Hi guys, first post and new proud owner of my own aquarium :)
I was testing my ammonia levels today, and they jumped from 0 ppm to 1 ppm. My tank is about 2 weeks old, and it has 3 panda corys in it. Its a 5 gallon tank, a bit small, but from what I read about pandas a 5 gallon should be sufficient. It's been about 3 days, soon to be 4 since I added them to the tank. Up until day 3 the ammonia levels were at 0, then went up to .25, and on day 4 it is between .50 and 1 ppm. I have been feeding sparingly the past few days, with just 1 sinking wafer each day except for one time when I put in half a small block of frozen blood worms. As of now I have stopped feeding them to see if ammonia levels will drop.
I added the fish about a week after I set the tank up, from which my ammonia levels went up to 1 ppm and then to 0 ppm. I made sure the ammonia levels stayed constant for 2 days at 0 ppm, and then added the fish. pH levels currently are between 7.0 and 7.5, with nitrite and nitrAte levels at 0. I'm concerned due to the sudden spike in ammonia levels. I did 2 partial water changes, one yesterday and one today. However, the ammonia levels stayed the same.
The fish themselves seem to be ok for now, and are actually more active now since I got them but I don't want to take any chances. I was wondering if the sudden spike was due to the nature of cycling, and if I should ride it out and keep doing partial water changes each day, and use Seachem stability to help with growing the bacteria. I was also wondering if I should change my filter media, as its been in use for a while now *the aquarium+media filter was a hand-me-down from my parents, who used it for about a month before shelving it* or if I should just rinse it off via swishing in old aquarium water when I do a water change. Water temperature has been constant, usually between 77-80 degrees F.
Thanks for the help in advance!