becs wrote:Hi, tank had been running with no fish for 3 weeks but added de-chlorinator and aqua cycle for bacteria. Then I added 5 tetra for a week and then added another 10. A week after that I added 3 electric yellow. This week I have tested the water twice with the same readings.
Ammonia 0, Nitrate 0, Nitrite 0, ph 7.0 and the hardness? The sicker looking one seems to have developed slight vertical striping, I figure it maybe because she is getting skinnier?
Ammonia 0 = Fine on it's own.
Nitrite 0 = Fine on it's own.
Nitrate 0 = Not good sign.
pH 7.0 would probably indicate that you have slightly soft water. Great for the neons, not such great for the L. caeruleus - they like higher pH and relativley hard water - as Lisa pointed out.
The reason I'm saying nitrate = 0 is not a good sign is that on a tank that HAS cycled, there should be some presence of nitrate - unless you have a veritable jungle of exactly the right mix of fast-growing plants, which I somehow doubt you do if you have just started fish-keeping...
My conclusion of these test results is that something is wrong with the tests. Either the Nitrate test is misreading (is the test-kit old by any chance? - I thought I had EXCELLENT nitrate values in my tank until I realized that my test-kit was showing zero for EVERYTHING I tested...), or something else is not showing up on the tests - ammonia or nitrite. The way it works is that the fish give off ammonia (their version of pee). This is converted to nitrite by a particular type of bacteria, and the nitrite is converted by a second kind of bacteria to nitrate. The nitrate is taken up by plants - but it's unlikely that all nitrate is taken up by plants.
During the initial phase of cycling, there will be no bacteria to take care of the ammonia, so the ammonia will rise in the water. After a week or two, sufficient bacteria will have formed to make the conversion to nitrite, so nitrite will be quite high. After further time, nitrite will be lower and nitrate should start to show up.
There's really only one way to get rid of nitrate, and that is to replace water in the tank.
And I must say that it's not completely unusual for pet-shops to be more along the lines of "customer is right" than "advice customer correctly". In some misguided effort of pleasing the customer, they often say "Yes, that's fine together with <something>" when it really isn't - at least not in the long term. Unfortunately, I don't think they are doing ANYONE a favour by "pleasing the customer", but rather causing the customer to fail in their attempt to keep fish - something that will most likely lead to them NOT coming back to the same shop for 10-20 years, buying more fish, tanks and food.
The other option is of course that the staff in the shop are completely ignorant and just agreeing with whatever idea the customer has for the purpose of not looking like an idiot...