Ammonia won’t go to Zero, please help

Whichwhatwho214

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Hi, I have a tank that I thought was cycled, and I know it’s a constant process, however I can’t seem to get my ammonia down to zero. There are currently no creatures in my aquarium other than plants and a ton of brown algae. My levels for the past two weeks have held steady around

PH : 7.4-7.6
Ammonia : 0 -.25
Nitrite : 0
Nitrate : 5 - 10

Other notes about aquarium:
50 gallon filled, 70 gallon aqua clear filter, temp stays at 60*F, aqueon LED light runs 10 hours daily, 2 Anubis and 2 Java ferns.

I am hoping at some point the healthy green algae would start to grow and replace the brown algae but it’s not changing. Am I being impatient? My poor Axolotl are living in tubs while I wait for the tank. Is there anything I can do?
 

DrJade

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Hi, I have a tank that I thought was cycled, and I know it’s a constant process, however I can’t seem to get my ammonia down to zero. There are currently no creatures in my aquarium other than plants and a ton of brown algae. My levels for the past two weeks have held steady around

PH : 7.4-7.6
Ammonia : 0 -.25
Nitrite : 0
Nitrate : 5 - 10

Other notes about aquarium:
50 gallon filled, 70 gallon aqua clear filter, temp stays at 60*F, aqueon LED light runs 10 hours daily, 2 Anubis and 2 Java ferns.

I am hoping at some point the healthy green algae would start to grow and replace the brown algae but it’s not changing. Am I being impatient? My poor Axolotl are living in tubs while I wait for the tank. Is there anything I can do?
Make sure you clean the tube for testing really well, rinse and wipe out well with rubbing alcohol if need be. We have noticed we get .25 sometimes from a dirty(not visible ) tube. If you have nitrate you a cycled.
 

minorhero

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Make sure you are looking at the tube in sunlight even if it's overcast. Many light bulbs produce such horrible light that it can be very difficult to tell the difference between zero ammonia and .25 ammonia.

I would also reduce your light cycle to a maximum of 8 hours a day. If you need to have more viewing time, you can split that light cycle up so that it's say two or four hours in the morning and the rest in the afternoon / evening.
 

Whichwhatwho214

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Make sure you are looking at the tube in sunlight even if it's overcast. Many light bulbs produce such horrible light that it can be very difficult to tell the difference between zero ammonia and .25 ammonia.

I would also reduce your light cycle to a maximum of 8 hours a day. If you need to have more viewing time, you can split that light cycle up so that it's say two or four hours in the morning and the rest in the afternoon / evening.
Thank you for the idea, I’ll do that .
 

Jennewt

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I agree with the others that this may be an issue with the readout of the test kit, not a problem with your water. Do a negative control: test some bottled water or rainwater side-by-side with your aquarium water.
 
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    @MadamePirateOwl Fridging is best left to life-or-death situations, and salt baths are unnecessarily harsh, stressful, and abrasive. I'd suggest doing tea baths instead (using caffeinated black tea, where the only ingredient is black tea).
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    so no idea what the goop is?
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  • madcaplaughs:
    Hard to tell without a photo, but might be algae or fungus floating. Water changes will take care of that.
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    It definitely came from the axolotl. Looked to be mixed into poo the first time. Can I post the photos here?
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    Im not actually sure how i would post it. It seems to want a link
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    Its fairly thick and chunky
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    (Also thanks for your patience and help!)
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  • madcaplaughs:
    You could always upload the photo to imgur and link it back here
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    The second image was how it looked the first time, it was mixed with some other poop like stuff. after that its been small and without the poopy stuff
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  • madcaplaughs:
    The second photo looks reminiscent of partially-digested worms, though I've never seen anything like that. Have you checked your parameters lately?
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    Right now theyre in smaller tubs that i do daily water changes in
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    I'll admit Ive bought test strips but they havent come in yet
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    I use Prime to dechlorinate the water, which was recommend by the girl I got them from
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  • madcaplaughs:
    For now I'd tub the axolotl and do daily 100% water changes until you're able to test your parameters
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    I'd also recommend ordering a liquid test kit such as the API Freshwater Master Test Kit since strips are generally unreliable and inaccurate.
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    Okay, thank you for your help and advice :)
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