges that you buy then every time you replace them you are throwing all your BB away and restarting your cycle over again
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gennyhere1 replied the topic: Re:Re: is this normal?

Aqua-tech for a 30-60g and I'm not sure what you mean by media wise... sorry if I sound stupid. And yes it is a HOB with the carbon filer cartridges, is that bad or...
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Big-Ken replied the topic: Re:Re: is this normal?

You dont sound stupid just new and uninformed by coming here asking questions your showing more intelligence that most.

If you are unaware of what and how the nitrogen cycle works read this
www.oscarfishlover.com/helpful-articles/cycling-an-aquarium

In a filter you have 3 types of media mechanical, biological, and chemical your filter cartridges cover the least important two (mech and chem) but they lack much in the way of bio-media and thats where your BB lives. Some BB will grow on the blue mech pad but when you throw it out as is recommended by the manufacture (greed) your also throwing out all your BB.

What I recommend with hob filters is to cut along the bottom of the cartridges to empty out the carbon and then to continue to use the cartridges as mech filter then go to your lfs and buy a box of fluval biomax (ceramic rings) and place them directly I the filter in the space either infront or behind the modified cartridges. The biomax will provide an excellent place to grow a large BB colony and can be easly moved into a new filter once you get one which you need.

The recommended filtration for larger cichlids is 5x the water volume for canister's and 10x for hob's, so in your case you need to be filtering your tank 550 gph if your running hob's or 275 gph with a canister but overfiltration is always good. I would recommend getting a canister that flows a minimum of 250gph and you should be good, something like a fluval 405 or eheim 2217
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Big-Ken replied the topic: Re:Re: is this normal?

For now you need to be doing 50% water changes every two days using a conditioner like safe or prime that detoxs ammonia untill your recycled
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Firestorm8215 replied the topic: Re:Re: is this normal?

Your filter cartridges only need to be replaced if they start falling apart. And even then you don't want to replace everything at the same time , or as stated you will loose all your beneficial bacteria at once.
Just rinse your filters in a bucket of tank water once a month , or more often if needed.
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Suprd71 replied the topic: Re:Re: is this normal?

Your filter is a decent unit for mechanical filtration. The bio filter on that model is the black rough feeling sponge like square pad that sits in front of your blue pad cartridges. Dont replace or rinse out the black pads. A quiet, quality filter it is , but really under powered for your tank. If you are able you should add another filter, a bigger hob like the Aquaclear 110 or Emperor 400. Should you upgrade tank size some day, you would get a jump start on the cycle having two seeded filters.


I may not be the Boss, but I'm ALWAYS right!
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MetalHead88 replied the topic: Re:Re: is this normal?

you should absolutely get another filter. like suprd said, the aquaclear or emperor are some of the best hob around for a mid - sized tank.

i find it odd that nitrate readings are zero. you'd want to keep that less then .20.... but 0 has seemed to be impossible to reach.

it is possible that the tank never fully cycled. for now, do 75% water changes twice a week and cut feeding until you can get that ammonia to zero. onece the tank is fully cycled out, you can go with the normal 75% water change one a week.
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