Ammonia and nitrite rising despite water changes...help!
First, thanks to those of you who've given me good advice on here so far! You are a great group of folks.
I have another question now. Since I set up my aquarium about a week and a half ago, the ammonia and nitrite levels have been rising to somewhat uncomfortable levels. There is also a layer of oily stuff floating on the surface of the water.
I've been doing 10% water changes every other day since I first set it up, and that only helps for a while and doesn't help with the oily stuff at all. I also put some small amazon sword plants in, but they haven't really affected the ammonia/nitrite levels yet. In addition to what I've already done, I'm wondering what else I can do to reduce the ammonia/nitrite levels and make the tank a healthier place for my fish. I don't want to lose them!
sounds like the tank is definitely going through a cycle, and your tanks bacteria has not grown enough to eliminate the rising levels of the ammonia and nitrites. There are plenty of experts here other than me, but maybe if you got some seachem stability and added it to the water per the directions it might help to stabilize and save your fish.
Might also have to do a larger water change. Maybe 25-50 percent.
But I am still learning as well. The pros will add in here in a minute.
yeah i have been battling the same kinda thing, good news is that you are producing nitrite which means your cycle is started and its only a matter of time before the bacteria overcomes the ammonia and nitrite and you have a fully cycled tank, i would continue to do the water changes but on a dialy basis, just keep a close eye on your fish, if you see them hanging around at the top of the tank or gilling (looks like very hard breathing) increase the % of water that you change starting with an immediate change at that time.
check out this thread for some expert advise:
55 Gallon Tank - Anacharis - 3 Tiger Barbs - 1 Rainbow Shark - 1 Curvicep - 1 Gold Severum - 1 Plecostomus
30 Gallon Tank - Planning for SW
18 Gallon Tank - Anacharis - 2 Flame Dwarf Gouramis - 2 Paradise Blue Gouramis - 1 Dwarf Gouramis - 1 Rainbow Shark
10 Gallon Tank - Java Moss - 5 Neon Tetra - 35 Cherry Shrimp
10 Gallon Tank - Amazon Sword - Anacharis - Fril - Java Moss - Moneywort - Parrot Feather - 4 Ramshorn Snails
Yup, all good advice so far.
Keeping an eye on the fish is the best thing you can do at this point. Any kind of odd behaviour or the appearance of diseases will indicate that you should be increasing the size of the water changes.
Hang in there, there's another little bump, but the worst should be over soon enough.
My AC Fish Gallery:
Another gallery with my fish
21 Gallon - 3 Ornate Tetras, 7 Pencilfish, 1 Oto cat, 7 Amano shrimp, 1 Peckoltia brevis, 1 clown pleco
15 Gallon - 1 clown pleco, 6 threadfin rainbows
10 Gallon - 7 Galaxy Rasboras, 4 Betta rutilans, Cherry shrimp, 1 Hillstream Loach
65 Gallon - Cycling!
Cut down on feeding now, too, because the food that doesn't get eaten just causes more ammonia. Some that ammonia will be 0 and then you'll be fighting high nitrites and they'll also turn to 0.
If those levels get too high, don't be afraid to do larger water changes. 10% will not help you once they hit the danger zone. NO cleaning of anything.
What are the levels? You don't want them to get much higher than 2ppm. Do as many water changes and as large as you need to keep them down below that.
35 Gallon (36" Long) See my tank pics and stats: My Blog
Plants: Amazon Swords, Cabombas, Jungle Vals, Water Wisterias, Java Moss, Java Ferns
Fish: 6 Bronze Cories, 10 Harlequin Rasboras, 3 Sunset Thick-Lipped Gouramis, 4 (tiny) Keyhole Cichlids, 6 Otos, 1 or 2 Ghost Shrimp
Side effects of MTS:
65 Gallon, 10 Gallon, 29 Gallon (all empty or cycling)